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    « Korchnoi In Action! | Main | Candidates 2014, Round 13: Anand Wins The Tournament »
    Sunday
    Mar302014

    Candidates 2014, Round 14 (The Finale): Anand Still The Winner; Karjakin Second

    The most important business of the 2014 Candidates' tournament was settled yesterday when Viswanathan Anand clinched first and a world championship rematch with Magnus Carlsen, but cash and honor remained at stake for the other seven players. In the end, only one game was decisive, and it saw Sergey Karjakin grind out the full point against Levon Aronian to take clear second and a sizable payday of 88 thousand euros.

    Anand had White against Peter Svidler, and kept the game under control, drawing in 34 moves without a scintilla of risk. Anand thus finished the tournament with an undefeated +3 score, while Svidler remained on -1.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Vladimir Kramnik also drew their game quickly. Perhaps Mamedyarov came into the game with some ambitions, but Kramnik equalized effectively and expeditiously, and the game ended on move 30 rather than move 20 only because the rules required it. They both finished on 50%.

    Veselin Topalov enjoyed a nominal edge against Dmitry Andreikin, winning a pawn on move 30. Given the damage to his kingside structure, however, Andreikin was still basically fine. Topalov continued through move 69, and then gave in to the inevitable. He thus finished in clear last place, while Andreikin remained at 50%.

    That just left the Aronian-Karjakin battle. The two players' fortunes had gone in opposite directions since their previous meeting in round 7. Then, after winning their head-to-head game, Aronian was +2 and tied for first, while Karjakin was -2 and alone in last place. By the time of today's game, they were both at 50%, and if anything Karjakin could have had an even bigger score. Their game was a see-saw battle early on, but from around move 32 it was clearly Karjakin who would do the pressing. Aronian held tight for a very long time, but finally cracked with 72.Kg2(?). After 72...Qb2 White had nothing better than 73.Rh1, sacrificing a piece, but there wasn't enough compensation and Karjakin reeled in the point after 94 moves. It's a pity for Karjakin that he got started so late in the tournament, but clear second and a fantastic +3 in the second cycle should give him plenty of encouragement for the next time around.

    Final Standings (given in tiebreak order)

    • 1. Anand 8.5
    • 2. Karjakin 7.5
    • 3. Kramnik 7
    • 4. Mamedyarov 7
    • 5. Andreikin 7
    • 6. Aronian 6.5
    • 7. Svidler 6.5
    • 8. Topalov 6

     

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    Reader Comments (7)

    Karjakin may have finished clear second but his play was far from impressive except in the last 3 games. He was also clearly gifted by Kramnik and Mamedyarov.

    March 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSS

    Here are my final numbers on the Candidates' Tournament. They are not as convincing as they were through 10 or 12 games---I think Svidler gets too much credit for his very long loss to Karjakin and strange suffocation against Topalov. Second and third #s are first and second halves; error bars are typically +- 150 (+- 220 for halves but can be higher if games are "choppy").

    Khanty-Mansiysk IPRs: All, 1st half, 2nd half
    Selection All g1-7 g8-14 Oppts
    All plrs 2750 2745 2750 (all gms)

    VisAnand 2945 2915 2970 2830
    Andreikin 2795 2800 2820 2720
    LAronian 2660 2820 2475 2710
    Karjakin 2680 2625 2715 2745
    VKramnik 2745 2700 2765 2640
    Mamedy'v 2670 2615 2755 2785
    PSvidler 2825 2680 2975 2665
    VTopalov 2700 2795 2625 2895(!)

    Andreikin's line is not an error---the regressions
    are separate, not averaged, and his error bars are
    2795+-180, 1st half 2800+-350(!), 2nd half 2821+-200.

    March 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKenneth Regan

    My only successful prediction of the standings was putting Topalov in last place! 1/8 is not a good result!

    March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

    Most interesting. Seven of the top 16 players in the current Live Chess Ratings are >=age 37. This cannot be accidental. At the same time, of those, only two occupy the top eight. Takes energy, great energy to stay at the very top, never mind getting there. In the first part of my statement, maturity wins the day. In the second part, youth. Energy first to get there, then energy to stay there. Not quite the same, similar though they may be. Love your blog, always read. Thank you. Keep up the great work you do for chess and mind.

    March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Korn

    On the prize money: Dennis, myself and others apparently relied on the FIDE regulations (or someone relying on the FIDE regulations). These were minimum amounts, actual sums were about 50% higher - reported by Frank Behrhorst (only western journalist at the venue?) for Chessbase (http://de.chessbase.com/post/vor-ort-beim-spitzenschach/4): first prize 135,000 Euros, second 125,000, third 107,000, ... (not everything mentioned) Topalov 25,000 Euros.

    March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

    Time to recall the pre-tournament prediction by Evgeny Surov, editor of chess-news.ru (English translation according to chess24) :

    If you asked me who would NOT win then I’d be glad to give you a clear reply: Anand. Let’s agree on the following: if Anand wins the tournament I’ll publicly admit I understand nothing about life or chess, and you’ll never ask me to take part in such a survey again. (http://www.sports.ru/tribuna/blogs/checkmate/585190.html)

    March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEyal

    Carlsen-Anand 2014 World Championship Match Prediction

    I'll predict that if Anand wins the first decisive game of the 2014 WCh, he will win the rematch by the score of 6.5 to 5.5 (or better if Carlsen pushes too hard). This result also depends on Anand being physically and psychologically strong.

    By winning the rematch Anand cements his place amongst the greatest world chess champions regardless of subsequent World Championship Match results. Of course winning tournaments by large margins a la Kasparov will help his legacy as well as create "Fischer fear" in his opponents.

    If as World Champion he defeats Carlsen in Anand-Carlsen III in 2016, Anand can lay claim to be the greatest World Champion of the modern era.

    Everyone, I know the above scenarios contain many ifs and contingencies.

    BTW, does anyone know who Anand employs as a personal physical fitness trainer? His weight has improved, but he must be able to "grind the grinder" both physically and mentally to best Carlsen.

    As the Tiger from Madras, perhaps Anand should do his physical training while listening to the song "Eye of the Tiger!"

    April 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTrill

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