I've been taking my sweet time going through and presenting some games from the World Rapid Championship, but it isn't yet time for the 2015 edition - it hasn't been that long. Anyway, with Dortmund upon us and the Olympiad coming soon, it's time to put the Rapid Championship to bed with a final installment.
A few posts ago we highlighted some of Viswanathan Anand's best and most important games from the rapid & blitz tournaments, which most notably included his win over Magnus Carlsen in round 12 in the rapid. That put him half a point clear of the field, but finishing with three draws left him tied for second (third on tiebreaks), half a point behind Carlsen. Anand played well overall, but was pretty shaky on the final day. Even in the Carlsen game he had been slightly outplayed before the world champion committed a 1-2 move blunder, and Anand was also in huge trouble against Fabiano Caruana in round 13 and Levon Aronian in round 15.
Carlsen was also fortunate against Aronian in round 11 and Alexander Grischuk in round 14. The latter game was crucial for Carlsen: had he lost he would have been half a point down to several players going into the last round; instead, he pulled out a win and led by half a point. Moreover, his tiebreaks were excellent, so all he needed was a draw against Teimour Radjabov to seal the title (albeit with the black pieces), and he achieved it with ease.
Still, the tiebreaks were very close, and if Sergey Karjakin had managed to defeat Alexander Morozevich with the white pieces in the last round a tiebreak win by Carlsen would have seemed somewhat arbitrary. Fortunately, that scenario didn't arise, as Morozevich not only avoided a loss but won a good game to boot.
All the games discussed above (except Carlsen-Anand, which was presented in an earlier post) are here.