World Candidates 2013-2: Blood is Drawn!

Round #2
Saturday, 16 March 2013

Preview: Another tough matchup today with the top seeds going to battle. Carlsen-Kramnik is an important match because both are getting the tough battles out of the way early. If one should lose, then there is time to recuperate and rally. Kramnik still has a plus score against Carlsen and looks to maintain his advantage. Will this be a damp squib or will it be a war to end all wars? Probably somewhere in between. Grischuk-Svidler will be another Russian derby as we saw Svidler-Kramnik last round. Grischuk has had trouble against Svidler with one won, seven losses and sixteen draws. This is certainly a good opportunity to Grischuk to turn the tables. Radjabov-Ivanchuk has a chance to be a thriller. With a roughly equal score, there have been a number of interesting battles covering a variety of opening such as the English, Benko Gambit and a number of Sicilians. Looks like another interesting battle brewing. Aronian-Gelfand have primarily stayed in the Queen’s Gambit discussion. Their last TEN games have featured this opening. Aronian may look for a surprise in this game hoping to catch Gelfand napping. Maybe Armenia’s famous preparation will shine through.

2013 World Championship Candidates
March 15th-April 4th, 2013 (London, England)
Round #2
2.1 Carlsen
2.2 Grischuk
2.3 Radjabov
2.4 Aronian

Aronian breaks out into the lead.
Photo by Ray Morris-Hill.

Overview: Two decisive games today in London… both of them were seen as games that could be decisive. Firstly, Aronian-Gelfand had some bite right out of the opening and rustled up a pawn plus. It appeared as if Gelfand could hold but then the zinger with 26.Bh6+! and 30.g4! resulting in a beautiful zugzwang position. In Radjabov-Ivanchuk, the Azeri came up with a nice remedy verus the Dutch Defense. In the press conference, Radjabov discussed some of the intricacies of the position as black soon came under pressure and at a point had to fianchetto his rook. With white’s grip on the position black’s position collapsed after donating his queen for two pieces. Carlsen-Kramnik had no such venom and the games was drawn unceremoniously in the minimum 30 moves. Grischuk-Svidler was actually a very interesting battle that petered out into a drawn opposite-colored bishop ending.

Video by Macauley Peterson.

Official Site:
Photos by Ray Morris-Hill:
Drum Coverage:

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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