World Candidates 2013-6: Carlsen, Aronian win

Round #6
Thursday, 21 March 2013

Alexander Grischuk attempts to redeems yesterday’s loss. Photo by Ray Morris-Hill.

Preview: An in-form Peter Svidler will take on Magnus Carlsen after having played a maniacal game against Boris Gelfand last round. He holds a +2 advantage over Carlsen in classical play and may look to press the issue a bit. Kramnik-Ivanchuk should be interesting as these contemporaries have had many great battles… Kramnik on +4 winning 4/4 with white. Kramnik however has not beaten Ivanchuk in 12 years (with one loss). Grischuk-Gelfand will be an interesting struggle and perhaps the marquee match of the round, Radjabov-Aronian. Both are amazingly resourceful, but Aronian has as much courage to press with black as with white.

2013 World Championship Candidates
March 15th-April 4th, 2013 (London, England)
Round #6
6.1 Svidler
6.2 Kramnik
6.3 Grischuk
6.4 Radjabov

Peter Svidler played 33.Qh5 with a nasty threat of 34.Rh8+! but after 33…Qe4 there was nothing left.

Overview: After six rounds in the World Candidates tournament, separation is beginning to occur. Magnus Carlsen won his third in four games beating Peter Svidler in a rather smooth fashion. Carlsen was able to find nice activity for his pieces and developed some positional advantages. After 24. Nd4 Nxd4 25. Bxd4 exd3 26. Bxd3 Bxd3 27. Rxd3 c5 28. Be5 Rxd3 29. Bxb8 c4 black had a positional advantage. After spotting Svidler’s trick 33. Qh5 (threatening 34.Rh8+ mating), Carlsen began to tighten the screws after 33…Qe4. With Svidler in time pressure he blundered a piece and resigned.

Final position in Aronian-Radjabov. Aronian played energetically and the star of the game was the “roving rook”.

Levon Aronian kept pace beating Teimour Radjabov in a game showing his boundless energy. This game was double-edged throughout, but the Azeri player started placing having trouble with his exposed king.

Aronian made a nice “rover” with Ra8-a6-g6-h6 keeping a bead on the king. That rook then made another maneuver with Rh5-h4-h8-e8-d8-d3 where it helped deliver the finishing blow.

The Armenian seems to have the best form thus far but stated in the press conference that there was still a long way to go and things can change “in seconds”. The Armenia-Azerbaijan rivalry did not seem to interfere with an exciting game and amicable post-mortem.

Kramnik had fire in his eyes and went for Ivanchuk’s jugular vein. However he had to settle for a perpetual.

Vladimir Kramnik’s Catalan is usually associated with slow positional grinds and a towering bishop on g2 making mincemeat out of black’s queenside. This game was nothing like this. Kramnik must have eaten spicy food at a Jamaican or Indian restaurant the previous night because he came out breathing fire in a swashbuckling affair.

In quite an ambitious game, Kramnik sacrificed an exchange with 19. Rxf6!? gxf6 20. Nd4 aiming at the weakened king. He then sacrificed a bishop to deflect a defender from the crucial f5-square with 22. Bxc6!? Bxc6 23. Nf5+ Kg6 24. Ra5. Black scrambled his rooks to the kingside in a frantic attempt to save the king. In the nick of time, he made enough room for the king to scamper and Kramnik had to take a perpetual. Thrilling game!

Grischuk-Gelfand was a wild affair ended in another perpetual after 51. Kf1 Qb1+ 52. Kf2 Qc2+ 53. Kg1 Qb1+ 54. Kf2 Qb2+ 55. Kf1.

Grischuk-Gelfand was a Sicilian Rossolimo with the Russian playing the more passive line 6.Bf1 instead of 6.Bxc6!? He somehow conjured up an attack with 22. Qg4 Qc7 23. Nd6 Ncxe5 24. Nxe5 but had to go into full retreat after 24…Nf6 25.Qd1 and black netted a pawn after 25…Bxd6 26.Qxa4 Nxh5.

Grischuk still tried to batter down the walls to the g7-square with 28. Ng4 Nxg4 29. Qxg4 e5 30. f4 Rbe8 31. Re3, but black was able to hold despite kingside weaknesses. The game ended in another perpetual check. Exciting! Four games, four thrillers. Certainly not a repeat of the 27/30 draws in the qualifier.

Videos by Macauley Peterson.

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


Magnus Carlsen, 4.5/6 (+3 -0 =3), Levon Aronian, 4.5/6 (+3 -0 =3), Vladimir Kramnik, 3/6 (+0 -0 =6), Peter Svidler, 3/6 (+1 -1 =4), Alexander Grischuk, 2.5/6 (+0 -1 =5), Teimour Radjabov, 2.5/6 (+1 -2 =3), Vassily Ivanchuk, 2/6 (+0 -2 =4), Boris Gelfand 2/6 (+0 -2 =4)


  1. Ivanchuk could have tried to run his king with 29…Kf8, but with only a couple of minutes on his clock, it would be hard to find 30.Qb8+ Nc8 31.Qb4 a5! 32.Rxa5+ Ke8. Who would have the nerves to play this??

    Video by GM Daniel King.

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