World Candidates 2014-5: Peter the Great

2014 World Championship Candidates
March 11th-April 1st, 2014 (Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia)
Round #5
#
Name
Flag
Rating
Result
Name
Flag
Rating
5.1 Svidler
2758
1-0
Topalov
2785
5.2 Kramnik
2810
½-½
Aronian
2830
5.3 Andreikin
2709
½-½
Anand
2773
5.4 Karjakin
2766
½-½
Mamedyarov
2757
Games

Peter Svidler’s selection as a wildcard in the Candidate’s caused a minor controversy when it left higher-rated players out of the competition. However, there was no doubt that the 7-time Russian belonged in this elite field. He proved his mettle by dispatching of former World Champion Veselin Topalov in a sharp queenless battle. The opening featured novel play with a pawn sacrifice and a middlegame clash of minor pieces exploded as white maintained an initiative against the cornered black king. Here is an account given by GM Alejandro Ramirez.

A powerful game by Svidler, but the most exciting game was Kramnik-Aronian which went down to king versus king. Both players are expected to compete near the top of the charts for the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen.

In the following position in Kramnik-Aronian, white has played 31.Ne4-f6+, black would play 31…Qxf6! which was the point of 27…e3! which diverts attention from the white attack.

After Kramnik’s 22. f5!, the Armenian played a very risky move of 22…g5? The Russian got a very promising attacking position with optimally placed pieces aimed at the weakened black king. White then broke with 27.d5! and the space advantage and when it appeared that black would collapse, he played an opportunistic queen sacrifice after 30…Rc2! 31.Nf6+ Qxf6! to drum up counterplay.

The point was after 32.Bxf6 e2 black has succeeded in complicating matters. However, he almost threw away his counterplay after 33…Bxd5?! but keep white tied up long enough to prevent further damage to his position. There was a novel conclusion of the game as in the postmortem, they analyzing various rook and pawn endgames. Very instructive!

Both Andreikin-Anand and Karjakin-Mamedyarov were rather uneventful draws petering out into placid rook endings.

Anand seems to be in good form. Will he hold onto his slim lead?
Photos by FIDE.com.

Official Site: https://candidates2014.fide.com/
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2014/03/13/2014-world-chess-candidates-khanty-mansiysk-rus/

Video Commentary by GM Daniel King

Standings

Viswanathan Anand, 3.5/5 (+2 -0 =3), Levon Aronian, 3/5 (+2 -1 =2), Vladimir Kramnik, 3/5 (+1 -0 =4), Peter Svidler, 3/5 (+2 -1 =2), Shakriyar Mamedyarov, 2.5/5 (+2 -2 =1), Veselin Topalov, 2/5 (+0 -1 =4), Sergey Karjakin, 2/5 (+0 -1 =4), Dmitri Andreikin 1.5/5 (+0 -2 =3),

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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