World Candidates 2014-10: Kramnik KOed!

2014 World Championship Candidates
March 11th-April 1st, 2014 (Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia)
Round #10
10.1 Karjakin
10.2 Anand
10.3 Topalov
10.4 Kramnik

A befuddled Vladimir Kramnik seems at a loss for his uneven play losing against a Dutch game.

Vladimir Kramnik started a new era after beating Garry Kasparov in the famed match in 2000. That seems so long ago, but he seem to become rejuvenated after a stretch of bad results. He won the World Cup to qualify for the Candidates tournament, but has hit a rough patch losing today after a horrible blunder against Peter Svidler. This loss effectively eliminated him from contention as he trails by two full points with only five games remaining.

Kramnik missed the zinger after 32.Rd4?? Bxh2+! and the game was over quickly thereafter.

These types of games are devastating because Kramnik had outplayed Svidler throughout the game and his pieces were well-coordinated. However, a quick lapse of attention occurred after 32.Rc4-d4?? when Svidler’s bishop zapped the pawn on h2 netting an exchange. All of a sudden Kramnik was dead lost.

In the post-mortem press conference, Kramnik rightfully thought he was winning and that his experiment 1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3!? b6!? 4. d5!? was a success. He was partially right as his 4.d5!? move tried to take advantage of the black’s neglect of the center. Nevertheless, Svidler corralled the point and sent Kramnik into the doldrums.

Anand-Mamedyarov was an interesting encounter. Anand essayed the atypical 6.h3 against the Najdorf, a less-active treatment against the fighting defense. In fact, it appeared that the Azeri player came out on top fine in the opening. He had a Godzilla knight on e5 and dynamic play with his strong play on dark squares. However, white stifled play along the c-file and grabbed a bit of space. However the game ended after black had develop a solid juggernaut with very good flexibility.

With Kramnik fading, is it time for Karjakin to assume the Russian leadership in chess? Photos by

Karjakin-Andreikin also saw an interesting try. Against the Taimanov, Karjakin tried the rare 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Qd3!? However, the conversation was short and the game turned into a queenless ending. Neither side tested the resulting position and went for a three-fold repetition.

Aronian-Topalov had tremendous tension and Aronian has a playable position before he admittedly ceded control with 24.Qd1? An off-form Topalov lost patience with 30.g5?! and the Armenian was able to establish a fortress draw against black’s more active pieces.

Official Site:
Drum Coverage:

Video Commentary by GM Daniel King


Viswanathan Anand, 6.5/10 (+3 -0 =7), Levon Aronian, 5.5/10 (+3 -2 =5), Sergey Karjakin, 5/10 (+2 -2 =6), Shakriyar Mamedyarov, 5/10 (+3 -3 =4), Peter Svidler, 5/10 (+3 -3 =4), Vladimir Kramnik, 4.5/10(+2 -2 =5), Dmitri Andreikin 4.5/10 (+1 -2 =7), Veselin Topalov, 4/10 (+1 -3 =6),

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.


  1. I saw that historic blunder live!
    It reminded me of when Kramnik missed mate-in-one against Deep Fritz.

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