Once again the evergreen Vishy confounds the critics and shows that it is too early to write him off. The Tiger, it seems, had lost his appetite after defeat two days ago, but today he demolished Peter Svidler's position brick by brick. It is clear that home preparation was a big part of it. «16.axb5 – "A very strong novelty, which "closes the book" on this line. White had to weigh the risk of Svidler having prepared something himself. This was what Anand was thinking about". (Vlad Tkachiev). Soon there were some pyrotechnics.
Anand - Svidler
18.Rxe4 – The rook sacrifices itself to open up the light-squared bishop. 18…Nb3 19.Rxa8 Bxa8 20.Ng5 Nxc1 21.Qh5 h6?? – There were some minimal chances of constructing a successful defence by giving up the queen (21…Qxg5), but the St Pete GM was probably already disheartened by having stepped on a mine in the opening, and loses at once. 22.Qxf7 Kh8 23.Rg4 Qa5 24.h4 Black resigns (1:0). A striking crush..
The tournament leader's Queen's Indian held only after some adventures:
Caruana - Karjakin
Yesterday Topalov played 11.Rb1 against Sergey, and today Caruana tried a different line and obtained a very promising position.
Black does not want to allow the pawn to b5 and prevented it in radical fashion with 18…Bxb4! – The final verdict (blunder, or something else) awaits, but the assessment was brilliant - by sacrificing the queen, Black stands on the edge of the precipice, but what happens next? 19.Nc6 Bxc3 20.Nxd8 Bxe2 21.Qb3 Bxa1 22.Rxa1 Raxd8 23.Rxa7 Nc4 24.h3 Bh5 25.Bg5 Bg6 26.Bxf6 gxf6 27.g4 Kg7 28. Qc3
28…d4! – «Onward!» 29.Qxc4 d3 30.g5 d2 31.gxf6 Kh8 32.Bf3 Be4 33.Kh2 – White has prepared a mating net, but the Russian, in extreme time-trouble, had prepared a lovely response.
The way to the black king lies via f7, therefore...– 33…Bd5! – closing the path! Incredible! 34.Qg4 Rg8 35.Bd1 Rxg4 36.hxg4 h6 Draw ( ½ : ½ ) One can only sympathise with Fabi, who for the third game running was in the penalty area but could not score.
How to play when fortune is not smiling on you? Vesko found a solution which will delight all chess fans.
Topalov - Giri
One is reminded of a boxer, who has taken some heavy punches, but fights on, saying to his opponent "Show me what you can do!". But one must say that Vladimir Tukmakov, Giri's trainer, was very satisfied for a long time with his charge's play.
White's position is critical, with two weak pawns on h4 and d5. He faces a long defence. Can he hold or will he suffer his third defeat? Here Topa showed his devilish stubbornness and fighting spirit, combining cold-bloodedness and ingenuity in defence, and finally reaching the following position.
Draw ( ½ : ½ )
One can only wonder why he did not play like that from the very start?
The following game showed, at first, a similar scenario, with colours reversed.
Aronian - Nakamura
White's absolute control of the seventh rank, plus his strong dark-squared bishop, leaves little doubt that in the 1920s, Aron Nimzowitsch would have won the game and added it to his textbooks, with instructive commentary. But in the third millenium, after mutual mistakes, we reached a rook ending with good winning chances.
74...Re2 - is a draw. But it was the seventh hour of play. It is unlikely that this would have affected a product of the Mark Dvoretsky school, who would have secured the draw on autopilot and "in all weather". But the Samurai had never attended any sessions of Dvoretsky's chess school and... 74…Kf8?? – oh, horror! Having grabbed his king, Nakamura tried to adjust the piece, but Levon could only shrug, and the arbiter stepped in and was adamant. Hara-kiri, Hikaru! 75.Kf6 Ra6 76.Rd6 Ra8 77.h5 Kg8 78.f5 Rb8 79.Rd7 Rb6 80.Ke7 Rb5 81.Rd8 Kh7 82.Kf6 Rb6 83.Rd6 Rb7 Black resigns (1:0). Poor Naka!
Commentators Daniel Dubov and Sergey Shipov hard at work
Today is another rest day, with the peleton led by Karjakin and Aronian on 4 points.
Material: Sergey Kim
CANDIDATES' TOURNAMENT ROUND SIX: HIKARU'S HARA-KIRI!