CANDIDATES' TOURNAMENT ROUND 12: AS YOU WERE!

«We look forward to tomorrow, with head held high and full of optimism», – wrote Sergey Karjakin's manager, Kiril Zangalis, on his Facebook page yesterday after the defeat against Anand. And this proved again to be not just empty bravado, as some may have thought, but a sober assessment of his charge's chances. This soon became clear yesterday: 

Topalov, struggling to come to terms with a series of shattering defeats

Karjakin - Topalov

The choice between two possible, general strengthening moves 17…Bf6 and 17…Qc8 is a matter of taste, but 17…Rc8?! missed (or ignored?) the fairly obvious 18.h6. Not a hard move to see, and one more demonstration, in my view, of Vesko's poor form. The rest was of little interest, and the Russian was accurate and convincing. (1:0). Alas, Veselin was upset after this game, but we hope Sergey has restored some of his spirit after the defeat the previous day. 

He  falls into the abyss one day and is reborn like a phoenix from the ashes the next. However the tournament ends for the former world champion, his participation has been an ornament thereof, and an absolute delight for fans. Viswanathan Anand is not only the most productive, in fact, the most interesting participant in the competition, from the point of view of the ordinary chess fans. Each of his games, regardless of whether it is lost or won, brings a lot of different emotions and gives much food for thought. Today, the "Tiger" lost, but so what? To many his tactics seem risky, even ill-considered, but just maybe they conceal the highest wisdom of the East? After two matches with "King Magnus' well, if the young generation are offering the opportunity, why not play a third? And if it does not work out, it is no tragedy. Hikaru is not one to miss his chance to be the latest in the tournament to put the third match in doubt. But who knows?

Nakamura-Anand

By advancing the g-pawn in front of his king, Anand played va-banque. The opponent has been playing badly, so he may react poorly to this, plus there is the tiredness factor. There is every chance to reach «+3»...  But all these dreams were shattered after the opponent replied accuractely: 14.d3! – which he did 14…gxh4 15.dxe4 Ne6 16.dxe6 Rxe6 and Black's position looked busted already. 

17.e5 hxg3 18.hxg3 Qg5 19.exd6 Rxd6 20.Qb3 h5 21.Rad1 Rh6 22.Rd5 Qe7 23.Qc4 Bg4 24.Qf4 Rg6 25.Re5 Qd6 26.Be4 Black resigns (1:0).

Naka thinking bad thoughts?

The Armenian could prolong the intrigue to the end. He was close. In his usual unhurried manner, he drove one of the leaders into passivity and then...

Caruana - Aronian

As the player, in mutual time-trouble, played 3-4 quick moves in a row, Sergey Shipov suggested the rook sacrifice 38…Rxd3! His co-commentator Ilya Smirin was doubtful of the correctness of the sacrifice, but when they turned on the computer, all questions were answered - Black wins. However, instead there followed 38…Qc5 and there was general disappointment.   Alas, Leva, you were just half a step away from catching Caruana and Anand. Draw on move 67 ( ½ : ½ ).

The arbiter is also interested...

The result of the final game was largely predictable. It seems the 12th draw in a row was not much of a surprise even to Anish Giri. The young man cannot be blamed for lacking fighting spirit. As Black he played confidently and even got some advantage, whereupon he tried in good faith to explot this in a rook ending (two against one). But Svidler defended pretty solidly. This row of draws can hardly please anyone, and above all Anish, but if you dig into the memory, you can find a lot more impressive examples. 16 draws (from 10 to 26 successive games) in the 1984 match Karpov-Kasparov, can even safely be discarded - that match was an exception. But here is an old example that could not be more appropriate. The famous grandmasters tournament of 1967 in Moscow. The world 5 or 6, E. Geller, known for his uncompromising, unquenchable desire to fight, after the first four successful round, drew the remaining thirteen (13) a draw ...One can of course say  "at least he won the first four." Yes he did. But 13 draws in a row is also impressive, and the level of his opponents was not the same as here. he beat the likes of Bilek or Pachman, not Anand and Caruana, And, 10 years later, Efim in the championship of the USSR in 1977 drew 14 games with just one victory ... Comparing times past and present makes no sense, but we all do it. And what matters is not numbers, but honestly fulfilling one's duty to the tournament, for which Anish deserves nothing but respect. That should be obvious to everyone. 

So after a seven hour working day, we reach the final rest day. Here is the table: 

Ссылки: 1, 2, 3

Materrial: Sergey Kim