World Candidates Tournament 2014
Candidates Tournament 2014 : It's started !
The 8 contenders of the Challenger's seat for the World championship match against Magnus Carlsen, entered into the battle at 10 am in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia).
The tournament takes place in the chess academy of Khanty-Mansiysk, in a very large room which has already welcomed the World Cup on numerous occasions. An ideal room but an empty one as it is far away !
When we remember that in 2013 in London the players were playing in a crowded amphitheater of the IET (The Institution of Engineering and Technology), we can wonder what are the wanted criteria (other than financial) for the organization of such an event. We can imagine that playing in a crowded amphitheater with a lot of chess fans compared to an empty fitness gym do not give the same sensations to the players …
Anyway, let's focus on the show!
Dimitry Andreïkin has decided to meet Vladimir Kramnik on his favourite field, the opening preparation. He started with 1.d4-2.c4 (we could expect a Reti, a London system or a Trompovsky) and entered into a theoritical debate in the Capablanca variation (4.Qc2) of the expected Kramnik's Nimzo defence.
Unfortunately for the Bulgarian, 13...Bd7 allowed massive exchanges and was not the most precise. After 18…f5 and 19…a5, White took the initiative thanks to their very well coordinated pieces.
The turning point arrived on move 28 with Ba3?! which allows Ra5 with simplifications. It seems that 28. Nc4 or Rc6 offered White excellent chances. Then, the game continued with massive simplifications and ended in perpetual check. Both players had their chance but spoiled their advantage.
More action in the Karjakin-Svidler game.
In a tense battle with opposite castles, White seemed to be ready to launch first an attack thanks to the erring Nh6 and the g2-g4 push threat. Finally, it was never easy to open K-side and Svidler improved slowly his position on the opposite wing. In a very unclear and confused position, both players found a spectacular repetition (22...Bc4! 23.Be4!) and went to deliver their impressions in a very interesting press conference!
And finally, the first decisive game of the tournament!
Anand is back with a convincing win against Aronian, being strangely passive. See the annotated game by the Chess Anyone : click here
Anand converted confidently his positionnal advantage and striked a big blow to remind to the World that the Tiger of Madras is still scratching!
A very tense first round with some players who didn't want to risk too much immediatly. For sure, some intense and fascinating battles will occur very soon !