After a day of draws in round 11 of the Candidates, we enter round 12 with the following pairings: Anand-Andreikin, Mamedyarov-Karjakin, Topalov-Svidler and Aronian-Kramnik. There is one final rest day after this round.
“The fact that every game in Round 11 was a draw is surely testament to just how hard for/important to players #Candidates2014 is.”, according to @regencychess
Remember London 2012? The fun really started in round 12. This is how the table looked after round 11:
@NastiaKarlovich: “4 draws today.Calm before the storm?All excitement started at 12th round in London.Looking forward to see what will happen”.
In round 12, Carlsen lost with black against Ivanchuk and Kramnik won with black against…Aronian! We see the same pairing in round 12 this year.
First of all, we have to take a look at what the fashion police is tweeting: @garylanechess: “Anand wears his white shirt whenever he is leading a tournament”. @indicrace: “Anand is offering peace to this opponent through the use of a white shirt”. No white shirts in Levon’s wardrobe: @fanou_l: “Aronian what is up with your shirt seriously. I will be your stylist for free, but just, don’t do that.”
Just read the cover of the latest New in Chess Magazine with Aronian and this quote: “I’m a hippie now, carefree and relaxed”. Maybe it has something to do with the shirts he’s wearing? Talking about NIC: “The more space is given to Anish Giri in NIC, the more it tends to look like a teenage magazine or an adolescent’s personal blog. #maturity“according to @OlimpiuUrcan. Not everybody agrees: @pookita: “Bah! I love his writing. He’s so personable. Something the chess world could use more of”.
Better take a look at the boards in KM then! @NastiaKarlovich:“The games became so crazy! The storm has started on the boards!” The most tweeters focussed on Andreikin-Anand: @reachvsara: “Andreikin doing a Magnus, but Vishy NOT doing a Vishy! 16.c4 n Game on. Was Vishy REALLY expctd to duck again!? #Puzzling“. Andreikin doing a Magnus? Martin Bennedik knows more @bennedik: “Anand-Andreikin is following Anand-Carlsen game 2 from their match. With 15.Qf3 Anand deviates from 15.Ne4”.
SuperGM Harikrishna tweets @harichess: “Tiger is Hungry!!”@sadhirtal: “INDIAN TIGER is roaring and having its feast”. @bxj55: “Anand unstoppable now. Just on his way to crush Andreikin. All others look like novices in front of him.” @reachvsara: “Hell with restraint! Go Vishy GO!! `And this whole city is wearing a smile on its sleeves #DieHardAnandFans”
You can see by the tone of the tweets, mostly from India, that Anand had a good position. But a lot of respect is coming from other countries as well: Netherlands – @anishgiri:“Anand, it’s too much!! 😀 #theoldking #playingtoowell“. …and from the UK- @telegraphchess aka Malcolm Pein tweets: “Anand looking very good as Danny the d Pawn charges down the board the last 2 rounds might be a procession.” .…and also from Norway: “Fantastic performance from Anand – and he even had potential for more against Karjakin and Svidler!” tweets Jon Ludvig Hammer @gmjlh.
Can Anand win the crucial game vs Andreikin? Twitter is excited: @bennedik: “Anand seems to be winning, but boy, what a scary minefield of tactic”. @olimpiuUrcan: “Anand v Andreikin: the odd feeling of watching a tightrope walking artist trying to pull it off without another accident”. Jonathan Tisdall @GMJtis: “Can’t tell if Anand is showing great or shaky nerves today. Certainly gutsy to begin with. He deserves the full point, but what a mess.”
@vishalsareen: “With 36. Kb3, Anand has sealed the fate of the tournament. And with two rounds to spare! Bravo Vishy”. @Jonathan_Rowson: “Must be nice to confidently play 36.Kb3! in a board full of pieces and know it assures you of tournament victory.”
@Chess_anyone:“When one sees Anand’s ease to beat his opponents one can think : either he improved, either Carlsen is super strong,or both.” @asimpereira answers“or probably apart from Carlsen and Anand, the other “Candidates” are not stable/consistent and cannot handle *pressure*. @MarkTWIC: “The return of the Candidates has been the return of high pressure chess which we’re sorely missed.”
@peterdoggers: “Guess @MagnusCarlsen is both hoping for & worried that @vishy64theking will be playing at this level in their next match. @BalaajiM: Magnus Carlsen will learn later this year “Baap Baap hota hai, aur beta beta”.
Let us not forget the other games: @Aru_Amit: “What? there are other 3 games going on at #Candidates2014 ? Oh Anand… just win fast so 87376969696947269 people can watch other games,PLZ”
So, Anand is winning then? No!
While the twitter community was watching Anand-Andreikin and the computers showed a comfortable plus for white (between +2 and +3) the game suddenly ended: @Aru-Amit again:” I don’t mind if Anand will draw now, but 874874832923 people will feel bad , they were watching this game only”.
The computers showed a “win” for white, @chesstweeter:”A draw here will mean that Anand just has to draw the remaining two to win the tournament. But I hope he goes for Rc4.” Just a few minutes later : @pogonina: “Ouch! Anand took a draw in a winning position. The complications are crazy though; quite risky to play on for a human”. @TarjeiJS: “Incredibly enough, Anand takes a draw in a winning position, missing Rc4! Still, two steps closer to another WC match.”
Let’s ask the experts, e.g. @Jonathan_Rowson: “It’s funny, if you follow the main online computer line on 41.Rc4 it reaches R&B vR: Lots of risk and still just a draw!” And he added: “Not surprised Vishy took the draw in the context. Easy to sacrifice other peoples’ rooks & risk everything on their behalf”. GM Tisdall @GMJtis agreed: “Yes, I think OTB Kd2 was more attractive than Rc4 given any kind of nerves, and that was hardly crystal or ‘safe’.”
And Tisdall added:“I think in the pre-computer age people would not be criticizing Anand’s ‘incredible’ decision for a few days at least”, followed up by “Do people ever let the engines run all night on these games, or do they always leap to conclusions from the hurried online lines?”
Twitter is also used by people like Carl Gunnar Fossdall from Norway, who tweets: @ChessNor: “#Anand forced a draw in a winning position! What! Is @vishy64theking a coward or lazy?” And what about this brilliant tweet from India by Anbudan Balu @Ammu-AMaanU:”OMG, Vishy drew a winning game in the most #pathetic manner at #Candidates2014 Very disappointed :-(((“
Jonathan Tisdall had a clear message for armchair grandmasters like Fossdall and Balu: “I bet Vishy would have played on if he had his engine running next to him at the board too”.
Hey, using a computer next to the board would have been much easier, Vishy! The picture was taken by your blogger during his training camp in Bad Soden last year.
Dutch GM Robin van Kampen: @GMRobinVK: “Very hard to understand Vishy’s decision today but I doubt that the last rounds will be as hectic as during the last cycle”
Enough Anand-Andreikin for now: “No further discussions about the decision taken by @vishy64theking . He wanted us to continue having fun in the last rounds.” was a nice tweet by @Argedrez , and one last tweet about this encounter comes from @SusanPolgar: “Vishy’s strategy is simple. Like in Basketball or American Football, run out the clock with a large lead.”
Let’s go to the other games! Unfortunately, there were not many tweets about the other games, since the chess tweeters concentrated on the most important game of the round: @MarkTWIC: “Topalov 1-0 Svidler, opening went bad for Svidler and eventually lost. Aronian draw Kramnik. Kramnik was close to winning”.
In Mamedyarov-Karjakin, an entertaining game developed, which actually deserved more attention in Twitterland: @Chess_Anyone: “Mamedyarov won’t probably win the Candidates, but one must admit he has fun in every each game he plays. It’s nice watching.” And it was a very important game for Karjakin after the sudden draw in the Anand game. Tisdall again: @GMjtis: “What I find most amusing is that Karjakin still has a chance to win the event”. @pogonina: “Karjakin had to make 6 moves in 14 seconds to reach the time control (no increments, remember!)” .
@Chess_Anyone: Mamedyarov finally drew against Karjakin.A look at their game and one will notice that a draw is not a bad result for chess. @OlimpiuUrcan: “Karjakin’s “stupid time control” formal press conference protest was amusing. Imagine if he’d have actually lost on time.”
After the games, GM Fabiano Caruana commented the games of round 12: @fabianocaruana: “What a strange day in Khanty…Looks like Anand will be playing Carlsen again for the WC, but anything can happen these last 2 rounds”.
One final tweet for today: @cafman11, Peter Cafolla: “No matter what your age Bishops can only,move diagonally and Rooks horizontally, so age should not be such an issue”.