Throwback Saturday: Do you remember the standings after the 7th round (halftime) of the Candidates Tournament 2013 in London? Let’s take a look at the table after seven rounds:
Aronian was the joined leader with Carlsen, and this year he leads the pack with Anand. Kramnik and Svidler are on the same spot as 2014. In the second half of the event in London, Aronian collapsed and ended 8/14, together with Svidler. Carlsen won with 8,5 points, Kramnik played a fabulous second half and also landed on 8,5/14.
And here is the 2014 table at halftime: will 8,5 points again be enough to qualify for the world championship match?
@pelletierchess: “Very happy to see Anand where nobody expected him to be! Let’s see if fortune stays on his side for the 2nd half of the event!”
@silviodanailov:“If somebody had told me that after the first half in KM Anand will lead, Karjakin will be last and Vesko on -1, I would have bet all my money”.
And Topalov’s manager followed up with this really funny cartoon from the great website Ajedrez con humor, which you can also reach via @ajedrezconhumor:
@silviodanailov: “Unpredictable #Candidates2014 🙂
The pairings for today: Kramnik-Andreikin, Aronian-Anand, Svidler-Karjakin and Topalov-Mamedyarov. Not a surprise that the Twitter community focuses on the game between the leaders Aronian and Anand.
@dusanchess: “With 3.Qb3, @LevAronian proves that chess game is open for early novelties even in the computer era!!! Big like for this!”A couple of reactions from India: @vishalsareen: “What’s happening there? Anand lost a pawn, cant find any games with 3…d4 in database. move 3 a new idea, move 4-blunder?” @Unudurti: “Aronian-Anand reminds me of G7 of the Sofia match, where Topalov detonated a massive novelty. And Vishy clawed his way out.” @asimpereira: “Aronian plays 6 queen moves Qb3-b5-c5-b5-b3-d1 in the first 14 moves. Not the best example for a chess book on openings!” Nandakuma Srivatsa, who writes “sports journalism at its very best” in his profile: @NSrivatsa1989: “It appears with qb3 levon poured a bucket of cold water on vishy’s face. The pawn advantage is crucial in this game.”
And we have also early tweets from Norway: @YBrandvoll: “Aronian playing Magnus-style opening against Anand..should be good”. A more direct tweet from @passedpawn: “makes us happy Aronian ×_× plzzz kick his butt ..”
But…after only 19 moves and 80 minutes of play, the game was over: @indianwizkid:“Vishy is looking for draw, move has been repeated and now it’s Aronian who needs to decide repeat or continue”.
@anishgiri: “1/2. Wow. #speechless“. @Harichess: “Draw????!!“. @anbhanna: “Jana Bellin and the other doping officials are in K-M – perhaps Lev did not want to give a urine sample after 5 hours #thermos“. @vishalsodani: Strangest draw ever? :)”
@JuditPolgar: “Anand sacrificed a pawn in the opening against Aronian and got clear compensation for it. But neither of them wanted to force matters…”
@chessdom:“Short draw in Aronian – Anand…which of the two benefits more from the result?” Gilles Garrigues had the answer: @sellig1947: “Kramnik will benefit most from the result”.
Aronian and Anand discussing 3. Qb3!? at the press conference. Screenshot from the live coverage on the official website by @deepmikey.
Some reactions in different languages after this short game:
@pedrolopeh: “Resumen:Aronian se ha asustado con sus desarrollos raros y Anand se ha asustado con su peón de menos. Al final, nada. Bluf”. @echecsenvideo: “Répétition de coups entre Aronian et Anand! L’expérience de l’Arménien n’a pas marché. Statu quo en tête donc!”
But even this game has a winner: GM Gawain Jones, @GMGawain: “Odd draw in Aronian-Anand but won’t complain as bet a fiver on it last night in the bar 🙂 Like Svidler’s opening choice.”
@silviadanailov: “After such a draw of the two leaders on the #Candidates2014 today some people will understand why FIDE&professional chess need deep changes”
Grandmaster Yannick Pelletier replied and added an interesting hashtag, @pelletierchess: “Topalov gave back the piece to simplify the position. This should not be allowed…Deep changes in chess needed! ….. #geniustweets“.
@silviaodanailov: “Wow,now I remember:) You were the guy who played white vs Vesko in Warsaw dreaming for draw from move 1.Congrats,you did it!”
@pelletierchess: “I could not dream of a better outcome in that game, indeed, since it contributed to Switzerland beating Bulgaria!” 🙂
This is why I love Twitter. Where else can you find these kind of conversations? Let’s go back to the games:
@fabianocaruana: “Another bloodbath in Topalov-Mamedyarov. These guys don’t abide by a quiet existence.” There are also some comments from some armchair grandmasters: @bxj55: “None of the 3 computers thought of this sacrifice. If Shakhriyar wins, we know humans can still play better.”
Kramnik missed something in his game: @anishgiri: “Kramnik missed a double attack- will claim it’s a positional sac. Today is a pawn ‘sacrifice’ day, 4th one already!” @MarkTWIC: “Kramnik-Andreikin a draw too. The huge energy burned up by most players yesterday could never have been matched today.” And what is happening in the press conference? ” Kramnik, more than anyone else, always seems to be trying to “win” the press conference.”, according to @stratergyCG. “Refreshingly, Andreikin is brave enough to challenge some of Kramnik’s notes & comments in the press conference.” @OlimpiuUrcan added.
@TarjeiJS: “Three draws already, Aronian,Anand, Topalov-Mamedyarov, Kramnik-Andreikin all drawn. Svidler-Karjakin may end in a draw too.” @Mattebricht: “Do you think Svidler and Karjakin are “too nice” to contend for WCC? They both sometimes seem to lack that killer instinct.” Amit Dandekar has a question: @amit_s_dandekar: “Commentators, why is Svidler not able to win big competitions inspite of playing some brilliant games/ moves? Like a choker.”
Karjakin was better but he had to find a difficult move: @DeepMikey: “Will Karjakin find 64…Rxd4!! and 65…b6!-+ ???” He did. @PoisndPwnPress: “Took Rybka 4 a while to see Rxd4 and b6 in Svidler-Karjakin. Nice play.” “@SergeyKaryakin you found b6!! Wow beautiful win this will go to my arsenal of endgame study #candidates2014 maybe teach my kids 2 in future”, says @ThabangBhili.@Jonathan_Rowson tweeted: “Karjakin’s 64..Rxd4 & 65..b6! is ‘obvious’ when the computer points it out, but to find it over-the-board is very impressive.” Rowson added: “Karjakin’s elegant solution is the kind of idea you only tend to look for & find if you’re working on your calculation.”
@OlimpiuUrcan: “14.g6!? or 40…f4!? – Which key moment will Svidler use to completely outtalk Karjakin in the forthcoming press conference?” “More drama for drama queen Svidler. He will have a lot to talk about in another winning press conference”, tweeted @carokann. “And so he resigned after engine’s eval reached -1000. LOL”@gibe_. @anishgiri: Svidler-Karjakin 0-1. Impressed. #reallyimpressed
Longest game of the day: Svidler-Karjakin. The janitor already went home and obviously switched off the lights (screenshot from the official livestream by @deepmikey.
@OlimpiuUrcan is watching the press conference: “Peter Svidler [after emptying two bottles of water]: “Anyway, a fun game. More fun for some, but a fun game.”
@EuropeEchecs: “Special prize to Anna Burtasova. Unique “machine” with capacity to translate Peter Svidler :)”
In case you are wondering what the world champion is up to these days, let’s ask Tarjei: @TarjeiJS: “@MagnusCarlsen in a promotion battle for the Norwegian Premier League today, facing GM Vladimir Georgiev for his team Stavanger”. How does that sound in Norwegian? “Stavanger sjakklubb med @MagnusCarlsen i spissen spiller for opprykk til eliteserien akkurat nå!”, tweeted @hhstrand, who also added this picture:
Magnus won the game. @TarjeiJS: “Stavanger sjakklubb fikk opprykkshjelp av @MagnusCarlsen – klar for Eliteserien i sjakk for første gang.”
The Carlsen game was not broadcast live but the moves were reconstructed for posterity with the help of a pretty unreadable scoresheet (by Magnus!) and a lot of people on Twitter: “I wish to thank Magnus Øen, Vladimir, Håkon Hapnes, Mark, Tarjei, Twitter and everyone else who made this possible :o)”tweeted Dutchman @jokimdawar, who played a main role in the proces.