Monday, 1 April 2013

Carlsen to challenge Anand

Magnu Carlsen will play against current Worlds Champion Vishvanatan Anand for the chess crown later this year.
This is decided in today´s dramatic ending in London.
Carlsen and Kramnik shared the first place, but Carlsen had slightly better tie-break and he will face the Indian player in the World Championship match.
Before the last round I thought that all the chances are on Carlsen´s side.

In the round number 13 (next to last), it could be all over for Norwegian player.
He struggled to make something in his game against Radjabov, while Kramnik had substantial advantage against Boris Gelfand.
What happened latter was that Gelfand defended superb, and took a draw.
Carlsen continued to put a pressure on Radjabov, and in the third time trouble, the second mentioned player collapsed.
In that moment Carlsen and Kramnik was completely levelled on the top, but, an very important but, Carlsen had better tie-break.
He won more games then Kramnik (and had more defeats).
This rule somehow reminds me of away goal rule in football cup competitions.

Today, Carlsen had a clear situation in front of him.
If he wins, he does not depends on the result of the second game.
He was white against Peter Svidler.
In other scenario, he needed to do at least a same as Kramnik.

Kramnik´s task was quite difficult. He clearly missed his chance in 13th round.
He needed to score half a point more then Carlsen, but considering that Carlsen will not lose, he played for all or nothing, as black against Ivanchuk.

He was slightly worse all of the time, but in a very complicated position.
Carlsen spent unusually lot of time against Svidler and misplayed his position in the time trouble.
It was obvious that he is dead lost after the time control.
If Kramnik new it that Carlsen is lost, he would surly try to avoid a big risks against Ivanchuk, but he just tried to create something out of nothing and he also got a dead lost position after the time trouble.
Carlsen resigned first against Svidler, but already in that moment he could see that Ivanchuk will defeat Kramnik.

The only thing that could save Kramnik in that moment was if Ivanchuk goes outside of the Savoy and forget to come back.

However, here is the final standings.

Besides Kramnik and Carlsen who apparently played the best chess in the event, Aronian and Svidler played quite well.

In the press conference after the tournament Carlsen said that he played the best chess (up to the last three rounds) and that Kramnik had a luck in some of the games.
I thought that this statement was a bit exaggerate, but then he explained that Kramnik had a fantastic preparation, even better then most people thinks.
He said that looking at the position after the opening Kramnik would be a clear winner, but he failed to convert many of his good positions.
In the second part of the games, Carlsen made less mistakes then Kramnik.

I think that both parts of the game are very important, and as table shows, both players managed to get the same number of points, with their different chess styles.

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