The Candidates’ tournament in London to choose the challenger to world champion Viswanathan Anand continued this week in the midst of intense interest around the world. The mostly savage games were broadcast live at london2013.fide.com, with interviews held with the players post-game.
Chief organizer for the event is a private company called AGON. They have provided live video and live commentary, and something new called “Chess Casting,” by which spectators on the Internet can watch all four games in real time, with shifting computer visual evaluations of the games, and comment on the possibilities. The main and only (or so it seems) sponsor is SOCAR, the Azerbaijani state oil company.
Magnus Carlsen, the highest rated player in history, has been favored, with Levon Aronian, a citizen of Armenia, given an outside chance to win. As the tournament has progressed, the two have pulled away from the others, in neck-to-neck contention.
In round 5, both had draws, Carlsen vs. Ivanchuk, Aronian vs. Kramnik (who has had five draws). In round 6, Carlsen scored an impressive win against Peter Svidler of Russia, as Black in a Morphy defense to the Ruy Lopez. But Aronian matched that win with his own, over Tei-mour Radjabov. Radjabov annexed a pawn on the 53d but Aronian put him away with an excellent combination two moves later.
In round 7, Carlsen came very close to disaster, in an exciting Sicilian defense mounted by Radjabov, who got in a sudden f3 on his 21st move that completely disrupted Carlsen’s position. Carlsen barely survived after giving up the exchange. Aronian drew with Grischuk.
At the beginning of the second cycle, Aronian and Carlsen again drew, while Kramnik came within a point of them with a win against Svidler. At the end of round 9, Carlsen leads with 6 points, with Aronian in second place with 5.5.
Some local news: The Gus Gosselin Massachusetts Grade Championships were held March 10 in Marlborough by the Massachusetts Chess Association. The winners: Grades 8-12: 1st-2d, Siddharth Arun, Medfield, and Yi Yang, Shrewsbury, 3.5-0.5; Grade 9: Karthik Karnik, Plainville, 3-1; Grade 8: William Nemirovsky, Boston, and Kyle Rector, Hopkinton, 2-2; Grade 7: Michael Isakov, Sudbury, 4-0; Grade 6: Alex Fauman, Newton, 4-0; Grade 5: Alexander Boa, Milton, 4-0; Grade 4: Alexander Ying, Acton, 3.5-
0.5; Grade 3: Maxwell Zhao, Bolton, 4-0; Grade 2: Justin Wang, Northborough, 3.5-0.5; Grades K-1: David Katsman, Chestnut Hill, 4-0.
Brevity: P. Romilly v. G. Lane (1981) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.d4 exd4 7.Re1 0–0 8.e5 Ne8 9.c3 dxc3 10.Nxc3 f6 11.exf6 Nxf6 12.Nd5 b5 13.Bc2 Bb4 14.Re2 Bb7 15.Qd3 h6 16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.Qg6+ Kh8 18.Nxf6; 1-0.
Winners: Capital City Open (Concord, N.H).: 1st-2d, Alexander Ivanov and David Vigorito: 3.5-.5; Under 1900, 1st, David Thomas: 4-0; Boylston Chess Club “Legends of Chess — Edward Lasker”: Chris Chase: 4-0, 2nd, Eric Godin: 3-1, 3d-4th: William Collins and Robert Holmgren: 2.5-1.5.
Coming Events: BCC April Thursday Night Swiss: April 4, 11, 18, 25; Boylston Quads,
April 8; 240B Elm St., Somerville; www.boyl
stonchessclub.org; Billerica CC, Friday Swiss: April 5, 12, 19, 26 (Council on Aging), 25 Concord Road, Billerica, firstname.lastname@example.org.