The young Norwegian player Magnus Carlsen, 22 years old, won the Candidates tournament in London, before the Russian former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, and in November will face Viswanathan Anand (age 43) for the World Championship. Carlsen won a 115,000 € prize; Kramnik little less, 107,000.
It’s still unknown the place where they will play, but at this moment the town of Chennai, in India, has an option to guest it. Anand was born in Mayiladuthurai, a town 280 km far from Chennai and in the same Tamil Nadu state.
Anand is holding the title since 2007, when he took it to Kramnik. Both Anand and Carlsen won one world rapid chess championship, thus their match will be all but boring. The fast players often think deeply in opening and centre game, being able to make many moves in few minutes – or even few seconds – approaching the time control. Carlsen, in facts, tonight made six moves in ten seconds.
His victory in the tournament, however, came in a quite unexpected way. Carlsen was leading the tie against Kramnik because he had more victories, but he lost tonight against Peter Svidler; his pain lasted less than an hour, when Kramnik had to resign as well against his opponent, Vassily Ivanchuk.
It never happened before, nonetheless it’s not so strange, after all; first of all the level of the participants was excellent at least; besides, both the leaders started feeling committed to win, so undertaking great risks. To understand what happened, it suffices to think what often happens in bridge when a pair goes to slam, 6♦ for example, lacking KJxx trump and one side ace. The Declarer has to make the double finesse, whereas at the other table, stopped at 5♦, can play safely to lose one trump, then drawing the ace with the surprise to find the stiff king offside and making 5♦+1 instead of 6♦-1.
Tonight both Kramnik and Carlsen were at an awkward slam or, better said out of the metaphor, both had great champions as opponents.
Final round results:
Carlsen – Svidler 0-1
Ivanchuk – Kramnik 1-0
Gelfand – Grischuk ½-½
Aronian – Radjabov 1-0
Carlsen Magnus 8,5 with five victories
Kramnik Vladimir 8,5 four victories
Svidler Peter 8
Aronian Levon 8
Gelfand Boris 6,5
Grischuk Alexander 6,5
Ivanchuk Vassily 6
Radjabov Teimour 4
Paolo Enrico Garrisi