FIDE Candidates 2016 - Video Recap Round 7
Opening: D12: QGD Slav: 4.e3 Bf5
Player(s): Nakamura, Topalov
GM Ron W Henley recaps Round 7. Another interesting round today, with the leaders facing each other. Aronian started strong against Karjakin, running his "a" pawn quickly to a5 and then a4, in an unusual way to play the opening. Karjakin had to stop the bold little fellow by playing a3. Sergey, in the French-type structure of the center, strangely enough did not go for the committal 10...e5 but instead played h4. Aronian saw this as a possibility to make the game a bit more positional, and exchanged in the center, equalizing the position. Aronian, however, want's able to push decidedly on Karjakin's king side, and gave the Russian way to liquidation. Aronian then decided to exchange his bad bishop and the game drifted shortly into a draw. Anand was able to equalize quite easily after the opening. There was nothing Giri could do against Anand's calm and precise management of the game. A solid draw for the Indian genius, especially because he had black in this game. Svidler Caruana was an amazing game. They started with an English opening. Svidler played a new move with 9.Nge4 instead of the canonic 9.Bd2. After black castling, Svidler played h4. Enterprising chess, trying to walk off the usual paths. Peter started posing problems to Fabiano already at move 13, with Bg5. Caruana realized he was under some serious pressure on the king side. He had to defend patiently and very precisely not to succumb under Svidler's vehement hammering. Despite Caruana's excellent defense, the players entered an endgame that looked only a matter of technique for Svidler to bring home the full point. But the Russian missed a couple of clear chances to win the game. At move 41 the most pristine one: Caruana made a serious mistake by playing c4?, giving Svidler an easy win. Unfortunately for Peter, he played 42.Bd5+??, instead of the immediately winning 42.a4. After these two mistakes in a row, the game went ahead a few more moves and then the players agreed to a draw. A huge missed opportunity for Svidler and a great (if not lucky) save by Caruana, who keeps his hopes alive for the final result. Nakamura Topalov was another thrilling encounter. In a Slav, Topalov congealed the center with 12...e4, and Nakamura started organizing an attack on the Queen side. Topalov, trying to create counter-play on the king side, sacrificed a pawn and then played the fantastic sac 21...Bxc5, prying the position open and centralizing his queen. Nakamura found a way to unpin his queen on the open "d" file, but Topalov calmly reacted to Naka's threats, and Hikaru had the get back with his queen, to keep under control the checkmate threats Veselin was posing on the king side. Unfortunately for Topalov, Nakamura was able to avoid all the tactical traps and Topalov's attack faded out, leaving the Bulgarian a piece down, hopeless. Nakamura bounces back after round 6 loss. Topalov now dwells alone at the bottom of the list, in a tournament that so far has been really bad for the former World Champion. Tomorrow Round 8 at 8AM EDT, 12 Noon GMT, 13:00 CET, with ICC's live commentary.