Reports | August 28, 2013 17:54

Andreikin & Kramnik reach World Cup final & Candidates (with Karjakin)

Andreikin & Kramnik reach World Cup final & Candidates (with Karjakin)

The final of the FIDE World Cup will be between Dmitry Andreikin and Vladimir Kramnik. In Wednesday's tiebreaks, Andreikin held the first game to a draw as Black and then he beat his opponent, Evgeny Tomashevsky, as White. Kramnik beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the first rapid game, and then drew as White. Because Kramnik has now qualified for the 2014 Candidates Tournament from the World Cup, Sergey Karjakin takes his spot as a rating qualifier.

Photos by Paul Truong

Whereas we've seen long and gruelling tiebreak matches before in the World Cup, Wednesday's matches were already over after the two rapid games, just like the two quarter-final tiebreaks. Both Dmitry Andreikin and Vladimir Kramnik won their match with a 1.5-0.5 score and so these two players reached the final, and they're also the World Cup qualifiers for the next Candidates Tournament.

Another qualifier for the Candidates is Veselin Topalov, as the winner of the Grand Prix. There was wonderful news about the Bulgarian today:

The first player to qualify for the final in Tromsø was Kramnik, who beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave rather quickly with the black pieces. In a Scotch, the Frenchman started to make errors in the early middlegame and then, in a difficult position, he blundered material.

PGN string

Kramnik's job was more or less done, as he very rarely loses as White. And indeed, he didn't have any trouble drawing the second game.

PGN string

Vachier-Lagrave's comment after the games was plain and simple:

I played badly today, Vladimir played well, that's it.

The Frenchman was not in his best shape on Wednesday as he was still misevaluating the middlegame of the first game, it seems.

Basically I played too quickly this 13.Qc2.

But Kramnik said:

It was about equal. I was expecting 16.Ne4 instead of 16.Rae1.

and the computer also things that White is (at least) equal after 16.Ne4.

In the other match, Dmitry Andreikin drew the first rapid game with black, suffering a bit in a well-known QGD ending.

PGN string

The second game, a Chebanenko Slav, was about equal for a long time until Tomashevsky suddenly dropped a pawn on move 28.

PGN string

I have lots of experience with blitz on the internet, but I cannot say I was the favourite in the rapid match. Sometimes I play Grand Prix rapid tournaments in Russia, and my results can be very different. Maybe it's something about this place here!

said Andreikin.

I am happy that I will play in the Candidates but I have no idea how I will prepare for it!

The remarkable thing of course is that Andreikin reached the World Cup final by winning only one classical game, in the second round against Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam. He knocked out Pouria Darini, Alexey Dreev, Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler and Evgeny Tomashevsky in the tiebreaks.

Kramnik said about his new opponent:

Andreikin is very strong and very difficult to play. I lost two games to him this year but I still believe I am a slight favorite in this match.

Kramnik also said that playing Tomashevsky would probably have meant "more interesting chess".

Tomorrow is the first and only rest day of the World Cup. On Friday at 15:00 CET / 09:00 EDT the first game of the final will start; a total of four classical games will be played, and then a tiebreak in case the score is level.

A drawing of lots for the final took place after the tiebreaks. In fact there were two different drawings: first, to see who will pick for colours. Kramnik picked the paper with Andreikin's name, and then Andreikin picked black for the first game.

Results round 6



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Caissa's picture

I hope Vladimir crushes such a coward player. Go Kramnik, go !!

strana's picture

Congratulations to both Tomashevsky and Andreikin !!! Andreikin had not a single bad position in classical games in the entire World Cup and only Dreev was able to resist a little in the rapid !! Andreikin is certainly more talented than Karjakin ( Nepomniachtchi is also more talented , but unfortunately not very consistent). Russian Olympic Team : Kramnik, Grischuk, Andreikin, Tomashevsky, Svidler/ Vitiugov/Nepo. No more Karjakin. In the near future, Dubov, Eliseev and Artemiev.....Mother Russia rules !!!!!!!

Thomas Oliver's picture

"Andreikin had not a single bad position in classical games in the entire World Cup"
True, but how many good or promising positions did he have, where he could have played for a win if he wanted to? Particularly in team events, you need players who win a bit more frequently than Andreikin in classical games. Karjakin is generally solid like Andreikin and always scored well at Olympiads (last two times for Russia, before for Ukraine).
What's in your opinion wrong with Karjakin? What makes you think that Andreikin is certainly [sic] more talented than Karjakin? Even if that's the case, he hasn't yet fully realized or converted his talent.

Nazirussian's picture

It's just that the Russian nationalist who made the comment doesn't consider Karjakin Russian, therefore he thinks Karjakin is inferior.

strana's picture

Thomas Oliver,
Andreikin simply did not forced matters in classical bcause he knew he was stronger in rapid play; if it was absolutely necessary Andreikin certainly would win some games in classical too.
There is nothing wrong with Karjakin. I just believe that there are 5-7 players who are stronger than him in Russia. Absolutely nothing against Karjakin. Karjakin is extremely well prepared and dedicated, in fact he was trained to be a champion since he was a very little boy. That is not the case with Andreikin, who do (did) not like to study opening theory. Did you see how strange opening systems Andreikin plays with white?? That is certainly because he lacks knowledge in this part of the game, trying to escape his opponents preparations. But even clearly more trained and prepared, Karjakin is not better. That is why I believe Andreikin is more talented. And in Russia he is considered someone with a very special talent, as Tkachiev and Atarov already said before.

Anonymous's picture

if someone is coward then it is kramnik

Anon's picture

Kramnik owes me money, I spent a lot of time praying for him to win.

Mother Russia's picture

Mother Russia has complete chess supremacy. Forget about Armenia, Ukraine, and other chess "superpowers": we are the Kings.

RG13's picture

The Russian school is king but which Russian player can dethrone the world champion?

euro-sceptic's picture

Probably only Kramnik at the moment; perhaps Karjakin in a little time.
Anand pretty much said after the Candidates that Kramnik was playing better chess than him.

Anonymous's picture

Vladdy clearly the best player in the world right now and should be certain for Chess Oscar. Carlsen failed in Norway and Tal Memorial, and everyone agrees that Vladdy was best player in Candidates and now also wins World Cup. Should be no brainer for Chess Oscar.

Chris's picture

Kramnik will lose to Andreikin :)

eh's picture

Yeah, Carlsen "failed" in Norway and Tal Memorial by finishing second in both tournaments. While Kramnik, who didn't take part in Norway and finished LAST in Tal Memorial, deserves the Oscar... (As for the other two tournaments you mention, Carlsen didn't take part in WC, obviously, and won the Candidates...)

lolipops's picture

yes getting all those gifts surely proves his supremacy. He has better nerves. Carlsen has not been beaten by Kramnik in two years.

grasjeroen's picture

Certainly not everybody agrees that Kramnik was the best player during the candidates. I would say a minority.

simaginfan's picture

Count me in the minority!! Kramnik was superb in the candidates apart from a nervy effort to win against Ivanchuck in the last round. Who would you say played better?

Anonymous's picture

Of course Kramnik played clearly best, only some disturbed Carlsen fans claim to disagree with that, but don't actually disagree. Big Vlad was amazing as always.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik is over.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik superb? although points given to him by his compatriots Grischuk and Svidler he did not qualify.
Sore looser.

Thomas Oliver's picture

We almost would have had an Anand-Kramnik WCh match. And in the cycle that includes this World Cup, Kramnik's and Karjakin's chances are about as good as anyone else's including Aronian.

euro-sceptic's picture

Yeah, I predict World Champ 2014 match to be...
Carlsen vs Kramnik

Caissa's picture

I wish it could be true man, the two best players of the world in this time, fighting for the WCC

NN's picture

And Kramnik for World Champion 2014 (15) -- at least I hope so.

Chris's picture

Kramnik he,he,he! :)

noyb's picture

I'd like to see Carlsen... Kasparov 2014!

Chris's picture

Karjakin chances are minor with the play he is presenting. Chaos after opening. Andreikin is a real diamond.

Chris's picture

King? Maxime blundered badly. Maxim lost not Kramnik won.

Harrry_Flashman's picture

Indeed .. Russia still is a leading nation as far as school and tradition but they seems to be lacking real young elite players ( Karjakin was born and raised in Ukraine and they imported him).
Andreikin is very good but doesn't seem a really super gm ( yet ).

Anonymous's picture

Andreikin is 23 years old and has Elo 2707. Good but he will never dream of getting close to 2800. Best young players are all non-Russians like Giri, So, MVL, Ding Liren, Wang Hao, Le Quang Liem, Caruana, Carlsen, and then of course Karjakin that was bought over to Russia from Ukraine.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Elo numbers can always be tuned to one's needs: Andreikin's peak rating is 2727 - closely comparable to Vachier-Lagrave before the World Cup, a bit better than Le Quang Liem who is just one year younger and stagnating for the last two years.

"Karjakin was ... bought over to Russia" - this seems a rumor, or at least it's just part of the story. He was unhappy with the support, or lack thereof, that he got in Ukraine. He certainly benefited chesswise from moving to Russia, making the final step into the absolute world top.

Anonymous's picture

"Elo numbers can always be tuned to one's needs: Andreikin's peak rating is 2727"

Yes, but the question is if his peak rating is what matters, or if it makes him more promising than younger players with both higher peak and current ratings.

Knockouts are strange though. Andreikin has underperformed here going by your definition of overperforming as gaining Elo points. If he loses the final games he will even have a minus score in points. It is the rapid games that has been his thing, and that he has done well.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Andreikin's current live rating (official in a few days) is his lowest Elo since July 2012 - so it probably underestimates his actual strength a bit. It's due to three consecutive bad events: Summer Universiade (6/9 against relatively weak opposition), Dortmund (where he was nonetheless tied with Caruana) and now the World Cup, bad in Elo terms (but winning major prize money and qualifying for the candidates is hardly a failure).

Andreikin is a relative late bloomer, at least in part due to lack of early opportunities: players like So, Giri and Vachier-Lagrave all got Wijk aan Zee B or Biel invitations early in their careers. Being Russian, Andreikin's only chance to face strong opposition and maybe qualify for Dortmund was the Aeroflot open - in 2012, he finished half a point behind the top.

Remco G's picture

If you're not going to count Karjakin for that reason, then you should count Giri as a Russian instead. He only has a Russian passport.

Unanimous's picture

I don't understand you Mother Russia. What exactly is your message?

Isaac Hunt's picture

He has an homoerotic atraction to Putin.

Unanimous's picture

Ваш шахматы запах тухлых капуста.

Angler's picture

prepare to move over. In a few years Wei Yi will be playing Carlsen for the world championship and the Chinese team will win the olympiad in a walk.

Daaim Shabazz's picture

Russian have not won Olympiad since 2002 despite strong players. They have not had World Champion in many, many years. Russians do not win all the major tournaments either. There are strong players, but there is no dominance anymore.

Thomas Oliver's picture

It depends on how one defines dominance - in depth, Russia is still dominant: if the Olympiad was played on 8 boards, they would most likely not just be favorite but would actually win gold.

It's six years that Russia doesn't have a world champion, because one player, clear #1 of his country (India), holds the title ever since. He may (or may not) lose it to Carlsen, which won't make Norway a dominant chess country.

Anonymous's picture

But compare to 1950s when the ten strongest players were Botvinnik, Tal, Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Geller, Korchnoi, Spassky, Petrosian and Taimanov. Today Carlsen is clear #1 and Anand is World Champion, while Topalov, Naka and Caruana are top 8 as well, together with Carlsen and Anand. Back then Soviet won every Olympiad with huge margin while Russiua never wins it now.

Anonymous's picture

But compare to the 9th century where the top 10 was certainly arabian dominated :-)

Amos's picture

Russia is not Soviet Union.
If you would take best players from former Soviet Union - Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan - they would be favorites in a match exUSSR vs The World.

Just look at top 10 boards:
Gelfand (from Belarus)
Kamsky (from Russia)

With Ivanchuk and Jakovenko on the reserve.

Soviet chess school still dominates.

russiachessfan's picture

Actually I am not so sure of that. Compare the ex-Soviet lineup to one which has
Wang Hao
Bacrot / Le Quang / Wang Yue

I would probably pick the World Team. Glad you brought it up because my priors were along the lines you have written.

Amos's picture

So, let's put them head to head:
1. Carlsen - Aronian
2. Anand - Kramnik
3. Caruana - Grischuk
4. Nakamura - Gelfand
5. Topalov - Karjakin
6. Adams - Mamedyarov
7. Vachier-Lagrave - Ponomariov
8. Wang Hao - Svidler
9. Leko - Morozevich
10. Bacrot - Kamsky

Seems evenly matched, but I would still prefer exUSSR for their depth. I think exSoviets tail is stronger, not to mention the reserves - Ivanchuk, Jakovenko, Radjabov.

Would definitely be a great match.

Anonymous's picture

Bronstein, Tal, Petrosian, Geller were not russian.

Vincent's picture

But they were Sovjet.

Anonymous's picture

Neither Keres was russian

Vincent's picture

Again Estonia, at the time part of the Soviet Union. That's what they're talking about: how would the former USSR fare versus the rest of the world?

euro-sceptic's picture

Candidates so far: Aronian, Karjakin, Andreikin, Kramnik, Topalov, Mamedyarov/Grischuk/Caruana (GP), Anand/Carlsen + Wildcard (>2725).

Bring it on!!!

Unanimous's picture

If Carlsen wins the WC, conceivably the only two players remaining from the last Candidates
could be Aronian & Kramnik.


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