Elista R02: Leko, Kamsky win with black, Bareev beats Polgar

5/29/2007 – Peter Leko and Gata Kamsky both scored important points with the black pieces, while Evgeny Bareev ground out a long win with the white pieces against Judit Polgar. Malakhov came close to taking revenge for his round one defeat by Grischuk, but missed the win. That and the four other games were drawn, three of them after long, tough fights, on a hard day's work in Elista.

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The Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament will be held in Elista, Russia, from May 26 to June 14, 2007. A total of 16 candidates play two rounds of six-game matches to fill four places in the 2007 World Championship in Mexico City. The prize fund is US $40,000 per match, most of the money ($320,000) coming from a personal fund of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE ($160,000) and the general sponsor, Rosenergomash.

Round two report

Results

Round 2: Monday, May 28th 2007

Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Mikhail Gurevich 
0-1
 Peter Leko
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Sergei Rublevsky 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Etienne Bacrot 
0-1
 Gata Kamsky
Vladimir Malakhov 
½-½
 Alexander Grischuk
Evgeny Bareev 
1-0
 Judith Polgar
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Michael Adams

Gurevich-Leko opened with a tabiya endgame from the 4.Qc2 Nimzo, where White has the bishop pair and a small edge. In this line, Black is supposed to suffer and be grateful if he gets half a point, but Leko had clearly not read the script and soon took the initiative with 17…c4 and 18…f5. A time-troubled Gurevich saw his position decline sharply between moves 30-40, notably thanks to the neat tactical blow 37…Bb3+. The passed c-pawn cost White an exchange, and Black won soon thereafter.

Gurevich,M (2635) - Leko,P (2738) [E32]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (2), 28.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Bb7 8.f3 h6 9.Bh4 d5 10.e3 Nbd7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Bxd8 Nxc3 13.Bh4 Nd5 14.Bf2 c5 15.e4 Ne7 16.0-0-0 Rac8 17.Kb1 c4 18.Ne2

18...f5 19.exf5 Nxf5 20.Nc3 Nf6 21.Be2 Nd5 22.Nxd5 Bxd5 23.h4 b5 24.Rhf1 Rf7 25.Rc1 a5 26.Kc2 Ra7 27.Ra1 Rd7 28.Rfd1 Ne7 29.Be1 Nf5 30.Bf2 Rdc7 31.Kd2 Ne7 32.Re1 Kf7 33.Bd1 b4 34.axb4 axb4 35.Be2 c3+ 36.bxc3 bxc3+ 37.Kc2

37...Bb3+ 38.Kc1 Nd5 39.Ra3 Rb7 40.Bd3 Nb4 41.Be4 Bd5 42.Re3 c2 43.Rec3 Rxc3 44.Rxc3 Na2+ 45.Kxc2 Nxc3 46.Kxc3 Rb3+ 47.Kc2 Bc4 48.Bg3 Re3 49.Be5 Re2+ 50.Kc3 Bd5 51.Bxd5 exd5 52.g3 Re3+ 53.Kb4 g6 0-1.


Dropped a point with white against Leko: Mikhail Gurevich, playing for Turkey

Bareev shook off his disappointment of yesterday and took the lead against Polgar. In a popular pawn sacrifice line of the Queen’s Indian, Polgar produced the novelty 12…d6. The resulting endgame looked okay for Black, but White kept the initiative, and his R+B combination proved stronger than Black’s R+N. Having obtained an overwhelming-looking position, Bareev then laboured mightily to convert it, and must have had some nightmares of a repeat of game one. But he eventually staggered over the finishing line.

Bareev,E (2643) - Polgar,Ju (2727) [E15]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (2), 28.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 c5 6.d5 exd5 7.cxd5 Bb7 8.Bg2 Nxd5 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rd1 Nc6 11.Qf5 Nf6 12.e4

12...d6 13.e5 Qd7 14.Qxd7+ Nxd7 15.exd6 Bf6 16.Re1+ Kf8 17.Nc3 Nb4 18.Bg5 Bxf3 19.Bxf3 Rd8 20.Bxf6 Nxf6 21.Re7 Nc2 22.Rd1 Nd4 23.Kg2 g6 24.Rxa7 Rxd6 25.Be2 Kg7 26.Bc4 Rd7 27.Rxd7 Nxd7 28.Re1 Kf8 29.a4 h5 30.Nd5 h4 31.g4 g5 32.Nc7 Nf6 33.h3 Kg7 34.Re5 Kh6 35.f4 Nh7 36.f5 Nc6 37.Rd5 Kg7

38.f6+ Kh6 39.Bb5 Nb4 40.Rd6 Rb8 41.Na6 Nxa6 42.Bxa6 Nf8 43.Bc4 Rb7 44.Kf3 Nd7 45.Ke4 Kg6 46.Bd3 c4 47.Bxc4 Nxf6+ 48.Kd4 Kg7 49.Bb5 Re7 50.Rxb6 Re4+ 51.Kd3 Rb4 52.Kc2

52...Nxg4 53.Kc3 Re4 54.hxg4 h3 55.Rd6 h2 56.Rd1 Rxg4 57.Rh1 Rg3+ 58.Kb4 Rg2 59.Kb3 g4 60.a5 g3 61.Bc6 Re2 62.a6 Re7 63.Ra1 Ra7 64.Bg2 1-0

The day’s other winner was Kamsky, who surprised his opponent with a Dutch Leningrad. Bacrot spent an age in the opening and early middlegame, drifted into a bad position, and eventually lost on time. Although he was a pawn down in an ending, the presence of all pawns on one flank still gave him serious drawing chances.

Bacrot,E (2709) - Kamsky,G (2705) [A81]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (2), 28.05.2007
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.b4 c6 6.c4 d5 7.Nbd2 Ne4 8.Bb2 a5 9.bxa5 Qxa5 10.0-0 0-0 11.a4 Be6 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.Nb3 Qa6 14.Ne5 b6 15.Qd3 Nd7 16.a5 Rfc8 17.Qe3 bxa5 18.f3 Nef6 19.Nxa5 Qb6 20.Nd3 Bf7 21.Qd2 e5 22.Qb4 e4 23.Qxb6 Nxb6 24.Nc5 Nfd7 25.Nab3 Nxc5 26.Nxc5 Nc4 27.Bc3 Rxa1 28.Bxa1 Bf8 29.fxe4 dxe4 30.Bc3 Ne3 31.Ra1 Nc2 32.Rc1 Bxc5 33.dxc5 Bb3 34.e3 Rxc5 35.Bb2 Kf7 36.Kf2 Ke6 37.Bf1 Bd5 38.Be2 Rc6 39.Bd1 Nb4 0-1.


An important win with the black pieces: Gata Kamsky

Rublevsky and Ponomariev fought out a balanced struggle. Black assumed some initiative around move 30, but could only achieve perpetual check.

Rublevsky,S (2680) - Ponomariov,R (2717) [B86]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (2), 28.05.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Nbd7 8.Bg5 Qa5 9.Qd2 Be7 10.0-0-0 Nc5 11.Rhe1 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Kb1 Bd7 14.f4 0-0-0 15.Ncb5 Qb6 16.Nxd6+ Qxd6 17.e5 Qc7 18.exf6 gxf6 19.Qe3 Kb8 20.Bc4 Bc8 21.Be2 e5 22.fxe5 fxe5 23.Nf3 Rxd1+ 24.Rxd1 f6 25.Nh4 Be6 26.Rf1 Rc8 27.g3 Bd5 28.Bf3 Na4 29.Rc1 Be6 30.Be2 Qa5 31.c4 Qb4 32.Qb3 Qd2 33.Qc2 Qe3 34.Rf1 Nb6 35.Nf5 Bxf5 36.Rxf5

36...Nxc4 37.Bxc4 Qe1+ 38.Qc1 Qe4+ 39.Qc2 Qe1+ 40.Qc1 Qe4+ 41.Qc2 Qe1+ ½-½

After his hiding yesterday, Malakhov looked to be in good shape to level the match, after winning a pawn early on. However, he lost the extra pawn back after 30.Nc2, and then later missed 47.Qf3, which may also give good winning chances.

Malakhov,V (2679) - Grischuk,A (2717) [A30]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (2), 28.05.2007
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.0-0 g6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Bg7 8.Nc3 d6 9.Rd1 Nbd7 10.Be3 Rc8 11.Rac1 0-0 12.Qh4 a6 13.b3 h5 14.Bh3 Rc7 15.Ng5 Qb8 16.Bxd7 Rxd7 17.Bxb6 Ng4 18.h3 Nh6 19.g4 d5 20.cxd5 Bxc3 21.Rxc3 Rxd5 22.Rcc1 Rc8 23.Be3 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Qd6 25.Nf3 Kg7 26.Ne1 f6 27.f3 g5 28.Qf2 hxg4 29.hxg4 Nf7

30.Nc2 Rd1+ 31.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 32.Ne1 Qb1 33.Bc5 Qxa2 34.Qe3 e5 35.Be7 Qa5 36.Nd3 Qc7 37.Ba3 Bc8 38.Nc5 Qd6 39.Qc1 Qc6 40.Qc4 Qd6 41.Ne4 Qb6+ 42.Kg2 Be6 43.Qc1 Qb5 44.Qe3 Bd5 45.Ng3 e4 46.fxe4 Bb7

47.Bb2 Ne5 48.Bxe5 Qxe5 49.Qa7 Qc7 50.Kh3 Kg6 51.e3 Qh7+ 52.Nh5 Qe7 53.Qd4 Bc8 54.Qd5 Be6 55.Qd1 Qh7 56.Kg2 Bxg4 57.Nf4+ Kh6 58.Qxg4 Qxe4+ 59.Qf3 Qxf3+ 60.Kxf3 gxf4 61.Kxf4 Kg6 62.Ke4 a5 63.Kf4 Kf7 64.Kf5 ½-½.

In the remaining games, Aronian-Carlsen saw a Benko Gambit, a slightly surprising choice at this level. Aronian failed to find anything and the game quickly simplified into a 23-move draw.

Kazimdzhanov-Gelfand started with a Queen’s Indian, but ended with the same result, in the same number of moves.

Finally, Shirov-Adams was eerily similar to their first game yesterday – in both cases, Black seemed to equalize from the opening, later weakened and lost a pawn, but held the ending. Today’s game saw Shirov frustrated by bishops of opposite colour.

Commentary by Steve Giddins, photos by Casto Abundo (FIDE)

Current standing

 Player
Rating
1
2
3
4
5
6
 Tot. 
 Perf. 
 Magnus Carlsen
2693
0
½
0.5
 
 Levon Aronian
2759
1
½
1.5
 
 
 Peter Leko
2738
½
1
1.5
 
 Mikhail Gurevich
2639
½
0
0.5
 
 
 Ruslan Ponomariov
2717
½
½
1.0
 
 Sergei Rublevsky
2680
½
½
1.0
 
 
 Boris Gelfand
2733
½
½
1.0
 
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2677
½
½
1.0
 
 
 Gata Kamsky
2705
½
1
1.5
 
 Etienne Bacrot
2709
½
0
0.5
 
 
 Alexander Grischuk
2717
1
½
1.5
 
 Vladimir Malakhov
2679
0
½
0.5
 
 
 Judit Polgar
2727
½
0
0.5
 
 Evgeny Bareev
2643
½
1
1.5
 
 
 Michael Adams
2734
½
½
1.0
 
 Alexei Shirov
2699
½
½
1.0
 

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