Elista R04: Kamsky and Leko through to the finals

5/31/2007 – Peter Leko won his third straight game to defeat Mikhail Gurevich, whilst Gata Kamsky did the same to Etienne Bacrot. Both are now at 3½:½ and in the next round. Wins for Grischuk and Bareev put them on the brink of match victory, whilst Aronian regained the lead against Carlsen. Adams moved ahead of Shirov after the latter blundered. Six decisive results, on a black day 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 four report

Round 4 results: Thursday, May 31st 2007

Levon Aronian 
1-0
 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 
0-1
 Alexander Grischuk
Evgeny Bareev 
1-0
 Judith Polgar
Alexei Shirov 
0-1
 Michael Adams

Gata Kamsky became the first player to reach round two of the Candidates, after winning his third straight game against Etienne Bacrot. White looked to be doing well for much of the middlegame, with Black’s kingside counterplay seemingly under control in the mutual Stonewall structure. But the French GM’s position fell apart between moves 30-35.


Etienne Bacrot (left) facing Gata Kamsky

Bacrot,E (2709) - Kamsky,G (2705) [E08]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Be7 5.Bg2 d5 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Bf4 Nbd7 9.Qc2 a5 10.Rd1 Ne4 11.Nc3 f5 12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Nd6 14.Bxd6 Bxd6 15.e3 Rb8 16.c5 Bc7

17.f4 Bd7 18.a3 Be8 19.b4 b5 20.cxb6 Bxb6 21.Na4 axb4 22.axb4 Rf7 23.Qc3 Rfb7 24.Bf1 g5 25.Ba6 Rg7 26.Rd2 h5 27.Rg2 Bc7 28.Nc5 Qf6 29.Bf1 Bd6

30.fxg5 Rxg5 31.Ra7 e5 32.dxe5 Bxe5 33.Qb3 h4 34.gxh4 Rxg2+ 35.Bxg2 Qxh4 36.Nd3 Bxh2+ 37.Kf1 Qc4 38.Qa3 Bg6 39.Bf3 f4 0-1.


Made it with two rounds to spare! Gata Kamsky in the finals


Peter Leko joined Kamsky with his third straight win over Gurevich. Once again, the Hungarian defended the tabiya ending from the 4.Qc2 Nimzo, and again outplayed his opponent, eventually picking off the weak e4 pawn.


Taking a break? Peter Leko (left) and Mikhail Gurevich 10.Nbd7

Gurevich,M (2635) - Leko,P (2738) [E32]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
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.Ne2

16...f5 17.Ng3 fxe4 18.fxe4 cxd4 19.Bxd4 Rac8 20.Rd1 Rfd8 21.Bc3 Ng6 22.Bb5 Nc5 23.0-0 Ba6 24.Bxa6 Nxa6 25.Rxd8+ Rxd8 26.b4 Nc7 27.a4 b5 28.a5 Ne8 29.Ne2 e5 30.Rc1 Nf6 31.Ng3 h5 32.h3 a6 33.Kh2 Rc8 34.Bd2 Rxc1 35.Bxc1

34...h4 36.Nf5 Nxe4 37.g3 hxg3+ 38.Nxg3 Nxg3 39.Kxg3 Kf7 40.Kg4 Ne7 0-1.


Peter Leko during the game


Grischuk moved to the brink of victory in his match, after beating Malakhov, again with the black pieces. A small tactical exchange in the early middlegame produced a position where White should be OK, but after Malakhov’s ill-judged exchange of queens, the black passed pawns in the centre, and the misplaced White rook on e4, soon decided the game.


Vladimir Malakhov vs Alexander Grischuk (with Bareev-Polgar in the background)

Malakhov,V (2679) - Grischuk,A (2717) [D43]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 dxc4 5.Qa4+ c6 6.Qxc4 b5 7.Qd3 Nbd7 8.e4 b4 9.Na4 Qa5 10.b3 c5 11.Be2 Bb7 12.e5 Ne4 13.Be3 Rd8 14.0-0 a6 15.Rac1 Be7 16.Qc2 0-0 17.Bd3

17...cxd4 18.Bxe4 Rc8 19.Bxh7+ Kh8 20.Qd3 Rxc1 21.Bxc1 Bxf3 22.Qxf3 Kxh7 23.Re1 Kg8 24.Qg3 f6 25.exf6 Rxf6 26.Qd3 Qd5

27.Qe4 Qxe4 28.Rxe4 e5 29.Nb2 Rc6 30.Nc4 Nb6 31.Rxe5 Bf6 32.Ra5 Nxc4 33.bxc4 Rxc4 34.Bf4 d3 35.g3 Rc2 36.Rd5 Rxa2 37.Rxd3 Ra3 0-1.


Vladimir Malakhov (right) with his second Alexey Dreev


Perhaps the biggest surprise of the whole event so far has been the manner in which Evgeny Bareev has dominated Judit Polgar. Today he won again, to move within half a point of match victory. Interestingly, Polgar followed Adams in eschewing the popular 4…Ba6 Queen’s Indian in favour of the old 4…Bb7 main line, but she was anything but happy with the result. By move 25, Black had a dire Benoni structure, with no active counterplay. As in earlier games, Polgar’s desperate defence posed her opponent considerable technical problems, but the Russian eventually converted his advantage.


Evgeny Bareev watching the defence being set up by Judit Polgar

Bareev,E (2643) - Polgar,Ju (2727) [E19]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Qc2 Nxc3 9.Qxc3 c5 10.Rd1 d6 11.b3 Nd7 12.Bb2 Nf6 13.d5 exd5 14.cxd5 Re8 15.e4 Bf8 16.Nd2 b5 17.a4 b4 18.Qc2 g6 19.a5

19...Ba6 20.Bf1 Bxf1 21.Rxf1 Bh6 22.f4 Bg7 23.Rfe1 Qd7 24.Nc4 Nh5 25.Rad1 Bxb2 26.Qxb2 Ng7 27.Qg2 Rad8 28.g4 f6 29.h3 g5 30.fxg5 fxg5 31.e5 dxe5 32.d6 Qf7 33.Qd5 e4 34.Qxg5 Qf3 35.Qd5+ Re6 36.Re3

36...Rdxd6 37.Rxf3 Rxd5 38.Rxd5 exf3 39.Kf2 Re2+ 40.Kxf3 Rc2 41.Rd8+ Kf7 42.Rd7+ Kg6 43.Rxa7 Ne6 44.Ke4 Nd4 45.h4 Rh2 46.a6 Nxb3 47.Kd5 Kf6 48.Rxh7 Ra2 49.a7 Nc1 50.Ne5 Rd2+ 51.Kxc5 Ra2 52.Nd7+ Kg6 53.Nf8+ Kf6 54.Kxb4 1-0.


The ding-dong battle between Aronian and Carlsen continued, and it was Aronian’s turn to bounce back from his game three defeat and retake the match lead. Carlsen’s Bogo-Indian left White with nagging queenside pressure, and the Armenian eventually infiltrated decisively.


Start of the game between Magnus Carlsen (left) and Levon Aronian

 Aronian,L (2759) - Carlsen,M (2693) [E14]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2 b6 5.a3 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 Bb7 7.e3 0-0 8.b4 d5 9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.Bd3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 c5 12.0-0 Rc8 13.Qe2 Qe7 14.Rfc1 cxd4 15.Nxd4 h6

16.Ba6 Bxa6 17.Qxa6 Rxc1+ 18.Rxc1 Nb8 19.Qc4 Rd8 20.h3 Ne8 21.b5 Rd5 22.Qe2 Rc5 23.Rd1 Rc8 24.Qf3 Rd8 25.Rc1 Nd6 26.a4 e5 27.Nf5 Nxf5 28.Qxf5 f6 29.Qe4 Qf7 30.Ba3 Kh8 31.Kh2 Kg8 32.Bd6 Qd7 33.Bc7 Rf8 34.Rc2 Re8 35.Rc4 Qf7

36.Bd6 Rd8 37.Rc7 Nd7 38.Qc6 Qe6 39.Rxa7 Kf7 40.Qxb6 1-0.


Magnus preparing for the game with a box of Sunmaid "Rosiner" (raisins)


Look who's there! Levon Aronian (left) with his second Vladimir Potkin (right) and Arianne Caoili, whom Lev befriended on a famous evening in Turin a year ago.


Michael Adams struck a big blow by scoring the day’s fourth win for the black pieces, to take the lead in the match. Shirov’s exchange sacrifice looked like leading to a drawn ending until he blundered with 24.Be3??, missing the simple reply, after which Black retained his extra exchange.

Shirov,A (2699) - Adams,Mi (2734) [E17]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.d5 exd5 8.Nh4 c6 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nf5 Nc7 11.e4 d5 12.Nc3 Bf6 13.exd5 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Bf4 Nd7 16.Nd6 Ba6

17.Qxd5 Bxf1 18.Kxf1 Rb8 19.Rd1 Nc5 20.Nxf7 Rxf7 21.b4 Qxd5 22.Bxd5 Rd8 23.bxc5 bxc5

24.Be3?? Kh8! 25.Bxf7 Rxd1+ 26.Ke2 Rd7 27.Bb3 Bd4 28.Bf4 Re7+ 29.Kf1 g6 30.Bh6 Rc7 31.Bf4 Rc6 32.Bd5 Rb6 33.Bb3 Rc6 34.Bd5 Rb6 35.Bb3 c4 36.Bxc4 Rb2 37.h4 Rxf2+ 38.Ke1 Rc2 39.Bb3 Rh2 40.a4 Kg7 0-1.


Kazimdzhanov’s early pawn offers brought a promising-looking position, but he eventually achieved only the return of his material, and a draw after a fluctuating endgame struggle.


Boris Gelfand at the start of round four

Kasimdzhanov,R (2677) - Gelfand,B (2733) [D24]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bxc4 Nxe4 7.0-0

7...Nxc3 8.bxc3 Be7 9.Ne5 0-0 10.Qg4 Kh8 11.Qh3 Qe8 12.Bd3 f5 13.Re1 Nc6 14.Nf3 Qg6 15.Rb1 Bd6 16.Rb2 b6 17.Rbe2 Bd7 18.Ng5 Rae8 19.Bb5 h6 20.Bxc6 Bxc6 21.Nxe6 Rg8 22.c4 Bd7 23.d5 Bxe6 24.Rxe6 Rxe6 25.dxe6 Re8 26.Qe3 f4 27.Qe4 Qxe4 28.Rxe4 Kh7 29.f3 g5 30.Kf2 Kg6 31.g4 Kf6 32.Bb2+ Ke7 33.h4 gxh4 34.Bg7 h3 35.Kg1

35...Bc5+ 36.Kh2 Rd8 37.Bxh6 Rd3 38.Kxh3 Rxf3+ 39.Kh4 Re3 40.Bg5+ Ke8 41.Rxe3 fxe3 42.Kg3 e2 43.Bd2 Ke7 44.Kf3 Kxe6 45.Kxe2 c6 46.Bf4 Be7 47.Kd3 b5 48.cxb5 ½-½.


Rublevsky and Ponomariov fought out another long and dour struggle. Black had some initiative in the middlegame, but could not avoid a drawn knight and pawn ending.


So let's see what you got, kid! Ruslan Ponomariov facing Sergei Rublevsky

Rublevsky,S (2680) - Ponomariov,R (2717) [B87]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (4), 31.05.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.0-0 Be7 9.Qf3 Qb6 10.Be3 Qb7 11.Qg3 b4 12.Na4 Nbd7 13.f3 0-0 14.Rac1 Rb8 15.c3 bxc3 16.Rxc3 Ne5 17.Rfc1 Bd7

18.Qe1 Bd8 19.Qd1 Ba5 20.R3c2 Rfc8 21.Rxc8+ Rxc8 22.Rxc8+ Qxc8 23.Bd2 Qc7 24.Bxa5 Qxa5 25.Nc3 Qc5 26.Kf1 a5 27.Nde2 Kf8 28.Qd4 Qxd4 29.Nxd4 Nd3 30.Ke2 Nxb2 31.Kd2

31...a4 32.Kc2 axb3+ 33.axb3 e5 34.Nde2 Nc4 35.bxc4 Be6 36.Nd5 Nd7 37.Nec3 f5 38.Nb5 fxe4 39.fxe4 Bxd5 40.cxd5 Ke7 41.Kd3 Nf6 42.Na3 Ng4 43.h3 Nf6 44.Nc4 Kd7 45.Ke3 Ke7 46.Kf3 Kd7 47.g4 h6 48.Ne3 g6 49.Ng2 Ke7 50.Nh4 Kf7 51.Ke3 Nh7 52.Nf3 Kf6 53.h4 Ke7 54.Nd2 Nf6 55.Kf3 Kd7 56.g5 ½-½.

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

Current standings

 Player
Rating
1
2
3
4
5
6
 Tot. 
 Perf. 
 Magnus Carlsen
2693
0
½
1
0
1.5
 
 Levon Aronian
2759
1
½
0
1
2.5
 
 
 Peter Leko
2738
½
1
1
1
3.5
 
 Mikhail Gurevich
2639
½
0
0
0
0.5
 
 
 Ruslan Ponomariov
2717
½
½
0
½
1.5
 
 Sergei Rublevsky
2680
½
½
1
½
2.5
 
 
 Boris Gelfand
2733
½
½
½
½
2.0
 
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2677
½
½
½
½
2.0
 
 
 Gata Kamsky
2705
½
1
1
1
3.5
 
 Etienne Bacrot
2709
½
0
0
0
0.5
 
 
 Alexander Grischuk
2717
1
½
½
1
3.0
 
 Vladimir Malakhov
2679
0
½
½
0
1.0
 
 
 Judit Polgar
2727
½
0
½
0
1.0
 
 Evgeny Bareev
2643
½
1
½
1
3.0
 
 
 Michael Adams
2734
½
½
½
1
2.5
 
 Alexei Shirov
2699
½
½
½
0
1.5
 

Links


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