FIDE Candidates Semis G3: Blood, sweat and tears

5/14/2011 – The bad news is that we had two more draws; the good news is that at least one of the games had people on the edge of their seats until the end. It wasn't the quiet Petroff in Grischuk-Kramnik, but Kamsky-Gelfand's incredibly complicated Najdorf where both missed clear chances, and fate chose not to favor either. Once again our Russian colleagues in Kazan provided spectacular video coverage.

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May 2011
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From 3 to 27 May 2011 the FIDE Candidates matches are being held in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, with eight strong GMs competing to qualify as Challenger for the 2012 World Champion match. Time controls in the four regular games are 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. In case of a tie there will be four rapid chess games, and if the tie is still not broken then up to five two-game blitz matches 5'+3". Finally there may be a sudden-death final decider. The prize fund of the candidates is 500,000 Euros.
 

Scoreboard

 
Nat.
Rtg
G1
G2
G3
G4
R1
R2
R3
R4
Tot.
Perf
Vladimir Kramnik
RUS
2785
½
½
½
         
1.5
 
Alexander Grischuk
RUS
2747
½
½
½
         
1.5
 

 
Nat.
Rtg
G1
G2
G3
G4
R1
R2
R3
R4
Tot.
Perf
Boris Gelfand
ISR
2733
½
½
½
         
1.5
 
Gata Kamsky
USA
2732
½
½
½
         
1.5
 

Semifinals – Game three

In spite of the sedate scoring, the third game was easily the most exciting of the semis so far. Not universally so with Grischuk and Kramnik engaging in a dry Petroff that played out at move 25, just ten moves past the actual novelty. Will the fourth game be a spirited battle, or will they quickly shake hands and take their chances in four rapid games?

Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) [C42]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.3), 14.05.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Nc3 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bg4 10.Re1 0-0 11.Bf4 Bd6 12.Bxd6 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Qxd6 14.Re3 Rae8 15.Rae1 Re7N. 15...Rxe3 16.Rxe3 g6 17.h4 Nb8 18.h5 Nd7 19.g4 Nf6 20.h6 Kh8?! 21.Re5 c6 22.c4 Ng8 23.Qe3 dxc4 24.Bxc4 g5? 25.Rxg5 Nxh6 26.Qe4 f6 27.Rh5 f5 28.gxf5 Nxf5 29.Be6 Qxd4 30.Rxh7+ 1-0 (30) Leko,P (2751)-Kasimdzhanov,R (2695)/Nalchik 2009/CBM 130 16.Rxe7 Nxe7 17.h4 Rd8 18.c4 b6 19.c3 h6 20.cxd5 Nxd5 21.Bc4 c6 22.Re5 Nf6 23.Qf4 Qd7 24.g3 Kf8 25.Bb3 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Grischuk kibitzes the Kamsky-Gelfand game...


... then walks by is own board, where he gets a questioning nod from Kramnik...


...and immediately accepts the former World Champions's draw offer

If Kramnik's plan is to push for the rapids, where he feels he might have a greater edge, he may wish to reconsider as this is precisely where Grischuk shone against Aronian, whereas Kramnik failed to obtain anything against Radjabov.

Kamsky-Gelfand was another matter entirely, and the word ‘cliffhanger’ would certainly be an apt description. Gelfand remained true to his Najdorf while Kamsky chose a different direction. The game was incredibly complicated, with Kamsky castling queenside, and Gelfand preferring not to castle into a speeding kingside phalanx coming his way. Kamsky missed the idea of a queen penetration on the queenside which was linked to repeated opportunities he failed to capitalize on, then as they got into severe time trouble, it was Gelfand’s turn to be poised on victory. He too was unable to find the razor sharp ‘only moves’ suggested by the engine, and Kamsky’s resourcefulness saved the game. An exhausting battle for both the players and the audience, but an exciting one.

Before we get to the game we must once again heap praise on the our colleagues from Kazan: the video coverage is nothing less than superb. With multiple cameras broadcasting in high definition they capture the action in this Candidates event – the action, in chess, of course being the emotions displayed on the players faces. The camera team is not shy about getting in close, and chess fans all over the world get a spectacular front-seat view of the games.

Kamsky,Gata (2732) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [B90]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.3), 14.05.2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.h3 Be6 9.Qf3 Nbd7. 9...0-0 10.0-0-0 Qc7 11.g4 Rc8 12.g5 Ne8 13.Kb1 a5? 14.a4 Na6 15.h4 Nb4 16.h5 Rab8 17.Rd2 Qd8 18.g6! 1-0 (35) Fedorchuk,S (2662)-Bajarani,U (2437)/Nakhchivan 2011/CB17_2011 (35) 10.g4 h6 11.0-0-0 Rc8 12.Nd5 Bxd5 13.exd5 Nb6 14.h4 Qc7 15.c3 Nbxd5 16.Bd2! The knight is protected by a sly trap. 16.Rxd5?! Qc6 (16...e4? 17.Qd1) 17.Bg2 e4 18.Qf5 g6 The queen is caught. 19.Rxd6 gxf5 20.Rxc6 Rxc6 and Black is up the exchange. 16...Nb6 17.g5 Nfd7 18.gxh6 gxh6 19.Kb1 Qc6 20.Qh3 d5 21.Be2 Nc4 22.Bc1 Nf6 23.Rhe1 Qe6 24.Qh2 Qf5+ 25.Ka1 Kf8 26.f3 Bd6 27.Qg1








Bb8? 27...Qd7 was better. 28.Bd3? 28.Bxc4 was the first missed opportunity by Kamsky. He could have penetrated Black's queenside to great effect after 28...Rxc4 29.Qb6 Kg7 30.Rg1+ Kh7 31.Nc5 Rc8 32.Qxb7 Threatening Qxf7+ and mate. 32...Bc7 33.Nxa6 28...Qh5?








29.Qh1? This time however 29.Bxc4! would have been fatal. 29...dxc4 (29...Rxc4 30.Qb6 Qf5 31.Nc5 Ke8 32.Qxb7) 30.Qb6 attacking f6 30...Qxf3 31.Qb4+ Ke8 32.Nd4 Qg4 33.Qxb7 and Black's position collapses. 29...Ba7 30.Qh3. 30.Qh2 would lead to either a queenside penetration as previously, or direct pressure against his king. 30...Re8 (30...Bb8 31.Bxc4 dxc4 32.Nc5 e4 33.Bf4+-; 30...Qxf3? would be a blunder due to 31.Bxc4 dxc4 32.Qxe5! The point being 32...cxb3 33.Rf1!+-) 31.Bxc4 dxc4 32.Nd2 b5 33.Ne4 Nxe4 34.fxe4 Re6 35.Rf1! 30...Re8 31.Bxc4 dxc4 32.Na5? The American's last mistake after which the swing shifts to the other side. 32.Nd2! b5 33.Ne4 and White is in control. 32...e4 33.Nxc4 Qxf3 34.Qh2 Ng4 35.Qc7. At this point both players were already in severe time trouble, and though the engine decalres it equal due to some mindboggling line, the onus is on Kamsky to prevent immediate disaster. 35...Bf2 36.Rf1?! 36.Rg1 sayeth the engine. The idea is that after White gives the piece for the pawn, Black's king cannot escape the basic perpetual looming around it. 36...Bxg1 37.Rxg1 e3 38.Bxe3 Nxe3 39.Qc5+ Re7 40.Qc8+ Re8 41.Qc5+= 36...e3


Waiting for a blunder? Boris Gelfand eyes Gata Kamsky just before it actually comes

37.Bxe3? A blunder, but with very little time on the clock and e2 coming, a forgivable one.


Desperate time trouble for Kamsky, and a golden opportunity for Gelfand after 37.Bxe3?

37...Nxe3 38.Ne5








38...Qf5? Gelfand had a problem in this game with his queen on h5: on move 28 it had been a mistake to move it there, now 38...Qh5! would have won the game for him.


With 2 min 33 sec left on the clock Gelfand moves his queen – to the wrong square!

39.Qc5+ Kg7


The Israeli GM realizes he has gone astray and that Kamsky now has a fantastic resource

40.Qxe3! Rxe5. Naturally 40...Bxe3 is countered by 41.Rxf5 – the black queen should have been on h5. 41.Qxf2. Whether due to adrenaline or plain mental exhaustion after such an intense final flurry of moves, here Kamsky missed a chance to pressure Gelfand with 41.Qd2 which would still capture the bishop, but with all the heavy pieces still on the board, and the more exposed king, Black would need to fight to save the game. 41...Rhe8 42.Rxf2 41...Qxf2 42.Rxf2 Rhe8 43.Rg1+ Kf8 44.Kb1 Re2 45.Rf4 R8e4 46.Rgf1 Re1+ 47.Kc2 R4e2+ 48.Kb3 Rxf1 49.Rxf1 Kg7 50.Rf4 Re6 51.a4 Kg6 52.Kc4 f5 53.a5 Kf6. 53...Re4+ would lead to an easy draw. 54.Rxe4 fxe4 55.Kd4 Kh5 56.Kxe4 Kxh4 57.Kf4 Kh5 58.Kf5= 54.Kd3 Re7 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Remaining schedule

All games start at 15:00h local time – 13:00h Berlin/Paris, 07:00 New York (check your local time here)

Day Date Game
Commentary on Playchess
Thursday May 12 Round 2 Game 1 Sam Collins wrap-up
Friday May 13 Round 2 Game 2 Dejan Bojkov wrap-up
Saturday May 14 Round 2 Game 3 Sam Collins live
Sunday May 15 Round 2 Game 4 Daniel King live

Monday

May 16 Tiebreaks    
Tuesday May 17 Free day    
Wednesday May 18 Free day    
Thursday May 19 Round 3 Game 1 van Wely/Gustafsson   live
Friday May 20 Round 3 Game 2 Dejan Bojkov live
Saturday May 21 Round 3 Game 3 Sam Collins live
Sunday May 22 Free day    

Monday

May 23 Round 3 Game 4 Loek van Wely live
Tuesday May 24 Round 3 Game 5 Daniel King live
Wednesday May 25 Round 3 Game 6 Daniel King live
Thursday May 26 Tiebreaks, closing    
Friday May 27 Departure    

Live broadcast

The games are being broadcast live on the FIDE web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. In addition you can watch the games live on a regular browser on our live broadcast site, which can be accessed in any regular browser, even Apple, without the need to download a special client.

When you go to the Chesslive broadcast page you get a list of all the games that are currently available in the broadcast room. The ones with the most viewers are on top, so it is easy to access the most important games. You can load and follow multiple games by clicking on "Games" on the left, to get the list. Each loaded game has its own icon, and clicking on these will jump to that game. If there is a "public engine" running its assessment of the position will appear as a bar chart below the notation. Note that you can resize the windows in the game applet.


Deep Fritz displays the evaluation changes in the game Kamsky-Gelfand


The Russian Chess Federation is providing excellent hi-res live video coverage from
the playing hall in Kazan, with live commentary (in Russian).


  Watching a game on the Playchess server with live audio GM commentary

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the server Playchess.com. If you are not a Playchess member you can download ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games.

Copyright ChessBase


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