Zurich R5: two spectacular draws

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/1/2013 –  Who's complaining? Today's round continued to provide some spectacular chess. Kramnik and Caruana decided that the Benoni was a super battleground, and that is always good for the spectators. Anand may have been a tad lucky since his opening was far from perfect, but both games ended in exciting draws. We have videos, postgame analysis and  guest commentator.

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In one of the strongest tournaments of the year the World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India) is facing the former title-holder Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), last year’s World Championship challenger Boris Gelfand (Israel) and the rising star Fabiano Caruana (Italy). At the Savoy Hotel, Paradeplatz, Zurich, the four masters are playing a double round-robin tournament from 23 February to 1 March 2013.

Round five report

5th round: 28 February 2013 at 15:00
Boris Gelfand 2740
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2780
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2757

Gelfand, Boris – Anand, Vishy ½-½
Gelfand's Catalan was rather more successful this time around, as he had some strong pressure on the queenside, especially against Anand's over-extended c4 pawn. It's a little bit of a mystery why he so gladly gave up an exchange for two pawns, when the direct attack on the pawns with a potential Nd2 might have netted him that c4 pawn without problems. The simplifications following the exchange sacrifice allowed Anand enough counterplay to comfortably draw.

Our guest commentator today is Georgian International Master Zura Javakhadze, who is 19 years old and studies International Relations at Caucasus University in Tbilisi.

Zura enjoys travelling and following many sport varieties, especially basketball, tennis and football. His spheres of interest outside of sport are cinematography, art and graphic design.

January 2013 chess rating: 2448

[Event "Zurich Chess Challenge"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.02.28"] [Round "5"] [White "Gelfand, B."] [Black "Anand, V."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E04"] [WhiteElo "2740"] [BlackElo "2780"] [Annotator "Javakhadze,Zura"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [SourceDate "2013.01.13"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 c5 6. O-O Nc6 7. Qa4 Bd7 8. Qxc4 b5 {It looks like after a defeat in the previous round, Anand is looking for sharp play} 9. Qd3 c4 (9... Rc8 {is the main line} 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Nc3 b4) 10. Qd1 Rc8 11. Nc3 (11. Bg5 $5 Be7 12. Nc3 b4 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Ne4) 11... b4 12. Na4 Be7 13. Bg5 h6 (13... Qa5) 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. a3 O-O 16. e3 a5 17. Nc5 Be8 18. Rc1 Na7 {Black tries to defend his position with tactical means} 19. axb4 axb4 20. Rxc4 $6 {Gelfand mentioned in post game commentaries that he clearly miscalculated something} ({And considered} 20. Nd2 {much stronger} e5 21. Nb7 Qe7 22. Nxc4 exd4 23. exd4 {still it's close to equal, but black needs to play very precisely} Nb5 ({Boris mentioned} 23... Bb5 {but it fails because of} 24. Re1 $16) 24. Re1 Qc7 25. Qd2 Nxd4 26. Nbd6 Nb3 27. Qxb4 Nxc1 28. Nxc8 Qxc8 29. Rxc1 {Of course only one who can hope for something is White, but for a player like Anand caliber, holding this position shouldn't be very difficult. }) 20... Bb5 21. Rxb4 Bxf1 22. Qxf1 Nc6 23. Rb7 {Gelfand misses the possibility of exchanging queens} (23. Rc4 $142 {Anand admitted that this was the only way for b-pawn to reach b5.} e5 $2 24. Bh3 $1 (24. d5 Qxd5 25. Nd4 Qxc4 26. Qxc4 exd4 27. Bxc6 Rxc6 28. exd4 Rd8 29. d5 Rb6 30. b4) 24... Rc7 25. Na6 $16) 23... Rc7 24. Qa6 Rxb7 25. Qxb7 Qa8 {After the queen trade the game goes into a lifeless phase} 26. Qxa8 Rxa8 27. Ne1 Ra1 28. Bxc6 Rxe1+ 29. Kg2 Rb1 30. Nd3 Rd1 31. Bb5 Be7 32. h4 g6 33. Bc4 Kg7 34. b3 h5 35. Kf3 Rd2 36. Nf4 Bd6 37. Ne2 Rc2 38. Bd3 Rb2 39. Bc4 Rc2 40. Bd3 Rb2 1/2-1/2

Kramnik, Vladimir – Caruana, Fabiano ½-½
Having had some winning chances after a bad Benoni against Caruana earlier in the tournament, Kramnik figured he would have even more winning chances if he was a tempo up in this opening! The reversed Benoni setup worked quite well for him as he was able to create a nice bind on the queenside and even start pushing some kingside pawns in the attempt for an attack. However, Caruana sacrificed an exchange for two pawns to push it back, and slowly starting outplaying the Russian! When it all started to look bleak for Kramnik, he found the amazing 45. Re4!! simply leaving his rook en prise. Unfortunately for Caruana, taking it meant allowing an unusual perpetual, and although arguably he could have retreated his queen instead, he felt it was too risky and took the draw. A wild and exciting game!

[Event "Zurich Chess Challenge"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.02.28"] [Round "5"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Caruana, F."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A30"] [WhiteElo "2810"] [BlackElo "2757"] [Annotator "Javakhadze,Zura"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [SourceDate "2013.01.13"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. O-O d4 6. e3 e5 7. exd4 cxd4 {It is interesting that players played Benoni type of positions in both games against each other.} 8. d3 Be7 9. Bg5 {White is ready to give up his bishop pair, in return he doesn't allow the f6 knight a strong outpost on c5.} (9. b4 $5 Bxb4 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Qa4+ Nfd7 12. Qxb4 Nxd3 13. Qa3) 9... O-O 10. Nbd2 h6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. a3 a5 13. Ne1 {Typical maneouver for the Benoni. The knight is more useful on c2 where it helps b4. Also it opens field to the light squared bishop.} Bf5 14. Rb1 Be7 15. Qe2 {defending d3-pawn and preparing Nc2} Re8 16. Bd5 $5 {why not take some central squares?} Bf8 17. Ng2 {Kramnik offers very interesting chess during the whole tournament. Pelletier reacalled an interesting phrase of Anatoly Karpov: ''A fianchettoed knight is never good ! '' Who knows, maybe there can always be an exception.} Qd7 18. Qf3 Be6 19. Rfe1 Rad8 20. Bxe6 Rxe6 21. Ne4 Be7 22. Qh5 Rf8 23. g4 $5 {Here we are! Probably the sharpest continuation to fight for initiative} Kh7 (23... Rg6 24. h3) 24. g5 Rg6 25. f4 exf4 (25... Rh8 $5) 26. Nxf4 Rxg5+ {Weakening the opponents king and making his own safe, at the cost of an exchange.} 27. Nxg5+ Bxg5 28. Ng2 (28. Re4) 28... f5 29. Qf3 Bf6 30. Rf1 g6 31. Qd5 Qc7 32. Nf4 Re8 33. Kh1 Re5 34. Qg2 Ne7 35. b4 a4 36. b5 Bg5 37. Ne2 Qd7 38. Rb4 Re3 39. c5 $6 {Looks a bit tricky, especially if we take in count the fact that Fabiano had around two minutes on the clock at this moment.} (39. Rf3 $14 {is probably the best choice with a slightly better prospects for white in this very unbalanced position.}) (39. Rxa4 Rxd3 40. Ra7 Rd2 41. Qxb7 Qxb7+ 42. Rxb7 Rxe2 43. b6) 39... Rxd3 40. c6 bxc6 41. b6 Qb7 (41... Rb3 42. Rb1 (42. Rxa4 $2 c5 $1 {Both players missed this move in the post mortem} 43. Ra7 Qd6 $19) (42. Rxd4 Nd5 $15 ) 42... d3 43. b7 Rxb4 44. Rxb4 dxe2 45. Qxe2 Bf4 46. Rxf4 Qxb7 $13) 42. Nxd4 Nd5 (42... Rd2 43. Qf3 Nd5 44. Rxa4 Nxb6 45. Rb4 Be7 46. Nxf5 Bxb4 47. axb4 Qf7 48. Nd4 Qxf3+ 49. Nxf3 $15 {instead of an extra pawn, it looks drawish.}) 43. Rxa4 Qxb6 44. Ne6 Qe3 {Truly, Fabiano didn't have another choice but still, he missed beautiful idea of his opponent - to this he admitted after the game.} 45. Re4 $1 Qxe4 46. Qxe4 fxe4 47. Rf7+ Kg8 48. Rf8+ Kh7 49. Rf7+ 1/2-1/2

Watch the postmortem of the two players:

Current standings

Live streams of the game

In the following videos commentators GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug analyse the games as they progress, and also interview the players after they are over.

More video commentary from the round is available here on the official site.

Impressions on round five by Vijay Kumar

Schedule and results

1st round: 23 February 2013 at 15:00
Fabiano Caruana 2757
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2780
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2740
2nd round: 24 February 2013 at 15:00
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2780
Boris Gelfand 2740
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2757
3rd round: 25 February 2013 at 15:00
Viswanathan Anand 2780
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2740
Fabiano Caruana 2757
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
4th round: 27 February 2013 at 15:00
Viswanathan Anand 2780
0-1
Fabiano Caruana 2757
Boris Gelfand 2740
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
5th round: 28 February 2013 at 15:00
Boris Gelfand 2740
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2780
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2757
6th round: 1 March 2013 at 13:00
Viswanathan Anand 2780   Vladimir Kramnik 2810
Fabiano Caruana 2757   Boris Gelfand 2740

Links

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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