Zurich R6: Caruana wins by a full point

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/4/2013 –  A round of blunders! Even top players in the world are human, and they proved it today. Exhaustion has taken its toll on the players, and this changed the final standings. With a win over Boris Gelfand the youngest participant, Fabiano Caruana, clinched victory in the tournament by a full point, gaining twelve rating points in the process. Anand beat Kramnik to finish at 50%. Final report.

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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 six report

6th round: 1 March 2013 at 13:00
Viswanathan Anand 2780
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
Fabiano Caruana 2757
1-0
Boris Gelfand 2740

Anand, Vishy – Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0
The Ruy Lopez is one of those openings that will never go out of style. It's solid, it's flexible, it gives both players interesting chances and there are a multitude of ideas to play with – and the subtleties are endless. Anand chose an early d3 and promptly followed by going into an Exchange Ruy setup once Kramnik had committed to his bishop on c5. However this didn't go so well for the World Champion, as Kramnik slowly but surely outplayed him. Already by move 17 only Black could be better. The tables turned very quickly when Kramnik played the horrific blunder 21...Qb8?? The trade of queens might have still allowed him equality, but instead he found himself down material and forced to resign! Chess is an incredibly unforgiving sport...

We hand over the game commentary to our guest annotator from Georgia IM Zura Javakhadze.

[Event "Zurich Chess Challenge"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.03.01"] [Round "6"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2810"] [Annotator "Javakhadze, Zura"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [SourceDate "2013.01.13"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {Anand avoids classical Berlin system in the final round.} Bc5 (4... d6 {Is another main line}) 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. O-O (7. Nc4 Nd7) 7... Re8 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Kh1 $5 {A nice prophylactic move. It prepares the f2-f4 advance at some point and also in the future the King will be in the right place.} a5 {Black tries to create counterplay on the queenside.} 10. a4 {Why give the opponent any additional space?} b6 11. Be3 Bb4 $6 {Kramnik's decision can be explained by the tournament situation. In case of a win, he would catch up to the tournament leader Fabiano Caruana, So that's probably why he rejected exchanging dark squared bishops and left more pieces on the board.} (11... f6 12. Nh4 Bxe3 13. Nxe3 Nc5 {looks equal}) 12. Nfd2 b5 13. axb5 cxb5 14. c3 bxc4 15. cxb4 cxd3 16. bxa5 Ba6 {Russia's top grandmaster achieved what he was fighting for. He made an unbalanced position over the board.} 17. Qb3 Nf6 18. h3 ({Anand mentioned in post mortem that initially he was going to play} 18. f3 {But then he didn't like} Nh5 19. Rfc1 Rb8 {which puts him in a bit uncomfortable situation}) 18... Nh5 19. Rfc1 Nf4 20. Rc6 Ne2 (20... Nxh3 {Would have immediately made a draw} 21. gxh3 Qd7 22. Rac1 Qxh3+ 23. Kg1 Qg4+ 24. Kf1 Qh5 25. Kg1 Qg4+ $11) (20... Qd7 21. Rac1 Ne2 22. R1c5 Nd4 23. Bxd4 Qxd4 24. Rxc7 $142 ({Vishy mentioned this move after the game} 24. Kg1 {but I think it looks OK for Black after} Reb8 $13) 24... Qxf2 25. Nf3 $14 {And White must be doing OK}) 21. Qd5 Qb8 $4 {Kramnik tried not to exchange queens and continue fighting, but after five tense games during the tournament, he made a sorrowful blunder in the final round.} (21... Qxd5 22. exd5 Rec8 $11) 22. Rxa6 $18 Rxa6 23. Qxd3 Qxb2 24. Rb1 Rd6 25. Qxe2 Qa2 (25... Rxd2 26. Rxb2 $18) 26. Qb5 c6 27. Qb2 1-0

Postgame analysis with Viswanathan Anand


Caruana, Fabiano – Gelfand, Boris 1-0
Like the Ruy, the Catalan is an opening that is never out of fashion. This time Caruana obtained a pawn advantage shortly after the opening, but this was hardly enough to win as there were heavy simplifications and all the pawns ended up on the same side of the board. Just when it seemed like Gelfand had got most of his problems under control, he started making some strange decisions, starting with 50... fxg4+?! as opposed to simply retaking with the h-pawn. Even then, the game should still have been headed to a draw until the unbelievable and unexplainable 55...h4?? after which Caruana simply scooped the pawn and had a winning two pawn advantage! This sensational turn of events allows Caruana to win Zurich, 2013!

[Event "Zurich Chess Challenge"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.03.01"] [Round "6"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "Gelfand, B."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E08"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2740"] [Annotator "Javakhadze,Zura"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [SourceDate "2013.01.13"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 {Again Catalan. It was the most played opening in this tournament.} Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qc2 Nbd7 9. Bf4 b6 10. Rd1 Bb7 11. Ne5 (11. Nc3 {is the main line}) 11... Nh5 12. Bd2 Nhf6 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Nc6 Bxc6 15. Qxc6 Qb8 $146 {An interesting novelty!} ( 15... Rc8 {is the most played line} 16. Qb5 Nb8 17. e3 Ne8 18. Be1 Nd6 19. Qe2 Nc6 20. Nc3 Bf6 21. Rac1 Qd7 {1/2-1/2 Mchedlishvili,M (2651)-Alekseev,E (2683)/ Germany 2012/CBM 151 (35)}) 16. Qc2 b5 17. Qd3 b4 18. Be1 Qb6 19. Nd2 { Fabiano's reaction on Gelfand's novelty was probably the most natural.} a5 20. Rac1 Rac8 21. e3 e5 {It looks like Boris missed his opponent's next move.} ( 21... Rfd8 {looks more solid, But after} 22. Bf1 {White is better, due to the bishop pair.}) 22. Bh3 Rc7 (22... e4 23. Qb3 $14 {In the late endgame Black's central pawns might become a target of attack, this gives White very pleasent prospects.}) 23. Bxd7 Nxd7 24. dxe5 Nxe5 {Gelfand activated his pieces but in my opinion, it hardly compensates a pawn.} 25. Qxd5 Rfc8 26. Nb3 Nc4 27. Rd4 $14 Qa6 28. Rf4 Bf6 29. Qd3 Qe6 30. Re4 Qd6 31. Re8+ $1 {Caruana simplifies the position in a nice tactical way and remains with an extra pawn.} Rxe8 32. Qxd6 Nxd6 33. Rxc7 a4 34. Nc5 b3 35. axb3 axb3 36. Rc6 Bxb2 37. Nxb3 (37. Rxd6 $6 Ba3 38. Rb6 Bxc5 39. Rxb3 {Knights on the board are obviously favourable for White}) 37... Ne4 38. Kg2 h5 39. f3 Ng5 40. Bf2 {The second time control has arrived and the Italian shows very high endgame technique} g6 41. Nc5 Ne6 42. Ne4 Bg7 43. Rb6 Ra8 44. h3 Ra2 45. f4 Ra5 46. Kf3 g5 47. Rb8+ Kh7 48. Nd6 f5 49. Rb6 g4+ 50. hxg4 fxg4+ (50... hxg4+ {Was the best try for survival.}) 51. Kg2 Nc5 52. Nb7 {White has two connected pawns, so knights are no longer necessary on the board} Nxb7 53. Rxb7 Ra4 54. Rb6 Re4 55. Kf1 h4 $2 {White is very close to victory but this move makes his task much easier} 56. gxh4 g3 57. Bg1 $1 Bh6 58. Kg2 {A very convincing victory by the Italian prodigy!} 1-0

Watch the live commentary and the postmortem of the two players:

Final standings

With this win 20-year-old Fabiano Caruana has gained twelve rating points and climbed from place eleven in the latest FIDE rankings to place seven in the Live Chess Ratings, as calculated on March 1st 2013, at 17:55 GMT, for all players rated 2700 and higher. Vladimir Kramnik loses nine rating points and has slipped below Levon Aronian once again (but has managed to stay in the 2800+ club). Here are the top ten in the live ratings.

# Name
Rating
+/-
Games
Age
1 Carlsen
2872.0
0.0
0
22 (30.11.1990)
2 Aronian
2808.4
-0.6
2
30 (06.10.1982)
3 Kramnik
2800.8
-9.2
6
37 (25.06.1975)
4 Radjabov
2793.0
0.0
0
25 (12.03.1987)
5 Karjakin
2786.0
0.0
0
23 (12.01.1990)
6 Anand
2783.0
-1.0
6
43 (11.12.1969)
7 Caruana
2771.6
+11.6
6
20 (30.07.1992)
8 Topalov
2771.0
0.0
0
37 (15.03.1975)
9 Nakamura
2767.0
0.0
0
25 (09.12.1987)
10 Mamedyarov
2766.0
0.0
0
27 (12.04.1985)

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.

Video impressions from the closing ceremony

This report includes a film about the famous Zurich Tournament of 1953, with many of the best players in the world taking part, and interviews with many of them at a much later date. Here is the final table of the tournament, which was a 15-player double round robin.

You can find six annotated games from the tournament here, and 63 black-and-white photos here.

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
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
Fabiano Caruana 2757
1-0
Boris Gelfand 2740

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Copyright ChessBase



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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