#### Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [D37]

WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (3.5), 24.05.2011

* [Elshan Moradiabadi]*

**
1.d4
**After two timid days, our deserved finalists decided to show us some aspects of their strength! This game is a very rich positional game and contains everything one would expect of a high-level game.

1...Nf6
2.c4
e6
3.Nf3
d5
4.Nc3
Alas! We will never know what Gelfand had in mind against the Catalan!

4...Be7
The QGD seems to be one of Gelfand's main black weapons prepared for this event. A very classical approach which is mostly explored in the 1927 WC match between legendary Capablanca and Alekhine. Funnily enough, Grischuk has not had enough of it in this cycle!

5.Bf4
An interesting choice which one would expect from Grischuk. The question many asked themselves here is how many moves it would take before he offered a draw! At least the previous ones were not very combative except his first game against Gelfand. [5.Bg5
h6
6.Bxf6
Bxf6
7.Qb3
dxc4
8.Qxc4
0-0
9.g3
b5!N
10.Qxb5
Nd7
11.Bg2
c5
12.0-0
Rb8
13.Qa4
a5
14.dxc5
1/2-1/2 Grischuk,A (2747)-Gelfand,B (2733)/Kazan RUS 2011]

5...0-0
6.e3
[6.Rc1
c5
7.dxc5
Bxc5
8.e3
Nc6
9.a3
d4
10.exd4
Nxd4
11.b4
Nxf3+
12.Qxf3
Bd4
13.Nb5
e5
14.Bg5
Re8
15.Bxf6
e4
16.Bxd8
exf3+
17.Kd2
Rxd8
18.Nxd4
Rxd4+
19.Kc3
fxg2
20.Bxg2
Rg4
21.Rhd1
Be6
22.Bxb7
Rxc4+
23.Kb2
Rxc1
24.Rxc1
1/2-1/2 Grischuk,A (2747)-Gelfand,B (2733)/Kazan RUS 2011 (49)]

6...Nbd7
This move skips the activity with 6..c5 in favor of a rock solid but slightly cramped position for Black.

7.c5
This is the most radical approach. White neutralizes the tension in the center in order to obtain a spatial advantage on the queenside. [7.Qc2
c5
8.Rd1
Qa5
9.Nd2
cxd4
10.exd4
dxc4
11.Nxc4
Qd8
12.Bd3
Nb6
13.0-0
Bd7
14.Nxb6
Qxb6
15.d5
Kh8
16.dxe6
1/2-1/2 Grischuk,A (2747)-Kramnik,V (2785)/Kazan 2011/CB19_2011]

7...Nh5
8.Be2!?N
No more draw offers! A good sign for me and the spectators! [8.Bd3
used to be the "Tabiya" in this line, which has been played thousands of times. Did Grsichuk have something special up his sleeves? The continuation proved that he did!
; 8.b4
Nxf4
9.exf4
c6
10.Bd3
b6
11.0-0
a5
12.a3
Qc7
13.g3
Ba6
14.Bxa6
1/2-1/2 Grischuk,A (2747)-Kramnik,V (2785)/Kazan 2011/CB19_2011]

8...c6
9.0-0
Nxf4
10.exf4
To be perfectly honest, I have trouble seeing the special appeal about Grischuk's idea. The bishop on d3 seemed more appealing to me!

10...f6
The right decision at the wrong time. Gelfand believes that he can play e5, and he is right, except that...this is exactly what Grischuk is waiting for!

11.b4
Qc7
12.Qd2
Rf7?!
Why does Gelfand avoid e5 and instead accept a slightly worse position? Let us examine the following lines: [For better or for worse Black had to go for 12...e5!
13.Rfd1?
* (13.Rfe1!
*is a good move, because it keeps both Bf1 and Bd3 as possible choices. *13...Kh8
14.Bf1
*was the alternative. * (14.Bd3
a5!
** (14...e4
15.Nxe4
dxe4
16.Rxe4
Bd8
17.Rae1
a5
18.Re8!
axb4
19.Rxf8+
Nxf8
20.Re8
g6
21.Rxf8+
Kg7
22.Re8
*and White is clearly better.*) *15.b5
e4
16.Nxe4
dxe4
17.Rxe4
Nxc5!
18.dxc5
cxb5
19.Nd4
Bxc5
20.Nxb5
Qf7
The dust has settled and Black seems to have the better prospects.) 14...a5
* (14...e4?
15.Nxe4
dxe4
16.Rxe4
Bd8
17.Rae1|^
) *15.b5
* (15.fxe5?
fxe5
16.Nxe5
Nxe5
17.Rxe5
axb4-/+
) *15...e4
16.Qe3
* (16.Nxe4
dxe4
17.Rxe4
Nxc5
18.dxc5
Bxc5=/+
) *16...Bd8
17.b6
Qb8
18.Nxe4
dxe4
19.Qxe4
f5
20.Qe3
Nf6
21.Ne5
g6
22.Bc4
Kg7
23.Rad1©
And White enjoys fine compensation. This is probably what Gelfand tried to avoid, but instead he ended up in a clearly worse position!; 13.Rae1!?
This or the other rook to e1 is probably what Grischuk had in mind. 13...Kh8!
A very strong prophylactic move confirmed by the silicon mind! * (13...e4?
14.Nxe4!
dxe4
15.Bc4+
Kh8
16.Rxe4+/=
) *14.Bd3!
What is this? A blunder? 14...a5!
* (*Hardly. If *14...e4?
15.Nxe4
dxe4
16.Rxe4
*White obtains a strong initiative! Deep preparation by Grischuk?!*) *15.fxe5
axb4!
* (15...fxe5
16.b5
e4
17.Nxe4
dxe4
18.Rxe4
Bf6
19.Rfe1
Qd8
20.h4!
*And once again White has a dangerous initiative.*) *16.exf6
Nxf6
17.Nd1
with unclear play.; 13.fxe5?
fxe5
14.dxe5
Nxe5
15.Nxd5??
Nxf3+
16.Bxf3
cxd5-+
) 13...a5!
14.a3
Re8
and Black is very well prepared to open up the game after which he can enjoy his pair of bishops.]

13.Rae1
Nf8
14.Bd3
This is the right moment for the Bishop to come to d3...Do you understand? Yes Mr.Grischuk! We understand!

14...Bd7
15.g3
Re8
16.Re3
Bd8
17.Rfe1
White is clearly better at this point, however Gelfand stays calm and prepares a trap.

17...Qb8
18.Na4!
Bc7
19.Nb2
A typical maneuver for the knight!

19...Rfe7
20.Qc3
Rd8!
Gelfand is trying to get free his bishop from the pawn chain via e8-h5.

21.Bf5
This is too hasty, yet it does not harm White. He remains in full control! Still, he should go for [21.a4!?
Be8
22.a5
Bh5
23.Nh4!
Black has just one weakness but is left with no counter play and is running out of space! 23...Qc8
* (23...g5?!
24.fxg5
fxg5
25.Nf5
Ree8
26.Nd6!
*Black's position is becoming like Swiss cheese on the dark squares! *26...Bxd6
27.cxd6
Qxd6
28.Qd2
Qe7
29.a6
b6
30.Bc2!
*White's knight will head to e5 and Black has to defence against an annoying attack despite his material advantage.*) *24.Be2
Bf7
25.Nf3
Bh5
* (25...Rde8
26.b5+/-
; 25...Ng6
26.Bf1
Rde8
27.Nd3
a6
28.h4
Qd7
29.Bh3
Nh8!
*This is a position riched with strong positional maneuvers...Black has to bring his knight to d8. *30.Qd2
Bh5
31.Qe2
Kf8
32.Nb2
Nf7
33.Kg2
Nd8
34.Na4
Bg6
*White is better, nevertheless it is not easy to crack Black's position. White has to exploit a drastic plan sooner or later.*) *26.Nd3
Rde8
27.Nh4
Bf7
28.Qb2
a6
29.Bg4
and White is clearly better.]

21...Rf7!?
This is the trap Gelfand had prepared!

22.Bg4?!
Grischuk goes astray. He had to retreat the bishop back to d3.

22...e5!
Well calculated by Gelfand!

23.Bxd7
exf4
24.Be8
fxe3
25.Qxe3
Ng6
26.Bxf7+
Kxf7
27.Qe6+
Kf8
28.Qh3
[28.Nd1
Re8
29.Qf5
is also equal.]

28...Qc8!
This strong move seals the game's fate. Grischuk has to concede to a draw!

29.Qxc8
[29.Qxh7?
loses an exchange to 29...Kf7
30.Qh5
Rh8
31.Re7+
Kxe7
32.Qxg6
Kf8
]

29...Rxc8
30.Kf1
Re8
31.Rb1
Ke7
32.Nd3
a6
33.a4
Kd7
34.b5
axb5
35.axb5
cxb5
36.Rxb5
Rb8
37.Nb4
Ne7
38.Ne1
Nc6
39.Nxc6
A nice fighting game! I believe that all spectators must have enjoyed it a lot!** 1/2-1/2**