Elista R05: Carlsen strikes back, Grischuk advances

6/1/2007 – After his loss against Levon Aronian 16-year-old Magnus Carlsen bounced back to win today's game and equal the score. Judit Polgar, fighting with her back to the wall, staved off defeat by mating Evgeny Bareev. A solid draw saw Alexander Grischuk through to the second round at the expense of Alexander Malakhov, whilst draws in the other games leave everything to play for tomorrow.

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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 five report

Round 5 results: Friday, June 1st 2007

Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Levon Aronian
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Sergei Rublevsky
Alexander Grischuk 
½-½
 Vladimir Malakhov
Judith Polgar 
1-0
 Evgeny Bareev
Michael Adams 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov

Like two prize-fighters slugging it out toe to toe in the middle of the ring, Carlsen and Aronian continue to trade blows. Today it was Carlsen who landed the big punches to score a thoroughly convincing win with the white pieces. In a balanced early middlegame, Aronian avoided the move 17…Rfb8, preparing 18…Nf8, as recommended by Yasser Seirawan on Playchess.com. Instead, his 17…b4 soon led to a dream attacking position for White. Carlsen cashed his chips for an ending a pawn up, and just when it looked as though the win might be slipping away, produced the fine tactical idea 37.h5 and 39.f5, forcing the win.

Carlsen,M (2693) - Aronian,L (2759) [E12]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (5), 01.06.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Qc2 Be7 8.e4 Nxc3 9.bxc3 0-0 10.Bd3 c5 11.0-0 Qc7 12.Qe2 Nd7 13.Bb2 c4 14.Bc2 b5 15.Bc1 a5 16.Rb1 Ba6 17.e5

17...b4 18.axb4 axb4 19.Bg5 Nb6 20.Qe4 g6 21.Qh4 Ra7 22.Bf6 Bxf6 23.exf6 Nd5 24.Be4 Qf4 25.Bxd5 Qxh4 26.Nxh4 exd5 27.Rxb4 Bc8 28.Rb6 Ra3 29.Rc1 Be6 30.Nf3 Rfa8 31.h4 h6 32.Ne5 Ra1 33.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 34.Kh2 Ra3 35.Rb8+ Kh7 36.f4 Rxc3

37.h5 gxh5 38.Rf8 Ra3 39.f5 Bxf5 40.Rxf7+ Kg8 41.Rg7+ Kf8 42.Rb7 Ra8 43.Kg3 Rd8 44.Kf4 Be4 45.g3 c3 46.Rf7+ Kg8 47.Rg7+ Kf8 48.Nd7+ Rxd7 49.Rxd7 1-0.


With her back to the wall, and needing to win the last two games to stay alive, Judit Polgar finally broke through Bareev’s defences, to score her first point of the match. Her opening play was not too convincing, however, and Black was better for much of the game. The critical moment came at moves 22 and 23. 22…Qb3 should leave Black on top, whilst one move later, 23…Rf7 was compulsory. Instead, Bareev blundered with 23…gxh5, after which he was put to the sword in short order.

Polgar,Ju (2727) - Bareev,E (2643) [B11]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (5), 01.06.2007
1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 e6 6.Be2 Nd7 7.d3 g6 8.0-0 Bg7 9.Bf4 Qb6 10.Nd1 Ngf6 11.a4 a5

12.g4 e5 13.Bd2 Nc5 14.g5 dxe4 15.dxe4 Nfd7 16.Bc4 0-0 17.h4 Ne6 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.Qh3 Qd4 20.Nc3 Qxd2 21.Rad1 Qxc2 22.Rxd7 Qxb2 23.h5

23...gxh5? 24.Qxe6+ Kh8 25.Rxg7 Kxg7 26.Qh6+ Kg8 27.g6 hxg6 28.Qxg6+ Kh8 29.Kh1 Rf4 (now it is a forced mate in ten) 30.Qxh5+ Kg8 31.Rg1+ Kf8 32.Qh8+ Kf7 33.Qg7+ 1-0.


Rublevsky held the Black side of the Kramnik Slav ending for the second time in the match, and now needs only a draw with White to complete what would be an upset win over Ponomariov.


Sergey Rublevsky (left) and Ruslan Ponomariov at the start of round five

Ponomariov,R (2717) - Rublevsky,S (2680) [D17]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (5), 01.06.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3 c5 8.e4 Bg6 9.Be3 cxd4 10.Qxd4 Qxd4 11.Bxd4 Nfd7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bxc4 a6 14.Ke2 Rg8 15.h4 Rc8 16.Ba2 Bc5 17.Bxc5 Rxc5 18.Rac1 h5 19.b4 Rc6

20.Nb1 Ke7 21.Rxc6 bxc6 22.Nc3 Rb8 23.Rb1 f5 24.Bc4 fxe4 25.fxe4 Nf6 26.Ke3 Nd5+ 27.Nxd5+ exd5 28.Bxa6 Bxe4 29.Rb2 Kd6 30.g3 Ke5 31.b5 cxb5 32.axb5 d4+ 33.Kd2 Rb6 34.Bc8 Kd6 35.Bh3 Kc5 36.Bf1 Rf6 37.Ke1 d3 38.b6 Rxb6 39.Rxb6 Kxb6 40.Kd2 Kc5 ½-½.


Former world champion Boris Spassky commenting the games


Grischuk reached the second round, by scoring the draw he needed to overcome Malakhov. The latter reverted to the Sicilian, in a bid to unbalance the game, but Grischuk seized the chance to force the queens off early, and although the game went on for 44 moves, the result never looked like being anything other than a draw.

Grischuk,A (2717) - Malakhov,V (2679) [B61]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (5), 01.06.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Bd7 7.Qd2 h6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.0-0-0 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Qa5 11.f4 Rc8 12.Kb1 Qc5 13.Qd3 f5 14.e5

14...Bg7 15.Be2 Be6 16.Qb5+ Qxb5 17.Bxb5+ Kf8 18.exd6 Bxc3 19.bxc3 exd6 20.Rxd6 Ke7 21.Rd3 a6 22.Ba4 Rc4 23.Rd4 Rxc3 24.Re1 b5 25.Bb3 Rhc8 26.Re5 h5 27.Rd2 R3c6 28.h4 Kf6 29.Kb2 Rg8 30.Re3 a5 31.g3 Rgc8 32.a3 a4 33.Bxe6 fxe6 34.Re5 Rc3

35.Rde2 Kf7 36.Rxb5 Rxg3 37.Rb7+ Kf6 38.Rh7 Rc6 39.Rh6+ Kf7 40.Rd2 Kg7 41.Rxh5 Rf3 42.Rd7+ Kg8 43.Rg5+ Kh8 ½-½.


Press conference with Malakhov and Grischuk after their match has finished


Gelfand and Kazimdzhanov drew their fifth straight game, after another interesting and well-balanced encounter. Gelfand looked to be obtaining some advantage in the double rook ending, but Kazim kept his cool and liquidated to a drawn 3 v 2 position.


Rustam Kasimdzhanov chatting with Evgeny Bareev and playing against Boris Gelfand

Gelfand,B (2733) - Kasimdzhanov,R (2677) [D48]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (5), 01.06.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 9.a4 Bb7 10.0-0 b4 11.Ne4 c5 12.Nxf6+ gxf6 13.Qe2 Bd6 14.Bd2 Rg8 15.a5 Qb8 16.h3 f5 17.e4 c4 18.Bc2 fxe4 19.Bxe4 Nf6 20.Bxb7 Qxb7 21.Rac1 Ne4

22.d5 Qxd5 23.Rfd1 Qd3 24.Qxd3 cxd3 25.Be3 Ke7 26.Rxd3 Rac8 27.Rcd1 Bc5 28.Rd7+ Kf6 29.Bd4+ e5 30.Bxc5 Rxc5 31.Re1 Ng5 32.Nxg5 Rxg5 33.Rd6+ Kg7 34.Rxa6 Rc2 35.b3 Rf5 36.f3 Rb2 37.Re4 Rg5 38.g4 Rxb3 39.Kf2 Rg6 40.Rb6 Ra3 41.Rxe5 b3 42.Kg3 h6 43.h4

43...b2 44.Rxb2 Rf6 45.Rf2 Ra6 ½-½.


Finally, Adams and Shirov drew a carefully-played game, in which the balance was never disturbed, thus leaving Shirov with the task of winning with white tomorrow, to force a playoff.

Adams,Mi (2734) - Shirov,A (2699) [C77]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (5), 01.06.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.d3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.Bg5 Qe7 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Bh4 Nd8 12.d4 Bb6 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Bg3 Nd7 15.0-0 Qf6 16.a4 Rb8 17.axb5 axb5 18.Rfd1 Ne6 19.Nf1 Nf4 20.Bxf4 Qxf4 21.g3 Qf6 22.Ne3 Bxe3 23.Qxe3 Nc5 24.Bc2 Bg4 25.Kg2 b4 26.Rd5 Nd7 27.h3 Be6 28.Rda5 Rfc8 29.Bd3 bxc3 30.bxc3 Rb2 31.Rb1 Rxb1 32.Bxb1 Rb8 33.Ba2 Bxa2 34.Rxa2 Qc6 35.Ra5 Rb5 36.Rxb5 Qxb5 37.Qd2 Qc6 38.Qd3 g6 ½-½.


The arbiters, from left: Viacheslav Namruev of Elista, Abdulrahim Mahdi of the United Arab Emirates, Chief Arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz of Poland, Deputy Chief Arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos of Greece and Mehrdad Pahlavenzadeh of Iran.


The press room, with players, commentators and journalists

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
2.5
 
 Levon Aronian
2759
1
½
0
1
0
2.5
 
 
 Peter Leko
2738
½
1
1
1
-
-
3.5
2973
 Mikhail Gurevich
2639
½
0
0
0
-
-
0.5
2400
 
 Ruslan Ponomariov
2717
½
½
0
½
½
2.0
 
 Sergei Rublevsky
2680
½
½
1
½
½
3.0
 
 
 Boris Gelfand
2733
½
½
½
½
½
2.5
 
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2677
½
½
½
½
½
2.5
 
 
 Gata Kamsky
2705
½
1
1
1
-
-
3.5
3047
 Etienne Bacrot
2709
½
0
0
0
-
-
0.5
2367
 
 Alexander Grischuk
2717
1
½
½
1
½
-
3.5
2826
 Vladimir Malakhov
2679
0
½
½
0
½
-
1.5
2570
 
 Judit Polgar
2727
½
0
½
0
1
2.0
 
 Evgeny Bareev
2643
½
1
½
1
0
3.0
 
 
 Michael Adams
2734
½
½
½
1
½
3.0
 
 Alexei Shirov
2699
½
½
½
0
½
2.0
 

Links


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Playchess commentator GM Yasser Seirawan

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