FIDE Candidates Semis G1: Gelfand and Kamsky draw

5/12/2011 – You might be wondering why no mention is made of Grischuk-Kramnik in the title. The reason is that it was hardly a game. The first semifinal encounter of the Candidates and they draw in sixteen moves? That is both embarrassing to the players and disrespectful to the fans. Kamsky and Gelfand played a Najdorf that quickly simplified to a balanced endgame, and drew. Game one report.

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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
             
0.5
 
Alexander Grischuk
RUS
2747
½
             
0.5
 

 
Nat.
Rtg
G1
G2
G3
G4
R1
R2
R3
R4
Tot.
Perf
Boris Gelfand
ISR
2733
½
             
0.5
 
Gata Kamsky
USA
2732
½
             
0.5
 

Semifinals – Game one

The first game of the Candidates was certainly a letdown for fans hoping for some prime fighting chess. The 'story' of the day was the unexpected sixteen-move draw between Grischuk and Kramnik. With only four classical games to establish an advantage in the match, one would have thought all the stops would be pulled to win, but perhaps the structure is also to blame. After all, if it ends 2-2, they get another four-game match, this time of rapid games, and if you thought that was your best chance, then like it or not, it would make sense to steer for them. In any case, the onus was on Grischuk to try and press his advantage as White, rather than Kramnik to rock the boat unnecessarily as Black.


The shortest game of the Candidates so far. Match strategy?

Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) [D37]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.1), 12.05.2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 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. [Click to replay]


Vladimir Kramnik, consistent to a fault in his results

Kamsky certainly had his hands full in terms of preparation against Gelfand. After all, the Israeli is a renowned expert in the Petroff, and despite having played the Najdorf against Mamedyarov in the first round, he could have easily returned to his main weapon. The question was answered on move one, and they followed a few known games to a simplified middlegame where White had been unable to work up an edge. Kamsky was unable to break the pattern, and they eventually drew after 36 moves.


Kamsky was unable to make a dent in Gelfand's Najdorf


Boris Gelfand

Kamsky,Gata (2732) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [B90]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.1), 12.05.2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bc4 0-0 9.0-0 Be6 10.Bb3 Nc6 11.Qe2 Na5 12.Rfd1 Nxb3 13.axb3 Qc7 14.Bg5 Nh5 15.Nxe5 Bxg5 16.Qxh5 Bf6 17.Nf3 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Nd4 Rfe8.19...Rac8 20.Qa5 Qxa5 21.Rxa5 Rc3 22.f3 Rd8 23.Rd2 Kf8 24.Ne2 Rcc8 25.c4 Ke7 26.Nd4 Rc5 27.Ra1 g5 28.Kf2 Re5 29.Re2 Bd7 30.g3+/= 0-1 (60) Efimenko,Z (2680)-Najer,E (2682)/Germany 2008/CBM 126 Extra (60) 20.Qa5 Rac8 21.f3. 21.Qxc3 Rxc3 22.f3 Kf8 23.Kf2 Rec8 24.Rd2 Ke7 25.h4 h5 26.Ra2 g6 27.Ne2 R3c5 28.c4 R5c6 29.Ra5 Rc5 30.Ra1 R8c7 31.Nd4 Bd7 32.Rda2 f5 33.exf5 Bxf5 34.Rd2 d5 35.Nxf5+ gxf5 36.Re1+ Kd6 37.Red1 b5 38.b4?! 1/2-1/2 (67) Oleksienko,M (2585)-Brodsky,M (2550)/Poltava 2008/CBM 127 Extra (67) 21...Qxa5 22.Rxa5 Rc3 23.Kf2








This position is pretty much identical to the reference games in the notes, where was unable to really build an advantage. Perhaps Gata will have something a little more venemous prepared for game three. 23...Kf8 24.Rda1 Rec8 25.Ke1 Ke7 26.Kd2 R3c5 27.R5a4 f5 28.Rb4 R8c7 29.exf5 Bxf5 30.Re1+ Kf7 31.Rb6 Rd5 32.c3 Bc8 33.b4 Re7 34.Ra1 Ke8 35.b5 Rc7 36.bxa6 bxa6 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


The audience for the first game. Expect a packed house on the weekend.


Young spectators, some of whom are getting their first taste of top chess

In order to give you a taste of the Daily Video wrap-ups, here is the video with Danny King's show:

 
GM Danny King analyzing Topalov-Kamsky during his Daily Wrap-Up show on Playchess

Schedule

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

Tuesday May 03 Arrival
Audio/video commentary
on Playchess
Wednesday May 04 Opening Ceremony
Thursday May 05 Round 1 Game 1 Jan Gustafsson wrap-up
Friday May 06 Round 1 Game 2 Sam Collins wrap-up
Saturday May 07 Round 1 Game 3 Daniel King live
Sunday May 08 Round 1 Game 4 Daniel King live

Monday

May 09 Round 1 Tiebreaks    
Tuesday May 10 Free day    
Wednesday May 11 Free day    
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    

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