Zurich: two draws in round one

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/24/2013 – The first round of the four-player category 21 event saw two games with unusual openings. Vladimir got a small advantage against Boris Gelfand but could not turn it into a full point; while Fabiano Caruana relinquished his advantage in time trouble against Vishy Anand and had to fight for 65 moves to secure the draw. Round one report with video commentary and postgame analysis.

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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.


The elegant Savoy Baur en Ville hotel in Zurich, Switzerland

Round one report

1st round: 23 February 2013 at 15:00
Fabiano Caruana 2757
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2780
Vladimir Kramnik 2810
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2740

Vishwanathan Anand vs Fabiano Caruana saw a somewhat unusual variation of the Sicilian Najdorf where White plays 6.Be3 – as Caruana had done against Anand just ten days ago in Baden Baden, and against Naiditsch two weeks ago in the same event (the game against Anand was drawn, Caruana beat Naiditsch in this line). Caruana got a slight advantage and was clearly playing for a win. In spite of time trouble he spurned a repetition and then dropped a pawn. On move 41 he then overlooked a way to regain it with a clear draw, and had to suffer Anand's attempts to take the full point himself. The World Champion played on until move 65 but was unable to break down his young opponent's defence.

Vladimir Kramnik vs Boris Gelfand (above in the postmortem) started 1.Nf3 c5 2.b3, something Kramnik had used successfully against Gawain Jones at the London Chess Classic last December. Against Gelfand he gained a slight advantage, but was unable to make headway against last year's World Championship challenger. The game ended with repetition on move 59 in a clearly drawn position.

Live streams of the game

In the following videos commentators GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug (rhymes with 'book') comment on the games as they progress, and also interview the players after they are over.

Impressions on round one by Vijay Kumar

Replay the games of the round on our JavaScript player

 

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   Viswanathan Anand 2780
Boris Gelfand 2740   Fabiano Caruana 2757
3rd round: 25 February 2013 at 15:00
Viswanathan Anand 2780   Boris Gelfand 2740
Fabiano Caruana 2757   Vladimir Kramnik 2810
4th round: 27 February 2013 at 15:00
Viswanathan Anand 2780   Fabiano Caruana 2757
Boris Gelfand 2740   Vladimir Kramnik 2810
5th round: 28 February 2013 at 15:00
Boris Gelfand 2740   Viswanathan Anand 2780
Vladimir Kramnik 2810   Fabiano Caruana 2757
6th round: 1 March 2013 at 13:00
Viswanathan Anand 2780   Vladimir Kramnik 2810
Fabiano Caruana 2757   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.

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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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