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World Chess Championship Candidates 2011 (Final Gm1)

Gelfand plays well to draw against Grischuk in Game 1

Grischuk at least got a little something with white in game 1.

Grischuk at least got a little something with white in game 1. |

Boris Gelfand had to play very accurately to draw as black against Alexander Grischuk's Bf4 Queen's Gambit in the first game (of six) of their Candidates Final Match to see who challenges Viswanathan Anand for the World Title.

Alexander Grischuk

Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

Alexander Grischuk has struggled throughout the Candidates Matches to secure an advantage with white. Indeed against Kramnik in the rapid games he gave up altogether and just went straight for a draw which has attracted a lot of critisim. To be fair to Grischuk his matches against Aronian and Kramnik were just about the toughest pairings and he was entitled to do what he needed to do. Also I think he struggled a lot at Wijk aan Zee with his openings compared to the some of his higher rated rivals, something that can't entirely be made up for by his great team of seconds here.

Grischuk's Bf4 against the Queen's Gambit had the merit of avoiding the Lasker Defence and they quickly headed towards an interesting position seen in the game Peter Heine Nielsen and Alexander Beliavsky. After a long though Gelfand deviated from the interesting 14...e4 with 14...Re8. Play was quite forcing after that and it seems that Grischuk got a small advantage. His 25.Kc3 was not the only choice but looked quite strong. Gelfand managed to arrive just in time to stop white's queenside advance and in the end the rook ending was a clear draw.


I had a clear advantage but it was between a win and a draw but I don't see where I could win. And in the end with precise defence Boris made a fine draw.

Boris Gelfand

Boris Gelfand. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

The player's seconds

Alexander Grischuk has Alexander Riazantsev, Peter Svidler and Etienne Bacrot

Boris Gelfand has Alexander Huzman and Maxim Rodshtein

Game 1

Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [D37]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (3.1), 19.05.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 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

Boris Gelfand


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 14.Bg5

Played after a very long think. Previously 14...e4 had been played in one game, and this move is pretty interesting.

[14...e4 15.Qg3 h6 16.Rd1 hxg5 17.Rxd4 Bd7 18.Be2 a5 19.0-0 axb4 20.axb4 Ra2 21.Qb3 Qa8 22.Nc3 Ra3 23.Qb2 Re8 24.Rfd1 Bf5 25.Qc1 e3 26.fxe3 Rb3 27.Rf1 Bg6 28.c5 Qa3 29.Qxa3 Rxa3 30.Nb5 Raxe3 31.Bf3 Ne4 32.Rd7 Rb3 33.Rxb7 Rxb4 34.c6 Nc5 35.Nd6 Nxb7 36.Nxe8 Na5 37.c7 Rc4 38.Ra1 Kf8 39.Nd6 Rxc7 40.Rxa5 Ke7 41.Nf5+ Bxf5 42.Rxf5 f6 43.Rb5 Rc1+ 44.Kf2 g6 45.Rb7+ Kf8 46.Ke3 Kg8 47.Bd5+ Kh8 48.Kd4 g4 49.Rf7 Rf1 50.Kc5 f5 51.Kd6 f4 52.Ke5 f3 53.g3 Rd1 54.Be6 Re1+ 55.Kd6 Rd1+ 56.Kc5 1-0 Nielsen,P (2628)-Beliavsky,A (2667)/Malmoe/Copenhagen SWE 2004/The Week in Chess 495]


This move looks the best, the line that follows looks very logical and forcing too.

15...e4 16.Bxd8 exf3+ 17.Kd2 Rxd8 18.Nxd4 Rxd4+ 19.Kc3

[19.Ke3 is certainly possible.]

19...fxg2 20.Bxg2 Rg4 21.Rhd1 Be6

[21...Kf8 22.Bf3 Rf4 23.Rd8+ Ke7 24.Rd3 Be6 25.c5]

22.Bxb7 Rxc4+ 23.Kb2 Rxc1 24.Rxc1

[24.Kxc1 Rb8 25.Bd5 does look like anything.]


A finely balanced ending has been reached.


[25.Rc5 A suggestion of Yasser Seirawan and Joel Benjamin in commentary on ICC. 25...Rd2+ 26.Kc3 Rxf2 27.Ra5 Rxh2 28.Rxa7 is a line that needs looking at.]

25...Kf8 26.b5 Ke7 27.a4 Rd6

Boris Gelfand


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 27..Rd6

A very good defensive idea.


[28.Kb4 Rd4+ 29.Ka5 g5 30.Ra1]

28...Kd8 29.b6 Bc8

It seems black is just in time to meet the white threat to queen the a-pawn.

30.Bxc8 Kxc8

[30...Rc6+ 31.Kb2 Rxc1 32.Bb7 axb6 33.a6 Rc5 34.a7 Rb5+ 35.Kc2 Rc5+ 36.Kb3 Ra5 37.a8Q+ Rxa8 38.Bxa8]

31.Kb4+ Kb8 32.bxa7+ Ka8 33.Rc8+ Kxa7 34.Rc7+ Ka6 35.Rxf7 Rg6 36.h3 Rg2

Boris Gelfand


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 36..Rg2

And black should hold with best play.

37.f4 Rg3 38.f5 h5 39.h4 Rg4+ 40.Kc5 Rxh4

White Time: 0h:50min Black Time: 1h:02min

41.Rxg7 Rf4 42.Rg6+ Kxa5 43.Rg5 h4 44.Rh5 h3 45.Kd6 h2 46.f6+ Kb6 47.Ke6 Rf2 48.f7 Re2+ 49.Kf6

White Time: 0h:32min Black Time: 0h:49min


Alexander Grischuk and Boris Gelfand Post-Mortem Game 1

Alexander Grischuk and Boris Gelfand Post-Mortem Game 1. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

World Chess Championship Final Kazan
Grischuk, Alexander - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 49 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
World Chess Championship Final Kazan (RUS), 19-26 May 2011
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Perf
Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 ½ . . . . . ½ 2733
Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 ½ . . . . . ½ 2747
World Chess Championship Semi-Finals 2011 Kazan RUS Thu 12th May 2011 - Mon 16th May 2011
Name FEDRtg1234RapidBlitzS/DPts
Alexander Grischuk RUS2747 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2
Vladimir Kramnik RUS2785 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2 ½
Name FEDRtg1234RapidBlitzS/DPts
Boris Gelfand ISR2733 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2 2 6
Gata Kamsky USA2732 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2 0 4
World Chess Championship Quarter Finals 2011 Kazan RUS Thu 5th May 2011 - Mon 9th May 2011
Name FEDRtg1234RapidBlitzS/DPts
Levon Aronian ARM2808½ ½ ½ ½
Alexander Grischuk RUS2747½ ½ ½ ½
Name FEDRtg1234RapidBlitzS/DPts
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov AZE2772½ ½ 0 ½
Boris Gelfand ISR2733½ ½ 1 ½
Name FEDRtg1234RapidBlitzS/DPts
Teimour Radjabov AZE2744½ ½ ½ ½ 2
Vladimir Kramnik RUS2785½ ½ ½ ½ 2
Name FEDRtg1234RapidBlitzS/DPts
Gata Kamsky USA2732½ 1 ½ ½
Veselin Topalov BUL2775½ 0 ½ ½

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