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World Chess Championship Candidates 2011 (Playoffs)

Grischuk and Gelfand meet for the right to play Anand

Alexander Grischuk has now eliminated two of the favourites.

Alexander Grischuk has now eliminated two of the favourites. | http://video.russiachess.org/

Alexander Grischuk showed amazing calmness under pressure to progress to the final of the World Chess Championship Candidates in Kazan. He defeated former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik in a blitz playoff. He will meet Boris Gelfand who finally defeated Gata Kamsky in the blitz after being extremely close to going out. The final starts on Thursday 19th May.

Alexander Grischuk beat former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik in a blitz playoff after all their standard and rapid games were drawn. Kramnik is known for his amazingly deep opening preparation. Grischuk didn't manage to put much pressure on it during this match and in the rapid games remarkably didn't even try as white agreeing two very short draws. His creative play with black however was certainly remarkable and when they reached the blitz games he looked by far the better player and was in control throughout.

As Boris Gelfand pointed out afterwards his rapid games against Gata Kamsky weren't of all that high quality with three notable misses including a one move win of a piece. Gelfand had to win a final rapid game to take the match to the blitz and he did so after Kamsky missed a shot that surely would have seen him through. Gelfand was clearly the better blitz player and won both games without a lot of trouble.

Gelfand has probably been the biggest loser in the demise of the Candidate match over the last decade and a half, he would surely have been a perpetual qualifier for the late stages. Now he gets a shot against Grischuk of playing for the title itself.

Alexander Grischuk

Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

G-Men go through K-Men go out.

Robert Hess on ICC.

Alexander Grischuk

It was a very tough match, very difficult, I played 5 games with black and one with white, so it was pretty tough and in some games I got lucky, in some games I played well and think in blitz I think I played really well. I won and am very happy with that.

Boris Gelfand

Today it was a tie-break full of mistakes from both sides, today luck was on my side. I'm very glad it happened like this. Basically the quality was pretty low so it is difficult to discuss it seriously. Normally the quality of tie-breaks are really high, I don't know what happened today.

Grischuk-Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

Rapid

Game 1. of the rapid Grischuk equalised as black and maybe was a bit better before the draw.

Game 2. Grischuk took a draw after only 14 moves.

Game 3. Kramnik looked to get some advantage, at least he had much the easier position to play, then Grischuk seemed to be doing fine for a while before then having to save what looked like really rather a difficult ending, but he did so in fine style.

Game 4. Grischuk has spent by far and away the most time at the board and had the hardest time, he took a draw taking the game into the blitz after only 7 moves. Maybe he was tired, maybe he really didn't think he could cause any problems to Kramnik's black opening repertoire. As it turned out a very pragmatic and successful decision.

Alexander Grischuk

Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

Blitz

Game 1. Grischuk completely outplayed Kramnik with black provoking his opponent to attack whilst getting the better position, he won a pawn and was on the way to an easy conversion before Kramnik hung a rook.

Game 2. Grischuk obtained a completely winning position (24.Bb6 amongst other chances) but just ruthlessly took the position to drawn sterility.

Gelfand-Kamsky

Gata Kamsky

Gata Kamsky. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

Rapid

Game 1. Kamsky equalised easily and obtained a nice bind but couldn't improve his position, Gelfand sacrificed for perpetual check.

Game 2. A normal game where Kamsky obtained nothing with white. Nothing much of interest except in the following position where Kamsky has just blundered.

Boris Gelfand

__rb_rk_
_p____pp
p_qpb___
___NpP__
__P_____
_P___N__
_P__QPPP
__RR__K_

Gata Kamsky

Position after 19.exf5?

Now 19... Bxd5! wins a piece

20.cxd5 Qxc1 21. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 22. Ne1 Ba5 loses for white

as does 20. Rxd5 Qxd5 21. cxd5 Rxc1+ 22. Ne1 Ba5

Instead 19...Bxf5 was played and the game continued as though nothing had happened, draw.

Game 3. Kamsky again did well from the opening and then found a continuation that won at least a piece.

Gata Kamsky

__r_qrk_
_p_n_pbp
__b_p_p_
p_p___B_
_n______
PQNP_NP_
_P__PPBP
__RR__K_

Boris Gelfand

Position after 16.a3?

16... c4!! 17. Qxc4 Bxf3 18. Bxf3 Rxc4 19. dxc4 Nc6 20. Nb5 Nc5 21. b4 axb4 22. axb4 Nxb4 23. Rb1 Nba6 24. Nd6 Qa4 25. Nxb7 Nxb7 26. Bxb7 Qxc4 27. Bf3 h6 28. Be3 Nb4 29. Rbc1 Nc2 30. Ba7 Qa4 31. Bb6 Nd4 32. Bxd4 Bxd4 33. Rd3 Bf6 34. Rc7 Rd8 0-1

Game 4. Kamsky played 1.e4 and Gelfand at least got a lively Sicilian with many active possibilities but he misplayed it quite badly. On move 24 Kamsky was much better missed an opportunity to obtain a position he could not lose instead he quickly got into trouble.

Boris Gelfand

r__qr_k_
_b___ppp
p_______
p_n_pP__
P_BpP___
R_P_____
_P__QBPP
_____R_K

Gata Kamsky

Position after 24...bxa5

25. Qh5

Robert Hess on ICC was amazed that Kamsky didn't see 25. Bxf7+! Kxf7 26. Qc4+ Kf8 (26... Bd5 27. exd5 Ne4 28. d6+ Kf8 29. Qd5) 27. Qxc5+ Kg8 28. Qc4+ with positions that would have surely ensured his qualification.

25... Qc7 26. Bd5 Bxd5 27. exd5 Ne4 28. Bg1 Qc4 29. Raa1 Qxd5 30. Rad1 d3 31. Qf3 Rad8 32. Rfe1 Nf6 33. Qxd5 Rxd5 34. c4 Rd7 35. Bb6 e4 36. c5 Rc8 37. h3 h5 38. Kg1 h4 39. Bxa5 Rxc5 40. Bc3 Rc4 41. Bxf6 gxf6 42. b3 Rb4 43. Kf2 Rd5 44. Ke3 Rxf5 45. Rc1 Rg5 46. Rc4 Rxc4 47. bxc4 Rxg2 48. c5 Re2+ 49. Rxe2 dxe2 50. Kxe2 Kf8 0-1

Blitz

Boris Gelfand

Boris Gelfand. Photo © Russian Chess Federation

Blitz Game 1. Kamsky played a quiet London System but drifted into a bad ending where he lost a pawn. Gelfand beat him really rather easily.

Blitz Game 2. Kamsky went for broke with the Dutch but he was quickly lost.

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

Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) - Grischuk,Alexander (2747) [A04]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.5), 16.05.2011

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.g3 e5 6.Nb5 Bb4+ 7.N1c3 d6 8.Bg2 a6 9.Na3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 0-0 11.0-0 h6 12.Nc2 Qc7 13.Ne3 Be6 14.Ba3 Rfd8 15.Bb4 Rac8 16.Rb1 e4 17.Qa4 a5 18.Ba3 Ne5 19.c5 dxc5 20.c4 Neg4 21.Nxg4 Bxg4 22.Qc2 Qd7 23.Bb2 Qd2 24.Qxd2 Rxd2 25.Bxf6 gxf6 26.Bxe4 Bxe2 27.Rfc1 Rcd8 28.Bxb7 Rxa2 29.Bd5 Rd7 30.Rb5 Rc7 31.Rcb1 a4 32.Ra5 Kg7 33.Kg2 Bd3 34.Rb8 f5 35.Rba8 Bc2 36.Kf3 Be4+ 37.Bxe4 fxe4+ 38.Ke3 Rc2 39.Rxa4 Re7 40.Rd8 1/2-1/2

Gelfand,Boris (2733) - Kamsky,Gata (2732) [A10]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.5), 16.05.2011

1.c4 g6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Qa4+ Bd7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 a6 7.g3 b5 8.Qb3 c5 9.Bg2 c4 10.Qd1 Nc6 11.b3 cxb3 12.axb3 Bg7 13.d4 0-0 14.0-0 Rc8 15.Bb2 Qb6 16.Ne5 Rfd8 17.Nxd7 Rxd7 18.e3 e6 19.Rc1 Rdc7 20.Ne4 Nxe4 21.Bxe4 a5 22.Qd2 a4 23.bxa4 bxa4 24.Ba3 Na5 25.Bc5 Qb5 26.Rb1 Nb3 27.Qa2 Bf8 28.Bc2 Rb8 29.Bxf8 Kxf8 30.Rb2 Rc3 31.Ra1 Qc4 32.Bd1 Rb4 33.Rab1 Kg7 34.Rc2 Qd3 35.Rxc3 Qxc3 36.Bc2 f6 37.h4 h6 38.Kh2 g5 39.Bxb3 Rxb3 40.Qxa4 Rxb1 41.Qd7+ Kg6 42.g4 gxh4 1/2-1/2

Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) [D37]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.6), 16.05.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 Nh5 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

Kamsky,Gata (2732) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [B90]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.6), 16.05.2011

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 Qc7 13.Bg5 Rac8 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Rac1 Nxb3 16.axb3 Qc6 17.Nd5 Bd8 18.c4 f5 19.exf5 Bxf5 20.h3 Qe8 21.Rc3 Qg6 22.Nh2 Bh4 23.Nf3 Bd8 24.Kh2 Kh8 25.b4 Be6 26.Re3 Qf7 27.b3 b5 28.Kh1 Qb7 29.Re4 Bf5 30.Re3 Be6 31.Re4 1/2-1/2

Gelfand,Boris (2733) - Kamsky,Gata (2732) [A10]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.7), 16.05.2011

1.c4 g6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.g3 Bg7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c5 8.Qa4 Nb4 9.d3 Bd7 10.Qd1 Bc6 11.Be3 Nd7 12.Rc1 Rc8 13.Qb3 e6 14.Rfd1 a5 15.Bg5 Qe8 16.a3 c4 17.Qxc4 Bxf3 18.Bxf3 Rxc4 19.dxc4 Nc6 20.Nb5 Nc5 21.b4 axb4 22.axb4 Nxb4 23.Rb1 Nba6 24.Nd6 Qa4 25.Nxb7 Nxb7 26.Bxb7 Qxc4 27.Bf3 h6 28.Be3 Nb4 29.Rbc1 Nc2 30.Ba7 Qa4 31.Bb6 Nd4 32.Bxd4 Bxd4 33.Rd3 Bf6 34.Rc7 Rd8 0-1

Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) - Grischuk,Alexander (2747) [A04]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.7), 16.05.2011

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.e3 Nf6 5.d4 e4 6.Ne5 g6 7.Rb1 h5 8.Be2 Qe7 9.b3 cxd4 10.exd4 d6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bg5 Bf5 13.0-0 Bh6 14.Bxh6 Rxh6 15.Qc1 Rh8 16.Qf4 Kf8 17.b4 Kg7 18.Rb3 h4 19.h3 Rae8 20.b5 c5 21.Qe3 Rd8 22.a4 d5 23.cxd5 Nxd5 24.Nxd5 Rxd5 25.dxc5 Qxc5 26.a5 Qxe3 27.fxe3 Rb8 28.Rc1 a6 29.Rcb1 Be6 30.Rb4 axb5 31.Rxb5 Rbxb5 32.Bxb5 Rd2 33.Ra1 Bd5 34.a6 Rb2 35.Bf1 Kf6 36.Ra5 Rd2 37.Rc5 Ke6 38.Ra5 Kd6 39.Bc4 Rd1+ 40.Kh2 Ba8 41.Bxf7 Rd3 42.a7 Kc7 43.Rb5 Bb7 44.Ra5 Ba8 45.Re5 Kb6 46.Re7 g5 47.Bg6 Rxe3 48.Kg1 Ra3 49.Bxe4 Bxe4 50.Rxe4 Kxa7 51.Kf2 Kb6 52.Re5 g4 53.hxg4 Rg3 54.Re4 Kc5 55.g5 Rxg5 56.Rxh4 Kd5 57.Rf4 Ke5 58.Rf8 Ke6 59.Rf3 Ke5 60.Rf7 Ke6 61.Rf8 Ke5 62.Kg1 Rf5 63.Rxf5+ Kxf5 64.Kf1 Kf4 65.Kf2 Kg4 1/2-1/2

Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) [D37]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.8), 16.05.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 Nh5 8.Bd3 1/2-1/2

Kamsky,Gata (2732) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [B32]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.8), 16.05.2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.a4 d6 10.Be3 Qc7 11.f4 b6 12.Qf3 Bb7 13.Nb5 Qb8 14.c3 e5 15.f5 a6 16.Na3 d5 17.Nd2 Qd8 18.Bf2 d4 19.Qe2 Re8 20.Nb3 Nd7 21.Kh1 Bxa3 22.Rxa3 Nc5 23.Bc4 Na5 24.Nxa5 bxa5 25.Qh5 Qc7 26.Bd5 Bxd5 27.exd5 Ne4 28.Bg1 Qc4 29.Raa1 Qxd5 30.Rad1 d3 31.Qf3 Rad8 32.Rfe1 Nf6 33.Qxd5 Rxd5 34.c4 Rd7 35.Bb6 e4 36.c5 Rc8 37.h3 h5 38.Kg1 h4 39.Bxa5 Rxc5 40.Bc3 Rc4 41.Bxf6 gxf6 42.b3 Rb4 43.Kf2 Rd5 44.Ke3 Rxf5 45.Rc1 Rg5 46.Rc4 Rxc4 47.bxc4 Rxg2 48.c5 Re2+ 49.Rxe2 dxe2 50.Kxe2 Kf8 0-1

Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) - Grischuk,Alexander (2747) [A04]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.9), 16.05.2011

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.Be3 0-0 9.0-0 Bd7 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.Bd3 a5 13.Rfe1 a4 14.Nd5 Nd7 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Re3 e5 17.Rh3 h5 18.Ne3 Rh8 19.Rg3 Nc5 20.Rd1 h4 21.Rh3 Bxe4 22.Bf1 Bc6 23.Nd5 Bxd5 24.Qxd5 Ra6 25.Re3 Qf6 26.b4 axb3 27.axb3 Rb6 28.h3 Rxb3 29.Rxb3 Nxb3 30.Qxd6 Qxd6 31.Rxd6 Rc8 32.Rd5 Kf6 33.Rd6+ Ke7 34.Rb6 Nc5 35.g3 hxg3 36.fxg3 Rc6 37.Rb5 f5 38.Kf2 b6 39.Ke3 Rd6 40.h4 Kf6 41.Be2 g5 42.hxg5+ Kxg5 43.Kf3 Rh6 44.Rb1 Ne6 45.Kg2 Nd4 46.Bd1 Rc6 47.Rb5 Nxb5 0-1

Kamsky,Gata (2732) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [A45]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.9), 16.05.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 c5 3.e3 e6 4.c3 b6 5.Nf3 Bb7 6.Nbd2 Be7 7.Bd3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nc6 9.a3 Nh5 10.Bg3 0-0 11.Ne5 g6 12.Nxc6 dxc6 13.Be4 Qd7 14.Nc4 c5 15.Ne5 Qc8 16.Bxb7 Qxb7 17.0-0 Rfd8 18.Qf3 Qxf3 19.Nxf3 Nxg3 20.hxg3 Bf6 21.dxc5 bxc5 22.Rab1 Rab8 23.Rfc1 Rxb2 24.Rxb2 Bxb2 25.Rxc5 Rd1+ 26.Kh2 Rd5 27.Rxd5 exd5 28.a4 Kf8 29.Ne1 Ke7 30.Nd3 Bc3 31.g4 Kd6 32.Kg3 Kc6 33.Kf3 Kb6 34.Nf4 Ka5 35.Nxd5 Bg7 36.Ne7 Kxa4 37.Nc6 a5 38.Ke4 Kb5 39.Nxa5 Kxa5 40.Kd5 g5 41.Kd6 Bc3 42.Ke7 f6 43.f4 Kb5 44.Kf7 Kc4 45.Kg7 Kd3 46.Kh6 gxf4 47.exf4 Ke4 48.g3 Kf3 49.g5 f5 50.Kxh7 Kxg3 0-1

Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) [B06]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.10), 16.05.2011

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 a6 4.Be3 b5 5.h4 h5 6.Nh3 Bb7 7.Ng5 d6 8.Bd3 Nd7 9.a4 c6 10.Ne2 e5 11.axb5 cxb5 12.c4 Ngf6 13.cxb5 axb5 14.Rxa8 Qxa8 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.0-0 Bc6 17.Qb3 0-0 18.f3 Qb7 19.Rc1 Nb8 20.Nc3 Nh7 21.Bxb5 Nxg5 22.hxg5 Rd8 23.Bc4 Qc7 24.Nd5 Qd7 25.Rd1 Qe8 26.Nf6+ Bxf6 27.gxf6 Nd7 28.Rd6 Rc8 29.Qd3 Nf8 30.b3 Bd7 31.Bh6 Be6 32.Bxf8 Bxc4 33.bxc4 Qxf8 34.c5 Kh7 35.c6 Qh6 36.Qd2 Qxd2 37.Rxd2 Rxc6 38.Rd7 Rxf6 39.Re7 Kh6 40.Rxe5 g5 41.Kh2 Kg6 42.Ra5 Rd6 43.Kg3 Rc6 44.Rb5 f6 45.Ra5 Rc1 46.Kh2 Re1 47.Rb5 g4 48.Kg3 gxf3 49.gxf3 Re3 50.Rf5 1/2-1/2

Gelfand,Boris (2733) - Kamsky,Gata (2732) [A04]
WCh Candidates Kazan RUS (2.10), 16.05.2011

1.Nf3 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.d4 0-0 6.b3 e6 7.Bb2 h6 8.c4 d6 9.Nbd2 g5 10.Qc2 Nc6 11.e4 g4 12.Nh4 f4 13.e5 f3 14.Bxf3 gxf3 15.exf6 Qxf6 16.Ndxf3 Bd7 17.Rae1 Be8 18.Re3 Bh5 19.Rfe1 Rae8 20.Bc3 Nd8 21.d5 e5 22.Rf1 Nf7 23.Nd2 Qd8 24.Ng6 Bxg6 25.Qxg6 Ng5 26.Ne4 Nf3+ 27.Kg2 Nd4 28.Bd2 Kh8 29.Rd3 Nf5 30.Rf3 Qd7 31.Qh5 Kg8 32.Kh1 b5 33.g4 Nd4 34.Rxf8+ Rxf8 35.Bxh6 bxc4 36.bxc4 Nf3 37.Qg6 Nh4 38.Qxg7+ Qxg7 39.Bxg7 Kxg7 40.Ng5 Rb8 41.Ne6+ Kg6 42.Nxc7 Rc8 43.Nb5 Rxc4 44.Nxd6 Rc2 45.Nf5 Nf3 46.Kg2 e4 47.Rd1 Ne5 48.d6 Nd7 49.Rd4 Rxa2 50.Rxe4 Rd2 51.h4 a5 52.Re6+ Nf6 53.g5 Kxf5 54.Rxf6+ Ke5 55.h5 a4 56.h6 1-0

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