Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 (3)
Caruana and Kramnik draw thrilling Benoni in Zuerich Round 3
Mark Crowther - Monday 25th February 2013
Caruana and Kramnik talk about their draw in round 3. Photo © | http://www.zurich-cc.com
The Zuerich Chess Challenge is yet to see a decisive result but there was plenty of tough and interesting chess on display in round 3 going into the half way point rest day. Vladimir Kramnik hasn't made any secret of this being a warm up for the Candidates in London starting on March 15th. He's not playing any of his main opening repertoire and is seeking complicated testing play. Kramnik wouldn't normally play the Benoni (Brissago when he was desperate for a win was the last one that comes to mind) but he tried it today and got a difficult position from the opening against Fabiano Caruana. Caruana claimed a significant advantage (Kramnik's 16...Kh7 lost a key tempi) but 22.Qd2 allowed Kramnik back into the game. After this complicated and unclear play followed where both players did well not to blunder significantly. After both players spent 30 minutes just after move 40 they steered the game to a draw. If Viswanathan Anand was better in his game against Boris Gelfand's Sicilian then improvements needed to come between moves 14 and 19. After 19.Nc3?! Bxc3 the worst was over for black and Gelfand steered the game safely to a draw. Standings: All players tied on 1.5/3. Rest day Tues 26th Feb 2013. Round 4. Wed 27th Feb: Anand-Caruana, Gelfand-Kramnik.
Caruana,Fabiano (2757) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2810) [A62]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (3.2), 25.02.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.Nf3 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 10.Bf4 a6 11.a4 h6 12.Re1 Bf5
[12...g5 13.Bd2 Nbd7 14.Qc2 Rb8 15.Rab1 Qc7 16.e4 Ng4 17.h4 gxh4 18.Nxh4 Bd4 19.Nd1 Nde5 20.Bc3 Bxc3 21.Qxc3 c4 22.f3 Qc5+ 23.Kf1 Nh2+ 24.Ke2 f5 25.Nf2 Bd7 26.Qe3 fxe4 27.Nxe4 Qxe3+ 28.Kxe3 Nd3 29.Rh1 Rxe4+ 30.Kxe4 Re8+ 31.Kd4 Re2 32.Rxh2 Nxb2 33.Bh3 Rxh2 34.Bxd7 Kf8 35.Kc3 Nd3 36.Rxb7 Nc5 37.Rb8+ Ke7 38.Bc6 Rh1 39.Kxc4 Rc1+ 40.Kd4 Rd1+ 41.Ke3 Re1+ 42.Kd2 1-0 Alavi,S (2422)-Haznedaroglu,K (2444)/Ankara TUR 2011/The Week in Chess 879]
[13.Qb3 Ne4 14.Nxe4 Rxe4 15.Qxb7 Nd7 16.Bxd6 Rb4 17.Qc7 Qxc7 18.Bxc7 Bxb2 19.Ra2 Bc3 20.Nd2 Re8 21.e4 Rd4 22.Bf4 Nf6 23.Be3 Bxd2 24.Rxd2 Rxd2 25.Bxd2 Bxe4 26.Bxh6 Bxg2 27.Rxe8+ Nxe8 28.Kxg2 f6 29.Bf4 g5 30.d6 Ng7 31.d7 Ne6 32.Bc7 c4 1-0 Gulko,B (2530)-Zakharov,A (2435)/Moscow 1976/URS-ch; 13.Nh4 Bc8 1/2-1/2 Liptay,L (2337)-Horvath,T (2426)/Hungary 2006/EXT 2008]
13...g5 14.Bd2 Nbd7 15.h4 g4 16.Nh2 Kh7?
Quite a bad move. Kramnik losing a tempo.
17.Nf1 Ne5 18.Bf4 Bg6 19.Ne3
I think after the opening I was much better. Black's position looked very shakey but then I really misplayed it." Caruana.
19...h5 20.a5 Qc7 21.Ra4 Kg8
"Of course I wasn't happy with my position but probably I can just stay here with something like Rad8. It's not so easy for white to improve. Of course white has the upper hand that's clear because my opening experiment was a bit strange I would say." - Kramnik.
After the game Caruana said "I think Qd2 was a big mistake because after Nd7 suddenly there are many tactics with b5. If I play basically any move which doesn't put my queen on d2. Because the problem with Nd7 usually is Be4 is very good but after Be4 b5 is safe." - Caruana.
Playing the move white has just allowed.
[23.Be4 b5 24.axb6 Nxb6 "I think probably white is losing here" - Caruana who missed that there is a tactical sequence starting with Bxb6 but must also be being slightly pessimistic. 25.Bxg6 Nxa4 26.Bxh5 Nxc3 27.bxc3]
I wanted maybe to wait one more move. - Kramnik.
[24...Nxb6 25.b3 Qb7 26.Be4 Nbd7 27.Qc2 and white is getting the upper hand. 27...Qb4 28.Rc1 (28.Rb1 Qxc3 29.Qxc3 Nf3+ 30.exf3 Bxc3 31.Bxg6 fxg6 32.fxg4 Bd4 33.gxh5 gxh5 34.Bxd6 and white is winning.) ]
Caruana didn't like this after the game, Kramnik thought it a good move.
[25.Rea1 a5 (25...Reb8 26.Be4 Qb3 27.Bf5 and Caruana seems to be right in thinking this is starting to be significantly better for white.) 26.Be4]
25...Bxe4 26.Nxe4 Ng6
[27.Nc3 Is the computer recommendation. 27...Nxf4 28.gxf4 g3 29.Nf5 gxf2+ 30.Kxf2 Nf6 31.e4 "I don't know what this position is but I don't like it so much." - Caruana.; 27.Ng5 Nxf4 28.gxf4 and black has many possibilities including Kramnik's 28...g3 29.Nf5 gxf2+ 30.Kxf2 and the position is very hard to play both both sides.]
27...Nxf4 28.Nec4 Nh3+
Is the knight trapped or a tactical resource, it turns out to be both.
[29.Kg2 Qb3 (29...Qb8 was Kramnik's intention. 30.Nxe8 Qxe8 Kramnik gave the following nice fantasy variation that he calculated well ahead of time. 31.e4 Ne5 32.Nxe5 Bxe5 33.f4 gxf3+ 34.Kxh3 Qd7+ 35.Kh2 Qg4 36.Qg5+ Qxg5 37.hxg5 h4 and I think it's not going to end well [for white] - Kramnik although the computer thinks white might be OK. 38.Kh3 hxg3 39.Ra3 f2 40.Rd1 Rb8 41.Rf3 Kg7 42.Kg2 Rb4 43.d6 Rxe4 44.d7 Bc7 45.d8B Bxd8 46.Kxg3 Bxg5 47.Kxf2 Rb4) 30.Ra3 Qb4 31.Nxe8 Qxd2 32.Nxd2 Rxe8 33.Rxa6 Bxb2 34.Nc4 Bc3 35.Rc1 Rxe2 36.Rxc3 Rxf2+ 37.Kh1 Rf1+ 38.Kg2 Rf2+ with a draw may have been the logical conclusion to the position.]
29...Qb8 30.Nxe8 Qxe8 31.Qc2 Ne5 32.Nd6
[32.Ra4; 32.Ne3 is probably the best with a tempo up on the game. Caruana missed Bf8 in a couple of moves.]
[32...Qd8 33.Nf5 Qf6 34.d6 is probably dynamically equal.]
33.Nf5 Bf8 34.Ne3 c4
The last moves were pretty forcing. Kramnik would prefer to keep queens on but he can't.
35...Qxf5 36.Nxf5 Bb4 37.Rd1
[37.Rc1 Kh7 38.f4 gxf3 39.exf3 Nf2 40.Rca1]
37...a5 38.Raa1 f6
39.Rac1 Bc5 40.Nd4
The last move before time control in such a complicated position isn't the time to take risks. "Wanting my King closer to the business." - Kramnik.
[40...a4!? 41.Rc2 (41.f4 Nd3 42.exd3 Bxd4 43.dxc4 Bxb2 44.Rc2 a3 45.c5 a2 46.c6 doesn't quite work for black either.) 41...Bb6 42.f4 gxf3 43.exf3 a3 44.bxa3 Rxa3; 40...Nd3 Perhaps a little too much. 41.exd3 Bxd4 42.dxc4 Bxb2 was the kind of thing Kasparov wanted to try and get to work. (42...Bxf2) ]
Forced according to Kramnik. Both players used half an hour of their newly acquired time trying to work out the next two moves and their plan of action from here.
41...Rb8 42.Rc2 Rb4 43.d6!
This resource is white's best in the position.
43...Rb6 44.Nf5 Bxf2 45.d7 Nxd7 46.Rxd7+ Ke6 47.Rh7 Kxf5 48.Rxh5+ Kg6 49.Rxa5 Rb4 50.Ra6 Bd4 51.Rc6
Having used all their time the players head for a draw.
51...Bxb2 52.R6xc4 Rxc4 53.Rxc4 Kh5 1/2-1/2
Anand,Viswanathan (2780) - Gelfand,Boris (2740) [B90]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (3.1), 25.02.2013
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e6 7.g4 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Nde2 h5
A rare move with the idea of giving up the pawn on d5 to make his bishop on c8 more active according to Gelfand.
[10.Nxd5 exd5 11.Nf4 hxg4 12.Qxd5 Bd7 13.Bc4 Qe7+ 14.Be3 Bc6 15.Qf5 Qb4+ 16.c3 Qxc4 17.Qc8+ Ke7 18.0-0-0 Nd7 19.Rxd7+ Kf6 20.Bd4+ Kg5 21.Rd5+ 1-0 Sutovsky,E (2675)-Najer,E (2663)/Natanya ISR 2009/The Week in Chess 767]
10...Bd6 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.Bg2 0-0 13.0-0 Nc6 14.Qxd5
[14...Bxh3 looks absolutely fine for black. 15.Rd1 (15.Bf4) 15...Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Qc8]
Anand thought Re8 better than playing Bc4 straight away.
[15...Bc4 16.Qe4 (16.b3 Ne5 17.Qe4 Bb5) ]
Gelfand thought for a while here as he does have options.
[16...g6 17.Rfd1 Ne5? (17...Qc7 18.Nf4 and play goes on with white having some kind of edge.) 18.Qxb7 Rb8 19.Qxa6 hitting the bishop on d6.]
First of all I thought Rc1 was a very good move. - Anand.
[18.Nd4 "There was some really long winded problem." said Anand afterwards but he couldn't put his finger on it. Gelfand "was really worried about Nd4." 18...g6 (18...Bd5 19.Qxh5!) 19.Qxb7 (19.Rad1 Bd5 reasonable comp - Anand.) 19...Rb8 20.Qf3 (20.Nc6 isn't sufficient for the advantage. 20...Rxb7 21.Nxd8 Rd7 (21...Rb8) 22.Nc6 Nxc2) 20...Bd5 21.Qd1 Bxg2 22.Kxg2 Nd5]
Anand was highly critical of this decision. He initially intended Qxh5 which should be played, not so much as it wins a pawn, the players agreed this extra pawn was not very useful for winning purposes in the ending, but to win squares for the attack against black's king. There is also 19.b3 and 19.a3 to look at too.
[19.Qxh5 Would have been better according to Anand if the worse comes to the worse he will be the exchange up and at least a bit better. 19...Bxb2 20.Rb1 Rxe3 21.fxe3 Nxc2 22.Rf1 g6 (22...Qd2? Anand couldn't find his way through these complicated variations. This loses.) ; 19.b3 Bxe2? This I thought was plus minus [winning for white] - Anand. (19...Bd5 20.Qxh5 Bxg2 21.Kxg2 Nxa2 22.Rcd1 Qc8) 20.Rxe2 Nxa2 21.Rd2; 19.a3 Bd5 20.Qxh5 Bxg2 21.axb4 Qd5 with Bf3 to follow and black dominates the light squares. 22.g6?? is an amusing way to lose pointed out by Anand. 22...Bh2+]
19...Bxc3! 20.bxc3 Bd5 21.Qxh5 Bxg2 22.Kxg2 Qd5+ 23.Kg1 Nc6
With shattered pawns like this it is hard to imagine that white will make progress.
24.Red1 Qxa2 25.g6 fxg6 26.Qxg6 Qf7 27.Qxf7+ Kxf7 28.Rb1 b5 29.c4 b4!
30.c3 bxc3 31.Rbc1 Red8 32.Rxd8 Rxd8 33.Rxc3 a5 34.Kf1 Ke6 35.Ke2 Rh8 36.Bb6 Rh4 37.Re3+ Kf5 38.Ra3 Rxc4 39.Bxa5 Nxa5 40.Rxa5+ Kf6
Black is a pawn up on a difficult draw. The extra pawn makes it trivial to defend.
41.Ra6+ Kf5 42.Kf3 1/2-1/2
|Zurich Chess Challenge Zuerich (SUI), 23 ii-1 iii 2013||cat. XXI (2772)|
|Round 3 (February 25, 2013)|
|Anand, Viswanathan||- Gelfand, Boris||½-½||42||B90||Sicilian Najdorf Variation|
|Caruana, Fabiano||- Kramnik, Vladimir||½-½||53||A62||Benoni|
View the games on this Page