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Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 (4)

Caruana leads Zuerich after Anand Round 4 blunder. Gelfand-Kramnik thrills

Werner Hug, Yannick Pelletier and Gary Kasparov in commentary. Photo ©

Werner Hug, Yannick Pelletier and Gary Kasparov in commentary. Photo © |

Fabiano Caruana took the lead in the Zuerich Chess Classic after scoring a win against Viswanathan Anand in the first decisive game of the event. Anand was professional enough to attend the press conference and give brief comments but departed quickly clearly upset at his loss. The game was a heavyweight Ruy Lopez in which Anand became frustrated by strong resistance and felt he was being outplayed. He sacrificed the exchange to try and change the course of events and had sufficient compensation but he started to doubt himself a bit and having made time control his 41st move Bg2 was careless allowing 41...Nc8 which caused his position to fall apart. 41.Ne5 was his first choice and the game would have continued. The game that looked most likely to be decisive for much of the round was the ultra-sharp Catalan between Boris Gelfand and Vladimir Kramnik. The players had to calculcate many possibilities with different material balances and fortunes seemed to fluctuate for a while with Kramnik being forced to find a 22...Nxf2! sacrifice, 25...Bc6 may have given him the advantage, 28...Qa7 should have given the advantage back to Gelfand after 29.R4e3 Bxg2 30.Ncxb5! but this move escaped both players at the time. The remaining moves to first time control were played at increasing speed and the game drifted to a draw. Gary Kasparov was in the commentary box for an extended session. He wouldn't comment on the upcoming Candidates. He did say he was happy to be watching rather than playing. Kasparov retired in March 2005 and chess has changed quite a lot since then. It's clear the periodic speculation about a return is a bit silly. I doubt we'll see many more exhibition events either, certainly not against a current elite player. Round 4 of 6 Standings: Caruana 2.5pts, Kramnik, Gelfand 2pts, Anand 1.5pts. Round 5 pairings: Thurs 2pm 28th Feb 2013: Gelfand-Anand and Kramnik-Caruana.

Anand,Viswanathan (2780) - Caruana,Fabiano (2757) [C78]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (4.1), 27.02.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.Be3 0-0 10.Nbd2 h6 11.h3 Re8 12.Re1 Bd7 13.Bc2 Rb8 14.Rc1

[14.a3 Qe7 15.b4 Rbd8 16.Rc1 a5 17.d5 Nb8 18.Bxb6 cxb6 19.Qe2 Nh5 20.Qe3 Nf4 21.h4 Qf6 22.g3 Rc8 23.gxf4 exf4 24.Qd4 Qg6+ 25.Kh1 Qh5 26.e5 Qg4 27.Nh2 Qxh4 28.exd6 1-0 Navara,D (2722)-Onischuk,A (2675)/Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2011/The Week in Chess 878]

14...Nh7 15.Bd3 Qf6 16.Nb3 Nf8 17.Kh2 g5 18.d5 Ne7 19.c4 Bxe3

[19...bxc4 20.Bxc4 a5 was an alternative way to play but Caruana felt it was a risky and a bit slow. ]


[20.fxe3 c5]

20...c5 21.dxc6 Bxc6 22.Kg1 Nfg6 23.Nfd2 Nf4 24.Bf1 Bd7

Fabiano Caruana


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 24...Bd7


[25.g3 Nxh3+ (25...Kh7 looks like a reasonable practical chance but seems like it might be winning for white if he's accurate. 26.cxb5 (26.gxf4 gxf4 27.Rd3 Rg8+ 28.Kh1) 26...axb5 27.Rc7 Be6 28.gxf4 gxf4 29.Rd3) 26.Bxh3 Bxh3 27.g4 was initially missed by Caruana.]

25...Red8 26.Qe1 Nc6 27.Nf3 d5 28.exd5 Nxd5

Fabiano Caruana


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 28...Nxd5


I didn't think I'm worse... but it's not easy. - Caruana on the exchange sacrifice.

[29.Re2 Bxh3 30.Nxe5 Nxe5 31.Rxe5 Bf5; 29.Rd3 "The question is when I sacrificed the exchange whether it was necessary or not. Fabio suggested it wasn't strictly necessary and I can go Rd3 and he might be right." - Anand. 29...Bf5 (29...Be6 may be the best option. 30.Nbd2 (30.Rd2 Nf4 31.Rcd1 Bd5) 30...Qg7 31.Ne4 f5 32.Nd6 e4 33.Rd2 Nc7 34.Nh2) 30.Rd2 and Caruana didn't see a move for anything like an advantage here. 30...Bxh3 (30...Rd7 31.Rcd1 Rbd8 32.g3) 31.gxh3 Qxf3 32.Bg2!! wins for white for instance.]

29...Nxe5 30.Qxe5 Be8

Fabiano Caruana


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 30...Be8

"It's hard to prove black is better, it's hard to prove white is equal also." Anand.

31.Na5 Qxe5

[31...Rbc8? 32.Nb7]]

32.Nxe5 Ne7 33.a3

[33.a4 Rbc8 34.b4 Rd4]

33...Rbc8 34.Nd3 Nc6 35.Nb7 Rd4 36.Nd6

Fabiano Caruana


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 36.Nd6

Anand thought he did a reasonable job of getting compensation for the exchange by getting his knight to d6,.

36...Rd8 37.Re1!?

Anand thought he might have alternatives here and wasn't sure whether this was a mistake or not.

[37.Rc3 followed by g4 was Anand's post-game suggestion.]

37...Bd7 38.g4 Be6 39.Re3 Kf8 40.b4 Ne7

Fabiano Caruana


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 40....Ne7


"Bg2 is just a blunder." - Anand. Black is clearly pressing but "it's not that easy to win." Caruana.

[41.Kh2; 41.Ne5 I was calculcating Ne5 which must be the best move and I became worried by Rd1 pinning my bishop, I don't know why, and I just walked into Nc8.]

41...Nc8 42.Nxc8 Bxc8 43.Ne5 Re8 44.Rd3 Rxd3 45.Nxd3 Re2 0-1

Gelfand,Boris (2740) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2810) [E06]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (4.2), 27.02.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Be4 11.Qc1 Qc8 12.b4

Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 12.b4

Gelfand wanted to play something slightly unusual "this rare move, I don't think it's something special." "The point of Qc8 is to play c5 against anything" - Gelfand.


[12...Nc6 13.Nc3 Nxb4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Bxb4 Bxb4 16.Qb1 Bc3 17.Qxe4 Bxa1 18.Ng5 g6 19.Qh4 h5 20.Bxa8 Bxd4 21.Qxd4 Qxa8 22.Rd1 1-0 Popov,V (2577)-Biriukov,O (2327)/St Petersburg RUS 2012/The Week in Chess 939]

13.Nc3 Bc6 14.a3 Qb7 15.Qc2 h6!

Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 15...h6!

Kramnik thought this the only move for black although computers don't think black is worse after a relatively straightforward line it's likely the the open c-file will prove very difficult for black to work against. It also prevents Bg5 which white might like to play.

[15...Ne4 16.Nxe4 Bxe4 17.Ng5! although this move isn't anything like immediately killing to be honest. 17...Bxc2 18.Bxb7 Ra7 19.Rfc1 Rxb7 20.Rxc2 Nb6 21.Nf3 Bd6 22.Rc6 Ra8 23.Bc3 Rba7 24.e4 a5 25.bxa5 Nc4 26.Kg2 Nxa5 27.Bxa5 Rxa5 28.e5 Bxa3 29.Rxc7]


Kramnik liked this move a lot for white too.

16...Rac8 17.Rfe1 Nb6

Kramnik rushes to get his knight to the strong c4 outpost.

[17...Ne4 18.Nxe4 Bxe4 19.Ng5! is certainly a problem for black now.]

18.e4 Nc4

Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 18...Nc4

"It doesn't look good but it's really direct." Kramnik who now was examining the grab of the pawn on a3 almost every move. It might even be that the running a and b pawns might be worth a piece. This gives him strong counterplay which he certainly needs to find in this position.


Now play becomes very tactical and accurate calculation is hugely important.

[19.Ne5 Nxe5 (19...Nxa3!? 20.Qd1 (20.Qb3 Nc4 21.Nxc6 Qxc6 22.e5 Nd5) 20...Nc4 21.Nxc4 bxc4 22.d5 Bd7) 20.dxe5 Nd7 21.Nd5 (21.Nd1 Nxe5 22.Bf4 Nc4 23.Ne3 Nxe3 24.Qxc6 Qxc6 25.Rxc6 Nc4 26.Rxa6 e5) 21...exd5 22.Qxc6 Qxc6 23.Rxc6 Nxe5 24.Rxa6 d4 "should be a draw" - Kramnik.]


[19...exd5 20.exd5 Bxd5 (20...Nxd5 21.Nd4!!) 21.Nxd5 Qxd5 (21...Nxd5 22.Rxe7 Nxe7 23.Ng5 Qxg2+ 24.Kxg2 hxg5 25.Bxg5 wins material for white.) 22.Rxe7]

20.dxe6 fxe6

Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 20...fxe6

[20...Bxe6 21.e5 Nd5 (21...Nxa3 was mistrusted by Kramnik. 22.Qd3 Rcd8 23.Nd4 Qb6 24.Nce2 Ng4 25.Qxa3 Rxd4 26.Nxd4 Qxd4 27.Re2 Bc4 28.Rxc4 Qxc4 29.Bf3 is the kind of mess that can happen.) 22.Nd4]


[21.Bxh6 is critical and Kramnik spent a long time calculating the possibilities. 21...Ng4!? may be the best but there are alternatives to consider.


21...c5? 22.e5 Ng4 23.Qg6 Nxh6 24.Ng5 Qxg2+ 25.Kxg2 Bxg5 26.Qxg5 Rf5;


21...gxh6 22.e5 Nh7 (

22...Nh5) 23.Ng5!? Qxg2+ 24.Kxg2 hxg5 (

24...Bxg5 25.f4 (

25.Rcd1 Be8 26.Ne4 Bg6 27.Qc3) 25...Kh8 26.h4 Be7 27.Rcd1 Bc6+ 28.Kh2 Bxh4 29.Rd4) 25.Qg6+ Kh8 26.Rcd1 Bc6+ 27.Kf1 and e6 drops which is a big problem for black. 27...Rce8 (

27...Rg8 28.Qxe6) ; 22.Bf4 e5]


Forced. The only move to keep things going.


[22.Ne4 Bc6; 22.Bf4 Kasparov felt this move was the best and it was the move Kramnik expected. 22...Bc6 (22...Qb6 23.Ne4 (23.h3 Nxa3 24.Qa2 Qxf2+ 25.Qxf2 Nxf2 26.Kxf2 Bxb4 27.Red1 Rf7 is at least equal.) 23...Nxa3 24.Qd3 Bxb4 25.Qxd7 Rfd8 26.Qc6 Qxc6 27.Rxc6 is probably equal.) ; 22.Ng5 doesn't work. 22...Qxg2+ 23.Kxg2 Rxf2+ is just killing. 24.Kg1 (24.Kh3 Rxh2+ 25.Kxg4 h5+ 26.Kf3 Nxd2+ 27.Qxd2 (27.Ke3 Bxg5+ 28.Kd3 Be8!) 27...Rxd2) ; 22.Qg6 Qxf3! 23.Bxf3 Ngxe5 24.Bc6!= But no human is going to find this in advance. (24.Rxe5 Nxe5 25.Qc2 Nxf3+ and black is on top.) ]


Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 22...Nxf2

Kramnik thought this the right move and didn't have many doubts about playing it.

[22...Bc6 23.Rxg4 Nxd2 24.Qxd2 Bxf3 25.Ne4 is a nice trick. Computers suggest: 25...h5 (25...Qd5 Kramnik fails to: 26.Bxf3 Rxf3 27.Qxh6 Qxe5 28.Rxg7+ Qxg7 29.Qxe6+ Rf7 30.Qxc8+) 26.Bxf3 Rxf3 27.Rf4 Rxf4 28.Qxf4 Qd5 is about equal.]

23.Kxf2 Nxd2

[23...c5 was Kramnik's initial idea but 24.Bxh6 put him off it and it seems he might be right although the position is a total mess. 24...cxb4 25.Rg4 Rf7 26.axb4 Bc6 (26...Bxb4 27.Ne4) 27.Qg6 Bf8; 23...Qb6+ looks playable. 24.Ke2 and Kramnik was considering quiet moves here. 24...Nxa3 25.Qd3 Rcd8 26.Be3 Qb7 27.Rf4 and perhaps white has solved his coordination problems.]

24.Qxd2 c5 25.Kg1

Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 25.Kg1

A very human move according to Kramnik.

[25.Rf4 cxb4 (25...Bc6?! 26.Ne2) 26.axb4 Rxf4 27.gxf4 Bxb4 28.Kg3 Rc7 with all to play for.]


Kramnik wondered whether this was a mistake after the game. He was worried he wouldn't get time to make this move but having played it white gets d4 for the knight.

[25...Bc6 26.Rce1 a5! and black may well now be better.]

26.axb4 Bc6 27.Rce1 a5

[27...Rfd8; 27...Rcd8 28.Qa2 Qb6+ 29.Kh1 Bxe4 30.Nxe4 Bxb4 31.Nd6 Bxd6 32.Qxe6+ Kh8 33.Nh4 is sufficient to draw.; 27...Kh8 Kramnik.]


Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 28.Nd4


[28...Qb6? 29.bxa5 Qxa5 30.Nxc6 Rxc6 31.Qd7 Qb6+ 32.Kh1; 28...Bxe4 "I should have taken on e4." said Kramnik after which it "should be a draw." 29.Nxe4 Qa7 is a better way to play the same idea.]


with time short Gelfand goes wrong. Both players missed an important detail (Kramnik saw it after playing the move). Kramnik is now on top but as he admitted he was so relieved that Gelfand didn't find R4e3 his play afterwards was probably not as good as it could have been.

[29.R4e3! is much better for white but black is still not without chances. Both players were headed towards time trouble here too. 29...Bxg2 30.Ncxb5! This and only this makes Kramnik's Qa7 a mistake.]

29...Bxb5 30.Kh1 Bc4 31.bxa5 Rfd8 32.Qb2 Qxa5 33.Nf3 Bd5 34.R4e2 Bb4 35.Rg1 Bc3 36.Qb1 Bc4 37.Re3 Bb4

Vladimir Kramnik


Boris Gelfand

Position after 37...Bb4

This probably is wrong but Kramnik needed to reach time control without dropping something.

38.Re4 Bf8 39.Rf4

White is going to save the game now.

39...Bd3 40.Qb3 Qd5 41.Qxd5 Rxd5 42.Nd4 Rxe5 43.Nxe6 Be7 44.Rd4 Bf5 45.Nf4 Bc5 46.Rd5 1/2-1/2

Zurich Chess Challenge Zuerich (SUI), 23 ii-1 iii 2013 cat. XXI (2772)
1 2 3 4
1. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2757 * * ½ . ½ . ½ 1 2872
2. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2740 ½ . * * ½ ½ ½ . 2 2789
3. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2810 ½ . ½ ½ * * ½ . 2 2754
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2780 ½ 0 ½ . ½ . * * 2679
Round 4 (February 27, 2013)
Gelfand, Boris - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 46 E06 Catalan
Anand, Viswanathan - Caruana, Fabiano 0-1 45 C78 Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence

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