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Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 (6)

Caruana wins the Zuerich Chess Classic

Yannick Pelletier interviews the winner Fabiano Caruana. Photo ©

Yannick Pelletier interviews the winner Fabiano Caruana. Photo © |

Fabiano Caruana won the Zuerich Chess Classic 2013 alone on 4/6. In doing so has almost recovered all the rating points he lost in his uncharacteristically terrible performance in the Tata Steel tournament in January and guaranteed a speedy return to the top 10. Caruana defeated Boris Gelfand in a lengthy grind where he was putting the pressure on right from the opening phase. Gelfand didn't put up the strongest resistance in a difficult ending and 55...h4? just lost out of hand. Caruana also won the opening blitz tournament. A fine tournament victory for Caruana who is a relentlessly accurate, almost model player. Viswanathan Anand took second place alone after being gifted a win by Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik got slightly the better of a Berlin against Anand forcing 20.Rc6 which is a purely defensive idea. Kramnik could have taken a draw immediately with 20...Nxh3 instead he seems to have turned off momentarily and after 21...Qb8? he just lost decisive amounts of material. As Anand put it "You don't really expect a gift like this from Vlady." Final Standings: Fabiano Caruana 4pts/6, Viswanathan Anand 3pts, Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand 2.5pts.

Anand,Viswanathan (2780) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2810) [C65]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (6.1), 01.03.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.Nbd2 0-0 7.0-0 Re8 8.Nc4 Nd7 9.Kh1

[9.Be3; 9.Bd2]


[9...Qe7 10.b3 Bd6 11.Bb2 c5 12.Nfd2 f6 13.Qh5 Qf7 14.Qxf7+ Kxf7 15.Nxd6+ cxd6 16.Nc4 Ke7 17.Ne3 Nb8 18.f4 exf4 19.Nd5+ Kd8 20.Nxf4 Re7 21.g4 h6 22.Rf2 Nc6 23.Rg1 Ne5 24.h4 Bxg4 25.Bxe5 dxe5 26.Rxg4 exf4 27.Rfxf4 Ke8 28.Rxf6 gxf6 29.Rg8+ Kf7 30.Rxa8 f5 31.Rxa7 fxe4 32.dxe4 Kg6 33.Kg2 Rxe4 34.c4 Re7 35.Ra5 Rc7 36.Rb5 Kf6 37.Kf3 Ke5 38.Kg4 h5+ 39.Kg5 Ke4 40.Rb6 Kd3 41.Kxh5 Kc2 42.Kg6 Kb1 43.a4 1-0 Predojevic,B (2643)-Smith,A (2488)/Rogaska Slatina SLO 2011/The Week in Chess 882]

10.a4 b6 11.Be3 Bb4

Vladimir Kramnik


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 11..Bb4

"Of course my idea was to move my knight and play f4....When he played Bb4 I understood b5 was a threat. Bb4 is quite a normal move in these positions." - Anand.

12.Nfd2 b5 13.axb5 cxb5 14.c3 bxc4 15.cxb4 cxd3

"Initially I thought I had many possibilities." Anand.


[16.Qb3 Nf6 17.f3 "and something similar to the game could happen." Anand.]

16...Ba6! 17.Qb3 Nf6

Vladimir Kramnik


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 17...Nf6


[18.f3 "My initial idea was f3" - Anand. 18...Nh5 19.g3 "Because if I allow Qh4 he has a draw." - Anand.(19.Rfd1 Qh4 (19...Rb8 20.Qc3 Qh4 and now Ng3+ followed by Ne2+ winning the queen is available. 21.Kg1 Nf4 22.Bxf4 Qxf4 "Probably I should have gone for something like this." - Anand. 23.Nc4) 20.Nc4 Ng3+ with a draw.) ]


"The problem is that Qh4 is surprisingly unpleasant I thought I should be able to defend easily but I couldn't prove it." Anand.


[19.Qc3 Nf4 20.Bxf4 exf4 21.f3 "and I didn't see what he could do initially but some move like Qh4 and Bc8 and just take on h3 and one of the rooks comes to the 6th and maybe the computer is holding and black always seems to have minimum draw so I didn't see the point of attempting this." - Anand.]

19...Nf4 20.Rc6

Vladimir Kramnik


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 20.Rc6

A defensive manoeuvre aimed at preventing black's rook joining an attack on his king. "I didn't see anything else for white the problem is his counter-play is too strong. I didn't see anything other than Rc6. Rc6 takes the 6th rank so I thought it was the only way to play." - Anand.


"Maybe Ne2 wasn't the most accurate" Anand.

[20...Nxh3 "I think 20. Rc6 Nh3 is a draw." - Anand. 21.gxh3 Qd7 22.Rac1 Qxh3+ 23.Kg1 Qg4+ 24.Kh2 Qh4+ 25.Kg2 Qg4+ 26.Kf1 Qe2+ 27.Kg2 Qg4+ with a draw. Black doesn't have time for anything else as Qd1 by white is threatened "and the draw is no longer there."; 20...Qd7 21.Rac1 Ne2 22.R1c5 (22.Rxc7 Nxc1 23.Rxd7 Nxb3 24.Nxb3 Bb5 25.Rd6 Red8 26.Rxd8+ Rxd8 27.Bd2 is better for black according to the computer.) 22...Nd4 23.Bxd4 Qxd4 "even this I was not completely sure what is going on." Anand. 24.Kg1 Reb8 25.Qd1 Qxb2 26.Rxc7 Rc8 27.Qb3 is equal.; 20...Ne6 is the computer suggestion.]


Vladimir Kramnik


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 21.Qd5

"Why would I do something like this (sacrifice the exchange with Rxa6) when Qd5 is available." - Anand.

[21.Rxa6 Rxa6 22.Qc4 "and I thought even this is excellent compensation if the rook moves I just put a pawn on a7." - Anand. 22...Ra8 (22...Rg6 23.a6 and unless there's a forced mate there's going to be a problem (for black) in a few moves. Anand.) 23.a6]


Vladimir Kramnik


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 21...Qb8??

"I was really shocked when he went 21...Qb8. Then I tried to see if I'd missed something and I couldn't see it." - Anand.

[21...Qxd5 22.exd5 Red8 23.Rxc7 Rxd5 24.b4 "I sensed I was out of danger anyway." Anand. "He's also threatening f5-f4, something like that, although the pawns don't get very far, I always have fortresses, I have b4 Bc5 and there are no entry squares. Bb6 sometime again b8 is missing, some key squares are missing, the point is his knight on e2 is paralysing my rook as well, the other one, I want to get to c1 but I've almost no way to get to the c-file. It's difficult to evaluate this position." Anand. 24...Nd4]


Vladimir Kramnik


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 22.Rxa6

A simple miscalculation from Kramnik after which he can just resign. He played on a few moves out of inertia. "There's almost nothing he can do." - Anand.

22...Rxa6 23.Qxd3 Qxb2 24.Rb1

"Who knows, he might just have missed 24.Rb1." - Anand. "You don't really expect a gift like this from Vlady."

24...Rd6 25.Qxe2 Qa2 26.Qb5 c6 27.Qb2 1-0

Caruana,Fabiano (2757) - Gelfand,Boris (2740) [E00]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (6.2), 01.03.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Bf4 b6 10.Rd1 Bb7 11.Ne5 Nh5 12.Bd2 Nhf6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Nc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6 Qb8

[15...a6 16.e3 b5 17.Qc2 Qc8 18.Qd3 Qc4 19.Bf1 Ne4 1-0 Giri,A (2701)-Meier,G (2656)/Dortmund GER 2011/The Week in Chess 872 (75)]


[16.Rc1 Rc8 17.Qxc8+ Qxc8 18.Rxc8+ Rxc8 1/2-1/2 Gajewski,G (2644)-Yu Yangyi (2688)/Reykjavik ISL 2013/The Week in Chess 955]

16...b5 17.Qd3 b4 18.Be1 Qb6 19.Nd2 a5 20.Rac1 Rac8 21.e3

Boris Gelfand


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 21.e3

21...e5?! 22.Bh3

[22.Bf1!?; 22.dxe5 Nxe5 23.Qf5 Qe6 24.Bh3 Rxc1 25.Rxc1 Qd6]



23.Bxd7 Nxd7 24.dxe5 Nxe5 25.Qxd5

Winning a pawn but at first at least Gelfand has compensation.

25...Rfc8 26.Nb3 Nc4 27.Rd4 Qa6 28.Rf4 Bf6 29.Qd3 Qe6 30.Re4 Qd6?

Boris Gelfand


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 30...Qd6

[30...Ne5 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.Qb5 Rc8 33.Nd2]

31.Re8+! Rxe8 32.Qxd6 Nxd6 33.Rxc7 a4 34.Nc5 b3 35.axb3 axb3 36.Rc6 Bxb2 37.Nxb3 Ne4 38.Kg2 h5 39.f3 Ng5 40.Bf2 g6 41.Nc5 Ne6 42.Ne4 Bg7

Boris Gelfand


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 42...Bg7

Most probably this endgame can be saved but it is very difficult for black.

43.Rb6 Ra8 44.h3 Ra2 45.f4 Ra5 46.Kf3 g5 47.Rb8+ Kh7 48.Nd6

[48.Re8!? Rd5 49.Rxe6 g4+ 50.hxg4 fxe6 51.Ng5+ Rxg5 52.fxg5 Kg6 53.Kf4 hxg4 54.Kxg4 Bc3]

48...f5 49.Rb6 g4+ 50.hxg4 fxg4+


51.Kg2 Nc5 52.Nb7 Nxb7 53.Rxb7 Ra4 54.Rb6 Re4 55.Kf1

Boris Gelfand


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 55.Kf1

White will grind away for some time here but now black miscalculates and loses virtually immediately.



56.gxh4 g3 57.Bg1 Bh6 58.Kg2 1-0

Zurich Chess Challenge Zuerich (SUI), 23 ii-1 iii 2013 cat. XXI (2772)
1 2 3 4
1. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2757 * * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4 2901
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2780 ½ 0 * * ½ 1 ½ ½ 3 2769
3. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2810 ½ ½ ½ 0 * * ½ ½ 2702
4. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2740 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * * 2725
Round 6 (February 29, 2013)
Caruana, Fabiano - Gelfand, Boris 1-0 58 E00 Catalan
Anand, Viswanathan - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 27 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin

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