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Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 (5)

Chances for Gelfand and Kramnik in Round 5 of Zuerich Classic

CAruana - Kramnik draw. Photo ©

CAruana - Kramnik draw. Photo © |

Fabiano Caruana remained in the lead of the Zuerich Chess Classic after five of the six rounds after escaping against Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik played a reverse Benoni and seemed to have the advantage after Caruana found it necessary to give up the exchange. However it wasn't really that clear. Maybe 28...Nd5 was best. Both players thought white was pressing but a clear advantage for white wasn't demonstrated at their post-game press conference. After first time control Caruana equalised and Kramnik forced a draw. Some notes from the press conference below. Viswanthan Anand survived a dubious position on the black side of an Open Catalan against Boris Gelfand to draw in 40 moves. Anand was critical of his 13...h6 and Gelfand became very interested in his winning chances. 19.Nd2 and 23.Rc4 were critical alternatives for him but after 25...Qa8 which Gelfand missed the game quickly became equal. Round 5 of 6 Standings: Caruana 3 Kramnik, Gelfand 2.5 Anand 2. Round 6 1st March 2 hours earlier at 12pm GMT: Anand-Kramnik, Caruana-Gelfand

Kramnik,Vladimir (2810) - Caruana,Fabiano (2757) [A04]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (5.2), 28.02.2013

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.0-0 d4 6.e3 e5 7.exd4 cxd4 8.d3 Be7 9.Bg5

[9.Na3 0-0 10.Nc2 a5 1/2-1/2 Drasko,M (2537)-Saric,A (2480)/Zagreb CRO 2010/The Week in Chess 799]

9...0-0 10.Nbd2 h6!?

Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 10...h6!?

[10...Nd7 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Re1 Nc5 13.Nb3; 10...Bf5 11.Re1 h6 (11...Nd7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7) 12.Nxe5!?; 10...Re8!? "Maybe a little more accurate." - Kramnik. 11.Re1 Caruana.


11.Nh4 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Qh5 g6 (

13...Bxh4 14.gxh4 Nb4) 14.Nxg6 fxg6 15.Qxg6+ Bg7 16.Bd5+ wins.;


11.a3 a5 12.Nh4 h6 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Qh5 Bxh4 15.gxh4 may be a better expression of black's idea with Nb4 included.; 11...h6!? Caruana.]

11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.a3 a5 13.Ne1 Bf5 14.Rb1 Be7 15.Qe2 Re8

Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 15...Re8

"I actually quite like my position here." Kramnik.


[16.Nc2 "I didn't think I'm worse as I didn't see how you were going to get b4. I was thinking of Qd7 or Bf8 I wasn't sure." - Caruana. 16...Bf8 17.b4 axb4 18.axb4 Ra2 19.b5 Na5 and black is probably better.]

16...Bf8 17.Ng2 Qd7 18.Qf3 Be6 19.Rfe1

"I was quite happy." Kramnik although there are a number of decent possibilities here.

[19.Rbe1 and here I already commit myself to playing on the kingside. - Kramnik, 19...Rad8 20.Bxe6 Qxe6 21.Nf4 is quite annoying - Kramnik.; 19.Bxe6 Qxe6 20.g4 g6 21.Qg3 I thought what I played was more accurate. - Kramnik.]

19...Rad8 20.Bxe6

[20.Bxc6 bxc6 21.Rxe5 Bg4 "and your queen is almost trapped." - Caruana who had this variation assessed correctly. 22.Qf4 g5 23.Qe4 Bg7 "I didn't even see whether my queen is getting trapped or not, I just didn't like it." - Kramnik.]

20...Rxe6 21.Ne4 Be7 22.Qh5

Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 22.Qh5

Very amitious. - Kramnik.

[22.g4 "I can of course just play g4 and I think I have a nice position." - Kramnik. 22...g6 23.Qg3 Kh7; 22.Nh4 g6]

22...Rf8 23.g4

[23.Nh4? g6 24.Qxh6 g5! 25.Qh5 "It's a draw I think." Caruana. (25.Nc5 Rxh6 26.Nxd7 gxh4 27.Nxf8 Kxf8 28.Kg2 h3+ and black is better.) 25...gxh4 26.Qg4+ Kh8 (26...Kh7 27.Qf5+ Kh6) ]

23...Kh7 24.g5

[24.f4 exf4 25.Nxf4 Re5 26.Qh3 b5!? (26...f5 27.gxf5 (27.g5 Qe8 28.g6+ Kg8 29.Ng3 Bg5 and black is doing very well.) 27...Qxf5 28.Qxf5+ Rexf5 29.Nd5 is equal.) ]


[24...Kg8 25.h4 Rg6 is equal. 26.f4]


Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 25.f4

"and I thought black was really in trouble." - Kramnik. Although black seems to be holding.


[25...Rh8; 25...Kg8; 25...Bd6 Caruana. 26.f5 Qxf5 27.Rf1 "I was really worried about this" - Caruana. 27...Qe6 28.Nh4 Be7 29.Nxg6 Qxg6 30.Qxg6+ Kxg6 31.gxh6 Kxh6 is unclear.; 25...f5 was bad - Kramnik. 26.gxf6 gxf6 27.f5 Rg7]

26.Nxf4 Rxg5+

[26...Ne5 27.Kh1 Qc6 (27...Qf5 28.Nxg6 (28.Nd5 Bxg5 29.Rf1 Qg4 is equal.) 28...fxg6 29.Qe2 Bxg5 30.Nxg5+ Qxg5 I didn't see any clear way to win. Kramnik. 31.Qxe5 Qxe5) ]

27.Nxg5+ Bxg5

Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 27...Bxg5


[28.Nd5 "I saw the trick but it's probably still the right move." - Kramnik. Afterwards Caruana thought this might be the advantage Kramnik was seeking. 28...f5 (28...Qf5 threatening Be3+ isn't the best move for black after: 29.Qe2 Re8 30.Qf1!) 29.Qf3 Qd6 30.Re2; 28.Re4!?]

28...f5 29.Qf3 Bf6 30.Rf1 g6 31.Qd5

Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 31.Qd5

"I thought you would take on d5." - Kramnik.


"I was sure it was kind of over." - Kramnik. "I also thought it should be losing but I couldn't see any other move." - Caruana. It seems that objectively white is still only a bit better.

[31...Qe7 32.Rbe1 Be5; 31...Qxd5 32.cxd5 Ne5 33.Nf4 (33.Rbc1 Rf7 (33...Nxd3 34.Rc7+ Kg8 35.Rxb7 Ne5) ) 33...Rf7 34.b4 g5]


Kramnik was moving in for the kill but things are really not that clear. "Also a natural move." - Kramnik and in the end this does seem the best.

[32.b4 Be5 33.bxa5 Bxh2+ 34.Kh1; 32.Rbe1 Be5! 33.Kh1 Bxh2 34.Re6 Bg3 isn't even better for white nevermind killing as Kramnik supposed it to be and when he got there he said: "It's not so easy."]

32...Re8 33.Kh1

[33.Ne6 Qc8 34.Rbe1 Ne5 35.Nf4]

33...Re5 34.Qg2

[34.Qf3 Re3]]

34...Ne7 35.b4 a4 36.b5

Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 36.b5

"I got confused, I thought it was almost over. Get Re1 or something and it's the end of the game. But I couldn't find any clear way how to do it. Maybe I was overestimating." - Kramnik.

[36.Ne2 Re3 37.Rf3 with slow play. 37...g5 38.Ng3]

36...Bg5 37.Ne2

[37.b6 was Kramnik's initial plan. 37...Qd7 38.Rb5 Bxf4 (38...Rxb5 39.cxb5 Bxf4 40.Rxf4 g5! again black is fine.) 39.Rxf4 Re3 is equal.]

37...Qd7! 38.Rb4

[38.Ng1 Re3 39.Nf3 Bf6 "is far from over." Kramnik. Indeed black seems at least equal here.]

38...Re3 39.c5?!

[39.Rf3 may be better. 39...f4 40.h4 Nf5!? (40...Bxh4!) 41.Rxe3 dxe3 42.hxg5 hxg5]


and now computers prefer black.


[40.Rxa4 Rd2]]

40...bxc6 41.b6 Qb7 42.Nxd4 Nd5 43.Rxa4 Qxb6 44.Ne6 Qe3

Fabiano Caruana


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 44...Qe3


Kramnik finds the best and forces a draw.

45...Qxe4 46.Qxe4 fxe4 47.Rf7+ 1/2-1/2

Gelfand,Boris (2740) - Anand,Viswanathan (2780) [E04]
Zuerich Chess Challenge Zuerich SUI (5.1), 28.02.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 c5 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Qa4 Bd7 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qd3 c4 10.Qd1 Rc8 11.Nc3

[11.Ne1 Bd6 12.Bg5 1/2-1/2 Zaitsev,V (2350)-Farago,S (2360)/Budapest 1995]

11...b4 12.Na4 Be7 13.Bg5 h6!?

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 13...h6

"It was very dangerous, maybe h6 is a mistake because I missed simply he could start with a3 and I don't get my e5." - Anand.

14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.a3! 0-0 16.e3 a5 17.Nc5 Be8

"It's a pity when everything has to be defended tactically. It's much nicer when the position simply holds. Already black is quite shakey I think." Anand.

18.Rc1 Na7

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 18...Na7


[19.Nd2 "Critical" Anand. "I thought it an important position, maybe I could win it." - Gelfand who spent a lot of time around here. 19...e5 Forced according to Gelfand. (19...Rxc5 20.dxc5 Bxb2 21.Nxc4 doesn't work for black as his queen is en-prise here.) 20.Nb7 Qe7 21.Nxc4 exd4 22.exd4 Bb5 and Gelfand wasn't sure. The computer likes Re1 here. 23.Nbxa5 (23.Re1 Qc7 24.Ne5 and white should be on top.) 23...bxa3 with a lot of technical difficulties. 24.bxa3 Bxc4 25.Nxc4 Nb5 26.Re1]

19...axb4 20.Rxc4!?

sacrificing the exchange but for at least equal chances.

20...Bb5 21.Rxb4 Bxf1 22.Qxf1 Nc6

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 22...Nc6


[23.Rc4 was a possible improvement suggested by Gelfand. "Keeping all the advantages." 23...e5 24.Bh3! (24.d5 Ne7 (24...Qxd5 25.Nd4 Qxc4 26.Qxc4 exd4 27.Nd7 Ne5 28.Nxf6+ gxf6 29.Qxd4 Rc1+ 30.Bf1 Nf3+) ) 24...Rc7 25.Na6 Nxd4 26.Rxc7 (26.exd4 Rxc4 27.Qxc4 e4 28.Ne5 (28.Nd2 Qxd4 29.Qxd4 Bxd4 should be drawn - Anand.) 28...Bxe5 29.dxe5) 26...Nxf3+ 27.Kh1]

23...Rc7 24.Qa6

[24.Rb6 e5 25.Qb5 exd4 26.Rxc6 dxe3 27.Rxc7 exf2+ 28.Kh1 Qxc7]

24...Rxb7 25.Qxb7 Qa8

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 25...Qa8

"My problem was that I calculated all this line and missed 25...Qa8 at the end." - Gelfand.

[25...Qa5 26.Qxc6]

26.Qxa8 Rxa8 27.Ne1 Ra1 28.Bxc6 Rxe1+ 29.Kg2 Rb1 30.Nd3

The worst is over for black and now they play to reach move 40 and draw.

30...Rd1 31.Bb5 Be7 32.h4 g6 33.Bc4 Kg7 34.b3 h5 35.Kf3 Rd2 36.Nf4 Bd6 37.Ne2 Rc2 38.Bd3 Rb2 39.Bc4 Rc2 40.Bd3 Rb2 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 . ½ 1 3 2856
2. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2810 ½ ½ * * ½ ½ ½ . 2754
3. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2740 ½ . ½ ½ * * ½ ½ 2787
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2780 ½ 0 ½ . ½ ½ * * 2 2688
Round 5 (February 28, 2013)
Kramnik, Vladimir - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 47 A04 Dutch System
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 40 E04 Catalan

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