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Svidler Leads Gelfand in Rapid Match

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 7/22/14, 4:45 PM.

The Second Annual Gideon Japhet Memorial Open Chess Tournament in Jerusalem, Israel also features an 8-game rapid match between Super GMs Boris Gelfand and Peter Svidler.

The grandmasters play two rapid games per day, and at the halfway point, Svidler leads the top Israeli by a score of 2.5-1.5.

The two players are right next to each other on the classical rating list (Gelfand 13, Svidler 14), but in the rapid ratings, Svidler holds a clear advantage. In June's FIDE World Rapid Championship, Svidler finished tied for a respectable 6th; Gelfand did not play.

GM Boris Gelfand vs. GM Peter Svidler, with rapid ratings shown (all photos courtesy Gilad Japhet)

Svidler's most prominent memory of past trips to Israel was the time he nearly won it all (in blitz!):

"...perhaps the closest to a world championship title. I was basically one move away from being world blitz champion. I decided to do something very pretty instead of doing something very simple and lost the Armageddon game to Alexander Grischuk in 2006."

The players recalled meeting each other in 1989 -- Gelfand was playing an event while Svidler was attending a training session. Since then, they estimate playing each other about 60 times in all time controls.

Both games were drawn on Sunday. Game one was quite entertaining, even by rapid chess standards. "If only I could remember my preparation, then my preparation would be better than Boris's!" Svidler said of this sharp line.

"The obvious conclusion is that I got very, very lucky," Svidler said. "I should try and do something with my memory capabilities."
The two players walk around Jerusalem. Svidler said it was his first time competing there.
Game two also could not produce a winner.

When asked after these two games who is now the favorite, Svidler said, "judging by today, it's going to be a complete crapshoot. All bets are off if we continue playing like this."

Yesterday games three and four were played. Svidler broke through by winning with Black. Though he is best known for being an aficionado of the Grunfeld, he scrapped both that and the Dutch in favor of the King's Indian Defense. "The Dutch is a very fascinating opening, but playing it against people that know what they are doing is less fun than most people think," Svidler said. 

Gelfand admitted that his time management has not been great in the match. He said he has not played competitive chess since February.

We also learned after the game that Svidler is tired of answering questions about his weight loss, and Gelfand has taken up ping-pong to replace his love of tennis (although he can still play on clay courts).

"I prefer almost anything to (chess) training, that's my major problem as a chess player," Svidler said. "I'm a huge specialist on the subject of proper TV to watch."

The audience, taking its training more seriously than Svidler?

Game four ended drawn, thus preserving Svidler's lead into today's rest day.


Games five and six will be Wednesday, while games seven and eight will conclude the match Thursday.

The tournament is being held in honor of chess fan Gideon Japhet, who died last year. His son, Gilad, is the main organizer.

5777 reads 25 comments
6 votes

Comments


  • 2 months ago

    edwardchess2

    Please delete any and all comments that have anything political whatsoever in them. And thanks for deleting comments from the boneheads that ruined the Chessvibes comment section.

  • 2 months ago

    davidmelbourne

    Good article, again. Mr Klien is a quality journalist; I enjoy reading him, as well as going through the games. The improvement in news coverage by chess.com has been a huge boon this year; thanks to all concerned.

     

    As for the issue de jour, I agree....the bombing of Palistinian women and children in Gaza should not interfere with a chess tounament of this standing and quality.

  • 2 months ago

    KamranKazemi

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 2 months ago

    FM MikeKlein

    Please stick to chess in the comments.

  • 2 months ago

    irku14

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 2 months ago

    Wade1961

    Good grief...you can't even read comments after a nice article on Chess.com only to be crapped on by some political bs.

  • 2 months ago

    chesspolitan

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 2 months ago

    CP6033

    Aronian Kramnik, Anand usually plays, Carlsen hasn't that i can remember, Italy might have a team......

  • 2 months ago

    Enthusiast14

    @CP6 may be olympiad but not others right now as those don't include Top GMs. Does Anand, Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian...playing in chess olympiad?

  • 2 months ago

    JaqueMate_Irina

    Great Svidler...really outplayed Boris.

  • 2 months ago

    akazakev

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 2 months ago

    CP6033

    Enthusiast14 Probably the Olympiad, however there are lots of tournaments going on now (Biel ect.)

  • 2 months ago

    Enthusiast14

    when is the next big chess tournament like world championships, zurich chess, candidates tournaments to watch live ?? have plenty of off time.

  • 2 months ago

    CP6033

    Gelfand and Svidler both win one game today, both with black.

  • 2 months ago

    bolshevikhellraiser

    i hated the gelfand and anand match. I hadn't seen so many draws since the alekhine and capablanca world championship. *yawns

  • 2 months ago

    TheMaudlinOne

    Well, these two players have just made my list of wretched people. Show some courage and protest.

  • 2 months ago

    knightkrawlirr

    Israel is likely home to many strong chess players. I wonder if it rivals iceland in terms of concentration of professionals. 

     

    (people shouldn't remark upon the conflicts there. these have nothing to do with chess or anything else. shouldn't use such things as a way to talk about other things (that you don't want to make explicit for whatever reason) by proxy either)

  • 2 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    They really love their chess in Israel....great to see so many spectators in attendance.

  • 2 months ago

    Blastingchess

    nobody involved here (players, tournament organisers, Chess.com) is responsible for what Israel is doing to the palestinians.

    that been said it's true that with the war going on it's hard to do like nothing is happening..but I'm not sure boycott is the best answer.. maybe players and organisers shoulde make a statement saying that playing this match must not in any way be understood as supporting the bombing of Gaza.

  • 2 months ago

    akazakev

    korly, no one is cheering for more Palestinian deaths. But you are making biased (and very misinformed) political comments. 

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