Gelfand-Bruzon: Positional and Material Imbalance

Gelfand-Bruzon: Positional and Material Imbalance‎

NM GreenLaser
11 | Opening Theory

Boris Gelfand was born in Minsk, Belarussian SSR (now Belarus) on June 24, 1968. He was Soviet Junior Champion at 17 and European Junior Champion two years later. In 1988, he tied for first in the World Junior Championship, but Joel Lautier was awarded the title. In 1989, Gelfand became a GM without becoming an IM first. In 1990, he tied for first in the Manila Interzonal. In 1993, he won the Biel Interzonal. He has played in various tournaments and matches in the world championship cycles up to the present day. Gelfand won the World Cup in 2009 and will be seeded into the Candidates Tournament in 2011. The one exception to Gelfand’s participation was the FIDE World Championship knockout tournament held in Tripoli, Libya in 2004. In 1998, Gelfand moved to Israel. In 2004, Libya would not permit him to enter. This was certainly known to FIDE in advance of selecting that location and in spite of  the FIDE slogan gens una sumus, which means we are all one family.
Lazaro Bruzon Bautista was born May 2, 1982. In 2000, he won the World Junior Championship. He is Cuba’s number two player. In the following game, Bruzon faced Gelfand in the Bled Olympiad in 2002. Today, the Olympiad is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia and these same players are there. Just as in 2004, politics has intruded. In round one, Israel and Yemen were paired. Rather than play chess with Israel, the team from Yemen forfeited all the games.
The Gelfand-Bruzon game used a line from the Catalan. A positional game is expected when that opening appears. Yet, this game was a miniature, which is usually defined as no more than 25 moves. Gelfand was willing to play a pawn down in order to seek the advantage or compensation for the pawn in positional gains. When top players are matched, the position, squares, and timing can produce results quickly.

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