Candidates: again two draws, tie-breaks on Monday

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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Candidates: again two draws, two tie-breaks tomorrowAlso on day 4 of the Candidates semi-finals in Kazan, Russia both games ended in a draw. Gata Kamsky was well prepared in another 4.Bg5 Grünfeld and quickly equalized against Boris Gelfand. On the other board Vladimir Kramnik pushed hard and came close to a win, but Alexander Grischuk again managed to hold on. On Monday tie-breaks will decide which two players will go to the final.

General info

The Candidates matches take place May 3-27 in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. Levon Aronian (Armenia), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Gata Kamsky (USA) respectively. The semi-final matches consist of four games; there are six games in the final. The winner qualifies for a World Title match against Vishy Anand next year. More info here; tie-break rules here.

Two more draws on day 4

Semi-finals, day 4

Exactly a week after the thrilling tie-breaks of the quarter-finals, we'll see tie-breaks for both semi-finals as well. Eventually all eight classical games ended in draws, and so a different kind of chess will again decide which two players will be in the Candidates final of classical chess. Apparently the players themselves don't seem to have many problems with the current format, so let's just enjoy Monday's spectacle.

The games on Sunday were similar to those on Saturday: one uneventful draw and one fascinating fight. This time Gelfand and Kamsky finished their game quickly after strong preparation from the American. In another 4.Bg5 Grünfeld, Kamsky only had to use six minutes on the clock to reach a dead drawn rook ending.

Gelfand and Kamsky draw their 4th game quickly

The other game, however, got the spectators on the edge of their seats. Out of the opening, another Symmetrical English, the players got a position that can also be reached via a completely different move order: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Nc6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Be2 d5 6. exd5 exd5 7. d4 Be6. Although Kramnik seemed to be following his preparation longer than Grischuk, it was Black who had the better chances right after the opening.

Update: at the press conference Grischuk said he offered a draw around move 22, but Kramnik rejected it, to Grischuk's surprise. Kramnik said he liked his position and had more time.

However, Grischuk couldn't find the strongest moves and thanks to some fine manoeuvring Kramnik developed many threats against his opponent's king. White was winning somewhere, but it was never very easy to find, and somehow, yet again, Grischuk managed to escape. After the time control Kramnik took some time to accept the fact, but eventually he had to give perpetual check.

Even though the computer never gave White an advantage, Kramnik said he liked his position out of the opening.

I couldn't see any clear way to get an advantage; I think Alexander played very well, all the best moves, at least that's what I thought. Then I got a playable position, it was very unclear. Maybe after a couple of moves, like 21...f5 after 21.Qf3, I saw the move but I didn't see it was so strong, then I got some pressure, some annoying initiative. At some point it should have been winning. I could have gotten a 3 vs 2 rook ending with good winning chances of course, but I wanted more. Then somehow it looked like I was winning but by miracle, or to me at least, it seems Black is always in time to escape. In mutual time trouble I couldn't find any way to victory and then it was a draw. Well, at least it was an interesting game.


Kramnik and Grischuk at the press conference

Grischuk:

Finally I got a good position with Black. Yes, it turned out I was right and indeed I was better but then I didn't find the right continuation. The number of tricks that White has just grew up like mushrooms after the rain. Tricks everywhere... mate on the eighth rank, some knight on f6, mate on h7, mate on g8, phew. And then I was... I'm completely sure I was lost but it was not super primitive. At least neither me or Vladimir saw a clear way to victory for White and then somehow it just happened to be a forced draw after Vladimir decided to grab the second pawn.


The English part of Gelfand and Kamsky's press conference was a copy of the one the day before. Gelfand said: "It was a Grünfeld, Black showed very strong preparation and all pieces were exchanged." Kamsky: "I agree."

Games semi-finals, day 4



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Images FIDE | Russian Chess Federation



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