Candidates: Gelfand beats Mamedyarov

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Candidates: Gelfand beats MamedyarovOn the third day of the Candidates matches in Kazan, Russia Boris Gelfand beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with the black pieces in a 6.Bc4 Najdorf. The other three games ended in draws.

General info

The Candidates matches take place May 3-27 in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. Levon Aronian (Armenia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Gata Kamsky (USA), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) play a knockout with matches of four games in both the quarter and semi finals, and six games in the final. The winner qualifies for a World Title match against Vishy Anand next year. More info here.

Podium

Day 3 of the Candidates matches



Day 3

The third day in the Korston Hotel in Kazan, Russia saw the best round so far, with three great fights and one, well, quick draw that didn't even contribute much to opening theory. Vladimir Kramnik drew his black game with Teimour Radjabov exactly the same way as Rustam Kasimdzhanov had done against Loek van Wely at the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad last year; only this time the game lasted a bit longer. No doubt on Sunday Kramnik will do his best to decide this mini-match with his last classical white game.

Kramnik and Radjabov at the press conference

Kramnik and Radjabov at the press conference



Veselin Topalov drew a game he wasn't allowed to lose, and in fact if anyone was better it was him. His opponent Gata Kamsky repeated his 6.a4 against the Najdorf, and this time the Bulgarian went for 6...e5. A similar positional fight followed which led to an ending that resembled a Sveshnikov. Just when Topalov seemed to get the upper hand, Kamsky found a strong regrouping and then a tactical stroke to keep the balance. This means Topalov, playing White again on Sunday, needs a win to stay in the tournament.

Veselin Topalov needs a win in game 4 to stay in the match

Veselin Topalov needs a win in game 4 to stay in the match



Levon Aronian and Alexander Grischuk had a game quite similar to their first: the Armenian kept a small advantage, even won a pawn but the game ended in a draw anyway. The difference was that this time Black was never lost anywhere. We predict another relatively short draw today between these two players, who then have to decide matters in the tie-break tomorrow.

The best, and only decisive game this round, was Mamedyarov-Gelfand. The Azeri grandmaster was in a fighting mood, and chose Fischer's 6.Bc4 against the Israeli's Najdorf. The players followed a game Morozevich-Kasparov of ten years ago and then Gelfand was the first to deviate.

Mameryarov-Gelfand, an excellent game by the Israeli

Mameryarov-Gelfand, an excellent game by the Israeli



Building up a kingside attack, it seems that Mamedyarov played one inaccurate queen move. This allowed a central push by Gelfand, who continued strongly with an exchange sacrifice and later a piece sacrifice. At some point he had seven pawns for a rook, and White never got close to mating the opponent's king. Mamedyarov resigned. After a short exchange of variations, Mamedyarov quickly left the podium. Gelfand stood up, looked satisfied, briefly watched the current position in Aronian-Grischuk and took one more sip from his bicycle water bottle, before leaving for the press conference too. A draw on Sunday with the white pieces is enough.

Official website

So far the official website has been disappointing, showing once more that FIDE is just not able to build on previous events and learn from mistakes, but instead keeps on reinventing the wheel. These websites on subdomains of the fide.com domain were originally built for the FIDE Grand Prix events, where for most of the tournaments everything looked alright.

Now, they use the same infrastructure without apparently having the man power to actually do something with it. The first day got a lengthy report by Vladimir Barsky that had strange English ("I think, I had a good margin in the opening", "28…Rc8 – it was a yawn indeed, - Alexander Grischuk noted" ) and no diagrams or photos. The next two rounds the report was suddenly very short (and not much better).

OK, every FIDE tournament is done by different local organizers, but that cannot be an excuse. The World Chess Federation has the responsibility to make sure that there is a consistent increase of quality. With menu items 'Photo gallery', 'Bulletins' and 'Contact us' (!) still leading to empty pages on day 4, this is unprofessional official coverage at its best.

The online video streaming service cannot be praised enough, though. On Saturday even the music got better - what about starting off with The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony and having Nina Simone during one of the breaks? Kudos for that. If only they had a commentary channel in English and Spanish for the big majority of the chess fans...

Games round 1.3



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Images FIDE | Russian Chess Federation



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