Candidates: Kamsky beats Topalov

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Candidates: Kamsky beats Topalov, two games still playingGata Kamsky defeated Veselin Topalov in the second game of his Candidates match in Kazan, Russia. With two more games left, the American leads 1.5-0.5. The games Grischuk-Aronian, Gelfand-Mamedyarov and Kramnik-Radjabov 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

The podium in round 2 - Gelfand watches Kramnik-Radjabov

Day 2

Today it was confirmed once more how small the differences are between the eight candidates in Kazan. They're all terribly strong, and not one of them is that much stronger than the others. Because of this, combined with the fact that these 'quarter-finals' only last four classical games, one off-day can be decisive. And this is exactly what happened to Veselin Topalov today.

Topalov

Topalov: not his best day



The Bulgarian played a very sharp setup which involved castling queenside and what should have been a temporary de-placing of the queen. Gata Kamsky, who had faced this setup twice before in 2009, clearly knew what he was doing and found a very strong setup that more or less paralysed White's position.

Without a clear plan, Topalov played a few inaccurate moves at an early stage, and already around move 20 he was in big trouble. Even his beloved exchange sacrifice couldn't help him this time, and as soon as Kamsky opened up the c-file, White's king was doomed. A bad game by Topalov, who played under his usual level, and an excellent game by Kamsky, who needs 1 out of 2 to qualify directly, avoiding the tie-break.

Kamsky

Kamsky: a good win with the black pieces



Alexander Grischuk and Levon Aronian played some psychological warfare in the opening phase of their game. First, the Armenian deviated from his normal openings by going for the Queen's Gambit Declined, the choice of World Champions.

Grischuk-Aronian

Grischuk-Aronian just before the game ends in a draw



Grischuk avoided the theoretical lines and then, already at move 6, Aronian played something that was never done before (really?), the 'patzer move' ...c5. Can Black really allow his isolated queen's pawn to be isolated there? Well, apparently he can as Grischuk couldn't prove an advantage for White.

Aronian

Levon Aronian, happy to play with an 'IQP'



Gelfand and Mamedyarov got a topical line in the Anti-Meran and followed the recent game Wojtaszek-Smeets (Bundesliga 2011). White improved with a little nuance (the other rook to c1) and kept a small advantage. At some point Gelfand managed to win a pawn, but Mamedyarov was just in time to create counter play and win it back.

Mamedyarov

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was under pressure but held his own



The longest, but also least interesting game was Kramnik versus Radjabov. In a theoretical Catalan, the Russian gained a microscopical edge in an ending with RN vs RB with 4 pawns for both on the kingside, but it wasn't enough.

Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik kept on pressing to no avail



Games round 1.2



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Press conference

Veselin Topalov, Boris Kutin and Gata Kamsky at the press conference



Images FIDE | Russian Chess Federation



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