Two Players Into Semis In Kazan

Two Players Into Semis In Kazan

| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

It was a day of high drama on the final day of the Candidates Matches quarter-finals in Kazan.

Mamedyarov and Topalov both needed to win their respective games to force tie-breaks, but Mamedyarov had the tougher task with the black pieces. 

The wildcard entrant tried to keep the position unbalanced and set up a kingside attack, but Gelfand was always better, and agreed to a draw in a superior position to ensure his match victory 2.5-1.5.

Mamedyarov (right) manages a smile at the post-game press conference




So Gelfand was through to the semi-finals, but who would he meet? Topalov had to win to survive, and his 5.Qc2 idea in the Grunfeld sent Kamsky into a long think.

Topalov kept up the pressure, looking to exploit the American's time trouble.  Then just before the time control, the blunder from Kamsky came and the game was Topalov's for the taking.  And yet...the Bulgarian seemed uncertain how best to conclude the victory and a few inaccuracies brought the game to life once more.

Finally, after 58 heart-stopping moves Kamsky earned a draw and won the match 2.5-1.5 to make the semi-finals! 

The official webcam coverage...



...shows close-up shots of the players...





...and the board and clock. Kamsky had 7 seconds left for his final move before the time control




Radjabov once again took on Kramnik on the Russian's opening turf and proved equal to the task. Accepting an isolated pawn in the QGD with piece activity as compensation, Radjabov kept the balance despite going down a pawn, and the draw came after 28 moves. Tie-breaks will be needed tomorrow to decide the winner of this quarter-final.

No joy for the former world champion, tie-breaks await



Radjabov and Kramnik discuss the game at the press conference




Last in this round-up but first to finish, Grischuk was in no mood to test Aronian's defences, preferring to take his chances in tie-breaks with the Armenian.


So we have two tie-break matches tomorrow between Grischuk and Aronian, and Kramnik and Radjabov. There will be four games at a rate of 25 minutes plus a 10 second increment. If scores are still level then there will be pairs of blitz games at a rate of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment. If the scores are still level after 5 pairs of blitz games, then there will be a sudden-death game (5 mins v 4 mins, with a 3 second increment after move 60).

The tie-break games start tomorrow (Monday) at 3pm in Kazan (11:00 UTC, 07:00 Eastern in the US). Live coverage and more is available at the official website.


All pictures are screenshots from the official website's live video coverage

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