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Anand will be challenged by Gelfand
Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Israeli Boris Gelfand won the last, sixth game of FIDE Candidates Matches final in Kazan against Russian Alexander Grischuk and became challenger for the World Champion Viswanathan Anand from India. In an extremely good performance Grischuk stopped his clock after move 35 and four hours playing.

In the press conference immediately after the game Gelfand said he was lucky when his opponent chose variation in Gruenfeld, which was very familiar for him. With novelty in move 13 white really surprised Russian GM and after move 16 the clocks depicted a very unusual picture: black had spent exactly one hour more than white: Gelfand – 9 minutes, Grischuk – 1 hour and 9 minutes.

Normally it means, that white knows almost everything about the position, black has a lot of problems. But Griscuk played rook a5, starting to attack the white king. For him it was clear that there is the only way to look for the contra play. This very original maneuver pushed Gelfand in deep thinking for 47 minutes. Grischuk almost equalized the time, but few moves later, he was once more in troubles, having exactly half of the opponent's time: white 1.02 hour, black 31 minutes.

Grischuk decided to continue his attack but this time Gelfand was not surprised. He answered after a few seconds. The game became extremely sharp and dramatic. Black offered a sacrifice of exchange, but this would be too dangerous and white simply continued his pressure. In that moment, his strategy became more clear. Better pawn structure and a pawn up for black was absolutely not a good compensation for strong white pieces.

Further more, Grischuk due to a very hard position, was not able to escape from the time troubles. For the third time white had double more time than black: in move 24 Gelfand 28 minutes, Grischuk 14. It would be a miracle if Grischukl could have survived in such a difficult position. This time it was not possible. Move by move Gelfand got closer to win and in a completely lost position Grischuk congratulated the new challenger. It was a real great game for the Israeli GM who made his biggest success in his career.

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And the fifth draw ...
Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Series of draws in the final match of the Candidates Matches for FIDE World Championship went on with the game 5. Russian Alexander Grischuk, playing white, and Israeli Boris Gelfand, agreed to share the point on move 39 after a little less than four hours of playing. Before the last final regular game, scheduled on tomorrow, the score is 2,5:2,5.

Grischuk did not change the opening, but this time, probably with the help of his opponent, he got a lot of room for his pieces and already in the opening forced Gelfand to take a very passive defend. It’s not very often in top grandmasters games to see such a position, where all black pieces are nailed on the lines eight and seven for very long. Furthermore, the only black piece to come on the white side was the knight, just for a move, followed by the exchange for the bishop.

So it was absolutely clear that white had had more than a good position, but the answer how to break the black wall was not so clear. Like a hedgehog and a fox, that might be not too bad. Grischuk, as a fox, was making his position stronger and stronger, while Gelfand had no other way, but to wait.

The moment had come, when white allowed him to liberate with e5. If not all, then almost all the problems for black were immediately solved. Grischuk miscalculated a little bit, but it was enough for Gelfand. Once more, he managed to escape in a draw position. In dead equal situation, opponents spent another ten moves and agreed for a draw one move before the time control.

In the last final regular game, scheduled on tomorrow, the opening move will belong to Gelfand. In case of tie, the challenger for the world champion Viswanathan Anand of India will be determined by the tie- break, scheduled on Thursday 26 May, 2011.

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Another quick draw
Monday, 23 May 2011

In the fourth game of the Candidates Matches final for FIDE World Championship in Kazan Izraeli Boris Gelfand, playing white and Russian GM Alexander Grischuk drew after 18 moves and three hours of play. The score in the match remains equal 2:2.

Gelfand repeated the same opening from his first game with white pieces. This time, he avoided the incredible risk and took quite familiar ways.

Surprisingly, the players spent much time on the absolutely insipid opening. It took them over two hours to perform 13 moves. That didn’t happen before in Kazan. Actually, nothing special happened on the board. Having taken the same tactical maneuevers, opponents practically exchanged all bishops. Gelfand was sure that the position didn’t allow him to play on and proposed a draw, excepted by his opponent without hesitation.

Tomorrow the grandmasters will play the game 5, and Grishcuk will have white pieces. There are just two games left. In case of tie, the challenger for the world champion Viswanathan Anand of India will be determined by the tie-break, scheduled on Thursday 26 May, 2011.

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Short draw in game 3
Saturday, 21 May 2011

In the third final game of the Candidates Matches for FIDE World Championship in Kazan, Grischuk, playing white, and Gellfand drew after 14 moves and two and a half hours. On the half way the score is 1,5:1,5.

It was the same opening as in game 1, and after five moves there was just one small difference. Grischuk tried to avoid theory as soon as possible, and he took “almost a novelty”. Only once such move had been played before. However, it was Gelfand who surprised with something completely new. Still deep in the opening, he sacrificed a pawn. This was a real small bomb.

Grischuk took the pawn and several moves later, when black solved the only problem of his, the position became absolutely equal. Gelfand had a full compensation for the pawn down and for the both sides it was too risky to play on for a win.

Tomorrow the finalists of the Candidates Matches will have a day-off. The final clashes will resume on Monday, 23 May, 2011.

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