Zurich second round. Fear of the Grunfeld.

Only two games each have been played by the champions in Zurich and much has already bene written by the commentators. What is their attention focussed on? Fortunately for the commentatrors, one game ended in a fairly quick draw. 

The old sparring partners tested each otehr in the subtleties of the Catalan, convinced themselves of each otehr's absence of weaknesses and agreed a draw. 

But the otehr game gave plenty to talk about. See for yourself: 

Gelfand - Caruana

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.O-O-O Qd6 10.Nb5 Qd7 11.Kb1 Rd8 12.d5 a6 13.Nc3

After the 13th move, Boris Abramovich thought seriously for the first time: 

13…Qe8 14.Qe1 Na7 15.h4 Nb5 16.Nge2 Nc4 17.Bd4 – A move which shocke dthe experts. The important dark-squared bishop remains!  

After playing his 17th move, Gelfand left the board. Now it was Fabiano's turn to think. 

17…Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Nb6 19.h5 e6 20.hxg6 hxg6 – Caruana has reacted accurately and judging from appearances, it seems the player of the white pieces realised that he had stopped liking his position. 

21.f4 Qe7 22.Nf3 exd5 23.e5 d4 24.Nxd4 c5 25.Nf3 Bf5+ 26.Ka1 Rxd1+ 27.Qxd1 Rd8 28.Qe1?!

Boris certainly looked at the possibility of 28.Qc1, but didn't like something here. Even so, after some time, he was forced to play the queen to c1 after all. : 28…Qd7 29.Be2 Nd5 30.Nxd5 Qxd5 31.Qc1

The Italian GM thinks on and time-trouble approaches. 

31…Be6 32.b3 Qc6 33.Rd1 Rxd1 34.Qxd1 Qe4 35.g3

Now 35.g3. And Houdini and many of those present noticed that a large advantage results from  35... Bg4 36.Nd4 cxd4 37.Bxg4 d3 38.Kb1 Qe3 39.Qf1 Qxg3 40.Bd1 Bh6 41.e6 fxe6 42.Qf3 Qxf4 43.Qxf4 Bxf4 44.Bf3 b6 45.Be4 (Computerkibitz: Houdini 2.0c x64          Depth: 22 with 100.816 kN in 40s http://zurich2013.live.whychess.com/) 35...Bf5? 36.Bc4! Bh6 37.Bd5 Qe3 38.Qd2 Qxd2 39.Nxd2 g5 40.Bxb7 gxf4 – Boris nervously twiddled the black pawn in his hand, but it was clear that the worst was behind White! 

Draw  (½ : ½)

Links: 1, 2, 3

Text: Sergey Kim





b style=.