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Boris Gelfand vs Alexander Grischuk
"Gelfand the White" (game of the day May-29-2011)
World Championship Candidates (2011), Kazan RUS, rd 3, May-25
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Delayed Exchange Variation (D76)  ·  1-0



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Given 17 times; par: 47 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-29-11  bronkenstein: It seems that black never managed to equalise clearly , ie Gelfand kept the slight edge increasing it to decisive slowly from the beginning of the game (his novelty 13. b3! basically started it).

It is possible that black is lost after 20. . ...Bxh4 ? , though you will not be able to detect it by computers :

<Bronkenstein:...also supported by the story how the computers didn´t understand Gelfand´s strategy in the decisive game , concluded with <In principle, I only made one mistake: Bxh4. But even the computer (which I later looked at the game with) doesn’t immediately grasp that it’s a mistake i.e. the level of play by White was so high that I’d have had to play phenomenally not to lose that game. And it’s never easy to play phenomenally.>>

And of course , @ the time of (unplayed) 32. ... Ba2!? black is long gone , in addition Gelfand had several minutes on his clock while Grischuk was spending his last seconds , even if he managed to play it I don´t believe that it would change anything , especially not in such circumstances.

May-29-11  polarmis: I'm not sure about 34...Bf7, but you can see the winning line against the apparently more logical 34...Be6 (covering the c8-square) at the link I posted to Shipov's video above. The main line is: 34. e5! Be6 35. Qb6 Qxb6 36. Rxb6 Rc8 37. f5! gxf5 38. c7 Kf7 39. Bf3 fxe5 40. Bxe5 Bd7 41. Ra6 Nc4 42. Bd5+ (instead of 37. f5! you'd still have winning chances after just taking on f6, but Shipov says it's not so clear).

p.s. you weren't very impressed by 19. f4, but Grischuk, Gelfand and Shipov all seemed to think it was probably the move of the game!

May-29-11  erimiro1: <Garech> GM Kavalek wrote after 32.-Qc7: "Grischuk misses his best chance: 32...Ba2 33.Rb2 Qc7 34.e5 (34.Rxa2? Qxf4+ 35.Kg1 Rd1+ 36.Bf1 c4 ) although after 34...Be6 35.Qb6 Rc8 36.Qxc7 Rxc7 37.Rb7! white should win"(Kavalek on Huffington); So basicly the game was already lost, although Grischuk "helped" Gelfand to conclude the game earlier. Anyway I must congratulate both players for the game. The attack on h3 came almost out of no where and the defence against it was made by iron nerves.
May-29-11  polarmis: <erimiro1>, Shipov also showed the win Kavalek gives after 35...Rc8 but pointed out 35...Qxb6 was therefore better. The moves after that really do look tricky, so although Grischuk's lost his practical chances would have been significant - at least Shipov said he had a strong suspicion the match would have gone into tie-breaks.
May-29-11  bronkenstein: <Do you know the winning line after 34...Bf7 - I'd be genuinely interested to see it. Thanks!>

For example
35. Qb6 Rc8 < 35...Qxb6 36. Rxb6 fxe5 ( 36...Rc8 37.exf6 exf6 38. Bc3!, important intermediate, removing the pressure from the key c6 pawn) 37. c7 Rc8 38. Rb8 Be6 39. Bd5! > 36. Qxc7 Rxc7
37. Rb8+ Kg7
38. Rb7! Rc8
39. e6! Bg8
40. Rxe7+ Kf8
41. Ra7 Nxc6
42. Bxc6 Rxc6
43. Ra8+ and it´s technical.

(credits to JavaChess )

May-29-11  notyetagm: GM YERMOLINSKY @ ICC ->
May-30-11  hedgeh0g: What's interesting to a 2750+ player is not necessarily interesting to a sub-2200 player. I'm sure the candidates were fascinated by the intricacies of Lasker's defence in the QGD, but the majority of spectators prefer to watch a greater variety of games with sharper positions and no short draws.

To Gelfand's credit, he was one of the few players actively trying to win games and his play was quite original and entertaining.

May-30-11  Garech: Thanks to <bronkenstein> and others for the above insights. I will have to eat humble pie and accept that f4 was a good move; admitting that I am merely an engine analyst!

I think I might have found a draw in your line Bronkenstein, after 39.e6 Nxb7!? For example 40. cxb7 Bxe6! 41.bxc8Q Bxc8:

click for larger view

Well, maybe not a draw, but certainly much better drawing chances than in the very strong continuation you game, which as you said ic a clear technical win.


May-30-11  kia0708: analysis of this game is on huffington:
May-31-11  kevin86: White will win this one soon...
May-31-11  bronkenstein: Garech , just a remark regarding the posish from your last diagram.

If black had BSB instead of LSB , he could have a distant dream of exchanging BSBs , leaving the white with ˝wrong˝ bishop and hoping (prolly in vain even so) to reduce the matherial to an elementary drawn ending.

But here , he is deprived even of that last chance.

I agree OFC that it is still far superrior to the simple piece blunder Grish opted for =)

May-31-11  fischer2009: GELFAND uses the line recommended by boris avrukh in his 1.d4 VOL 2 book.I always thought gelfand was honest with the foreword he wrote about the book.CHEERS 4 HIM. And honestly i dont thing GELFAND-ANAND is going to be a great fight unless otherwise gelfand improves rapidly in the next 1 yeara hard thing considering his age and anand comes down from his masterclass.
Jun-01-11  onur87: If everybody play like Kramnik style, Kramnik hasnt special feature. Nobody hasnt special feature. I think now, all supergm noticed that this pragmatic style is very useful. And in this style, every supergm has equal chances. (especially in matchs)
Jun-01-11  Garech: <Bronkenstein> Yeah, for sure I agree.

It's still quite difficult to come up with a winning plan for white though, do you see one?


Jun-01-11  bronkenstein: For the beginning I would prolly have to choose between Bf3-g4 <idea is to either force LSBs off the board or make black put one more black pawn on white square and remove the pressure from h3 pawn , unless he wants to allow unpleasant Be6 > and simple Bd5 <idea of which is , if black remains passive, and it seems to be his best defense here unless he wants white BSB to start working and speeding up the inevitable, to go Bc4 followed up with Bb2-a3 and eating the c5 the pawn will have to go on c4 in close future , and LSB will be tied to it´s defense from a6 > , or some combo of these 2 .

Then ,white king starts marching into the center, while his black colleague should be tied to defending his kingside pawns etc.

The slow grind could last some 30-40 moves , and white can vary his actions depending on black´s choices , I tried to cover one of the ˝passive˝ black scenarios here since , again, I believe that moving any of his Kside pawns increases the strength of white BSB , and bishop pair in general.

Jun-15-11  DrMAL: FIDE needs to use a classical format, short games are inappropriate for determining WC challengers! This game is a prime example why.

Black equalized early, played aggressively with Ra5 and Rh5 and got some advantage after 20.Qf3 (better was 20.Bf3). But 20...Bxh4 shifted the advantage back to white, 20...Nd5 was much better. Now with the bishop gone, 21...Nd5 did not work as well, 21...Nb4 was better. Mistake follows mistake.

22.e4 Nxc3 23.Qxc3 would have given white a clear advantage, but 22.Nxd5 Rhxd5 basically equalized again. More mistake following mistake on both sides.

24.e4 simply drops a pawn on d4. But then black spurned it in favor of 24...Bb3 to drop a bishop for two pawns! What a joke, why not just flip a coin?

Aug-03-11  cludi: I did an analysis of this game on youtube right after the game finished.

Aug-08-11  notyetagm:
Aug-08-11  sevenseaman: This game has two vital aspects of chess in abundance. Gelfand makes good plays as well as continually tempts Grischuk into errors. His last 4 moves are illustrative besides the way he makes the Black R do an unending tango on the 5th rank.
Aug-18-11  leeAniel: Hello, this is my first post! Why did Magnus Carlsen not participate in these series of candidate play? Thanks...
Aug-18-11  twinlark: <leeAniel> From the horse's mouth:

People were initially very critical of his decision, but by the end of the disastrously dull Candidates tournament (23 draws out of 25 classical games), many forgave him.

Oct-16-11  notyetagm: Gelfand vs Grischuk, 2011

Game Collection: INTERPOSE! INTERPOSE! INTERPOSE! INTERPOSE! 18 Nf3-h4 defends threat to h3-sq from h5-rook by blocking @ h4

Oct-16-11  notyetagm:
Nov-26-11  Nemesistic: 26..Na5? Looks terrible to me,although maybe the wheels came off before that..I have no engine to analyse but surely there was something better
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Nice job by Gelfand to pull a last minute win.
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