February 28, 2013 21:10

Two fascinating draws in 5th round Zurich Chess Challenge

Fabiano Caruana still leads by half a point

Fabiano Caruana maintained his half point lead at the Zurich Chess Challenge as both games in the fifth round ended in draws. Anand and Gelfand played a Catalan and on move 20 the Israeli sacrificed an exchange for two pawns. After the queens were traded all that was left was a positional draw. Vladimir Kramnik played a Réti or 'Reverse Benoni' and in this game it was Caruana who gave an exchange. After some more complications this game was drawn as well.

Fabiano Caruana still leads by half a point

The rule is: suspense in every round! Gelfand-Anand was another Catalan, where Vishy Anand sticked to the line he played successfully in round 2 against Kramnik. Just when it seemed that White would get a clear advantage with 19.Nd2, Boris Gelfand decided to sacrifice the exchange. He certainly got two pawns and a nice grip on the position, but later allowed the exchange of all his heavy pieces. The ensuing endgame did not give him any serious winning prospects.

PGN string

Fabiano Caruana continues holding his own, even against strong pressure from the former World Champion. Vladimir Kramnik chose an unusual reversed Benoni and built up an attack on the light squares. Not willing to go down quickly, the Italian decided to part with the exchange for what seemed insufficient compensation. In time-trouble, the Russian misplayed the position and got close to defeat. Thanks to a beautiful rook sacrifice, however, he found a miracle escape to a perpetual!

PGN string

Caruana is still in the lead and deservedly so! Tomorrow the last round will start at 1.00 p.m.

Text by Yannick Pelletier, analysis by the players

Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 | Pairings & results

Round 1 23.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 4 27.02.13 15:00 CET
Caruana ½-½ Anand   Anand 0-1 Caruana
Kramnik ½-½ Gelfand   Gelfand ½-½ Kramnik
Round 2 24.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 5 28.02.13 15:00 CET
Kramnik ½-½ Anand   Gelfand ½-½ Anand
Gelfand ½-½ Caruana   Kramnik ½-½ Caruana
Round 3 25.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 6 01.03.13 13:00 CET
Anand ½-½ Gelfand   Anand - Kramnik
Caruana ½-½ Kramnik   Caruana - Gelfand

Zurich Chess Challenge | Round 5 standings



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Jocky's picture

what an nothing event to forget, roll on the candidates

Anonymous's picture

You probably understand less than 10% of what goes on in the games, and the players would probably always beat you if you had 5 minutes / move and they had 5 seconds / move. They played great games. Do not criticise that which you do not understand.

S3's picture

As if Jocky looks at the games.
Only results..

cmling's picture

Kramnik-Caruana. what a game! It again reminded me that I play game with the same name and the same pieces that had very little to do with what these gentlemen show me.

elgransenor1's picture

yes but you probably draw a lot less....

Thomas Oliver's picture

That's probably because cmling and his opponents make more mistakes. Today had two exchange sacrifice and a rook sacrifice by Kramnik to force perpetual check in the end. If tomorrow's games have two queen sacrifices and finish with draws, will people still complain?

roamingwind's picture

45 Re4 !! that's a move to remember. Anyone who complains about just-another-draw game should give up chess. Why waste one's time on something that one is unable to appreciate?

Harish Srinivasan's picture

The complainers have always been those who just look up the result and dont even bother looking up the game.
Then there are the little more serious players who try to go over the game but pay no attention to detail and just follow the computers's evaluation.
Finally, there are those real chess lovers, who look at analysis, probably play it over themselves to understand what had happened. As long as there is no complaints from this last section of people, nobody need be bothered.

Knight Rider's picture

Who cares if the games are drawn. What fights! What chess!

eric's picture

who cares? somebody should care!

TMM's picture

I predict two draws tomorrow... Anyone want to make a bet?

redivivo's picture

No, Caruana in sole lead with white against Gelfand will probably be content to play it safe, while Anand with white against Kramnik also sounds like a draw.

noyb's picture

You really have to pity the journalists and fans. It's hard to keep a smile on your face while the players just draw, draw, draw.

TMM - I'll take some of that action! lol Double or nothing on two more draws.

RealityCheck's picture

@noyb That "action" you took from TMM, n redvivio just bit you in the azzzzsszzzzsszzzss. This just proves, once again, you cats really know what your talking about. LOL

You really have to pity guys like "noyb" losing their shirt betting on the smear campaign.

MM78's picture

Fantastic tournament! Nearly every game is full of action!

MM78's picture

Fantastic tournament! Nearly every game is full of action!

elgransenor1's picture


MM78's picture

If you look at the game windows, on top of "1/2 1/2" you might notice some strange boldfaced symbols. Those are called "moves" . The action is in there. You need to know algebraic notation to figure this out, and it helps to reproduce the game on a chessboard. Fun is maximized if you try to guess the moves without engine help. Try it out and let me know.

elgransenor1's picture

most helpful! thanks!

bronkenstein's picture

Another entertaining round. I am especially amused by the way Vlad is ´exercising´ for candidates - it sometimes really resembles cat and mice, and he is repeatedly getting away with it, a sign of excellent form (and versatility).

Maybe Kasparov´s recent visit inspired him to somewhat re-invent himself? Anyway, combining this gamble with his trademark microplus nursing (since I somehow don´t believe that he will play the same way against, say, Magnus) can be crucial to winning the candidates.

redivivo's picture

I don't think you would say that Carlsen showed excellent form if he had played like Kramnik here. To me he has made more mistakes than expected, while none of his opponents show top form either.

PeterV's picture

Final round at 13.00 CET instead of 15.00. Or am I wrong?

Casey Abell's picture

For the hardest core of the hardcore fans, this may be an interesting tournament. But there's no way you're going to interest most people (and potential sponsors) if almost nothing ever happens except draws. Sorry for pointing out the painfully obvious, and I know I'll catch some grief for it. But there's a reason Aeroflot switched its tournament to all blitz and rapid. The reason is what we're seeing in Zurich.

The purists will complain, but that's the way things are in the real world. And yeah, I would bet on two more draws in the final round.

Thomas Oliver's picture

How many people did bet on two draws in the final round, and how much money was involved? Anand proved them wrong (or rather Kramnik who blundered?).

Anyway ... what did Aeroflot get by switching to rapid games? Many short draws in the final rounds of the qualifier (when securing a top32 spot became first or only priority), many drawn knockout matches (13 out of 39 were decided in an Armaggedon game).

Comparing chess to some other sports: A football match that finishes with a 4-4 may be much more exciting than a 1-0. But in chess the difference between 0-0, 1-1 and 4-4 is hard to quantify (certainly for those who don't look at the actual games). In running, a marathon where the winner finishes seconds ahead of the runner-up may be more exicting than one with a gap of several minutes - but in chess, the former results would be +0.1 in engine terms, hence a draw.

Jambow's picture

Well I'm early before the next round or late on this one. Anand just trounced Kramnik in a game that looks like vintage Anand, so far the most exciting game if not perfect. Creative tactically complex play by the champion is a good sign maybe this year Anand will play to win again at least occasionally.

Caruana looks like he might nurse a one pawn advantage home to win against Gelfand it will be tough but when on point this kid is up to the task.

Could be a good round lets see.

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