SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
After losing the first game of the mini-match with the White pieces yesterday, Karjakin must have realized that his chances today were less than 1%. It is almost impossible to beat a strong, in-form grandmaster like Boris Gelfand with the Black pieces without some help. And certainly Boris was not going to oblige!
Unless FIDE changes the nature of these mini-matches, players will continue to see that an unfortunate loss will be the end of their dreams and aspirations for the title!
In anycase, Boris Gelfand is on a roll! Clearly the best player amongst the remaining contestants, today’s game was even sweeter than yesterday’s.
I have figured it out!
A little bit of that magic potion Boris carries with him…
Et voila: Kick-Ass Boris Gelfand!!
Gelfand, B. – Karjakin, Sergey
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. Bd2
Gelfand only needs a draw in order to advance to the finals. Otherwise he might have tried the more ambitious 12. e4!? which has been scoring very well for White in recent praxis
12… e5 Karjakin needs to provoke complications. 12… a6!? often just transposes
13. Rac1 a6 14. b4
This position is known to theory. In hindsight, it appears that Karjakin was not that familiar with it.
White tries to prevent …c5 by tactical means.
Also seen is 14… exd4 15. exd4 Rfe8 16. h3 Qb8 17. Qb3 Nd5 18. Nxd5 cxd5 Sorokin Maxim – Suvrajit Saha, Mumbai 2003 Ch Commonwealth
15. Bd3!? This Bishop will be worth its weight in gold later!
There are alternatives: 15. Ra1 Rf8 was agreed drawn in Ftacnik – Korneev , Austria , Bundesliga 2006/07 . As well as 15. h3 and 15. a3. Boris’ move looks best.
15… Bxb4!? Karjakin must invite complications 16. Ng5 !
Now correct and quite satisfactory for Black is 16… Nf8! 17. Nxb5 axb5 18. Bxb4 exd4 19. exd4 Qf4
as in Soltau Achim – Van Kempen Heinz 2554 , corr. 1/ 6/2004 Ch World (corr.) (final) XVIII
After this mistake Black will not be able to recover.
17. Nxb5 !
17… axb5 18. Bh7!
Probably Karjakin missed this move. Now the game is over since the King can not go into the corner. (because of mate in 1!)
18… Kf8 19. Bxb4 check!
19… c5 20. dxc5 Bc6 Black must prevent the c-pawn from advancing
21. Be4 Simple play. Rybka also likes 21. Nxf7!? Kxf7 22. Bg6 Kf8 23. Bxe8 Rxe8 24. f3, but in the present game such play is unnecessary and can easily backfire.
21… Nb8 A horrible move to make, but necessary in order to meet the threat of capturing on c6 and Rd6! followed by the advance of the c-pawn. You can almost feel sorry for Black in this position! Almost…
22. Nh7 Nxh7 23. Bxh7
Now Gelfand intends to double on the d-line and wait for Black to start crying! So Karjakin plays his only trump: trying to capture the Bishop on h7….
23… g6 24. Rd6! Re7 Note that 24… Kg7 is even worse: 25. Bxg6 fxg6 26. Rxg6 Kf8 27. Qf5 and it is all over 25. h4 h5 26. Bxg6!
This was bound to happen, and Karjakin knew it, but his only chance in a desperate position is to provoke the devil and hope that he slips up. Unfortunately for Black, Gelfand is in top form.
26… fxg6 27. Qxg6 Rxa2 28. Rcd1
What a crushing position! White builds up threat after threat…the end comes quickly
28… Rf7 29. Qh6! Rybka says mate forced in 13 moves! 29… Rg7 30. Qf6 Kg8 31. Rd8 Kh7 32. Qf5 Rg6 33. Qxh5 Rh6 34. Qf5 [1:0]
It must have come as a relief for Karjakin to resign.
GOOD LUCK TO BORIS IN THE FINALS!
POST GAME INTERVIEW!
Boris Gelfand is the first finalist of the World Cup 2009. Having defeated Sergey Karjakin in the classical games, the Israeli chess player secured an additional rest day before the final Round.
• The result of the first game had a great influence on the second, – says Boris. – Sergey had a tremendously difficult task: to win back at any cost. But it is very difficult to achieve with black. We both like classical chess. Therefore Sergey’s problems were doubled. Anyway we had a praiseworthy battle. My opponent chose a “correct” opening; he was not trying to make a mess there by playing unusual variations. But at one point he had to go far and as a result he was under my attack and lost.
• What feelings does the first finalist have?
• Only positive emotions. This is first time when I managed to qualify to the finals in the knock out tournament. I cannot say that I had an easy way to go. My opponents were stronger and stronger in every next Round. I could win three matches only in the tie breaks. It was a great surprise that was able to qualify to the finals winning in the classical games of the semi finals. But it is too early to relax, I should get prepared to the decisive duel.
• Can we say that the qualification to the finals of the World Cup is the most significant achievement in your career?
• Not really. So far the best result was the fight for the second place at the World Chess Championship 2007 in Mexico. But the World Cup is not over yet.
• At two previous World Cups you were working with the famous Grandmaster Alexander Huzman. Now you have a new second. Tell us about him?
• Yes, sure. My second is Maxim Rodshtein. I think that in the nearest future he will occupy the second position in the Top list of Israel.
• Shall we expect a new reinforcement in Israeli chess?
• Let me leave this question open, – says Boris enigmatically.
• Do you know your score in the games against Ponomariov and Malakhov.
• The score is equal with Ponomariov: 4 or 5 draws. I played only once with Malakhov – 1-0.
• Whom would you like to have as your opponent in the finals?
I don’t think about it, I think about my game. Let the worthiest win…