GM Boris Gelfand vs. GM Vladimir Kramnik
Opening: E06: Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
Player(s): Gelfand, Kramnik
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Fabiano Caruana and Vishy Anand headed straight from Germany to Switzerland for the Zurich Chess Challenge. There they formed a foursome with Boris Gelfand and Vladimir Kramnik. I think the format left a lot to be desired. With only two games per round and twelve total in the entire tournament, there were not many opportunities to produce memories.
Indeed, there were only three decisive games in the whole event, and blunders played a major role in those games. Caruana won two of those games and won what should have been his second straight tournament victory; just the same, he is on a very nice roll.
It shouldn't be surprising that one of the draws provided more entertainment value than the decisive games. In the fourth round, Gelfand and Kramnik dueled in an opening especially important for both of them. The two Catalan experts generated interesting complications that they could hardly work out over the board. I'll try to make a little more sense of it in this week's show.