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Boris Gelfand vs Sergey Karjakin
Tal Memorial (2011), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Nov-18
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-18-11  Jamboree: Gelfand in this tournament feels like he has something to prove -- to justify the fact that he alone among the participants is going to challenge for the World Championship -- so he is playing for wild aggressive attacks in every game, even when the position does not merit it. So far, it has been backfiring -- these modern 2750+ players are the best defenders in the chess history, and they will punish you if you try to launch an attack baselessly.

Gelfand has proven many times in the past that if he wants he can just sit there and draw all of these players with little effort. But that wouldn't seem champion-worthy -- so he's trying to blow them out of the box, like Tal or Morphy. No dice.

Gelfand just needs to settle down and remember that he kicked all these guys' asses in the first place in order to get the world championship berth, so he doesn't need to prove anything anymore. Play what the position demands. If it's a draw, then accept that it's a draw, and not go wild.

Nov-18-11  Marmot PFL: Polgar pointed out that 54...Bxh2+ is something like mate in 15 or wins the queen, but most players won't calculate all that when there are easier wins.
Nov-18-11  Marmot PFL:
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  piltdown man: I hope I'm wrong, but I think big bad Boris is going to get creamed when he plays vicious Vishy.
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  piltdown man: (Next year, of course - in this tournament it'll be a draw).
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  HeMateMe: The Gelfand/Anand match will be very quiet, with very few decisive games. Anand will wait for a mistake, something he can pounce on. Such opportunities will be few and far between.
Nov-19-11  ounos: I'd like to highlight the 'natural' 22nd move, which in fact defined the character of the rest of the game. This quickly started to look as a serious strategic mistake, since the inability of Rh3 to help at the queen side if need be, it meant that white had to bet the farm on making something happen on the king side.I was impressed with the tactical resources Boris came up with, to untangle himself and avert an immediate collapse on his left. What jamboree sees as a 'baseless attack', I only see as an elaborate freeing maneuver, starting from a defensive point of view, since his left wing couldn't stand by itself for long.
Nov-19-11  serenpidity.ejd: Boris is treating this tournament (and the next )as a preparation for his match against Anand next year. Winning tournaments is the farthest thing in his mind at this point of time. Experimentation is the call. Don't be surprised if he performs below on what is expected. This is a chess strategy, psychological or otherwise. He has 'secrets and surprises' to protect until the BIG MATCH. The same can be said to Anand.
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  HeMateMe: A once in a lifetime opportunity for Gelfand to line up two huge paydays, 1) winning the first match, 2) defending it at least once.
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  brankat: Very nicely played by Sergey.
Nov-20-11  outplayer: i do not like the move 14.Rad1. it's not a good strategy to let the kingside be weakened. Gelfand pay the price for that in the long run.
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