Two fighting draws in Zurich’s first round

The Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 has begun in Switzerland. The four invited players proved they came with a lot of fighting spirit, looking for a full point during the whole game, and signing draws only when it was absolutely clear that it was pointless to keep playing.

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Vladimir Kramnik played with white against Boris Gelfand. The Russian chose a harmless opening, probably hiding his preparation for the upcoming Candidates Tournament. Both players looked for opportunities to get a small edge without risking too much. The queens disappeared from the board on move 17 and it seemed like the draw would not take much longer to arrive. However, the experienced grandmasters kept searching for opportunities in an opposite-colored bishops position. As was expected, neither of them made a considerable mistake and the draw was agreed on move 59.

Fabiano Caruana and Viswanathan Anand played their third game in this month. Anand defeated the Italian in Baden-Baden last week, after Caruana led the race almost from the beginning. Today, the World Champion, playing with black, chose the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense. The Indian obtained a dynamically equal position with a lot of play for both sides. Eventually, black won a pawn, but it was not enough to get the full point, given the activity of the white pieces. This draw took longer – 65 moves.

Round 2 pairings:

Vladimir Kramnik – Viswanathan Anand
Boris Gelfand – Fabiano Caruana

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