1. e4 c5 We are going to witness a sicilian game today!
2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 So far going as the first game Kamsky - Topalov
6. Be3 Kamsky goes away from the plan a4-a5. It was clearly Topalov specific preparation, now against Gelfand he continues with standart theory.
6... e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O Be6 IM Gozzoli: Kamsky and Gelfand are also playing a fashionable line the Be3-Nf3 setup against the Najdorf ..e5. The players are playing moves very quickly and are still following theory. A big battle will start to win the control of the d5 square while Black will try to organize counterplay against the c2 and e4 as quick as possible.
10. Bb3 Nc6 11. Qe2 Na5 12. Rfd1 Nxb3 13. axb3 Qc7 14. Bg5 Nh5 IM Gozzoli: ....Nh5 is still a theorical move. Black don't want to let white exchange the Bg5 against the Nf6 because it will let Black with a bad dark square bishop while White will get two knights in order to reach the d5 square. The text move prevents this exchange and is planning to exchange the bad bishop in order to keep the Knight to fight for the d5 square. FM Jonathan Rosenthal: the forcing line 15.Nxe5 Bxg5 16.Qxh5 Bf6 17.Nf3 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 should be ok for black. IM Gozzoli: White has two moves ( and a third which is Bg5-e3 but it's allowing repetition. ) 14.Ne1 and 14.Nxe5. The first one looks more "logical" to me ! White has a spacial advantage and a fine outpost for the Knighs on d5 so why to open the center ? after 14.Ne1 Bxg5 15.Qxh5 white can continue with Nd3-b4-d5 for exemple while Black will try to developp typical "Sveshnikov" counterplay by pushing a quick ...f5 in order to contest the White cramp on the center
15. Nxe5 Bxg5 16. Qxh5 Bf6 17. Nf3 Bxc3 18. bxc3 Qxc3 19. Nd4 IM Gozzoli: after the forced moves the position is still theorical and Blacks seem to be fine here. Ok we can point out the weakness of the d6 pawn, but what about c2 ? There is a dynamical balance here, the counterplay on c file seems to be enough to compensate the slighly worse pawn structure
19... Rfe8 20. Qa5 IM Gozzoli: Kamsky Gelfand is still following theory. White wants to exchange Queens in order to releave the pressure over the c2 pawn. Then the dominating Nd4 will have an edge over the Be6 locked behind white's structure.
20... Rac8 21. f3 Qxa5 22. Rxa5 Rc3 IM Gozzoli: So we have finally obtained this interesting ending with the eternal question whom from the Bishop or the Knight is stronger ? Visually it seems that Nd4 is clearly better, he is in a great central position, protecting the only white weakness on c2. But how to improve the position ? Maybe there is an interesting idea to bring the King to b2 then playing Rd2-e2 in order to chase the annoying c3 rook then trying to play c2-c3 or c2-c4 and reorganize pieces against the d6 pawn. The big problem of moving the c pawn is that it weakened the b3 pawn, that's why i would like to bring my king first to b2. But ok Black will not stand and wait to be crush...
23. Kf2 IM Gozzoli: Furthermore, the White's rooks are perfectly placed for the moment, especially the a5 one because it controls all the possible pawn advance on the 5th rank, especially the d6-d5 push !
23... Kf8 24. Rda1 IM Gozzoli: Rda1 is not so mysterious ! The point is to reach the b4 square in order to put pressure on the b7 pawn and from there it can also reach b6 to fix the queenside structure and attack the two weaknesses on b7-d6
24... Rec8 25. Ke1 Ke7 26. Kd2 R3c5 IM Gozzoli: Gelfand contests the 5th rank which will allows him to find counterplay on the Kingside by pushing pawns and on the center, pushing d6-d5, that's why 27.c4 looks to be a very serious candidat. White has a slight but lasting advantage. You can also appreciate the prophylactic 24.Rda1 which allows white to push c4 in time. If the rook wasn't there so black would be threatened to take the rook or to play d6-d5 ! 27. R5a4 IM Gozzoli: Kamsky is applying a very important rule in chess ! "the side that has spacial advantage shouldn't exchange opponent pieces !" This is a very hard move to play because it means that Kamsky accepted the pressure over his c2 pawn. He is still planning to play c2-c4 and/or Ra4-b4.
27... f5 IM Gozzoli: 25...f5 ?! it looks very strange to me.. Blacks are weakening their pawn structure.. After 26.exf5 Bxf5 27.Rb4 followed by Re1 and g2-g4 it looks that white has a very good advantage..
28. Rb4 R8c7 29. exf5 Bxf5 30. Re1+ Kf7 31. Rb6 IM Gozzoli: A very unpleasant position for Black. Kamsky is applying maximum pressure over the weaknesses and it's not so easy for Black to create counterplay..Time pressure is here for Kamsky but not sure it will be decisve because at this level they can play the position "with hand"
31... Rd5 32. c3 Bc8 33. b4 Re7 IM Gozzoli: it looks like Gelfand missed a good opportunity to activate his position with 33...Rc6. After the forced 34.Rc6 bc6, the threat c5 is very annoying for White but it looks like after a long sequence starting with 35.Kd3 c5 36.bc5 dc5 37.Kc2 Rg5 38.h4 Rxg2 39.Kxc5 we have a complicated ending with passed pawn for both players and where it's not clear whom of the bishop or the knight is stronger...
34. Ra1 FM Jonathan Rosenthal: what happens if black decides to just bring his king to c7? on b5 he may be able to sacrifice with a5!?
34... Ke8 35. b5 Rc7 36. bxa6 bxa6 And draw was agreed. White is slightly better but Black can organize counterplay against c3 pawn now.. probably the key point for white was at move 33 when he decided to push b4, which weakened definitly the c3 pawn... Will be interesting to see how Gelfand will deal with Kamsky's Grunfeld tomorrow, but I bet on 1.c4 ! Stay tuned for a video analysis here and more news, thanks for following with me IM Gozzoli on ChessBomb.com and Chessdom.com! ½-½
Last edited by picasso on Thu 12 May 2011, 6:31 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : final result)