It was decided, both matches, in the blitz playoff with 3 or 4 second increment.
Grishuk defeats Kramnik
Gelfand defeats Kamsky
Quite the opposite of what I predicted.
Agressive defense seemed to be the story of this stage of the tournament. Whoever came up the most aggressive defense or counter-attack seemed to do well. There is no doubt that all of these players have exceptionally strong endgame technique, particularly defensively, so it seemed as if the match would go on forever and that the quicker time-controls were therefore warranted.
Kamsky fought hard for a win in every game, but I think it was poetic justice that Kramnik’s strategy of being unbeatable and being able to draw all games/openings as Black should fail to serve him as White, during the blitz control.
Kamsky was getting some great attacks, but it was starting to get away from him, as Gelfand came up with the most elusive defenses as Kamsky pressed harder. Their last game, Gelfand seemed to turn the tables on Kamsky’s attack, and I guess it was just the one time where there was no defense, not sure.
Kamsky did lose two games, although I wasn’t sure earlier because he resigned so quickly. He lost a bishop vs. knight ending. 4 pawns each but Gelfand had a passer and his bishop cut off the knight. The final game was “playing the man” rather than the board as Kamsky played a pawn sac as Black in the Dutch Defense. Definitely not good, but he needed a win, and accurate defense once he got counter-attacked was very difficult to go given that it’s blitz.
Kramnik, guess he might not be so strong at blitz now. The one game he lost, he drops a pawn, apparently didn’t see it. His final move he puts his rook on a square where knight takes won the exchange, bringing instant resignation. So he definitely seemed to be affected badly by the blitz format, IMHO. The other players seemed not as affected by it. Kramnik stayed up on the clock well by comparison, and I thought others were crazier how they would play it to the nubs. I felt the other three would have deserved any loss coming their way due to procrastination, particularly Kamsky and Grishuk.