FIDE candidate match results

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.

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3 thoughts on “FIDE candidate match results

  1. I watched all this today. I was shocked when Gelfand missed a discovered attack in rapid game 3, losing queen for the rook and thought it was over, but he managed to win game 4 and then blitz. I agree about aggressive defense, the same thing happened(s) in Stanley Cup playoffs.
    I think this format definitely favors Gelfand and Grishuk – one winner of the World Cup with a similar schedule and another winner of the World Blitz Championship. Anyway, it’s good that we will see a new candidate for the match with Anand, I just hope that Anand won’t be too strong for him and it will be a real battle.

  2. Oh yeah, I didn’t notice that until you pointed it out, guess I couldn’t tell by looking at them.

    There was one game where Kamsky (as Black) could have taken Gelfand’s rook with knight, this was yesterday, passed pawn scenario and all pieces of both sides bunched up around it, and didn’t do it, and the Gelfand moved it rightly on the next move (Rb1). It looked over.

    I just noticed, Gelfand agreed to a draw a game – round 2.8 – in a position where he is up -11 according to Crafty. Naturally, I had wondered, and I think even the arbiter lady was confused by the draw. hehe.

    Right, they moved fast. Should be a more interesting match against Anand. I don’t know how good Grishuk really is, but at least he can keep up with Anand. I think they will end up playing.

    Funny about Stanley cup playoffs. Vancouver seems to be the team to beat because they have speed and size. Boston looks like they could win the whole thing, scoring talent, but they totally look they are going in slow-mo half the time, lollygagging, getting the puck up the ice slowly. I think Boston should beat Tampa Bay and not be afraid of the press of their small, fast forwards, but some of their D like Caberle, man Luc Robitaille could skate faster than some of these guys.

  3. I think the chances are 50:50 in the final.
    Regarding Stanley Cup playoffs – I thought that Tampa is stronger, but after seeing yesterday’s game for me it’s too close to call. Boston looked very good (except for the allowed goals), and even our poor criticized Kaberle could get 2 assists.

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