This event is one of the strong chess events of the year where four strong players facing each other in double round robin with classical time control of 2 hours for 40 moves, 1 hour for the next 20 moves and 15 minutes plus a 30-second increment for the remaining of the game. In case of a draw before move 40, an additional exhibition game will be played (result not counting).
Participants of the tournament are:
- Vladimir Kramnik – 2810
- Vishy Anand – 2780
- Fabiano Caruana – 2757
- Boris Gelfand – 2740
Both games in round 1 ended in draw where in a game between Anand and Caruana, Caruana has slight (according to experts) but did not convert it to full point because of time trouble. In fact because of some improper play by Italian, Anand took the initiative but didn’t manage to win. In the second game between Karmnik and Gelfand where Karmnik played unusual opening with Nf3 and b3 on second move but game ended in draw after 59 moves.
The game between Anand and Karmnik started with strange move led to standard Catalan set up. There is statement by expert on the endgame position ‘The variation improved by Kramnik has practical value, and I’m sure he would win the resulting endgames against 90% of grandmasters, but Vishy just happens to be in the other 10%’. Draw was agreed after 41 moves in rook ending while in the second game Gelfand found the way to draw in problematic position.
Gelfand went for pawn sacrifice in the opening against Anand by playing Najdrof but eventually managed to cripple white’s pawn structure and game ended in a draw. After the game in the press conference Gelfand argued against the commentator’s statement that ‘People like to see decisive results.’
‘The game is interesting. The result is just for statistics. I found out that the people who are interested, and who look at the games, they don’t care much [about the results]. But a lot of people in the chess world only look at the results and think chess is boring. ‘As an example he gave the Kings’ Tournament in Bucharest in November last year, which saw a lot of draws but many great fights. Later Gelfand said: Many people say that the computer shows that chess is dead, but actually it’s the opposite: it shows how many possibilities there are!Anand agreed: ‘Watching chess with the computer is a mistake, because this way you miss all the emotions. I think it’s better to at least think for yourself a little bit, try and get these moments, and then use the computer to check if your conclusions were correct.’ While the other game between Caruana and Karmnik ended in draw after Caruana having positional advantage out of the opening.
Games at Zurich: