It has been hard to follow the FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk Siberia (see games at Chessgames.com), which seems like a chaotic awards show, with loads of great stars making only cameo appearances and very few memorable performances. That is until yesterday's Round 6 game between Sergey Karjakin and Boris Gelfand, which is very well annotated by Dennis Monokroussos. Karjakin resorted to a Giuoco Piano by a Bishop's Opening move order to sidestep the drawing power of the Petroff, but Gelfand had easy equality with a Two Knights set-up and an early d5 (a la Marshall). Then Karjakin ended up getting his head handed to him when he failed to play the standard 11.Qf3 inducing 11...Be6 and allowed Gelfand a neat Rook lift with 11....Ra6! (see diagram above) followed by Rg6 with attacking chances. You may be asking yourself (or you should) why not simply 12.Bxd5 Qxd5 13.Rxe7 winning a piece? Well, Black has a strong attack and at least a draw after 13...Rg6 (see Monokroussos's notes for details). A fascinating game right out of the opening, and probably right out of Gelfand's preparation.
- Gelfand bests Karjakin with Black at ChessBase (photos and some notes)
- Gelfand beats Karjakin on first day of semi-finals at ChessVibes (photos and brackets to follow the standings)