Final round:
Showdown at the Paradeplatz and a fantastic performance by the Italian youngstar!

Showdown at the Paradeplatz and a fantastic performance by the Italian youngstar! Fabiano Caruana - Boris Gelfand 1 : 0
Viswanathan Anand - Vladimir Kramnik 1 : 0

F. Caruana- B. Gelfand
A draw would have been sufficient to win the tournament, but Fabiano wanted more! In a quiet Catalan, he maintained the two bishops and managed to win a pawn after Gelfand´s dubious 21…e5. In the resulting endgame, he kept the pressure high until black eventually caved in.

V. Anand - V. Kramnik
In a solid Berlin-Ruy Lopez, Vladimir Kramnik launched an usual pawn attack on the queenside. The position remained balanced until the Russian committed the blunder of the tournament. Instead, he could have drawn quite easily with 20…Nxh3! 21.gxh3 Qd7 and a perpetual. Vishy Anand obviously seized the opportunity and moved up to second place.

An eventful last round in this memorable tournament! Hope to see you again next year!

Pictures (as always): Georg Kradolfer
Text: Yannick Pelletier and Werner Hug

Final rankings

1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2810  *** ½*0  ½*½ ½*½
2 Anand, Viswanathan 2780 ½*1  ***  ½*0 ½*½ 3
3 Caruana, Fabiano 2757 ½*½ ½*1  *** ½*1 4
4 Gelfand, Boris 2740 ½*½  ½*½ ½*0  ***

Round 5: Fabiano Caruana still in sole lead

Fabiano Caruana still in sole lead Boris Gelfand - Viswanathan Anand ½ : ½
Vladimir Kramnik - Fabiano Caruana ½ : ½

The rule is: suspense in every round!

Gelfand - Anand Another Catalan, where Vishy Anand sticked to the line he played successfully in round 2 against Kramnik. Just when it seemed that white would get a clear advantage with 19.Nd2, Boris Gelfand decided to sacrifice the exchange. He certainly got 2 pawns and a nice grip on the position, but later allowed the exchange of all his heavy pieces. The ensuing endgame did not give him any serious winning prospects.

Kramnik - Caruana Fabiano Caruana continues holding his own, even against strong pressure from the former World Champion. Vladimir Kramnik chose an unusual reversed Benoni and built up an attack on the light squares. Not willing to go down quickly, the Italian decided to part with the exchange for what seemed insufficient compensation. In time-trouble, the Russian misplayed the position and got close to defeat. Thanks to a beautiful rook sacrifice, however, he found a miracle escape to a perpetual

Fabiano Caruana is still in the lead and deservedly sol. Tomorrow the last round will start at 1.00 p.m.

Pictures (as always): Georg Kradolfer
Text: Yannick Pelletier and Werner Hug

1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2810  *** ½  ½*½ ½*½
2 Anand, Viswanathan 2780 ½  ***  ½*0 ½*½ 2
3 Caruana, Fabiano 2757 ½*½ ½*1  *** ½ 3
4 Gelfand, Boris 2740 ½*½  ½*½ ½  ***

Round 4: The spell is broken!!!

Round 2: Both games end in a drawViswanathan Anand - Fabiano Caruana: 0 : 1
Boris Gelfand - Vladimir Kramnik: ½ : ½

V. Anand - F. Caruana
In a complicated Spanish game, Vishy Anand made a dubious exchange sacrifice. Our guest star Garry Kasparov was not at all convinced that the compensation proved sufficient. Indeed, after the time-control, Fabiano Caruana displayed his usual clean technique, forced the exchange of rooks, and left the World Champion in a hopeless situation.

B. Gelfand - V. Kramnik
What a mind-boggling, fascinating game! Vladimir Kramnik found himself fighting against his pet opening, the Catalan. Slowly getting into a strategically dubious position, the Russian sought salvation in a fierce counter-attack and sacrificed a knight! Boris Gelfand, faced with enormous practical problems which cost him plenty of time, missed the way to a clear advantage. This ressource 29.R4e3!, however, did not escape the attention of our illustrious guest. The following endgame turned out to be unexpectedly pleasant for black. But this was not enough to prove decisive, and draw was a fair result.

A participant finally takes the lead after this 4th round. Caruana has definitely shown very convincing chess so far. The tension is growing before the last 2 rounds.


Text: Yannick Pelletier and Werner Hug
Pictures: Georg Kardolfer

1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2810  *** ½  ½ ½*½ 2
2 Anand, Viswanathan 2780 ½  ***  ½*0 ½
3 Caruana, Fabiano 2757 ½ ½*1  *** ½
4 Gelfand, Boris 2740 ½*½  ½ ½  *** 2

Round 3: Two draws and Kasparov in town!

Round 3: Both games end in a draw Viswanathan Anand - Boris Gelfand: ½ : ½
Fabiano Caruana - Vladimir Kramnik: ½ : ½

Two further draws in the 3rd round of the Zurich Chess Challenge 2013, but “What a tremendous day!” exclaim both commentators Yannick Pelletier and Werner Hug.


In this remake of the World Championship match of last year, the Indian tried the unusual 6.h3 against the Najdorf. But Boris Gelfand reacted actively by sacrificing a pawn. His compensation was in doubt for a while, but Vishy Anand did not play most accurately in the complications. After the smoke had cleared, black held the endgame rather comfortably.



The young Italian was again involved in the more exciting game of the day. Thanks to subtle manoeuvres, he reached an advantage in a Benoni opening - a very rare guest in Vladimir Kramnik's black games. But with very active play, the Russian managed to obtain counter chances. Gary Kasparov joined the commentators after the time-control and preferred black's possibilities. But Fabiano Caruana found a surprising way to hold the balance with 43.d6! and earned a well-deserved half point.


After six draws in as many games, none of the participants has been able to take the lead. The second part of the tournament will start on Wednesday after the rest day.



1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2810  *** ½  ½ ½
2 Anand, Viswanathan 2780 ½  ***  ½ ½
3 Caruana, Fabiano 2757 ½ ½  *** ½
4 Gelfand, Boris 2740 ½  ½ ½  ***

Round 2: Despite great fighting spirit: Two more draws

Round 2: Both games end in a draw V. Kramnik - V. Anand: ½ : ½
B. Gelfand - F. Caruana: ½ : ½


The second day of the Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 also ended without decisive games.



The Russian champion managed to transpose into his beloved Catalan through an unusual move order. But he did obtain any advantage against Anand's solid variation. The game was played out deeply into a rook ending, but a peaceful outcome was never in doubt.



Boris Gelfand introduced a new idea in a topical variation of the Grunfeld. But Caruana reacted excellently by giving back the sacrificed pawn in order to fight for the initiative. As on day 1, however, he committed an inaccuracy before the time-control, but eventually found his way to a draw. This was obviously the game of the day!


As all games ended in a draw so far, the four participants remain neck and neck in the standings.


Round 1: Both games end in a draw Fabiano Caruana - Viswanathan Anand: ½:½
After a calm beginning the game finally ended in a tense struggle. Caruana showed once again the ability to setup pressure even in an unspectacular position. According to Anand he had to find several times the only move. Shortly before the time control, Caruana wrongfully passed on a repetion of moves and lost a pawn.
Shocked by this unexpected tourn he missed the immediate draw (42. Qf3). Nevertheless he could bring the game to a drawn end by precise and active defence.
Vladimir Kramnik - Boris Gelfand: ½:½
White played an unusual and original opening. Already after few moves both players spent a fair amount of their time. Slowly Kramnik successfully managed to reach an ending with a small plus. But Gelfand showed his class and whithstood the pressure.


Opening Ceremony Blitz

Fabiano Caruana won the blitz event after the opening ceremony of the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2013». The result of this event was used for the drawing of lots for the main tournament.

Final Ranking

1 Caruana, Fabiano 2757 3056 *** ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 5 11.25
2 Kramnik, Vladimir 2810 2879 ½ 0 *** 1 ½ 1 1 4 7.75
3 Gelfand, Boris 2740 2591 0 ½ 0 ½ *** 0 ½ 1.5 5.25
4 Anand, Viswanathan 2780 2578 0 0 0 0 1 ½ *** 1.5 5.25