First Round of Drawndidates Concludes

Of the first 16 games at the FIDE 2011 Candidates matches in Kazan Russia 14 were draws. The only players to claim a victory in classical time controls will face each other in the next round, which I hope will make for some interesting chess. I love the Queen’s Gambit Declined, honestly I do, and Anand’s use of it to destroy Topa in the final game of the last World Championship has made the Lasker variation fashionable indeed. However, some of these games are so risk free as to make me wonder if either player is even looking for any imbalance.

Having said that, there certainly were some fantastic draws as well, such as this morning’s game between Topalov and Kamsky. Kamsky managed to draw what should have been Topalov’s victory to save him from elimination today, instead Kamsky will go on to face Gelfand while Topa will go home. Here is game 4 between Topalov and Kamsky: