Gelfand emerged the winner of the candidates match in Kazan with a clutch win against Grischuk who had shut down both Kramnik and Aronian, and without question had the hardest pairing in the cycle. Without a question, Gelfand fought hard and deserves his shot at the title, and yet, part of me wishes it had been Kamsky who emerged victorious.
In any case, many people complained about the format of the matches, with so few classical games neither player wanted to take risks and so we saw many boring draws which meant that the next challenger of the World Champion was essentially decided by blitz games. And yet, I still watched every day, rapt, as the players fought or at least pretended to, hoping and wishing for anyone other than Topalov or Kramnik. I guess we should all be happy that Gelfand won in that respect.
In any case, the following game was the one that put Gelfand into the next world championship match…let’s hope it’s in London.