Chess - The Scotsman 25/06/13

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SOMETIMES, age and guile beats the vigour of youth in chess.

On the eve of his 45th birthday, Boris Gelfand, of Israel, the oldest player at the Tal Memorial in Moscow, celebrated in style on Sunday by being the unexpected winner of the tournament, taking the title ahead of six players half his age.

Gelfand, the last world title challenger, finished undefeated on 6/9, a half point ahead of the next title challenger, Magnus Carlsen. Along the way, Gelfand won three and drew six to reach a career peak rating of 2773 and a return to the Top 10 - not bad for an old guy!

It wasn’t so good a tournament, though, for the other old guys. World champion Viswanathan Anand, and the man he beat for the title, ex-champion Vladimir Kramnik, both finished uncharacteristically in the bottom two spots.

The key game for Gelfand came against front-runner Hikaru Nakamura. From today’s diagram, Gelfand snared the young American’s in a mating net with the stunning 43 ..Ng4!! If 44 c6 Nxe3 45 c7 Bg4 is checkmate; 44 Nxg4 Bf1 is also checkmate; and 44 Ndxf5 Bf3 followed by Nf2 is checkmate.

Final standings: 1. Gelfand, 6/9; 2. Carlsen, 5.5; 3-5. Caruana, Mamedyarov, Andreikin, 5; 6. Nakamura,

4.5; 7. Karjakin, 4; 8-9. Morozevich, Anand, 3.5; 10. Kramnik, 3.

H Nakamura - B Gelfand

8th Tal Memorial, (7)

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5 6 Ndb5 d6 7 Bg5 a6 8 Na3 b5 9 Bxf6 gxf6 10 Nd5 f5 11 c4 b4 12 Nc2 fxe4 13 g3 Bg7 14 Bg2 0–0 15 Bxe4 Rb8 16 b3 f5 17 Bg2 e4 18 Rb1 Qa5 19 0–0 Qxa2 20 Nde3 Qa5 21 Qxd6 Rf6 22 Qf4 Qe5 23 Qxe5 Nxe5 24 Nd5 Rf7 25 Ncxb4 a5 26 Nc2 Rfb7 27 Nce3

Nc6 28 c5 Rxb3 29 Nb6 Rxb1 30 Rxb1 Be6 31 Bf1 Bd4 32 Rb5 Kf7 33 Nec4 Kg7 34 Nd6 Kf6 35 Na4 e3 36 fxe3 Bxe3+ 37 Kg2 Bd5+ 38 Kh3 Rxb5 39 Bxb5 Ne5 40 Nc3 Bf3 41 Be2 Bxe2 42 Nd5+ Kg5 43 Nxe3 Ng4!! 44 Kg2 Nxe3+ 45 Kf2 Nc4 0–1