Miguel Najdorf (born Mendel (Mieczysław) Najdorf (pictured above) in Grodzisk Mazowiecki near Warsaw, Poland, April 15, 1910 – died in Málaga, Spain, July 4, 1997) was a Polish-born Argentine chess grandmaster of Jewish origin, famous for his Najdorf Variation.
The first games of the two matches in the FIDE Candidates Semi-final were played today in Kazan. Both games ended in draws. The game between Kramnik and Grischuk began with Grischuk playing the white pieces.He essayed the Queen's Gambit, and Kramnik decided to play the Queen's Gambit Declined.Grischuk played the Bf4 variation. According to the Chessbase online database Kramnik's 10th move of 10...dxc4 was a theoretical novelty.The two players only played another 5 moves in the game before agreeing to a draw after Grischuk's 16th move. Kramnik will have the advantage of the white pieces in the second game tomorrow.
The other game between Gata Kamsky and Boris Gelfand also ended in a draw, with the players playing over twice as many moves as Grischuk and Kramnik did. Kamsky had the advantage of the White pieces in game one and he began the game with the move 1.e4 Gelfand answered by playing the move 1...c5 (The Sicilian Defense). On move five of this game Gelfand played the move 5...a6 (which resulted in the Najdorf variation). In reaction to this Kamsky played 6.Be3 and Gelfand reacted with the aggressive 6...e5. winning a tempo. Kamsky responded by playing 7.Nf3. and Gelfand continued the game with 7...Be7. The two players knew the opening theory of this variation very well. I say this because according to the Chessbase online database they followed known opening theory until Kamsky played the theoretical novelty 21.f3. Prior to this game the only move which had been played was 21.Qxc3 by Oleksienko (elo 2585) against Brodsky (2550) in a game at the Poltava tournament in 2008 (result draw in 50 moves). I will have some analysis of the Kamsky-Gelfand game later today on my blog. Here are the moves from both games played today in Kazan: