Third steady draw in World Cup final

Another uninspiring draw as Ponomariov's opening pull was negated by a timely king walk into the fray.
Tomorrow Gelfand has White in the last classical game, so is slight favourite to decide the tie in his favour.

No one seems willing to take big risks in the final!

Ponomariov opened with 1.d4 (avoiding Gelfand's ultra-solid Petroff defence!) and Gelfand reacted with the Slav. The choice of the low-risk 4.Qc2 variation by the Ukrainian, is symptomatic of the whole final so far. With Black reacting with a kingside fianchetto and the centre opening up, play resembled a Grünfeld Defence rather than a Slav.

White had a central majority and extra space, but the wily Israeli brought his king across the board and activated his rook while Ponomariov was grabbing a pawn. At the end there was nothing better than taking a repetition, otherwise Black was ready to seize the initiative.

Name (seeding)CountryRatingAgeClassical game 1Classical game 2Classical game 3
Ruslan Ponomariov(7)UKR2739260.50.50.5
Boris Gelfand(1)ISR2758410.50.50.5

Let's hope there is more of a lively fourth game, otherwise the match will end up being decided by the play-offs on Monday.

A couple of photos of the protagonists and more tomorrow!

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