Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 1

Round 1 of the 2012 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand was a spectacular contest. My only disappointment with the game is that it did not last longer.

Anand, as I had predicted, played 1. d4 to kick things off. It was Boris Gelfand’s choice of the Grunfeld Defense which surprised chess enthusiasts the world over. Gelfand, as far as I can tell, has never employed this opening in a serious game. The game quickly becomes complicated and the contestants rise to the occasion with very precise moves. I consider the draw to be a psychological win for Anand as he played very well against his opponent’s preparation. On the other side of the coin, Boris Gelfand must be pleased to get a half point with the black pieces as drawing with black and winning with white is a grand master recipe for success.

 

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow RUS”]

[Date “2012.05.11”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “D85”]

[Opening “Grünfeld”]

 

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Bb5+ {Rb1 is a favorite among players of the white pieces.} Nc6 9. d5 Qa5 {Black has scored better than white in this line. Its a good choice by Gelfand.} 10. Rb1 {White has only won 27% of the time from here. But as we see later, Anand is at home in this position.} a6 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. O-O Qxa2 13. Rb2 {This move is an invention by Anand. Both should be in unchartered territory here. However, I get the feeling that Gelfand had even prepared for this.} Qa5 14. d6 Ra7 15. Bg5 exd6 16. Qxd6 Rd7 17. Qxc6 Qc7 18. Qxc7 Rxc7 19. Bf4 Rb7 20. Rc2 {Ra2 would have been a more aggressive choice.} O-O 21. Bd6 Re8 22. Nd2 f5 {I was surprised by this move. But why not? Anand has no pieces that use light diagonals left.} 23. f3 fxe4 24. Nxe4 Bf5 {I like black’s position better here. Too bad the game did not continue. It could have been a very interesting endgame study.} 1/2-1/2

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One Response to “Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 1”

  1. Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 3 « Chess Musings Says:

    […] World Chess Championship began with Anand playing 1. d4 and Gelfand playing a Grunfeld as in round 1. As we would expect, Anand’s team has done some preparation with the current world champion […]

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