Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 3

Game three of the 2012 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 on how to counter Boris Gelfand’s new-found strategy. Their strategy of playing 3. f3 nearly produced the first decisive result of the match. Fortunately for Boris Gelfand, Viswanathan Anand missed a possible winning line late in the game and thus did not cash in on his team’s preparation.

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.14”]

[Round “3”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 {Boris Gelfand is probably going “back to the well” of the Grunfeld. Before game 1, he had never employed this defense in serious play.} 3. f3 {Anand has prepared an Anti-Grunfeld for this game.} d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 {This line gives white a beautiful pawn center.} Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 {Black gets a long diagonal for his bishop and easier castleing as compensation for the center.} 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 e5 9. d5 {Anand is happy to keep blacks’s pawn on e5 which limites the value of Gelfand’s Bishop.} c6 {Trying to open the center since white has not castled and attacking white’s space advantage.} 10. h4 {This exciting attacking move is the only choice worth considering for white.} cxd5 11. exd5 {White gets an isolated passed pawn.} N8d7 12. h5 {These moves are straight out of many books on the Grunfeld.} Nf6 13. hxg6 fxg6 14. O-O-O Bd7 15. Kb1 Rc8 16. Ka1 {Nh3 seems more natural here. However, stronger players than myself have played Anand’s move.} e4 {Boris Gelfand’s novelty certainly seems to make sense.} 17. Bd4 Na4 18. Nge2 Qa5 {Gelfand is getting good activity for his pieces.} 19. Nxe4 {Nowe they are basically equal and heading toward an endgame.} Qxd2 20. Nxf6+ Rxf6 21. Rxd2 Rf5 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. d6 Rfc5 {Slightly better here is getting the knight off the rim and back to b6.} 24. Rd1 a5 25. Rh4 {Anand gets his other rook to have more presense in the game.} Rc2 26. b3 Nb2 27. Rb1 Nd3 28. Nd4 Rd2 29. Bxd3 Rxd3 {Gelfand has survived the tricky maneuver but Anand still has the passed pawn.} 30. Re1 Rd2 31. Kb1 {This is where Anand should have “went for it” and played Re7+. Instead, he takes the safe route.} Bf5+ 32. Nxf5+ gxf5 33. Re7+ Kg6 34. Rc7 {Again Anand elects not to play the most aggressive move. Surely d7 would have given Gelfand more trouble.} Re8 35. Rh1 Ree2 36. d7 {Too late now.} Rb2+ 37. Kc1 Rxa2 1/2-1/2


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