Archive for the ‘Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012’ Category

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Tie Break

May 30, 2012

In a few hours the world will know the winner of the 2012 FIDE World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand. Because the Anand-Gelfand match ended with both players achieving 6 points, a tie break match will now occur.

The tie break rules for Anand-Gelfand 2012 are very simple. First Anand and Gelfand will play up to four games with 25 minutes and the clock and ten seconds added per move. Should either player accumulate more than two points in this set of four games, that player will be crowned World Chess Champion by FIDE. If after four rapid games both players are tied with two points, then there will be a series of “lightning” chess games played. The time control in the lightning chess games will be 5 minutes with a 3 second increment. The first set oat lightening speed will consist of two games. If no one comes out ahead another set will be played. This process can repeat until there are five sets of two lightning games played. If after 10 lightning chess games the players are still tied, one Armageddon chess game will be played to decide the FIDE World Chess Championship. In Armageddon chess, white starts with five minutes and black only receives four minutes. However, black wins if the game is a draw.

Using rapid chess games to decide the World Chess Championship will put enormous strain on Anand and Gelfand. Both combatants will need to maintain absolute focus on the chess board while dealing with the adrenaline rush of speed chess. The Winner will be crowned FIDE World Chess Champion and get approximately $500,000 more from the prize fund.

So who do I think will win tonight? If you asked me who would win tie breaks before the match began I would have said Viswanathan Anand. Anand was known for being a very strong speed chess player and has dominated Gelfand at speed chess over the years. However, after watching the 12 games of the Anand-Gelfand match, I have changed my opinion on who has the advantage in tie breaks. It is clear that Anand played fearful chess against Boris Gelfand. Twice during the match, Anand could have continued play in an endgame with a great time advantage and twice Anand offered his opponent a draw seemingly because he feared  loosing. The fear factor should be amplified in speed chess games because the player with the greater focus will win the match. If Anand allows anxiety to hamper his chess focus, Boris Gelfand will be the next World Chess Champion. Therefor, I predict Boris Gelfand will be the 2012 World Chess Champion.

Watch here for live streaming video of the Anand-Gelfand Tie Break match.

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 12

May 29, 2012

In game 12 of the 2012 World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand, the reigning world champion caused excitement among his many fans by playing a rare opening line which left his opponent perplexed and with little time to discover the best path out of his troubles.  Gelfand responded by giving up two pawns to increase the mobility of his pieces. After arriving to a fairly complicated endgame with a huge time advantage, Anand, again offered his opponent a draw and failed to take advantage of the his opponent’s clock troubles. At some point, Anand has to be willing to play on and play for a win. If he doesn’t, I fail to see the point in defending his title unless it is purely for the money.

Because the match is tied after 12 games, a rapid game tie break match will now occur. After drawing colors, the combatants will play four games with 25 minutes and a ten second increment on the clock. I am saddened by the fact that the world chess championship will now be decided by rapid play rather than classical time controls. 25 minutes on the clock is seems hardly suitable for scholastic chess let alone the FIDE World Chess Championships.

Below is my analysis of game 12 from the 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship: (Try pasting the test into your favorite chess program for easier reading.)

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.28”]

[Round “12”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “B30”]

[Opening “Sicilian”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Anand Chooses the Rossolimo again. The main line classical variations of the Sicilian defence continue with 3 d4. The Rossolimo and its sibling the Moscow are useful weapons for white to have in his arsenal if he feels that his opponent is better prepared in the main line sicilians.} e6 4. Bxc6 {Anand wastes no time getting rid of his bishop pair.} bxc6 5. d3 {In game ten Anand played 5 b3. Here he chooses the most popular move.} Ne7 6. b3 {This is a very rare move at high level chess. However, Spassky drew with it against Gulko in 1990.} d6 {Boris Gelfand, after a long time thinking, plays a novelty. This is really a high-class “wait and see” move.} 7. e5 {Anand responded immediately with e5 which gives some evidence that he had prepared for Gelfand’s last move.} Ng6 8. h4 {Very agressive play by the current World Champion. Anand is willing to have a future liability to keep the pressure on his opponent.} Nxe5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Nd2 {This is Anand’s ingenious plan. He has given up a pawn to lock in his opponent’s bishops. Gelfand seems very frustrated.} c4 {Boris used 59 minutes to decide to give one pawn back so that he can use his bishops. I had actually considered this move during the match but thought it was very unlikely a top player would return his material advantage to gain mobility.} 11. Nxc4 Ba6 12. Qf3 {Obviously, Nxe5 fails when black plays Qa5+.} Qd5 {Boris Gelfand aims for an endgame where he has the bishop pair will be advantageous.} 13. Qxd5 cxd5 14. Nxe5 f6 {Gelfand has a pawn in the center and the bishop pair as compensation for being one pawn down. It’s incredibly exciting to see Boris give two pawns away for less concrete advantages than material.} 15. Nf3 e5 16. O-O Kf7 {Gelfand prepares to unify his rooks while keeping the future location of his dark bishop a mystery.} 17. c4 {Anand attacks his opponent’s center and attempts to erase one of Gelfand’s advantages.} Be7 18. Be3 Bb7 {Gelfand is preparing to play a5 and then a4.} 19. cxd5 Bxd5 20. Rfc1 a5 21. Bc5 Rhd8 22. Bxe7 {Anand agains offers a draw when his opponent is in time trouble and his world championship title is on the line. This not only disappoints his chess fans around the world but causes small earth tremors from the legions of deceased chess legends simultaneously rolling over in their graves .} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: The World Awaits Game 12

May 28, 2012

All eyes are on Moscow as Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand prepare to do battle one last time in this match at classical time controls. With the match tied at 5.5 a piece, Boris Gelfand has managed to silence his critics and stun the current World Champion Viswanathan Anand. For Anand, the comparisons between this match and his World Championship match against Topalov must be very appealing. It was in game 12 of the 2010 FIDE World Chess Championship that Anand was able to win as black and retain his title as World Chess Champion. The question on everyone’s mind’s is “will he do the same against Boris Gelfand?” Can Viswanathan Anand summon his chess super powers one last time to defeat Boris Gelfand and become the win the FIDE World Championship match of 2012?

As was the case for all the other games of this match, I will be providing in-depth analysis of Anand-Gelfand 2012 game 12 on this site. If you can’t wait for my analysis, I suggest that you watch the live streaming broadcast of game 12 of the 2012 World Chess Championship here.

Anand-Gelfand 2012: A Tale of Two Countries

May 28, 2012

It is common knowledge that the star of Israeli chess, Boris Gelfand, was born and trained in the Soviet Union. In 1998 he imigrated to Israel and immediately became the strongest player in the Israeli chess scene. Despite, leading the Israeli team to two Chess Olympiad medals, Boris Gelfand is not very well-known in his home country and many citizens of Israel are completely unaware that he is close to becoming the first Israeli world chess champion. Should Boris Gelfand manage to win the World Championship, I am sure it will be a mega jackpot for the ISF (Israeli Chess Federation) and the overall popularity of chess in Israel. Should Boris Gelfand fall short, he can return to sipping his coffee at the cafe without the slightest concern of being hounded by fans.

Viswanathan Anand is one of the most recognisable celebrities in all of India and has even been considered India’s greatest sporting talent ever. Anand achieved the admiration of a billion Indian people despite the fact that he declined to play for India in the Chess Olympiads, does not take part in chess tournaments organised by the All India Chess Federation and allowed his Indian citizenship to lapse when he became a citizen of Spain. Regardless of these indiscretions, India has bestowed many prestigious local and national awards upon their hero and his success in chess has created popularity explosion for the game on a subcontinent where there had never been a high level master before him. Whether or not Anand wins will have little effect on the popularity of chess in his country of origin. Viswanathan Anand’s previous world championships have already inspired millions of young chess players who dream of following in the foot steps of their hero.

 

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Blogs for Game 12

May 27, 2012

As the world awaits game 12 of the 2012 World Chess Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand, I thought I might mention the best chess blogs that are providing coverage of the event. Below is a list of 12 Blogs I have been visiting to read more about the Anand-Gelfand match:

Alexandra Kosteniuk’s blog on Chess news.

The former Women’s World Chess Champion has been providing fun insights into the match between Anand and Gelfand.

 

Chess Magazine Black and White.

This is a blog site for India’s first chess news magazine.

 

Chess in Translation

Interviews with Russian grand masters on the Anand-Gelfand match are translated into English and posted here. Sergey Shipov’s commentary is quite good.

 

Chessdom

An extensive blog with everything you need to know about the 2012 World Chess Championship match. This site includes a live broadcast of every game.

 

World Chess Championship Blog

Mark Weeks provides his unique perspective on Anand vs Gelfand 2012.

 

Susan Polgar’s Chess Blog

Susan provides live analysis of all the games from the 2012 World Chess Championship.

 

Red and White Chess

This blog takes comments on Anand-Gelfand from many sources and pastes them into each individual game from the match.

 

Chessalee

Perhaps the most artistic of all the blogs covering the Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship match.

 

Dana Blogs Chess

Chess master and author Dana Mackenzie provides analysis of the entire Anand-Gelfand match.

 

The Chess Improver

GM and acclaimed chess teacher Nigel Davies shows readers how to improve in chess through studying the games of the 2012 World Chess Championship match.

 

Chess Strike

This blog provides pgn chess games and video analysis of the Anand-Gelfand match.

 

Fpawn Chess Blog

My former chess teacher Michael Aigner posts interesting commentary on the 2012 World Chess Championship.

 

 

 

 

 

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 11

May 27, 2012

Game 11 of the 2012 World Chess Championship match between Anand and Gelfand was nearly decided by the clock. Inexplicably, Boris Gelfand became uncomfortable with the position and used 40 minutes of his time to choose a relatively routine move early in the game. Gelfand is truly lucky that his clock management  issue in game 11 did not end up becoming the deciding factor in the  world championship match. Many of Anand’s fans, however, are left wondering about what would have happened had Anand not thrown his opponent a life raft on move 24.

My analysis of Anand-Gelfand 2012 game 11 is below: (Try copying the text and pasting it into your favorite chess program for easier reading.)

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.26”]

[Round “11”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “E55”]

[Opening “Nimzo-Indian”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 {Anand is going to play the Nimzo-Indian Defence again. It seems that he grew tired of defending in his early a6 Semi-Slav.} 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 {As in game 9, Boris chooses the Rubinstein method of meeting the Nimzo-Indian. .} O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 {All of this is a replay of game 9.} 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bd7 {Viswanathan Anand employs a rare move here and Boris Gelfand seems very flustered.} 9. a3 {48 minutes later, the visibly frustrated Boris Gelfand plays a3. To be perfectly blunt, Gelfand needs to improve his gamesmanship. I see absolutely no reason why deciding between a3 or Qe2 here should put a player in severe time trouble. A position like this is less about calculating and more about choosing a plan. Gelfand’s epic indecisiveness put him at a distinct disadvantage. Should a position occur that does need deep calculation later, Boris will not have time to handle it properly. Furthermore, his painful facial expressions and long thinking time tells Anand that he is now in the driver’s seat and that Gelfand is not comfortable in this position.} Ba5 10. Qe2 {In the end, I don’t think it really matters much as to which order Gelfand played his moves in. Starting with the more forcing a3 seems to make sense as it leaves Anand less wiggle room. I just don’t understand why Boris Gelfand would put himself behind the “8 ball” because of the time difference.} Bc6 {This plan was introduced and played regularly by Ratmir D. Kholmov in the mid 1960’s.} 11. Rd1 {Michael Aigner once told me, “if you don’t know what to do, try placing your rook in the same file as your opponent’s queen.” It’s solid advice.} Bxc3 {Viswanathan Anand introduces a novelty to this game. Anand has always liked his knights but I was more than a little surprised to see him trade-off his bishop here.} 12. bxc3 Nbd7 {I am totally shocked by this move. Everyone who knows anything must have been expecting Anand to play Ba4 here. Viswanathan is really thinking “outside the box.” Getting back to Ba4… If Anand had played Ba4 then once Gelfand moves his rook he can play Nc6.} 13. Bd3 Qa5 {I had been considering Be4 here. Clearly Anand feels comfortable in this position because he played the moves as if he only had half-an-hour to live.} 14. c4 {It was either this or Bd2.} cxd4 15. exd4 Qh5 {Not to be underestimated is the value of a queen on an open rank.} 16. Bf4 {I spent some time studying the possibility of Ng5 here. After Anand takes Gelfand’s queen then Gelfand takes back with his bishop. Anand looses his open rank queen and Gelfand has the bishop pair for the end game.} Rac8 17. Ne5 {This is similar to the plan I mentioned on move 16.} Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Rfd8 {Boris Gelfand must have been happy to see simplification as he was really getting low on time.} 20. a4 {I understand the logic of moving the isolated pawn forward to cramp black’s queen side pawns, however I do not like allowing Anand to play Ne4.} Ne4 21. Rd3 f6 {At this point, Gelfand is down to just 30 minutes while Anand still has over an hour.} 22. Bf4 Be8 {This is a very drawish endgame for these two champions under normal conditions. Boris Gelfand’s misapplied time usage put him in a very dangerous position.} 23. Rb3 Rxd4 24. Be3 Rd7 {I can not believe Anand offered Gelfand a draw here. Boris Gelfand was down to 13 minutes on his clock and Anand still had over an hour. If, somehow, Anand does not end up retaining the world title, chess analysts will definitely be questioning this sportsman like decision for decades to come. As a fan of chess, I would have loved to see Anand try to swindle a win from his opponent under time pressure.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 10

May 26, 2012

Before the start of the 2012 World Chess Championship, many notable experts on chess considered Boris Gelfand to be a weak contender and a huge underdog against Viswanathan Anand. Now that ten hard games have been fought, the underdog has proven himself to be the equal of the world champion. Perhaps Boris Gelfand will surprise the world again by demonstrating his superiority over Viswanathan Anand in the last two games. Regardless if Gelfand is successful or not, this should be very exciting chess to watch.

Below is my analysis of game 10 from the 2012 World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand:

 

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.24”]

[Round “10”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “B30”]

[Opening “Sicilian”]

[Variation “Rossolimo, 3…e6 4.b3”]

1. e4 c5 {Another Sicilian defence.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {I was surprised to see Anand play the Rossolimo (3. Bb5) rather than the classical line of 3 d4. The Rossolimo and its cousin the Moscow (2. …d6 3. Bb5+) are favorites of players who want to avoid constantly relearning new trends in the ever-changing Sicilian.} e6 {Often times you see black play g6 or d6 here as well.} 4. Bxc6 {White has plenty of other options if he does not want to trade his bishop this early. However, capturing on c6 does score fairly well for white.} bxc6 {Taking back with the d-pawn is not to be recommended.} 5. b3 {This move is a bit of a rarity. More often white plays d3 here.} e5 {Speaking of rare moves! This move has only been used twice previously to this game. Wow! Boris Gelfand is incredibly confident and very well prepared.} 6. Nxe5 {This line is from the game Dmitry Bocharov vs. Evgeny Shaposhnikov, 2001. There are no other recorded games that contain this position.} Qe7 7. Bb2 d6 8. Nc4 d5 {Shaposhnikov played Qxe4 here. Boris Gelfand has other plans. It is immediately obvious that Gelfand gains space free of spending tempi.} 9. Ne3 d4 {Gelfand gains even more space. This is an interesting line. The added space and bishop pair roughly equals white’s advantage in pawn structure.} 10. Nc4 Qxe4+ {Now the queens will come off the board and we will have an equal yet imbalanced endgame ahead.} 11. Qe2 Qxe2+ 12. Kxe2 Be6 13. d3 Nf6 14. Nbd2 O-O-O {Boris Gelfand wants his king on the side of the board with his weak pawns. Now that Anand is missing his queen and light bishop, Gelfand feels confident that his king should be a useful piece and no longer hidden.} 15. Rhe1 Be7 16. Kf1 Rhe8 {I like all of Gelfand’s pieces except for his bishop on e7.} 17. Ba3 {Anand’s bishop was of very limited use on b2. Now it is targeting a weakness. Another way to gain influence for the bishop and the rook on a1 would be to play a3 followed by b4.} Nd5 {Anand should have been expecting this. Gelfand’s plan is to put his knight on b4.} 18. Ne4 Nb4 19. Re2 Bxc4 {This move might not be the first choice among amateurs. However, after the game, Anand claimed Gelfand’s exchange was necessary otherwise he would double his rooks in the “e” file and then move his bishop to f4 by way of c1.} 20. bxc4 f5 21. Bxb4 {Anand could have also placed his knight on g3. At least the move he chose is slightly more complex.} cxb4 22. Nd2 Bd6 23. Rxe8 Rxe8 24. Nb3 c5 {A beginner mistake is taking a2 with the bishop. After white plays b3 your bishop is trapped.} 25. a3 {Anand plans to get rid of his weak pawn and give his rook more scope. After the move was played, however, he offers Gelfand a draw.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 9

May 24, 2012

Game 9 of the 2012 World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand was a very exciting affair. Boris Gelfand came  close to a win but in the end Viswanathan Anand defended like a world champion. Scholastic chess players would be very wise if they try to comprehend the method in which Anand avoided a loss in this game. As is usually the case, my analysis of game 9 from the 2012 World chess Championship is below.

(For ease of reading try copying the text below and pasting it into your favorite chess program.)

 

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.23”]

[Round “9”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “E54”]

[Opening “Nimzo-Indian”]

[Variation “Main Line, Karpov, 10.Bg5 Bb7 11.Rc1”]

1. d4 Nf6 {Anand has chosen to play a different defense to d4. This will not be a slav or semi-slav as in game 2, game 4, game 6 and game 7. After he lost in game 7, I can’t say that I blame Anand for trying a different opening.} 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 {This is the Nimzo-Indian Defence. Over the years, Viswanathan Anand has had tremendous success with this opening.} 4. e3 {Gelfand chooses the Rubinsten line of the Nimzo-Indian.} O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 {Neither Gelfand or Anand is straying from the main line.} 7. O-O dxc4 {Anand chooses the second favorite here. Most popular is Nbd7.} 8. Bxc4 cxd4 {Again, Anand chooses the second most common move. Nbd7 is played three times as often as Anand’s choice.} 9. exd4 b6 {Anyone wanting to learn more about this position should consult the games of Anatoly Karpov. Incidently, Karpov turned 61 today.} 10. Bg5 {Boris Gelfand seemed comfortable and prepared for the Nimzo-Indian.} Bb7 11. Qe2 {I’ve seen this move recently in Nakamura-Giri 2011.} Nbd7 {Anand likes the second favorite choice today. More common and much better scoring is Bxc3.} 12. Rac1 Rc8 13. Bd3 {Boris Gelfand still seems at home in this opening even when choosing this rarely played move. Anand, on the other hand, seems very nervous.} Bxc3 14. bxc3 Qc7 15. c4 Bxf3 {This move has only been played once before and that was on 2/12/12 in the game Kari Pulkkinen vs Jyrki Parkkinen. I doubt Anand knows of this obscure game from Finland. At any rate, I do not like the idea of black voluntarily giving away his bishop, which has great range, for a knight of common placement.} 16. Qxf3 {Boris Gelfand must be pleased to have the bishop pair in an open position.} Rfe8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. Bh4 Qd6 19. c5 {I definitely noticed Anand relax here. It is my guess that he was more concerned about seeing Bg3. Some have criticized Gelfand’s choice as being inaccurate. I do not see this as being the case. In fact, for the remainder of the game, Boris Gelfand has very little chance of loosing but maintains good attacking chances.} bxc5 {Anand must know he will lose his queen in a discovered attack but feels he can defend the position to a draw afterwords.} 20. dxc5 Rxc5 21. Bh7+ Kxh7 22. Rxd6 Rxc1+ 23. Rd1 Rec8 24. h3 {Now that the fireworks are finished, Gelfand chooses a slow move to see what the World Champion’s plan will be.} Ne5 25. Qe2 Ng6 26. Bxf6 {Gelfand must take here or else Anand will get his knight to d5 and then a rook on c7. This type of structure is known as a fortress. Using a fortress is not very fun at all but if successful can keep a player from receiving a loss.} gxf6 27. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28. Kh2 Rc7 {Now Anand needs to place his knight on d5 and the fortress will be complete.} 29. Qb2 Kg7 30. a4 {Boris Gelfand is playing like a computer and that is not a good thing. His move does nothing to stop Anand from playing Ne7 and then Nd5. A move like g4 would offer the most difficult complications for both white and black.} Ne7 31. a5 Nd5 {With his fortress in place, Viswanathan Anand will have to wait and see if his opponent can crack his improvised defence.} 32. a6 {At some point, if Gelfand wants to, he can place his queen on b7!} Kh7 {Anand will wait and see what Gelfand may have up his sleave.} 33. Qd4 {If Boris Gelfand wants a draw he could begin a repetition sequence with Qb1+. Then if Anand plays Kg7 he can place his queen back onto b2.} f5 34. f4 {The move g4 was also playable but I fail to see how it would break Anand’s fortress. Perhaps starting with pawn to h4, then pawn to g4 and then g5 could create some king safety issues for Anand.} Rd7 35. Kg3 {Gelfand is planning on bringing his king to h4. I am not sure how that will help break Anand’s defence.} Kg6 36. Qh8 {Gelfand has nothing left but to try and swindle Anand into making a blunder. It’s nice to see a top grand master using a strategy commonly employed by a chess hustler.} Nf6 {Scholastic players would be wise to study how Anand handles this endgame.} 37. Qb8 h5 38. Kh4 Kh6 39. Qb2 Kg6 40. Qc3 Ne4 41. Qc8 Nf6 42. Qb8 Re7 43. g4 {This is Boris Gelfand’s final attempt to trick Anand into a blunder.} hxg4 44. hxg4 fxg4 45. Qe5 Ng8 {Now Boris Gelfand knows this will be a draw.} 46. Qg5+ Kh7 47. Qxg4 f6 48. Qg2 Kh8 49. Qe4 Kg7 {Boris Gelfand came very close to a win but in the end Viswanathan Anand defended like a world champion.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: The World Awaits Game 9

May 23, 2012

They were dancing in Tel Aviv after Anand confused himself to a loss in game 7 with moves like 7… b6 and 21… Ne4. A similar dance party took place in Mumbai when Gelfand tricked himself with 8… Bf6 and then blundered his queen with 14… Qf6 in game 8. It certainly seems that the contestants have been beating themselves for the last two games. Perhaps by playing to avoid their opponent’s preparation, Anand and Gelfand are actually avoiding being themselves at the chess board. If their favorite opening choices and stylistic  tendencies were good enough to get them to the world championship match, maybe it would be wise for them to not abandon their style at chess’ highest stage.

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 8

May 21, 2012

Round eight of the 2012 World Chess Championship saw reigning World Champion Viswanathan Anand return to form and deliver a stunning knock-out blow to his opponent Boris Gelfand. Anand’s decisive plan began with the deceptively quiet move of “10 Qd2” and finished with Boris Gelfand’s queen being trapped on move 17. After Boris resigned, chess enthusiasts realised that this game was, in fact, the shortest World Chess Championship game in the history of chess. Below is my analysis of the game:

(For ease of reading try copying the text below and pasting it into your favorite chess program.)

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.21”]

[Round “8”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1-0”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 {Thus far this is the dame as game 3. Obviously, Anand must have liked his chances with this Anti-Grunfeld move.} c5 {What? Boris Gelfand is deviating. I thought for sure Gelfand would continue as in game 3 with pawn to d5. Gelfand and his team must feel that his best chances are to keep surprising Anand.} 4. d5 {After this move the opening has transposed to being more of a Benoni (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5) than a Grunfeld.} d6 5. e4 Bg7 {Gelfand puts his bishop “in the house.” Normally this is done right after black plays g6.} 6. Ne2 {The pawn on f3 helped Anand achieve an intimidating center but has the disadvantage of taking the f3 square away from his knight.} O-O 7. Nec3 {Anand is very prepared. This rare move looks starnge but has scored very well for white. In this position, 7 Nec3 was first played by Walter Arencibia Rodriguez in his game against Julio Boudy at the 1986 Capablanca Memorial. In that game white lost, but Walter’s idea has proven to be very successful in the twenty-first century.} Nh5 {Boris Gelfand probably had not prepared for the position he finds himself in. I believe a6, as in Klauser-Vogt 1994, was probably his best bet. However, I find Boris’ invention to be very intriguing.} 8. Bg5 {The most logical choice and an invitation to Boris to play h6.} Bf6 {Very strange. I am not a fan of this move at all. Strong players generally try to preserve their fianchetto. There is nothing wrong with accepting Anand’s invitation and playing h6. If Boris did not want to oblige Anand he could have also played a standard move like Nbd7.} 9. Bxf6 {Here I was prepared to see Gelfand play Nxf6. Instead he surprise me and captured with the pawn so that he can play f5.} exf6 10. Qd2 {At the time this move surprised me. After seeing the conclusion of the game, this marks the start of Anand’s diabolical plan. I am sure Anand already had ideas about the tactics he would eventually use to force Boris to resign. Indeed, this is my favorite move of the match thus far.} f5 {Boris played as expected.} 11. exf5 Bxf5 12. g4 {Boris thinks Anand is just playing aggressively to win the match. If he only knew the brilliant trap his opponent has set for him.} Re8+ 13. Kd1 Bxb1 14. Rxb1 Qf6 {Boris Gelfand blunders his queen!! Play should have continued 14…Ng7 15.Kc2 Nd7 16.Be2 Qh4 17.Nb5 Qe7 18.Rbe1 Rad8. Perhaps Gelfand thought Anand was just going overlooking the obvious tactic winning the pawn and the exchange. In chess it is wise to never accept your opponent’s gifts without first checking to see that they do not contain poison.} 15. gxh5 Qxf3+ 16. Kc2 Qxh1 17. Qf2 {Surprise Boris! Your queen is trapped.} 1-0


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