Archive for the ‘Anand-Gelfand’ Category

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 7

May 21, 2012

Boris Gelfand wins! Want to know why Anand lost? Check out the best analysis of Anand-Gelfand game 7 below:

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

 

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.20”]

[Round “7”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1-0”]

[ECO “D46”]

[Opening “Semi-Slav”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 {Again, we have a Slav formation.} 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 a6 {Anand is enamored with this lazy pawn move. I had hoped he might try Nbd7 instead. Perhaps he is happy with another draw as black.} 6. c5 {In games 2 and 4 Boris played 6 b3. In round 6 he tried Qc2. All of those games ended in a draw so now he tries c5. If Boris wishes for this match to be a survey of the Accelerated Meran Semi-Slav he will still need to play 6 a4 and 6 Bd3.} Nbd7 {Anand quickly replied with Nbd7. This is not surprising as he has Gelfand’s 6 c5 himself on several occasions.} 7. Qc2 {This is a very infrequent move at high level chess. After seeing his opponent’s choice, Anand seemed flustered and I could see his heart pounding through his shirt. Definately not a good sign for the world champion to have his nerves act up on move 7. Perhaps Anand forgot to review Radjabov-Grischuk 2003.} b6 {Normally in these positions you play for an e5 break. In fact, right now would be a great time to play e5. Instead, Viswanathan Anand chooses b6. I am not sure I care for this move as it could give Gelfand a semi-open or open c file for his rook and queen.} 8. cxb6 Nxb6 {This is a new move for high level chess games. 8…Qxb6 has been played four times prior to this game with relatively good results. I like Anand’s recapture better as it sets up some interesting subtleties in the position and leaves more mystery as to where his queen will be posted.} 9. Bd2 c5 {Anand applies pressure on the center. Generally speaking, the opening of the center favors the better developed player. Right now that would be Gelfand.} 10. Rc1 {Gelfand is already able to stack his rook and queen in the semi-open “c” file.} cxd4 {Opening the file for Gelfand seems counter-productive but if Anand plays c4 Gelfand would likely counter with b3. If Anand played Nbd7 then Gelfand could play 11 Na4 c4 and then 12 b3. It certainly appears that with all choices by Anand the “c” file will open.} 11. exd4 {Anand has a better pawn structure. Gelfand, however, is dominating the open “c” file and has a better light bishop. These advatages are more than worth the isolated “d” pawn.} Bd6 12. Bg5 {I was wondering if Gelfand would play 12 Na4. However, it does not seem to give white a meaningful advantage. For example: 12. Na4 Nxa4 13. Qc6+ Bd7 14. Qxd6 Ne4 15. Qa3 Nxd2 16. Kxd2 Nb6 17. Qd6 f6 or 12. Na4 Nxa4 13. Qc6+ Bd7 14. Qxd6 Ne4 15. Qa3 Nxd2 16. Nxd2 Qe7 17. Qxe7+ Kxe7 18. b3 Nb6 Also, if Gelfand delays playing Bg5 in a non-forcing continuation then Anand has time to play h6. So it was now or never.} O-O 13. Bd3 h6 14. Bh4 Bb7 {Despite his early panic, Anand has achieved a fine position. I think everyone should agree that white is better because of the better influence of his pieces.} 15. O-O Qb8 {This prepares Rc8 which will take away his adversary’s control of the open file and temporarily pin his knight on c3.} 16. Bg3 {If Boris chose Bxf6 he would loose control of the dark squares but expose Anand’s king. Even with the king exposed, I can not find a way to attack the king which can not be stopped with a good defense. For instance: 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Ne2 f5 18. Ng3 Nd7 19. Nh5 Qd8} Rc8 17. Qe2 {Aniother choice here is the surprising Ne5. However, Gelfand clearly knows what he is aiming for here and taking the queen out of the “c” file is part of his plan to stack his rooks in the “c” file.} Bxg3 18. hxg3 Qd6 19. Rc2 {Once again, Gelfand will dominate the “c” file.} Nbd7 {If Anand played 19… Rc7 then the game could continue with 20. Rfc1 Rac8 21. Bxa6 Bxa6 22. Qxa6 Nc4 23. Qxd6 Nxd6 and white is better.} 20. Rfc1 Rab8 {Anand, again could play Rc7 but this time Gelfand would surely respond with a3 followed by b4.} 21. Na4 {Gelfand could have also tried Ne5 or Qe3.} Ne4 {This is risky. It would have been better for Anand to start trading rooks and aim for a draw.} 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 {Now Gelfand controls the “c” file again.} 23. Qc2 {Gelfand is still hoping for a win. If he plays Bxe4, I am sure Anand could find the many equalizing lines.} g5 {This is the key mistake of the game. Anand should have played Ndf6.} 24. Qc7 {Gelfand has seen the crime and now he will begin the punishment.} Qxc7 {This is the best Anand can do but it gives Gelfand “the seventh” rank and, later, the seventh game.} 25. Rxc7 f6 {Anand is collapsing under pressure. He needed to retreat his knight on e4 back to f6.} 26. Bxe4 {Once again, Gelfand sees a mistake and capitalises on it.} dxe4 27. Nd2 f5 28. Nc4 {Boris Gelfand is razer sharp.} Nf6 29. Nc5 Nd5 30. Ra7 Nb4 {Anand is grasping at straws here.} 31. Ne5 {Gelfand misses the more accurate 31 Nd6! The game would likely continue with 31… Nd5 32 b3 Kf8 33 a4 with the idea of playing a5.} Nc2 {Anand is lost and his horse is too.} 32. Nc6 Rxb2 33. Rc7 Rb1+ 34. Kh2 e3 {I am surprised Anand is continuing this.} 35. Rxc8+ Kh7 36. Rc7+ Kh8 37. Ne5 e2 38. Nxe6 {Anand finally lays down his king because if 38…e1=Q then 39. Ng6+ Kg8 40. Rg7#} 1-0

Anand-Gelfand 2012: The World Awaits Game 7

May 20, 2012

Chess fans the world over are eagerly awaiting the start of game 7 in the 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship. Many visitors to this site from India are becoming more concerned that their national hero’s best years are behind him and he may not have enough desire to keep the world chess championship in an Indian’s hands. Likewise, chess fans in Israel are concerned that Boris Gelfand will likely be their only world championship contender in the forseeable future. If he fails, so does Israel in producing a world chess champion. Indeed, the stakes are very high for these two ageing stars and money takes the back seat to fulfilling the dreams of their countrymen.

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 6

May 19, 2012

Game six of the 2012 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand began in exactly the same manner as games two and four. By move six, Boris Gelfand decided to try a different line against Anand’s Semi-Slav.  The real fun began when Anand decided to gambit a pawn on move 14. Unfazed by his opponent’s ingenuity, Gelfand guided the position into a “soft landing” and another draw. Below are my light comments on the game:

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.18”]

[Round “6”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[Opening “Semi-Slav”]

1. d4 {Boris Gelfand continues to start with 1 d4.} d5 2. c4 c6 {Again, Anand plays 2 c6.} 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 {A Semi-Slav as in games two and four.} 5. Nf3 a6 {Anand has been liking this Chebanenko style move.} 6. Qc2 {Boris Gelfand chooses to play Qc2. In games two and four he played b3.} c5 {Anand starts the action. Nbd7 is more conservative but very popular.} 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Be2 {8 dxc5 scores poorly for white.} Be6 9. O-O Nc6 10. Rd1 cxd4 {Nb4 here has been producing good results for black. If white responds with 11. Qd2 then black can play Ne4. If white plays 11. Qb1 then Qc8 is best. We may see Anand use this line later in the match.} 11. Nxd4 Nxd4 12. Rxd4 {exd4 looks more natural but leaves white with an isolated pawn.} Bc5 {Develop with threats.} 13. Rd1 Qe7 {This is from Elkin-Jakovljevic 2010. Black won in that encounter. Since then there has been 1 win for white and 1 draw from this position.} 14. Bf3 O-O {Here is something new. In the three other games, black has played Rd8 in order to add a defender to d5. Anand is willing to lose the pawn and play a gambit. In other words, Viswanathan Anand is definately trying for a win.} 15. Nxd5 {Taking with the knight or bishop leads to the same result.} Bxd5 16. Bxd5 Nxd5 17. Rxd5 Rac8 {The point of the gambit. Now black has a dangerous discovered attack.} 18. Bd2 {Boris Gelfand plays the best move. Qd3 would allow Anand even more dangerous development with Rfd8.} Bxe3 {Anand gets his pawn back.} 19. Bc3 Bb6 20. Qf5 Qe6 21. Qf3 {If Qxe6 then Bxf2+.} f6 22. h4 {Kind of odd. Most strong players would play Rab1 and thus stack their rooks.} Qc6 23. h5 {Now we see the Boris intends to keep Anand’s pawns where they are on the dark squares.} Rfd8 24. Rxd8+ Rxd8 25. Qxc6 bxc6 26. Re1 Kf7 27. g4 Bd4 28. Rc1 Bxc3 29. Rxc3 Rd4 {In Anand-Gelfand 2012 this is a draw. If I was playing Anand or Gelfand, I am sure they could teach me how to lose from here.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 5

May 18, 2012

Game 5 of the 2012 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand began with 1 e4. Gelfand, as was expected, opted for a Sicilian Defence. This game, like its four predecessors, was incredibly well-played and ended in a draw. Anyone who was hoping this match would be a blood sport must be disappointed. Chess purists, on the other hand, can delight in two humans playing superb chess. Below are my thoughts on game 5:

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.17”]

[Round “5”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “B33”]

[Opening “Sicilian”]

[Variation “Pelikan, Chelyabinsk, 9.Nd5 Be7, 11.c3”]

1. e4 {Anand changes course and uses 1 e4.} c5 {This is what I expected to see from Gelfand should the opportunity arise.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 {The Sicilian Pelikan is a fun change of pace for this match.} 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 {I have only 43,412 serious games where this move has been played.} 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c4 {More popular here is c3. C4 has only been used 2332 times.} b4 12. Nc2 O-O {Other options here are a5 and Rb8.} 13. g3 a5 14. Bg2 Bg5 15. O-O Be6 {Now we are getting down to the point where this move has only been played 59 other times.} 16. Qd3 Bxd5 {Boris Gelfand surprises me here. I figured he would try the relatively new Qb8. Instead he opts for a line with which white has won on all three occasions against fairly low rated black opposition.} 17. cxd5 {Taking this way forces black to retreat the knight.} Nb8 18. a3 {Finally something new. I think Jabukowski’s 18.h4 is more exciting.} Na6 {Again Gelfand surprises me. Why not just take the pawn on a3 and have a slightly better game?} 19. axb4 Nxb4 20. Nxb4 axb4 21. h4 Bh6 {Retreating the bishop anywhere else would allow white to get the c-file.} 22. Bh3 {Now Anand surprised me. I wonder why he didn’t play Qc4.} Qb6 23. Bd7 {That’s why. He wants his bishop on c6.} b3 24. Bc6 Ra2 25. Rxa2 bxa2 {The pawn is one step away but will go no further.} 26. Qa3 Rb8 27. Qxa2 1/2-1/2

 

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 4

May 17, 2012

The World Chess Championship of 2012 saw yet another draw in round 4. As in game two, Boris Gelfand played 1. d4 and Anand opted for another Slav style defense. The key point on this game came on move 16 for black. Viswanathan Anand played Re8 instead of Rc8 and thus avoided whatever diabolical plans his opponent had in store for him. Another point of interest was the potential for a d-file to be completely stacked with pieces. Unfortunately for the artist/chess players like myself, the players avoided the temptation of playing into such a bizarre formation. Below is the game with light analysis:

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.15”]

[Round “4”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “D46”]

[Opening “Semi-Slav”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 a6 6. b3 Bb4 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Bd6 {Reposting the Bishop to d6 is the most common choice of the modern grand masters. It is of little use on b4 once white has castled and often become a liability if left there.} 10. Qc2 e5 {This move has only been played 14 times previously. The average rating of those that played e5 here is 2504.} 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. e4 {A wonderfully complex and beautiful position.} exd4 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 {The first time this position was used was way back in 1999 when Timoscenko played Godena. More recently, Irina Krush played white in 2005.} Nf6 15. h3 Bd7 16. Rad1 {This is a very high level move. To most chess players, this move does not look as tempting as Rfe1. However, Boris Gelfand forsees knights taking d-pawns and then eventually having his bishops move out-of-the-way to reveal a rook upon Anand’s queen. Simply amazing planning by Gelfand.} Re8 {I could almost here a expletive shout from Gelfand’s head when Anand did not play Rc8 attacking his Queen. I believe Boris Gelfand was hoping to play Qb2, then Qxd4 and finally Qh4. Having his Queen over on h4 would give him some attacking chances.} 17. Nxd4 Rc8 {Now that Gelfand’s queen can not capture on d4, Anand attacks it and forces it to retreat.} 18. Qb1 h6 19. Nf5 Bxf5 {Anand gladly trades his bishop away to remove the knight which is lurking to close for comfort.} 20. Bxf5 Rc5 {Anand plays the perfect move here and things are starting to look drawish.} 21. Rfe1 Rxd5 22. Bc3 Rxe1+ {definitely drawish.} 23. Rxe1 Bc5 24. Qc2 {Gelfand does not bother playing Bxf6 and exposing his opponent’s king as it would not lead to anything substantial against a player of Anand’s ability. For most of us, Bxf6 would be the most aggressive choice.} Bd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. Qc8 g6 27. Bg4 h5 {Forcing the trade of queens.} 28. Qxd8+ Rxd8 29. Bf3 b6 {Beginners take note of how Anand plays b6 here. Other pawn moves could lead to trouble.} 30. Rc1 Rd6 {Anand wants the draw. Tournament level players should proceed by playing Rd2 and taking “the seventh.”} 31. Kf1 a5 32. Ke2 Nd5 33. g3 Ne7 34. Be4 Kg7 {No hope for a win by either player.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 3

May 15, 2012

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

 

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 2

May 13, 2012

Another Day and another draw. This time round it was Anand who showed no difficulty moving the black pieces in a precisely played Semi-Slav. This, of course was not do to Gelfand playing for a draw. The line he chose to use against Anand’s defense he has used twice and won twice with. It is just in this case, Anand was not as accomodating as the other grand masters Gelfand had tried it on.

 

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.12”]

[Round “2”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 {This is the start of the Slav Defense.} 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 {Now its a Semi-Slav.} 5. Nf3 a6 {Now its what I call the Alekhine Variation. Others call it the Meran. (Often times, the naming of chess openings varies depending on which country you are in or even who you ask. This is why ECO codes are used to classify the openings. The ECO code for this line is D45.)} 6. b3 {One of several choices for white. Others include: Qc2, a4, Bd3, c5 and a3.} Bb4 {Electing to go for the early pin. If Anand wanted more chaos he could have played c5.} 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Bd6 10. Rc1 {Gelfand has used this move successfully before. So it should be no surprise to Anand.} e5 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. e4 {Rising U.S. star Sam Shankland would approve of Gelfand’s choice. In fact, Sam used it this year as well.} dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 {This is the first novelty of the game. Surprising, as Anand’s choice of moves makes perfect sense. Before today, the only other move played here has been exd4.} 15. dxe5 Nxe4 16. exd6 Qxd6 17. Be3 Bf5 18. Qxd6 Nxd6 19. Nd4 Rfe8 20. Nxf5 {Boris Gelfand’s bishop will be faster than Viswanathan Anand’s knight. A small advantage for sure but not enough to have a chance at winning.} Nxf5 21. Bc5 h5 {Anand is unpredictable. I figured for sure he would activate his rook on a8.} 22. Rfd1 Rac8 23. Kf1 {The king is guarding the second rank and moving closer to the center of the board.} f6 24. Bb4 Kh7 {The only way out for Anand’s king.} 25. Rc5 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 1

May 11, 2012

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

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Preview 2

May 10, 2012

The match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand should be a real “nail biter.” Anand’s over all record against Gelfand is very convincing with 16 wins, only 6 losses and 44 draws. Based on these figures, a Vegas odds maker would probable make Anand a 3-1 favorite to retain the title. However, the Anand-Gelfand match of 2012 will be played at “classical” time controls which are much slower than most of the games Anand has built his statistical advantage with. In fact, when you exclude rapid and exhibition games, Boris Gelfand is much more competitive. Over his career, Boris Gelfand has 5 wins, 6 losses and 26 draws against Viswanatahn Anand at slower time controls. Based on this record the match should be very close as the difference between the two players scores is very small. The main disadvantage for Gelfand will be if some sort of rapid tie-break system will be employed if both players end the regular match on equal terms. Should this end up occuring, then I think Anand will be a huge favorite.

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Preview 1

May 10, 2012

As I stated in my last post, most chess players figure that Anand will easily defend his title in the upcoming World Chess Championship. I guarantee you that Viswanathan Anand knows that it will be no easy task to stop his challenger from taking the title from him. In fact, the last time Anand played Gelfand with a world title on the line, Gelfand nearly beat Anand and ended up settling for a draw. Below is the game with some light analysis:

[Event “FIDE World Championship Tournament”]

[Site “Mexico City MEX”] [Date “2007.09.13”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {The Petrov Defense. Many today refer to it as the “Russian Game.” This opening has symetrical tendencies and has a reputation of being dull. However, there are many exciting possibilities and I believe the “dull” reputation is largely do to the players who have made it popular.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 {This is the Nimzowitsch Attack.} Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nd7 8. Qd2 Ne5 9. O-O-O O-O 10. h4 Re8 11. h5 Bf6 {This move for black is the invention of Vladimir Kramnik and used in his game against Peter Svidler on 12/18/2005. Kramnik lost his game but Gelfand thinks he can do better here.} 12. Nh2 {Viswanathan Anand may very well be the first player ever to use this move. The iudea is to free up the fpawn to thrust to f4.} h6 13. Be2 Be6 14. f4 Nc4 15. Bxc4 Bxc4 16. b3 {Playing g4 here would take a lot of “guts” but is how one would play for a win with the white pieces.} Bb5 17. Rhg1 Re4 18. Ng4 Qe7 {Black looks slightly better here. He will be able to stack two rooks and a queen in the open file.} 19. Rde1 Re8 20. Bf2 Qd8 21. Rxe4 Rxe4 22. Re1 {This is a mistake! Now Gelfand can play for the win with Rxf4! Play might continue: 23. Nxf6 Qxf6 24. Bd4 Qf5 25. Re7 Re4 26. Rxe4 Qxe4 27. Bxa7 b6 and black has the definate advantage.} Rxe1+ {Gelfand misses the winning move and his chance to be World Champion!} 1/2-1/2


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