Posts Tagged ‘2012 world chess championship’

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: 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 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: 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 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: 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

World Chess Championship 2012: Anand-Gelfand

May 9, 2012

In a few days, Boris Gelfand of Israel will  attempt to strip the crown off of reigning world chess champion Viswanathan Anand in a highly publicized match to determine the new king of chess. The Israeli challenger’s task of defeating Anand will be the most difficult of his long career and likely the last chance the ageing grand master will have to become a world chess champion. In addition to the title, Boris Gelfand will also be fighting for the lion’s share of the 2.55 million dollar prize fund and for the honor of being Israel’s first world champion chess player.
   Viswanathan Anand has, for decades, proven to be one of the most dominant chess players of our modern era. He has won numerous prestigious tournaments including Wijk aan Zee (1988, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005 joint with Veselin Topalov), Reggio Emilia (1992), Alekhine Memorial (Moscow, 1992), the PCA Interzonal (Groningen, 1993), Biel (1997) and Linares (1998, 2007, 2008). Anand also holds the distinction of being the only world chess champion to have won his titles in many formats including Tournament, Match, Rapid, and Knockout chess. Currently ranked number four in the world, Anand is considered the heavy favorite to defend his title successfully in 2012.
   Boris Gelfand’s career may not be as grand as Anand’s but it still contains many highlights that would make any elite chess player proud. Boris Gelfand’s tournament victories include Wijk aan Zee (1992), Biel (1993), Dos Hermanas (1994), Belgrade (1995), Tilburg (1996), Malmö (1999), and Pamplona (2004). In 2007 Gelfand surprised chess enthusiasts by finishing joint second with reigning world champion Vladimir Kramnik at the FIDE World Championship tournament that Anand won. Currently, Boris Gelfand is ranked number twenty in the world by FIDE.
   The 2012 World Chess Championship begins on May 10, 2012 at the  Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. I will attempt to provide meaningful coverage of the entire competition for anyone who should stumble upon my blog and wish to remain current on the Anand-Gelfand match.


10 May Opening ceremony

11 May Game 1

12 May Game 2

13 May Rest day


14 May Game 3

15 May Game 4

16 May Rest day

17 May Game 5

18 May Game 6

19 May Rest day

20 May Game 7

21 May Game 8

22 May Rest day

23 May Game 9

24 May Game 10

25 May Rest day

26 May Game 11

27 May Rest day

28 May Game 12

29 May Rest day

30 May Tie break

The official event website


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