Posts Tagged ‘Anand-Gelfand 2012’

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: 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: 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 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 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


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