Posts Tagged ‘Anand Gelfand 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: 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 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

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 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: 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.

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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