Posts Tagged ‘Anand-Gelfand’

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

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Anand-Gelfand 2012: The World Awaits Game 12

May 28, 2012

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

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

Anand-Gelfand 2012: A Tale of Two Countries

May 28, 2012

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

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

 

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 9

May 24, 2012

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

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

 

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.23”]

[Round “9”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “E54”]

[Opening “Nimzo-Indian”]

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

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

Anand-Gelfand 2012: The World Awaits Game 9

May 23, 2012

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

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 8

May 21, 2012

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

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

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.21”]

[Round “8”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1-0”]

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

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

 


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