Posts Tagged ‘Anand vs Gelfand’

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 10

May 26, 2012

Before the start of the 2012 World Chess Championship, many notable experts on chess considered Boris Gelfand to be a weak contender and a huge underdog against Viswanathan Anand. Now that ten hard games have been fought, the underdog has proven himself to be the equal of the world champion. Perhaps Boris Gelfand will surprise the world again by demonstrating his superiority over Viswanathan Anand in the last two games. Regardless if Gelfand is successful or not, this should be very exciting chess to watch.

Below is my analysis of game 10 from the 2012 World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand:


[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.24”]

[Round “10”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “B30”]

[Opening “Sicilian”]

[Variation “Rossolimo, 3…e6 4.b3”]

1. e4 c5 {Another Sicilian defence.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {I was surprised to see Anand play the Rossolimo (3. Bb5) rather than the classical line of 3 d4. The Rossolimo and its cousin the Moscow (2. …d6 3. Bb5+) are favorites of players who want to avoid constantly relearning new trends in the ever-changing Sicilian.} e6 {Often times you see black play g6 or d6 here as well.} 4. Bxc6 {White has plenty of other options if he does not want to trade his bishop this early. However, capturing on c6 does score fairly well for white.} bxc6 {Taking back with the d-pawn is not to be recommended.} 5. b3 {This move is a bit of a rarity. More often white plays d3 here.} e5 {Speaking of rare moves! This move has only been used twice previously to this game. Wow! Boris Gelfand is incredibly confident and very well prepared.} 6. Nxe5 {This line is from the game Dmitry Bocharov vs. Evgeny Shaposhnikov, 2001. There are no other recorded games that contain this position.} Qe7 7. Bb2 d6 8. Nc4 d5 {Shaposhnikov played Qxe4 here. Boris Gelfand has other plans. It is immediately obvious that Gelfand gains space free of spending tempi.} 9. Ne3 d4 {Gelfand gains even more space. This is an interesting line. The added space and bishop pair roughly equals white’s advantage in pawn structure.} 10. Nc4 Qxe4+ {Now the queens will come off the board and we will have an equal yet imbalanced endgame ahead.} 11. Qe2 Qxe2+ 12. Kxe2 Be6 13. d3 Nf6 14. Nbd2 O-O-O {Boris Gelfand wants his king on the side of the board with his weak pawns. Now that Anand is missing his queen and light bishop, Gelfand feels confident that his king should be a useful piece and no longer hidden.} 15. Rhe1 Be7 16. Kf1 Rhe8 {I like all of Gelfand’s pieces except for his bishop on e7.} 17. Ba3 {Anand’s bishop was of very limited use on b2. Now it is targeting a weakness. Another way to gain influence for the bishop and the rook on a1 would be to play a3 followed by b4.} Nd5 {Anand should have been expecting this. Gelfand’s plan is to put his knight on b4.} 18. Ne4 Nb4 19. Re2 Bxc4 {This move might not be the first choice among amateurs. However, after the game, Anand claimed Gelfand’s exchange was necessary otherwise he would double his rooks in the “e” file and then move his bishop to f4 by way of c1.} 20. bxc4 f5 21. Bxb4 {Anand could have also placed his knight on g3. At least the move he chose is slightly more complex.} cxb4 22. Nd2 Bd6 23. Rxe8 Rxe8 24. Nb3 c5 {A beginner mistake is taking a2 with the bishop. After white plays b3 your bishop is trapped.} 25. a3 {Anand plans to get rid of his weak pawn and give his rook more scope. After the move was played, however, he offers Gelfand a draw.} 1/2-1/2


Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 6

May 19, 2012

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

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.18”]

[Round “6”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[Opening “Semi-Slav”]

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

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 5

May 18, 2012

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

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.17”]

[Round “5”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “B33”]

[Opening “Sicilian”]

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

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


Anand-Gelfand 2012: Preview 2

May 10, 2012

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

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Preview 1

May 10, 2012

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

[Event “FIDE World Championship Tournament”]

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

[Round “1”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

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

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


%d bloggers like this: