Posts Tagged ‘Gelfand-Anand’

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: 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.

Schedule

10 May Opening ceremony

11 May Game 1

12 May Game 2

13 May Rest day

image

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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