Posts Tagged ‘Nimzo-Indian’

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 11

May 27, 2012

Game 11 of the 2012 World Chess Championship match between Anand and Gelfand was nearly decided by the clock. Inexplicably, Boris Gelfand became uncomfortable with the position and used 40 minutes of his time to choose a relatively routine move early in the game. Gelfand is truly lucky that his clock management  issue in game 11 did not end up becoming the deciding factor in the  world championship match. Many of Anand’s fans, however, are left wondering about what would have happened had Anand not thrown his opponent a life raft on move 24.

My analysis of Anand-Gelfand 2012 game 11 is below: (Try copying the text and pasting it into your favorite chess program for easier reading.)

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.26”]

[Round “11”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “E55”]

[Opening “Nimzo-Indian”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 {Anand is going to play the Nimzo-Indian Defence again. It seems that he grew tired of defending in his early a6 Semi-Slav.} 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 {As in game 9, Boris chooses the Rubinstein method of meeting the Nimzo-Indian. .} O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 {All of this is a replay of game 9.} 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bd7 {Viswanathan Anand employs a rare move here and Boris Gelfand seems very flustered.} 9. a3 {48 minutes later, the visibly frustrated Boris Gelfand plays a3. To be perfectly blunt, Gelfand needs to improve his gamesmanship. I see absolutely no reason why deciding between a3 or Qe2 here should put a player in severe time trouble. A position like this is less about calculating and more about choosing a plan. Gelfand’s epic indecisiveness put him at a distinct disadvantage. Should a position occur that does need deep calculation later, Boris will not have time to handle it properly. Furthermore, his painful facial expressions and long thinking time tells Anand that he is now in the driver’s seat and that Gelfand is not comfortable in this position.} Ba5 10. Qe2 {In the end, I don’t think it really matters much as to which order Gelfand played his moves in. Starting with the more forcing a3 seems to make sense as it leaves Anand less wiggle room. I just don’t understand why Boris Gelfand would put himself behind the “8 ball” because of the time difference.} Bc6 {This plan was introduced and played regularly by Ratmir D. Kholmov in the mid 1960’s.} 11. Rd1 {Michael Aigner once told me, “if you don’t know what to do, try placing your rook in the same file as your opponent’s queen.” It’s solid advice.} Bxc3 {Viswanathan Anand introduces a novelty to this game. Anand has always liked his knights but I was more than a little surprised to see him trade-off his bishop here.} 12. bxc3 Nbd7 {I am totally shocked by this move. Everyone who knows anything must have been expecting Anand to play Ba4 here. Viswanathan is really thinking “outside the box.” Getting back to Ba4… If Anand had played Ba4 then once Gelfand moves his rook he can play Nc6.} 13. Bd3 Qa5 {I had been considering Be4 here. Clearly Anand feels comfortable in this position because he played the moves as if he only had half-an-hour to live.} 14. c4 {It was either this or Bd2.} cxd4 15. exd4 Qh5 {Not to be underestimated is the value of a queen on an open rank.} 16. Bf4 {I spent some time studying the possibility of Ng5 here. After Anand takes Gelfand’s queen then Gelfand takes back with his bishop. Anand looses his open rank queen and Gelfand has the bishop pair for the end game.} Rac8 17. Ne5 {This is similar to the plan I mentioned on move 16.} Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Rfd8 {Boris Gelfand must have been happy to see simplification as he was really getting low on time.} 20. a4 {I understand the logic of moving the isolated pawn forward to cramp black’s queen side pawns, however I do not like allowing Anand to play Ne4.} Ne4 21. Rd3 f6 {At this point, Gelfand is down to just 30 minutes while Anand still has over an hour.} 22. Bf4 Be8 {This is a very drawish endgame for these two champions under normal conditions. Boris Gelfand’s misapplied time usage put him in a very dangerous position.} 23. Rb3 Rxd4 24. Be3 Rd7 {I can not believe Anand offered Gelfand a draw here. Boris Gelfand was down to 13 minutes on his clock and Anand still had over an hour. If, somehow, Anand does not end up retaining the world title, chess analysts will definitely be questioning this sportsman like decision for decades to come. As a fan of chess, I would have loved to see Anand try to swindle a win from his opponent under time pressure.} 1/2-1/2

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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


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