Posts Tagged ‘Semi-Slav’

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 4

May 17, 2012

The World Chess Championship of 2012 saw yet another draw in round 4. As in game two, Boris Gelfand played 1. d4 and Anand opted for another Slav style defense. The key point on this game came on move 16 for black. Viswanathan Anand played Re8 instead of Rc8 and thus avoided whatever diabolical plans his opponent had in store for him. Another point of interest was the potential for a d-file to be completely stacked with pieces. Unfortunately for the artist/chess players like myself, the players avoided the temptation of playing into such a bizarre formation. Below is the game with light analysis:

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.15”]

[Round “4”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “D46”]

[Opening “Semi-Slav”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 a6 6. b3 Bb4 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Bd6 {Reposting the Bishop to d6 is the most common choice of the modern grand masters. It is of little use on b4 once white has castled and often become a liability if left there.} 10. Qc2 e5 {This move has only been played 14 times previously. The average rating of those that played e5 here is 2504.} 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. e4 {A wonderfully complex and beautiful position.} exd4 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 {The first time this position was used was way back in 1999 when Timoscenko played Godena. More recently, Irina Krush played white in 2005.} Nf6 15. h3 Bd7 16. Rad1 {This is a very high level move. To most chess players, this move does not look as tempting as Rfe1. However, Boris Gelfand forsees knights taking d-pawns and then eventually having his bishops move out-of-the-way to reveal a rook upon Anand’s queen. Simply amazing planning by Gelfand.} Re8 {I could almost here a expletive shout from Gelfand’s head when Anand did not play Rc8 attacking his Queen. I believe Boris Gelfand was hoping to play Qb2, then Qxd4 and finally Qh4. Having his Queen over on h4 would give him some attacking chances.} 17. Nxd4 Rc8 {Now that Gelfand’s queen can not capture on d4, Anand attacks it and forces it to retreat.} 18. Qb1 h6 19. Nf5 Bxf5 {Anand gladly trades his bishop away to remove the knight which is lurking to close for comfort.} 20. Bxf5 Rc5 {Anand plays the perfect move here and things are starting to look drawish.} 21. Rfe1 Rxd5 22. Bc3 Rxe1+ {definitely drawish.} 23. Rxe1 Bc5 24. Qc2 {Gelfand does not bother playing Bxf6 and exposing his opponent’s king as it would not lead to anything substantial against a player of Anand’s ability. For most of us, Bxf6 would be the most aggressive choice.} Bd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. Qc8 g6 27. Bg4 h5 {Forcing the trade of queens.} 28. Qxd8+ Rxd8 29. Bf3 b6 {Beginners take note of how Anand plays b6 here. Other pawn moves could lead to trouble.} 30. Rc1 Rd6 {Anand wants the draw. Tournament level players should proceed by playing Rd2 and taking “the seventh.”} 31. Kf1 a5 32. Ke2 Nd5 33. g3 Ne7 34. Be4 Kg7 {No hope for a win by either player.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 2

May 13, 2012

Another Day and another draw. This time round it was Anand who showed no difficulty moving the black pieces in a precisely played Semi-Slav. This, of course was not do to Gelfand playing for a draw. The line he chose to use against Anand’s defense he has used twice and won twice with. It is just in this case, Anand was not as accomodating as the other grand masters Gelfand had tried it on.

 

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.12”]

[Round “2”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 {This is the start of the Slav Defense.} 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 {Now its a Semi-Slav.} 5. Nf3 a6 {Now its what I call the Alekhine Variation. Others call it the Meran. (Often times, the naming of chess openings varies depending on which country you are in or even who you ask. This is why ECO codes are used to classify the openings. The ECO code for this line is D45.)} 6. b3 {One of several choices for white. Others include: Qc2, a4, Bd3, c5 and a3.} Bb4 {Electing to go for the early pin. If Anand wanted more chaos he could have played c5.} 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Bd6 10. Rc1 {Gelfand has used this move successfully before. So it should be no surprise to Anand.} e5 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. e4 {Rising U.S. star Sam Shankland would approve of Gelfand’s choice. In fact, Sam used it this year as well.} dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 {This is the first novelty of the game. Surprising, as Anand’s choice of moves makes perfect sense. Before today, the only other move played here has been exd4.} 15. dxe5 Nxe4 16. exd6 Qxd6 17. Be3 Bf5 18. Qxd6 Nxd6 19. Nd4 Rfe8 20. Nxf5 {Boris Gelfand’s bishop will be faster than Viswanathan Anand’s knight. A small advantage for sure but not enough to have a chance at winning.} Nxf5 21. Bc5 h5 {Anand is unpredictable. I figured for sure he would activate his rook on a8.} 22. Rfd1 Rac8 23. Kf1 {The king is guarding the second rank and moving closer to the center of the board.} f6 24. Bb4 Kh7 {The only way out for Anand’s king.} 25. Rc5 1/2-1/2


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