Monday, May 28, 2012

GM Comments Anand-Gelfand Round 12

Last episode of drama in World Chess Championship 2012 between Anand vs Gelfand already concluded. It is a 22 moves draw in the battle of Sicilian games where Black forced to a bad pawn structure by white in the early phase of game. Anand force a Rossolimo variation and 7.e5 to give Boris Gelfand a double pawn stuck in the c and e files. But after long thinking, Gelfand managed the antidote and cleverly turn the board with a pawn sacrifice and fully compensation of space and bishop pair, to give white enough fear and the game was drawn.

Last piece of Grandmaster commentaries and quotation presented here. The sources are:

Live commentaris:
-Svidler and Kramnik in official site
-GM Csaba Balogh in chessbomb/chessdom
-Natalia Pogonina and Jennifer Shahade in chessgames
-Susan Polgar , Erwin l'Ami etc in Twitter
-IM Malcolm Pein and Mark Crowther in TWIC (post game analysis also)
-Sergey Shipov in chessintranslation (post game analysis also)

Post game analysis:
-Gilberto Milos in chessbase

The opening - Sicilian Defence
1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. d3 Ne7 6. b3 d6 7. e5 Ng6 8. h4 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. Nd2

Malcolm Pein @TelegraphChess
Only the world title and $500,000 at stake, no wonder Vishy looked nervous
 GM Jon Ludvig Hammer @gmjlh:
@TelegraphChess more than 500 if you count next WC match too


@Pogonina: Kramnik: Vishy has the best record in rapid chess in modern history, even better than Kasparov or myself. Gelfand is also a good player.
@MarkTWIC: World #Chess Ch Gm12. Anand-Gelfand. 6.b3 * "They're not here today to entertain the public. They're here to win the World Championship.""

Csaba Balogh
4.Bxc6 bxc6 5. d3 so, Anand plays 5.d3 instead of 5.b3, which we have seen in game 10. It means, that Anand's team could not find any advantage after the strong 5.b3 e5! move

@ChessinT: On the Russian commentary Svidler and Smirin are discussing 6...d6 - "surprisingly enough a very concrete move" (Svidler)"

@MarkTWIC: World #Chess Gm12. Anand-Gelfand 8.h4!? "original way of playing" - "very strange" - Kramnik. This could be nasty for Gelfand to meet"
@erwinlami: 7...Ng6 8.h4!? sacrificing a pawn. This is becoming a very interesting battle! #anandgelfand."

@SusanPolgar: Gelfand deserves a medal if he can calmly get through this alive in the biggest and most pressured game of his career.

@erwinlami: Nice gesture of Gelfand, not to make a move untill the commercials have stopped on the official website. #anandgelfand"

@SusanPolgar: This is why chess is great. Strategy, psychology, nerve, and so many other factors come into play. I've been here before and it's not fun :)"

@ChessinT: Shipov: "Black has no obvious counterplay and it's not yet even clear what to defend against. In the long term time trouble is looming...""

1.e4 As it turns out, the world champion’s camp was not able to find a refutation of the Grunfeld Defense. Peter Svidler can be satisfied.
5…Ne7 A flexible strategy in the spirit of Philidor’s philosophy. Black’s central pawns, including the one on f7, can move forward, depending on what White does. It’s very important not to allow a complete blockade of the center and to give the bishops some room to operate. For example, with the pawn on d7 Black is prepared to meet the advance e4-e5 with the disrupting … f7-f6.
6.b3 An interesting and non-standard move order. It was first used by Boris Spassky in a game with Boris (yes, another Boris) Gulko in 1990.

Gilberto Milos 6.b3 d6 A novelty. This allows the weakening of both the e5 and c5 pawns.
8.h4 forcing Black to capture on e5 or play ..h5 weakening g5. This move has to be played before White plays Bb2, because on c1 the bishop controls f4 where the black knight might try to flee to.

Csaba Balogh 6. b3 is a real surprise, with only one high-level game in the database, which continued with Ng6 Bb2 f6 and e5 ,in Spassky-Gulko 1990. I am quite sure, such move could not be seriously analyzed by Gelfand's team, so it is a chance for Anand to catch him in the opening and achieve some advantage.
8.h4 played instantly. Impressive preparation. A positional pawn sacrifice. After 8...Nxe5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 White probably wants to put the c5 pawn under pressure with the Bishop and the knight.
10. Nd2 It is clear, that White is playing against the c8 bishop. It has no future in this game, cannot be activated, cannot have any target, at least in the next 10-15 moves.

the Pawn Sacrifice and Bishop Pair
c4 11. Nxc4 Ba6 12. Qf3 Qd5 13. Qxd5 cxd5 14. Nxe5 f6 15. Nf3 e5

@erwinlami: Gelfand didn't spend his time without reason! 10...c4 is a very interesting decision, opening up the f8-bishop.

: Finally, Gelfand played 10...c4. May not be the best but he believes Anand will be off book after this. Giving up the pawn for space.

10...c4 "I might be wrong but I don't like this idea too much." - Kramnik

@Pogonina: Kramnik: We were drinking coffee and talking about Buranovskie Babushki, while Gelfand was studying the position for 50 minutes!
Csaba Balog 11. Nxc4 Seems like the game is going to be an excellent lecture on positional pawn sacrifices! Another option for Black is first to exchange the dark squared bishops with 11...Bb4 12.Bd2 Bxd2 13.Qxd2 and only then Ba6, but I think, this is agreeing to suffer in a worse position.

@ChessinT: Svidler warming to the idea: "It might not be the best move in the position, but it's very conceptual

Natalia Pogonina: Anand the pawn grabber.

@erwinlami: Now it's Anand's turn to get us through the commercial break. Seems fair.

@SusanPolgar: 15. Nf3 e5 everything goes according to plan. After giving away a few pawns, the Bishop pair is now powerful.

@erwinlami: Interesting change of scenery. Now Black is the one sacrificing a pawn! 15.Nf3 e5 should be dynamically equal.

10…c4 My premonitions did not deceive me! Boris did not want to defend passively for many moves in a row. 13…cxd5 14.Nxe5 Black has repaired his pawn structure. Now he must attack!

Gilberto Milos c4 This was not necessary, and was a voluntary decision by Gelfand. The idea is to open the game for the bishops, an idea that Anand approved of in the post-game conference.
12...Qd5 Giving another pawn and definitively improving his pawn structure. 13.Qxd5 cxd5 14.Nxe5 f6 Now black has center and two bishops for the pawn. It is enough compensation

Malcolm Pein 10.Nd2, e5 and c5 are weak. Boris had a long think to 59 minutes used and came up with a dynamic and bold solution c4 Boris thought to 59 minutes!

Csaba Balogh 13.Qxd5 so Anand prefers to not risk and goes for the endgame, where only he can win. A practical decision!

the draw and tie break incoming
16. O-O Kf7 17. c4 Be7 18. Be3 Bb7 19. cxd5 Bxd5 20. Rfc1 a5 21. Bc5 Rhd8 22. Bxe7 1/2-1/2

@Pogonina: I wonder why Anand traded queens. Looks like full compensation for Black now: two bishops, nice pawn structure, etc.
Natalia Pogonina: It seems like Anand is not sure what he was trying to do. At first it looked as if he was pushing for a win. Then he started choosing one drawish continuation after the other. This is a bad sign for him. Anyway, we are headed to tie-breaks. A great achievement by Gelfand, even if he doesn't win in the end.
Csaba Balogh 17. c4 Be7 Black has a very easy play with Rhd8 then a possible plan could be Bb7 and a5-a4. The bishoppair dominates the board. It is very hard to suggest a plan for White, which could improve on his position. Any kind of pawn moves leads to kind of weakaning, of what the bishoppair could make use.

Svidler: "I'm sure the idea of offering a draw has visited Vishy more than once here

@TelegraphChess: Black intending d4 and kingside and central expansion I would be slightly concerned if I was VA kudos to Boris he plays superbly

@TelegraphChess: Vlad K says he is amazed and shocked as Vishy could play without risk 'One of the strangest positions I ever saw in WCC match" - VK

Malcolm Pein 16..Kf7 Black has ample compensation. Look how he has opened the game for the bishops and the light squared one is the key. To gain some space Vishy must consider c2-c4.

22.Bxe7 and here Anand somewhat unexpectedly OFFERED A DRAW, which Gelfand quickly accepted. [22.Nd2 was no worse, in effect telling Black to go ahead and trade bishops on c5.] A possible continuation was 22…Kxe7 23.Nd2 a4 24.Rc7+ Kf8! 25.b4 a3! and Black’s counterplay is not bad.

Gilberto Milos 22.Bxe7 and they agreed a draw. Really disappointing!

after the game

@Pogonina: Gelfand:We are playing a match, not entertaining the spectators! We don't have to play out the moves; commentators can explain

Mikhail Golubev sorry BG thats how you will kill the game for the public.

@SilvioDanailov: Anybody calculated what was the moves average on the match?24-25 moves per game perhaps? Looks like the players are proud & happy :) Congrats!

@albertovmelo: @LevAronian Lev, are you surprised on gelfands prep? Do tou believe he could win the rapid games against Anand?

@LevAronian: @albertovmelo yes,gelfand is playing very well.In the last couple of games Anand also showed fresh ideas! Can't guess what'll rapid bring.

@LevAronian: Anand-Gelfand g 12 was brilliant.Anand found a great pawn sac at home,and Gelfand answered with 2 pawn sacs! Wow,can't wait till tiebreaks!"

@anishgiri: @LevAronian Finally someone saying something positive about this short, but truly remarkable game! :)"

@stuthefox: Average number of moves per game in the Anand v Gelfand World Chess Championship: 29.

JenShahade: It's funny that everyone complains about how boring this match is (with such careful and often accurate play) but also complain about the prospect of a playoff, which will certainly be very wild & random. Chess fans can be a demanding bunch :)

@ChessinT: Svidler says some of the very strong players in the Tretyakov Gallery think Black is better. Svidler "doesn't rule it out

@MarkTWIC: World #Chess Ch Gm12. Kramnik thinks Anand will "already looking for the exit" which might be a draw offer, which Gelfand may turn down.

@Pogonina: Kramnik: Khalifman, Kasimdzhanov, Ponomariov have had great achievements, but winning the title in a match is a totally different thing.

-- all comments and quotations by its respective author --

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