Wednesday, May 23, 2012

GMs Comment Gelfand-Anand Hard Draw on Round Nine

Game nine of World Chess Championship 2012 between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand ended in a draw. A Nimzo Indian was played as Boris Gelfand on White's 1.d4 and Anand played Black. In the middle game, Gelfand put permanent waves of attack to black side and black needed a caress of steel to defence it. Unfortunately the vapor trails of white plan to bring a farewell to king of black just not work. When the clockwork angels didn't favoured both player in time trouble, white giving up and offered a draw. Fortunately this draw is more than the previous draw and see signal of each player tendency to roll the bones of their opponent.

A compilation of Grandmaster commentaries from official site and "unofficial" on twitter are once again present here. I thank you whom supporting this fun project and hope to as close as possible to documented fun trivial comments on this historic match.

LIVE commentaries on official site:
Peter Svidler, Grischuk, Illya Smirin

during game / LIVE
GM Arkadij Naiditsch on chessdom/chessbomb
Natalia Pogonina on chessgames and twitter
GM Sergey Shipov is doing live commentaries and post game analysis
GM Alberto Milos on chessbase
IM Malcolm Pein on TWIC and live comment on twitter as well

Susan Polgar, Erwin L'Ami joined now Anish Giri, Stuart Conquest,
Kosteniuk , Mark "TWIC" Crowther etc.

Different Stages the Nimzo Indian Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.O-O dxc4

Natalia Pogonina ‏@Pogonina
Correctly predicted 1.d4 Nf6 in today's game (no Slav!)

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
Logical for Anand to switch openings, game 7 was a disaster. #anandgelfand

IM Malcolm Pein
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4
The Slav is evidently in the repair shop

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Gm9. Gelfand-Anand. Highly theoretical Nimzo-Indian is a change from the semi-slav Anand has played so far.

Grischuk: "I think that after the last two games they have lost respect for each other in the chess sense and will now be playing more ambitiously". :)

Natalia Pogonina: Today’s game is very interesting in the sense that now both players have suffered knock-downs. Let’s see whose nerves are stronger. The stereotype is that Anand handles defeats pretty badly, while Gelfand is more resistant. However, his blunder in game 8 reminded everyone that Boris is by far not as good in tactics as Anand usually is. Will Vishy be able to exploit this advantage somehow, or will Gelfand recover from the blow and put his motivation and strong will to good use? We’ll find out soon

Natalia Pogonina: I wonder how many blue NIIT shirts Anand has at his disposal. It looks as if he is always wearing the same one, but the impression is obviously wrong.

GM Naiditsch
6. Nf3 c5 we see the very main Nimzovich variation, the line with d5 and c5. Anand himself played many games in this position, as well as Gelfand with Black. The position is very well known was popular opening even 70 years ago!

Working Man - The Middlegame
8.Bxc4 cxd4 9.exd4 b6 10.Bg5 Bb7 11.Qe2 Nbd7 12.Rac1 Rc8 13.Bd3 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Qc7
Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
7...dxc4 8. Bxc4 cxd4 9. exd4 b6 We have yet to see a novelty so far. 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Qe2 Both are still in theory.
11...Nbd7 12. Rac1 It's interesting that even though Anand surprised Gelfand with the Nimzo, White is playing faster.

Jovanka Houska ‏@thelittlehat
listening and enjoying Svidler's commentary esp his opinion on program patzers!

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
A game Karpov-Psakhis continued 12...Bxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7 14.Bd3 Ng4! forcing a bishop exchange with on e4.

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
12...Rc8 Anand spent a lot of time to make this move. White could make a play for the Kingside or the center. I give white a slight edge +=

GM Naiditsch
12. Rac1 Gelfand seems to know it well and plays very quickly 12.Rac1, as well a logical move. White wants to play at 12...Rc8 13.Bd3 and now Black got not the chance to play Qc7 move, which is usually the right position for the Queen. Seems like Gelfand managed to surprise Vishy, which could mean a game full of action for us!

Test for Echo, the c4-c5!?
15.c4 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Rfe8 17.Rfd1 h6 18.Bh4 Qd6 19.c5 bxc5
Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
I surely didn't expect 15...Bxf3. Black wants to block the position after 16.Qxf3 e5. What about 17.Bf5!?

Natalia Pogonina ‏@Pogonina
Still don't understand Anand's Bf3. Recalled the wrong line? Overseen something?

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Game 9 16.Qxf3 Rfe8 * unless Vishy has some big idea white looks good here.

GM Naiditsch
15. c4 Black has now a couple of moves as well, I think 15...Qd6 is looking very solid, maybe 15...Qc6!? also interesting
15... Bxf3 this is really a surprising move by Anand, 15...Bxf3?! does not look good to me

Svidler is ecstatic about white's position on the official website

IM Malcolm Pein
15.c4 Bxf3?!
Voluntarily giving up the two bishops. Vishy criticised this afterwards. "Obviously I messed something up in the opening. Normally speaking my position is much worse, White just got the two bishops for my two knights and the only thing I did was to try and provoke this move 19. c5 because I thought that I would get rid of the bishop in almost all the lines and I could try and make a fortress. This is in fact what happened in the game."

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Game 9 after the dull start the match has sprung to life. This is why most fans wanted a longer match.

"This is what he was working towards his entire life." Svidler on Gelfand.

Grischuk on the Russian commentary: "If I was playing an average grandmaster I'd think this position would win itself".

17.Rfd1 h6 * Svidler thinks 18.Bh4 is the most natural here.

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
RT @erwinlami: @jonathanddownie So do I! Guess he missed Bf5 in case of e5, otherwise he'd never give up his bishop on f3.

Erwin l'Ami
If Anand missed such a shallow line then he's in deep trouble in this match. Maybe explanation of Gelfand aggression in Gm8

Grischuk: "Strategically speaking Black should play actively, but if he does the bishop pair will only become stronger".

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
14...Bxf3 This is a total stunner. Why would black give up his Bishop? It is now a pair of Bishops versus a pair of Knights.
I like white's position a lot better. 16. Qxf3 Rfe8 17. Rfd1 h6 I expect 18. Bh4 Black has an issue finding good squares for his pieces.
18. Bh4 as expected. I am puzzled of some of Anand's moves in this game. He is giving white an excellent position voluntarily.

Stuart Conquest ‏@stuthefox
Can someone please explain what Vishy is up to? No engine needed: every chess book in history will tell you White must stand better.

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Game 9. Key moment in the match. Gelfand thinking about move 19 he has the advantage, how to make the most of it?

Shipov speculates that the Soviet mentality is to feel more at home when things are going badly, so Anand's "gift" may unsettle Gelfand...

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
Thinking how to increase the pressure after 19.Bg3 Qb4. Maybe just 20.Rb1 Qa5 21.Qe2, stopping e5.

Judit Polgar ‏@GMJuditPolgar
Had it really been a prophecy? :) (twitted approx move 17)

Natalia Pogonina ‏@Pogonina
The bonus of classical time control chess games is that one can take a shower and return to commentating before a move is made :)

Alexandra Kosteniuk ‏@chessqueen
Going to my Yoga lesson, back in 1.5 hours! (this is twitted approx. on move 18)

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
18...Qd6 This is the best possible move for Anand. It gives his Queen more mobility. The question now is what should white do?

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
The concrete 19.c5 bxc5 20.dxc5 Rxc5! 21.Bh7+ Kxh7 22.Rxd1 Rxc1+ shouldn't be that big of a deal for black.

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
This is the critical moment for Gelfand. He must find the right plan if he wants the full point. This why he is spending a lot of time here.

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
I think a strategy of prophylaxis is the appropriate way here. Simply preventing any counterplay

GM Alberto Milos
19.c5 An interesting try which releases the pressure but wins material. The position would be very unpleasant for Black if White had played 19.a3 controlling b4, and keeping all possibilities to advance the central pawns open was a good option. How should Black continue? The computer might hold the position but who would play like a computer? Qe7! Other moves were not insufficient.
19...bxc5 Black has to sacrifice the queen but that is ok.
20. dxc5 Rxc5 21. Bh7+ Kxh7 22. Rxd6 Rxc1+ 23. Rd1 Rec8 *

Malcolm Pein ‏@TelegraphChess
Vishy sacs his queen but it looks very solid
19.c5!? (post game comments)
Anand was happy to see this rather than 19.Bg3 he had foreseen the consequences. In the commentary box Peter Svidler had this on the board well in advance of it's appearance on the board

GM Naiditsch
19. c5 What a strange decision... why to play 19.c5?! such a nice position White had no need at all to go for this forced line
19... bxc5 the position that will arrive now after 21.Bh7 in my opinion will be very hard to win for White

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Game 9. Gelfand takes a stable advantage. Svidler fears Gelfand isn't getting everything the position offered.

GM Naiditsch
23... Rec8 24. h3 Ne5 Now is it time to think for Black, how to exchange the knight against the bishop on h4, and in case it is not possible, where to put which piece to make a fortress...

Stuart Conquest ‏@stuthefox
In Gelfand-Anand, Shenyang 2000, Boris also achieved the material plus of Queen & bishop v rook, bishop & knight (but very complex) & drew.

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
One pitfall is 24...Kg8 25.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 26.Kh2 Nd5 27.Qa3 Rc7 28.Bg3! winning the a-pawn.

Grischuk: I'd have expected something like that [19.c5] only from some "computer kid".
Shipov: "He sold a gold watch for a rouble".

Grischuk even more convinced Gelfand went wrong with 19.c5 if even the queen-loving computer's evaluation has dropped.

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
"If he can't establish the hold along the 5th, this will be very annoying [for black]" - Svidler. Pawn on a5 rook on c5 is the ideal setup

Rush Through Time - the fall of Queen
20.dxc5 Rxc5 21.Bh7+ Kxh7 22.Rxd6 Rxc1+ 23.Rd1 Rec8 24.h3 Ne5 25.Qe2 Ng6 26.Bxf6 gxf6 27.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28.Kh2 Rc7

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar

26. Bxf6 gxf6 27. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28. Kh2 Black is planning his Rook on the 7th rank to build a fortress. The question is can white make progress

Grischuk: I think during this game the players have often thought: "What the fxxx is he doing?". Smirin: We will get banned for this! :D (re-phrased by Natalia Pogonina)

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Game 9. Svidler starting to have doubts that this is an easy draw. "This could be quite seriously unpleasant."

IM Malcolm Pein
28.Kh2 Rc7
As Vishy said he had many possible setups though in the games it was very tricky to decide which fortress to choose. And I have pawn on e5, knight on g6 Rook on e7 as one fortress, pawn on e5, knight on e6, rook on c7 as another, the one I chose in the game the knight on d5, there are just too many

GM Naiditsch
27... Rxc1+ now the question is, can Black bring the knight to d5 or not. In case yes, it is immediate draw, in case no - probably Gelfand could try to win for some time, by putting the pawn on a6, and the push the King pawns forward

28. Kh2 Rc7 29. Qb2 a great move by Gelfand, 29.Qb2!! The idea is to stop the black knight from moving away from g6. Now at 29...Kg7 30.Qb8! Re7 and 31.Qd8 or Qd6. Black will probably continue with 31.Qd6 Rb7 32.Qc6 Re7 33.g3! and maybe White has some chances.

Snakes and Arrows - Queen vs Rook and Knight
29.Qb2 Kg7 30.a4 Ne7 31.a5 Nd5 32.a6 Kh7 33.Qd4 f5 34.f4 Rd7

Shipov suggests the plan: pawn on a6, queen on d6, then g2-g3 and h3-h4-h5! and the black rook might not be able to hold the a7-pawn.

Svidler going back to the thought that black holds. But this is all about finding long term plans.

GM Naiditsch
a4 Oh, this is a real surprise to me, Gelfand is giving a chance to Black to play Ne7-Nd5 now. What can be White hopes for a win? Maybe to bring the King to h5! and try to take away the pawn on h6, could be interesting, maybe the position is not as drawish it looks.

GM Alberto Milos
30.a4 Ne7 Anand start to build his fortress. I believe the way he played is not the only one but it seems good enough

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
Anand brings his knight to d5. White will bring his pawn to a6 -fixing a7- and should try to combine threats on both wings

Anish Giri ‏@anishgiri
@erwinlami Queen somewhere to b8 to tie down the rook, then g4, h4.. Black is likely to collapse, don't you think?

"I would be worried but I'm not nearly as good a defender as Vishy." "He [Vishy] looks calm but he looks concerned." – Svidler

Patricia Llaneza ‏@PattyLlaneza
Maybe #WCC2012 broadcast has a huge audience of art lovers who are pissed off when some boring chess guys appear on the screen every 20' :-)
Retweeted by Jovanka Houska

After Nd5 Shipov says his fantasies include the white king getting to h5 and Qd2 winning the pawn on h6, or simply a kingside pawn storm.

GM Naiditsch
30... Ne7 of course Anand is playing 30...Ne7, and probably White will play now a5-a6. But maybe White should play first the move 31.g4!? to fix the Black's pawn structure.

31. a5 Nd5 seems to be not an easy draw at all... now we see why Gelfand was thinking for so long about the move 19.c5. The position is looking to be quite a draw - from the first look, but Gefland showed great understanding of the position! Difficult time for Anand ahead .

32. a6 Kh7 Black wants to play f5 now, so 33.g4 is looking very logical to counter it. But it seems like 33.g4 is not giving White any objective chances to win. Black would just keep on moving Kh7-Kg7 and at Whites Kg3-Kh4 just play Rc3! with mating threats. The good thing, for the first time during the match we got a chance to see a game over 40 moves!! :)

33. Qd4 Gefland is letting Anand choose whether he wants to play f5 or not and playing 33.Qd4

anishgiri: From my brief look seems that Vishy is in huge danger today.. White's eventual push on the kingside may break it.

Stuart Conquest ‏@stuthefox
Everyone criticised Boris' 19.c5 move. But now many are claiming real winning chances for White.

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
30...Ne7 Anand is doing exactly that. Gelfand's only chance is to find a way to make play with h4 - g5.

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
@anishgiri Interesting: white: Kh4, Qb8, a6, f4, g4, h5 black: Kg7, Rc7, Nd5, a7, e6, f7, f6, h6. Now g4-g5 seems extremely dangerous.

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
@anishgiri Interesting: white: Kh4, Qb8, a6, f4, g4, h5 black: Kg7, Rc7, Nd5, a7, e6, f7, f6, h6. Now g4-g5 seems extremely dangerous.

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
31. a5 Nd5 32. a6 Gelfand is trying a different plan, but I am still having a hard time to find a convincing path.

Shipov: "Another fantasy: f2-f4, g2-g4, h3-h4, g4-g5, of course blundering nothing. You just need to decide what to do with the Q and K."

Natalia Pogonina ‏@Pogonina
Hope we are not seeing ANOTHER record today - the longest game in the history of chess :)

Stuart Conquest ‏@stuthefox
@Pogonina you should have time for another shower or two :)

Natalia Pogonina: Btw, Anand LOVES playing with the knights. At his command those wild horses are of kamikadze strength. (via

IM Malcolm Pein
34.f4  Now Vishy relaxed somewhat: He said: "When he played f4 and I had f5 and h5 then I thought I'm safe, I couldn't see a way forward for him. In fact I don't even need this Re7 and Ng8. I played this Re7 because I saw this Ng8 trick but if I play Kh6 I think we are just repeating the position for the second time already. I simply don't know if white missed a win somewhere."

Exit.. Stage Left - the Fortress and failed siege
35.Kg3 Kg6 36.Qh8 Nf6 37.Qb8 h5 38.Kh4 Kh6 39.Qb2 Kg6 40.Qc3 Ne4 41.Qc8 Nf6 42.Qb8 Re7 43.g4 hxg4 44.hxg4 fxg4 45.Qe5 Ng8 46.Qg5+ Kh7 47.Qxg4 f6 48.Qg2 Kh8 49.Qe4 Kg7 1/2-1/2

Shipov: "The main question just now: does the f6-f5 advance favour Black? If it does then White needs to play g2-g4 immediately".

Anish Giri ‏@anishgiri
@erwinlami Looks dangerous, also some other similar ideas that look tricky.. So, this c5 seems like a reasonable decision after all? :)

GM Naiditsch
34. f4 Why does Gelfand play first 34.f4 and not 34.g4!? Also a bit strange, but the idea probably stays the same. The g4 move is needed, no way to play without it. Maybe Black could try now to avoid taking on g4. The move 34.f4 is really strange

Shipov's in shock about 37...h5. He thought Black should just tread water.

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
It's very important now that 38...Kh6 39.Qb3 Kg6 40.Qg3+ Kh7 41.Qg5 Ne4! 42.Qxh5+ Kg7 wins for Black!

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Game 9. Anand can even allow Qg3+ in many circumstances and Gelfand can even get into trouble by capturing on h5.

Anish Giri ‏@anishgiri
Looks like unique fortress found

Erwin l'Ami ‏@erwinlami
Nice defense from Anand! The fortress is now impregnable, expect a draw soon, by Anand.. Brilliant! :)

Shipov agrees it's now clear Anand's found another path to a draw. He was worried about the queen getting to g5, but it does White no good.

Shipov: "The draw is near. Boris is suffering at the board. Vishy is calm, luminous and pure like the Buddha"

Natalia Pogonina: Anand is building up the very same fortress that I have pointed out before.

Grischuk: "In my first Linares I set a fortress against Leko, he thought for 30 minutes, & I nearly ordered a beer at the board”.

Mark Crowther ‏@MarkTWIC
World #Chess Championship Gm9 the expected 42....Re7 played by Anand. Now 43.g4 sacrificing a pawn for a final try is the last option

Smirin: "Gelfand can play on as he's not risking anything". Grishcuk: "Nobody's risking anything any more"

Susan Polgar ‏@SusanPolgar
Sorry, internet connection died :( Anyway, nice hold by Anand. Now Anand has an edge with 2 white in final 3 games.

after the game

Viswanathan Anand:

Obviously I messed something up in the opening. Normally speaking my position is much worse, white just got the two bishops for my two knights and the only thing I did was to try and provoke this move 19. c5 because I thought that I would get rid of the bishop in almost all the lines and I could try and make a fortress.

Do you feel pleased or not?

Gelfand: I have never come across a player who is happy to draw a better position.

Peter Svidler:

To sum up. I think c5 was not forced on move 19, objectively perhaps Bg3 was stronger, even though you can't blame Boris for winning the Queen when he has a chance. He gave it a fairly decent shot, forced Vishy to show some precision in this position. But Vishy was equal to it and all in all an interesting game.

@SilvioDanailov: Gelfand missed great chance to win today. However, I still would put my money on him. Tomorrow is important day, the nerves will decide.

all twits, comments and texts by their respective author


  1. opo tho iki bingung aku

  2. Bahasa Indonesia version coming soon , mas


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