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Viswanathan Anand vs Boris Gelfand
Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 5, May-17
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Chelyabinsk Variation (B33)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-17-12  xanadu: Another unforgetable game!! I will expend the whole night analyzing this game till the last consequences. Donīt spend more time analyzing the games of Kasparov or Fischer, just follow these fantastic Anand-Gelfand match full of surprises!!
May-17-12  shannie: Ok, I get up at 5:00 A.M. to watch the world chess championship. It is not enough that we have five draws but halfway through the game we get an hour long art appreciation lesson. This morning we lost the analysis by Lutier at move 17 and when the art lesson was over so was the game. You see there is no Russian participant in this championship so all our Soviet friends can do is bugger up the broadcast. I will sleep tomorrow morning.
May-17-12  Biff The Understudy: This match is an absolute disgrace.

First it seems that both players reached the conclusion that the best way to win was to wait the opponent to make a blunder, and not take any risk at all. It's as interesting as watching a brick wall for a whole afternoon.

Then someone got the genius idea to put art and chess together. At first I thought, well that's fantastic. Play in a great museum in the middle of sublime paintings, what else can you ask? But these guys apparently mistook "art" for "art history". Art is meant to be enjoyed, not to be talked about. I like to watch a painting just as much as I hate listening to boring scholars talking about it. ESPECIALLY in the middle of a @#$%*!& chess game.

In order to ruin a bit more everything, they put their boring videos at the only moment there could be some tension in the damn game. Like, around move 15 - 20. And so when it's finally over, the game you had left at a state of advanced opening that hasn't brought anything yet because we all know the major lines, is in a end-of-game drawish situation. Thanks for killing the little spark of excitement and tension by screening it with something I don't care about.

As if it was not depressing enough, Gelfand apparently doesn't like press conferences so he answers by unintelligible monosyllabs to every question that he is being asked. Like, if he wants to play the most boring chess in history, at least he could talk about it. And if he doesn't want to create anything interesting and doesn't want to talk, maybe he should do something else. Investment banking, for example, like Joel Lautier, could be an idea.

Yeah, because I forgot to mention that we know everything about Lautier's career in corporate banking. Can't blame them, there were nothing else to talk about.

Sorry for the rant but I needed it.

May-17-12  Jim Bartle: "If I had the audacity to (and opportunity of course) play the Schliemann against Radjabov I would find out just how drawish it can be."

Yes, you should offer him a draw about move ten...

May-17-12  Chess for life: <YouRang><If you must compare this match to another sport, perhaps you can compare it to a baseball game, where each game of the match corresponds to one inning.

If both pitchers and both defenses are good, you can have a bunch of innings where nobody scores. In some innings, nobody will even get on base -- which can be boring.

And yet, the tension exists because both teams are under pressure to continue playing well. One bad pitch or one fielding error could allow a decisive run to score. I think this match is similar in that respect.

I will say though that I like the Sophia rule, which says that players are not permitted to simply agree to a draw unless approved by the arbitrator. In the baseball analogy, it corresponds to the fact that opposing managers cannot agree to (say) let the 4th inning go by with nobody trying to score, just so the players can rest.>

Excellent analysis. I agree that the Sofia rule should be imposed. I'm bothered by Chessbase's statement that "there was nothing left to play for" in the final position. I remember back in the 2006 match between Topalov and Kramnik, around move 17 of game 1 (Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006) when the queens came off the board, GM Roman Dzindzichashvili was saying the position was basically drawn and that "there was nothing left to play for". That game ended up being a phenomenal Kramnik win, in 75 moves no less!

I think the players should have to prove they can hold the draw. The argument that they're trying to save energy is ridiculous. They're only playing one game a day and get a full rest day every three days, and the schedule is even lighter towards the end of the match!

Impose the Sofia rule! Now!

May-17-12  DWINS: Why is this match only 12 games long? I think that has to be one of the main reasons that the players are being so cautious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Trying to hold on to the b-pawn by 26.b3 (rather than Qa3) 26...Rb8 27.Ba4 leads to nothing after 27...Rc8! (threatening to play Bc1 and queen the pawn) 28.Ra1 (28.Bc6 Rb8 attacking the pawn again; 28.Qe2 Rc3, threatening Rxg3+ and with the idea of Qc5-Rc2 is even dangerous for White) 28...Rc1+ 29.Rxc1 Bxc1 30.Qc2 (gaining a tempo to catch the a-pawn by a mate threat on c8) 30...g5! 31.Qxa2 gxh4 32.gxh4 Qd8.>

To complete the variation - 31.Qxc1 (instead of Qxa2) Qd4 (eyeing a1) and now White has nothing better than to force a perpetual starting with 32.Qxg5+.

May-17-12  Caissas Clown: I'm with Xanadu. Five draws regardless,I don't find the match boring.
May-17-12  twinlark: This is a match for the purists, not for those into punch-em-up knock-em-down bloodsports. These two players are fantastically well prepared and have basically met every challenge so far.

If you want to see it from the purists' point of view and get an idea of the quality of these games, tune into Daniel King's analyses on chessbase.

The problem here is the length of the match, not the players, where every game brings us rapidly closer to the end of the far too short match.

Take a look at most WC games and even quite a few of the longer Candidates matches, and this amount of consecutive draws is common.

So all you people who think these guys are being gutless or that chess is played out because of computers yada yada...chill out. They're not.

May-17-12  xanadu: I do not agree with the analogy with baseball, because in baseball you can have innigs without runnings but with exciting "moves" anyway, with players doing their maximum efforts. Here, in this match, there is nothing exciting. The match can be super-exciting even if were full of draws: this is not the point. The point is that both players are doing nothing, not taking risks, not introducing novelties, not insisting in playing long games, they just wait (and not for long time)to see if the other makes a full mistake, or if they have more chances in the rapid games (which is really something mediocre). So bad chess...
May-17-12  talriga25: I cant blame Gelfand for these boring games...Because that is his only chance...And Anand just dont wanna be agressive...He will try attack maybe last white game...More likely till game 11 or 12 we will see draws...
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Someone posted that the Sveshnikov was Anand's "nemesis" but his results don't support that idea = Repertoire Explorer: Viswanathan Anand (white)

Anand had one previous game with 11. c4 Anand vs Radjabov, 2008 while the rest were 11. c3. I wonder if we'll see an upsurge in 11. c4 now.

May-17-12  Jim Bartle: There are no longer adjournments, which gave the better endgame players (and their teams) a chance to win in even positions.

I wonder if this has some effect on the early draws. Maybe with the possibility of an adjournment (at least) one player would want to go on to move 40 and try to out-analyze his opponent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <kappertjes: < <Jim Bartle: FSR: Is that because of the lines themselves, or perhaps because (being sharp) they've been analyzed so deeply?>

Super-sharp lines are eventually either (a) proven to be strong, in which case the opponent avoids them, (b) refuted, in which case people stop playing them, or (c) analyzed out to a draw.>

Which btw also means these sharp lines are still sharp and only drawish for those who know the theory. If I had the audacity to (and opportunity of course) play the Schliemann against Radjabov I would find out just how drawish it can be.>

The Schliemann may well be a "kids, don't try this at home" route to a draw. I daresay that Radjabov knows tons of theory, has spent hundreds of hours analyzing the Schliemann, has probably played it in thousands of blitz games, has a deep understanding of Black's counterplay, and knows how to hold lots of pawn-down endings that ordinary players would lose. Someone pointed out that no other super-GMs seem to have jumped on the "Schliemann as a drawing weapon" train.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Hmm, actually it seems that Vadim Zvjaginsev (a little below 2700, but no slouch) has boarded the Schliemann drawing train.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < saaki: <Richard Taylor> draw move 27 not 26. So good prediction and not being sarki! >


May-18-12  goodevans: <Eyal: Trying to hold on to the b-pawn by 26.b3 (rather than Qa3) 26...Rb8 27.Ba4 leads to nothing...>

After <26.b3 Rb8 27.Ba4 Rc8 28.Ra1 Rc1+ 29.Rxc1 Bxc1 30.Qc2 g5 31.Qxa2 gxh4> I think I prefer <32.Qe2>.

But regardless of whether <32.Qe2> or <32.gxh4> is better, after <26.b3> the game is still alive and in the balance, whereas <26.Qa3> just kills it stone dead straight away.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Video annotation dual commentary between myself and Chessexplained (soon to be IM titled)

May-18-12  DWINS: Can someone explain to me why such a few number of games was chosen for this match?
May-18-12  Shams: <Can someone explain to me why such a few number of games was chosen for this match?>

It'$ very my$teriou$. Nobody know$ for $ure.

May-19-12  positionalgenius: First of all, its FIDE's rules that have it at 12 games. (Kramnik-topalov 2006 and kramnik-anand 2008 were both also 12 games) Additionally, it seems alot of kibitzers are faulting these players for their lack of mistakes. I'd rather see a tough match like this than a blunderfest with alot of wins. So far, they simply havent pressed hard consistently in each game. But thats because of the shortness of the match, which is fully (once again) kirsan's fault.
May-19-12  Shams: <But thats because of the shortness of the match, which is fully (once again) kirsan's fault.>

And why has Kirsan made that choice? Because of the dough-re-mi-ski. Follow the money.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ja Dood: 24. Ba4 trying to win the b pawn...
May-25-12  Chess Network: I've created a YouTube video of this game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <16.Qd3>

click for larger view

"This is like a "half-novelty" by White, which seems to lead to a forced draw. However it was the most logical way of developing and also the standard one. White generally wants to play Qd3, Rfd1, and later he can choose between different plans, like Nde3 or h4-Kh2-Bh3, or a3.

16.Qe2!?; 16.h4!? Bh6 17.Qd3 Bxd5 18.exd5 Nd4 19.Nxd4 exd4 20.Qxd4 g6 with compensation." - Arkadi Naiditsch


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