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Viswanathan Anand vs Boris Gelfand
Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 12, May-28
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 24 OF 25 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-28-12  Chess Network: Video of this game:

May-28-12  Petrosianic: <If someone is more worthy than Gelfand to be playing, why did Gelfand win the candidates?>

Maybe because the matches were a piddly Best of 4, most of which were decided by Blitz or Rapids? In the old days, Best of 10 was the minimum you'd see even for a quarterfinal match.

May-28-12  Gambit All: A pretty listless effort by Anand with White in the final 'real' game of the championship. He either loves blitz or has lost some of his nerve for big games. Excepting when he needed a win he didn't seem interested in trying for one.
May-28-12  Petrosianic: Even when he did need a win, it seemed more like Gelfand self-destructing than Anand exerting himself.
May-28-12  twinlark: <maxi>

<I doubt that the number of practical positions would be that huge, perhaps in the order of 10^10.>

I recall seeing a figure along the lines of 10^56 working from a baseline of 10^120 number of possible positions. Still too large for any computer apart from the mythical quantum beast to fully calculate.

May-28-12  MORPHYEUS: I believe that number is more than the number of electrons in the Universe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: < Alex56171: <HeMateMe> Please, where have you got those numbers ([6.02 x 10^23] x 10^40])? >

I was trying to combine atoms and possible chess moves in a 40 move game. Moles of atoms x 10^40 hypothetical chess moves in a 40 move game (I won't be challenging Stephan Hawking for his Chair at Oxford, needless to say).

May-29-12  Alex56171: <twinlark> Considering all possible permutations [P(64,32) + P(64,31) + ... + P(64,2)] which generates a majority and a huge number of illegal and unlikely positions, as <Monoceros > quoted, I got 4.97 x 10^53 positions. I would like to understand how someone got a baseline of 10^120 positions.
May-29-12  Alex56171: <HeMateMe and MORPHYEUS> Please see the considerations of <Monoceros, JoergWalter, SamsAtom1980 and Maxi>. I think they clarifies the issue.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Position after 10.Nd2:

click for larger view

Looks like <10c4>, which was commended by Anand himself in the press conference, is indeed the star move of this game. For those who didnt follow the game live, it's worth noting that Gelfand thought for almost a whole hour at this point. This time, for a change, Anand as White managed to surprise him in the opening, probably getting with 5.d3 & 6.b3 (a very rare move) the kind of play that he wanted to get in game 10 and that Gelfand spoiled after 5.b3 e5!

With 10c4, Gelfand avoided getting into passive play with, for example, 10...Be7 11.Bb2 f6 (11...00 12.h5 or 12.Qg4) 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qh6 Kf7 14.Ne4, which would have promised White lasting initiative. Instead, he sacrificed two pawns to remain one down in order to activate his bishops and improve his pawn structure. Anand might still have posed more difficulties for him with 13.Qg3, which avoids a queen exchange and puts pressure on e5 & g7, but once he exchanged queens and took on e5 most of Gelfand's problems were over.

May-29-12  optimal play: If this had been a traditional 24 (minimum) game match without rapids, then it is much less likely that Anand would have agreed to these short draws, especially with a significant time advantage in two of them.

It's a bit like a soccer team just defensively playing out a drawn game to full-time because they're more confident of winning the penalty shoot-out.

With so much dismay at this format and the way it was played many fans may even consider that for all intents and purposes the position of World Champion is now vacant, regardless of who it is eventually awarded to?

May-29-12  MORPHYEUS: A 12 match game could be exciting, like Anand-Kramnik and Anand-Topalov. I wouldn't consider the title vacant though.
May-29-12  Hesam7: <Eyal: <Hesam7: After 12. ... Qd5 if White tries to avoid the endgame with 13. Qg3 Black can liquidate with: 13. ... Bxc4 14. bxc4 Qa5+ 15. Bd2 Bb4 16. Bxb4 Qxb4+ 17. Ke2>

White doesn't have to allow the exchange of bishops here - he can play 15.Ke2 immediately.>

I missed that. After 13. Qg3 Bxc4 14. bxc4 Qa5+ 15. Ke2, I tried 15. ... Qa4 16. Rb1 Qxc2+ 17. Bd2:

click for larger view

Here Black is walking a tightrope, for example:

17. ... f6 18. Rb7! Rd8 (forced) 19. Qf3 Qa4 20. Rhb1 Qa6 (20. ... c5? 21. Ba5) 21. Qg4 c5 22. Bh6 g6 23. R1b6!

click for larger view

So from the first diagram Black should try other ways of defending e5. 17. ... Rd8 seems the best but after 18. Rhc1 Qxa2 19. Rb7 f6 20. Rcb1 the only improvement is that Black is not losing immediately.

This strongly indicates that Black can't waste time with moves like 15. ... Qa4, on the other hand 15. ... Qc7 runs into 16. d4!.

May-29-12  Hesam7: <Other option is 13.Qg3, which allows e4 to get rid of the doubled pawns. It leads to amazing complications after O-O.> GM Balogh

After 13. Qg3 e4 14. O-O:

click for larger view

Black's structural problem turns into developing his K-side. I think White has a big advantage, for example after 14. ... Bc5 15. Rd1:

click for larger view

Black still can not castle:

15. ... O-O? 16. Bh6 Bd4 17. dxe4 Qc5 (17. ... Qxe4 & 17. ... Qh5 seem even worse) 18. Rxd4 (White goes for a long forced line) 18. ... Qxd4 19. c3 Qf6 20. Bg5 Qg6 21. Ne5 Qh5 22. Bf6 Qh6 23. Be7 Rfe8 24. Ng4 Qd2 25. Nf6+ Kh8 26. Nxe8 Rxe8 27. Bc5

click for larger view

May-29-12  romni: My own reckoning about the title of World Champion is that he/she is 'first amongst equals'. We all know of players from the past who would have been worthy 'Champs' but who, for one reason or another never held the title. Nowadays, with the intensity of playing schedule we should not be surprised when a great player doesn't become World Champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Hesam7> Here are a couple of more lines that look dangerous for Black (the first is given by Shipov, the second by Monokroussos):

13.Qg3 Bxc4 14.bxc4 Qa5+ (14...Bb4+ 15.Ke2 Qd4 16.Rb1) 15.Ke2 f6 16.Rb1 Qa6 17.f4 (17.Bd2 is also interesting) 17...exf4 (17...e4 18.Re1) 18.Bxf4 Kf7 19.Rhf1 Be7 20.h5 Rad8 21.Be5 Rhg8 22.Qf4:

click for larger view

And White has a strong attack (with ideas such as h6, g4, or Qe4)

Even the liquidation of bishops, in case White allows that, might not solve Black's problems: 15.Bd2 Bb4 16.Bxb4 Qxb4+ 17.Ke2 Qc3 18.Qxg7 Qxc2+ 19.Kf1 Qxd3+ 20.Kg1:

click for larger view

And Black's king is much less safe than White's.

Anand of 2008 would surely have played 13.Qg3...

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Go Boris!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <AVRO38><Define "beats". Gelfand can draw all the games on Wednesday and still become World Champion! This does not qualify as "beats" in my book.> Well, in the worst case scenario, when it would go down to the "Armageddon" game with Gelfand as black, it can be technically true. But according to current rules, which were not made by Gelfand, the draw with black in Armageddon game, where black has the draw odds against the time odds of white, is equal to win of the game. It is probably the most idiotic but still legitimate way to decide the match.
May-29-12  Hesam7: <Eyal: 13.Qg3 Bxc4 14.bxc4 Qa5+ (14...Bb4+ 15.Ke2 Qd4 16.Rb1) 15.Ke2 f6 16.Rb1 Qa6 17.f4 (17.Bd2 is also interesting) 17...exf4 (17...e4 18.Re1) 18.Bxf4 Kf7 19.Rhf1 Be7 20.h5 Rad8 21.Be5 Rhg8 22.Qf4>

13. Qg3 Bxc4 14. bxc4 Qa5+ 15. Ke2 f6 16. Rb1 is one of the critical lines and here I think Black should try 16. ... Qc7.

click for larger view

I have not been able to come up with anything concrete for White, after 17. d4 Qa5 I tried:

(a) 18. dxe5 Qxa2 19. Qb3 (forced if trying to win) 19. ... Qxb3 and after both recaptures Black's best move is ... a5. I don't see anyway White can get any advantage here.

(b) 18. Qg4 f5 (forced) 19. Qh5+ g6 (forced) 20. Qf3 Qa4! and White has no way of pushing forward.

(c) 18. Qh3 f5 (forced) 19. dxe5 Bc5 (19. ... Qxe5? 20. Qe3! and the White rooks invade the 7th rank) 20. Bd2 Qa6 and again White's attack ends.

And if instead of 17. d4 White plays something slow like 17. Be3 then Black can escape: 17. ... Kf7 18. Rb3 Be7 19. Rhb1 Rab8.

May-29-12  Hesam7: <Eyal> I think I will never bother with any analysis by IM Malcolm Pein. Here is his take on 13. Qg3:

<13.Qg3 Bxc4 14.bxc4 Qa5+ 15.Bd2 Bb4!=>

May-29-12  Ulhumbrus: At the end of the game Anand's opinion may have been that his game was not objectively won and he followed his opinion. He may have considered it unwise to attempt to win the game and a remark of Shipov's suggests that it was not true, as Kramnik said, that White would have run no risk trying to win. The risk would be justified if in Anand's opinion White's game was won but Anand's opinion was that it was not. In that case his choice may have been wise.
May-29-12  Hesam7: <Anand of 2008 would surely have played 13.Qg3...>

Several points:

1. We don't know what is going on behind the scenes, Anand could have personal problem (like Kramnik back in 2004).

2. In 2008, Anand's preparation helped his game a lot more than people think. With that kind of advantage in preparation, you will perform much better once you are on your own as well: while you know what you are dealing with a lot of time on the clock, your opponent will be tired and approaching time trouble.

3. In 2008, Anand had his bad moments as well. See games 2, 9 & 10. His succeeded because he had 2 big novelties and he got 3 wins with them! And that is quite lucky, Kramnik could have played other openings and we would have seen an entirely different match.

4. Anand might really like his chances in rapid. He has been a legendary rapid player and you can make a case that Gelfand would not do so well in rapid. In the match whenever Gelfand faced an unknown position he burnt extraordinary amounts of time. I think if today's game was rapid, White would have won. Gelfand would not play a move like 10. ... c4 and without that move White's game is extremely easy and Black has to suffer with no end in sight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <10^120 number of possible positions> I think that the number 10^120 represents rather an estimate of the game-tree complexity based on statistical data of the average lenght of the game and an average branching factor. Estimates for the number of "possible positions" are much lower ranging from 10^40 to 10^50. I think that all these numbers are vastly exaggerated as they include majority of illegal positions (and I mean not only Pawns on the first rank or both Kings under check but also positions, which cannot be reached by any legal order of moves from the starting position) and maybe even duplicate positions. Of course, the game-tree complexity includes many transpositions and utter nonsenses.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Rob Morrison: I'm amazed by black's opening play. If I didn't know who played this I would have guessed from the first seven moves that white was Nimzovitch and black was some patzer who had zero understanding of Nimzo's principles.

Clearly I'm the patzer and I will have to get a new understanding of what was going on in this opening.

May-29-12  blazerdoodle: Interesting then that this Patzer drew the world champion.
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