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Boris Gelfand vs Viswanathan Anand
Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2008) (blindfold), Nice FRA, rd 10, Mar-26
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation (D47)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-26-08  anandrulez: Extract from official report ... The blindfold game between Boris Gelfand and Vishy Anand was another example of the extraordinary depth of preparation on the highest level. As he revealed after the game, Anand had prepared the amazing bishop manoeuvre to a1 on move 20 for last year’s Amber tournament. Funnily, he came to the right assessment of the position thanks to a mouse slip. When he looked at the position after 21.e5 he touched his mouse by mistake and inadvertently pushed his c-pawn to c5. And before he could correct his mistake the engine he was running indicated that this move was bull’s eye! The machine’s verdict was correct, as Gelfand had to discover in the remainder of the game.
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  vonKrolock: prepared <since last year> and <touched his mouse by mistake > etc - Well, we can say with the Earl of Kent: <"I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.">
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: Probably he was joking - I'm realizing
Anand possesses a fine sense of humour too... <21...c6-c5> is a human move: opening atractive lines over the castled white ♔ and with a clear short-threat in case of the immediate acceptance of the 'f6' ♘... 22.♖xa1!? was white's best chance: 22...♖xa1 23.exf6 etc
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: After 27. fxg7 black has to work harder for a win. If 27...cxd3, then 28. gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 29. Qxd3, and now 29...Bf3 fails because of 30. Qd8#. If 27...Bf3, then 28. Bxh7+ Kxh7 29. gxf8=Q.

But if 27...Re8, then 28. Qc2 cxd3 29. Qxd3 Be4 30. Qd7 Ra8.

Mar-27-08  sheaf: 21..c5!, I just wonder how hard it must be to defend such an opening idea blindfolded, 21.e5 looks like a normal gm move where white tries to block blacks dark square bishop at the same time threatenting seemingly important knight on f6.. but c5 looks undefendable.. high quality preparation by anand.
Mar-28-08  Ulhumbrus: One point of 21...c5!! is that on 22 exf6 Bd4+ 23 Kh1 Qd5 White lacks any satisfactory way to defend the g2 pawn eg 24 Rg1 Bxg1 25 Qxg1 Qxd3 winning material
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <al wazir: After 27. fxg7 black has to work harder for a win... if 27...Re8, then 28. Qc2 cxd3 29. Qxd3 Be4 30. Qd7 Ra8.>

After 29...Bf3 in this line White loses the queen and gets mated rather quickly: e.g. 30.Kd2 Rxe2+ 31.Kc3 Qxg7+ 32.Qd4 Re3+ 33.Kc2 Qxd4 etc.

24...Qd5 as played by Anand was apparently an inaccuracy, since it allows White 25.Bxh7+ Kxh7 26.Qxd5 Bxd5 27.bxc5, which is still bad but should be significantly better than what he got in the game. Instead, Black can attack g2 with 24...Qc6 or Qg4. Then White may defend g2 with Qf1 without immediately dropping the bishop on d3, but Black can still win it by c4, leaving White in a completely hopeless position.

Jan-24-09  Jim Bartle: Interesting. Voted #1 by two Informant judges (Christiansen, Gurevich), totally ignored by three others.
Jun-13-15  prithvimothi: What was the point of the last two moves played by Gelfand before resigning
Aug-17-16  maxi: The move 20...Ba1 is simply magnificent! To play it one has to be aware of the resource 21.e5 c5!

The point of 20...Ba1 is to impede the variation 20...Bc7 21.Nc3 Ra-a8 and Black has a passive position. But the Bishop in a1 does not allow White to play the Knight to c3.

After 20...Ba1 21.e5? (such an apparently good move) White is already lost! Let's see: 21...c5 22.exN Bd4+. Here White cannot take the checking Bishop because of 23.NxB Rxg+, and neither can he play 23.Kh1 Qh3.

However, after 20...Ba1 21.Be3 the position if even. So White did have a defense, albeit a hard one to see.

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