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Viswanathan Anand vs Boris Gelfand
Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 1, May-11
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Modern Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 17 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-11-12  knightsacrifice: Well to me Gelfand "won" this day even with this draw. Anand didn't look to have any initiative while playing white, maybe he was surprised. For black draw is usually acceptable anyway on day 1.
May-11-12  Mr. Bojangles: <May-11-12    NGambit: Is it just me or has Anand been looking unusually tense in the broadcast (today as well as the opening ceremony)? >

Yup too right.

He just doesnt look relaxed or comfortable even at the opening ceremony.

Could be the ambience or his lack of great form in the last few years has affecting his confidence.

Whereas Gelfy is the opposite ... relaxed and confident.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Anand didn't look to have any initiative while playing white>

He might have had some, with <15.Bf4> instead of Bg5 - at least that's a more challenging move for Black. After 15...Rd7 16.Rd2! he has difficulties to castle with safety, and after 15...0-0 16.Ne5 he has to give up the dark-squared bishop. <Hesam7> posted during the game some lines that show how dangerous it can get for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Guess it was a "Hello, how are you?" game. Pretty common in WC matches.
May-11-12  Alphonse1973: A rare opening line. At first I didn't understand it. I thought after (9) d5 White won a piece; but then I saw Black has (9)...a6, then realized that (9)...Qa5 is much better! Black is menacing the Bishop at b5 and Bxc3+ with check and menacing the Rook at a1. I'm not an expert, but I guess after (10) Qd3, Bxc3+ (11)Bd2 Bxd2+ (12) Nxd2 Black has (12)...a6. Can anyone supply some analysis?
May-11-12  voyager39: High quality first game though perhaps it would have been more satisfying to see it go on a bit longer. A complicated game which required some very precise and not so obvious moves in this rarely played line (viz 10.Rb1, 13...Qa5 etc). Both players were exact and mostly matched the engine's first choices. The only people who seemed surprised or unable to fully fathom the nuances were some live commentators on various websites (also patzers like me) but that's very understandable at this level.

And a lot of commentators are saying that this was a surprise sprung by Gelfand - but Gelfand has played Grunfeld (D85) all his life...43 times with white as per CG database and he is one of its most prolific exponents with white. His known seconds are also apparently Grunfeld specialists. This is the first time Gelfand ever played Grunfeld as Black if one goes by the CG database! That's the only surprise to this perhaps.

Anand on the other hand is not a prolific Grunfeld player. Only 5 games with White with 2 wins and 3 draws. Only 10 games with Black with 3 losses and 7 draws.

Sensible thing to do by Gelfand I'd say to drag Anand into a rare variation within his comfort zone. He got to guage his opponents depth of preparation and comfort level. He can now exploit any chinks he discovered with White.

Anand on the other hand was comfortable in the rare line adopted by Gelfand and had more time on his clock then Gelfand throughout. This shows that he has turned out well prepared and has studied his opponent well. Maybe he has also managed to put Gelfand's camp into a thinking mode?

Anand emerges as the psychological winner of this interesting duel in my opinion.

May-11-12  talisman: <NGambit> i thought the same thing.
May-11-12  voyager39: And some outstanding translation of the commentary by Shipov here...

Contains a lot of very significant insights. This wasn't a routine draw!

May-11-12  Ulhumbrus: It may worth quoting some of what Fine has to say on the Grunfeld defence: <The most obvious line was the first tried, historically: 4 cxd5...If the obvious will not do we must turn to the subtle...there remains only the plan of forcing Black to exchange ...dxc4...To compel that White must exert pressure on the Black d- pawn. That can be done effectively only with Qb3. The conclusion may be stated usefully as a general rule: Qb3 is the key move for all White attacks in the Grunfeld defence.>
May-11-12  messachess: It looks like the continuation would be for the <c> pawns to come off, two pieces and two rooks off, Passed <a> and <e> pawns left, dark Bishops and two rooks left. Draw.
May-11-12  messachess: Gelfand came to fight for it, playing the gruey.
May-11-12  kdogphs: <messachess Gelfand came to fight for it, playing the gruey> If he REALLY came to fight he'd have stuck to his King's Indian Defense, then again I am biased because I was hoping it would come to that.
May-11-12  voyager39: <messachess> Yes, I think this was an excellent and tense first round with a lot of subtle undercurrents. Honours almost equal, though I slightly favour Anand after this outcome as I explained earlier.

Boris has fired his shot across the bow and shown he's come well armed. So also has his rival. Now eager to see Anand's riposte with Black tomorrow. That I think will define the match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Obviously this was a fighting draw and bodes well for the playing spirit of the match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: It's worth noting that the position between moves 13 and 17 is a tactical minefield, and there are many ways to go terribly wrong - especially for Black. For example: 15...f6? (instead of Gelfand's ...exd6!) 16.Rb8 O-O (the passive 16...Qd8 is relatively best):

click for larger view

17.Ne5!! exd6 (17...fxe5 18.dxe7 Re8 19.Qd8 winning) 18.Qb3+ Kh8 19.Nxc6 and Black remains an exchange down without real compensation.

May-11-12  Sacsacmate: <Voyager39> Thank you very much for the link. Going through moves with GM Shipov's comments is always a pleasure!

Can't wait for tomorrow. Go Vishy!
Watch out for e4 tomorrow! ;)

May-11-12  messachess: It's worth noting that the gruey was Fischer's fighting choice for "special occasions" he said somewhere. What has Gelfand been studying for this match? If he starts favoring 1.e4, we may well surmise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <In the press conference [...] Gelfand rather dismisses questions about advantage to Black in the endgame, saying even that such evaluations are probably influenced by computers. Specifically, he says that after the critical 23...Bd7 he couldn't find anything promising in response to 24.Rfc1.>

click for larger view

Btw, the specific lines that he mentioned (in response to a question by Nigel Short) as not giving anything real to Black were 24...Bb5 25.c4 (apparently to prevent the bishop from coming to d3) 25...Bd4+ 26.Kf1 Bc6 27.exf5 gxf5 28.Ra2 and 24...Rc8 25.e5.

May-11-12  voyager39: Good to see some sensible comments.

It was frustrating to watch some of the live commentary (including Naiditsch's suggestion which in turn was quoted by Susan Polgar) - that this game was possibly a proxy between Carlsen (secretly assisting Anand) and Aronian (secretly assisting Gelfand)! The tone was as if Anand and Gelfand are dumb little kids lost in the woods and looking for saviours. Gimme a break!

Advise to live commentators - if you're out of your depth but still forced to say something - stay humble instead of putting your foot in the mouth.

May-11-12  Petrosianic: LOL: "Maybe this game was actually played by two other players that we like better." Boy, I'd be embarrassed to say something so simple-minded.
May-11-12  WiseWizard: It felt like this game was played by the engines/prep than by the players, I hope we get to see some human creativity and struggle and they pick some openings where the tension doesnt get resolved in the first 15 moves, lets see some deep, creative plans and some otb thinking.
May-11-12  AVRO38: <Anand emerges as the psychological winner of this interesting duel in my opinion.>

I agree. Gelfand can't achieve anything in this line. He was probably hoping for the main line, but Anand, as usual, was one step ahead.

If Gelfand wants to draw with Black then keep playing the Grunfeld, but I wouldn't advise it. Playing for a draw with either color is never a good idea in a short match, particularly since Anand will crush him if the match moves to rapid. Gelfand has to do a serious re-think in Game 3. A psychological score for Anand.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <AVRO38: Gelfand has to do a serious re-think in Game 3. A psychological score for Anand.>

Another way of looking at it is that Gelfand was surprised by a prepared opening, he equalised easily and had the initiative at the end.

He drew easily with black. Anand will certainly be relieved that Gelfand did not try harder. Will Anand be dancing on the hotel bar tonight with a pint of beer on his head, singing Hey Macarena? I don't think so.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Dual commentary video annotation with Chessexplained (soon to be IM titled) :

Hope this is interesting

Cheers, K

May-11-12  Chilisteak: Should black really accept a draw? Black has the bishop pair and a passed pawn!
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