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Boris Gelfand vs Viswanathan Anand
Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 2, May-12
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Meran Variation (D45)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-12-12  Eyal: Might have turned out more lively had Gelfand played 15.Bg5 exd4 16.Rc4. He said in the press conference that he spent most of his long think following Anand's novelty on move 14 in deliberating between dxe5 and Bg5.
May-12-12  mrbasso: <NM, FM, GM and Super GM (anyone over 2700, or if you like 2750) are plenty of titles already, to go along with the mass of all of the amateur titles.>

Super GM is not a title, IM is!

May-12-12  shatranj7: Reminds me of Mayweather-Cotto! It started off slow and solid, but got deadly in the later rounds.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <SteinitzLives> -- <No one misses the death of the Sr. Master title, or the Lifemaster title any more do they?>

Well, um, I can think of a few holders of these titles who might be upset if they were to be prevented from using them ... they help to sell books, promote websites, advertise 'master chess lessons', and so on.

Plus, of course, Senior Master and Life Master were exclusively American titles, created and recognized by the USCF. Other countries had their own versions of National Master.

Most of these have now been superceded by FIDE's GM-IM-FM system. You might argue that the two lower titles are now redundant, but I think they have a role -- especially in countries where there aren't so many GMs.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: <Super GM is not a title, IM is!> Super GM has become a de facto title, used very often in all chess press now, and that there are no norms relating to it hardly matters since we have the high ratings to define it. There is a clear need to differentiate between the mass of GMs by both press and populace, and the term/title (regardless of its officiality) Super GM, is here to stay.

IM is a title, but I know IMs rated under 2300 who hardly seem to deserve the title, and FMs well above 2300 that can play evenly if not much better with IMs. It would be an interesting comparison to see how much better IMs fare against 2300+ FMs. I'm guessing they are pretty close, eliminating the need for one of them.

I trust Fide Ratings (when they are that high) more than I trust the IM norm system which can vary to ridiculous lengths when the IMs in a given tourney are at the lower or higher end of the rating scale.

We don't need both FM and IM. Too many useless titles, and we are no better than most Government infra-structures.

May-12-12  AVRO38: With every draw Anand moves closer to victory (the tiebreak would be a foregone conclusion). The onus is on Gelfand to shake things up.

I suspect we are in for a repeat of 2008, first 2 games drawn then Anand goes on a tear.

May-12-12  trickydickie: Now we know why neither of them are no. 1
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <SteinitzLives: Between 40% and 45% of games where 5. . . . . a6 gets played, end in a draw.>

Do you mean that is a high percentage? Isn't that, or higher, the percent of games that end in draws in any super-GM tournament? For example, in Tata Steel 2012 Group A, a super-exciting tournament, 52 out of 91 games (57%) ended in draws. I'd say 40-45% of draws means a good number of fights.

May-12-12  americanlala: interesting game.
May-12-12  RookFile: Gelfand wisely played it safe and didn't try too hard.
May-12-12  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 10 Rc1 is 10 e4 before Black can play 10...e5.

On 15 Bg5 exd4 an alternative to 16 Rc4 is 16 Bb1 with the idea of Qd3. With the e5 pawn displaced to d4 Black can no longer obstruct the b1-h7 diagonal with the e pawn by playing ...e4.

May-12-12  Eyal: <Might have turned out more lively had Gelfand played 15.Bg5 exd4 16.Rc4>

click for larger view

Looking at it again, it seems that White doesn't get anything real after 16...h6! 17.Rxd4 (17.Bxf6 Qxf6 18.Rxd4 Bc5 and the pressure is gone; or 17.Bh4 g5 18.Rxd4 Nxe4 19.Rxe4 Qb6 [better than 19...gxh4 20.Rd4]) 17...hxg5 18.Rxd6 Qe7 - now the bishop on e4 has to retreat and Black plays 19...Bg4 followed by a rook to d8.

In fact, that's exactly what happened in the game A Goganov vs Rublevsky, 2011, only there it was played in a different move order - 14...exd4 15.Bg5 Nf6 16.Rc4 h6. So what's the point of Anand's novelty 14...Nf6? (instead of exd4) - to avoid an improvement by White that takes advantage of this move order by [14...exd4] 15.Rc4 Nf6 16.Bb1! as played in Riazantsev-Matlakov 2011 (missing from this database), where White got an edge even though the game ended in a draw.

[Note that after 15.Bg5 exd4 an immediate recapture by White on d4 is bad since it leads to the loss of a pawn: 16.Qxd4? Bxh2+! 17.Kxh2 (17.Nxh2 leaves the queen undefended) Qxd4 18.Nxd4 Nxe4; or 16.Nxd4? Bxh2+! 17.Kxh2 Qd6+ followed by 18...Nxe4.]

May-12-12  birthtimes: Before 2050, World Chess Championship play will have to utilize Fischer Random Chess!
May-12-12  wordfunph: "I offered the draw as there was no option left. I could not get the slightest idea to mobilize the pieces."

- Boris Gelfand

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chess for life: What's the point of 5...a6?
May-13-12  Shams: <Chess for life> Although it didn't come to pass here, Black usually fires with ...b7-b5 fairly early in these lines. Since he will also look to play ...c7-c5, the c-pawn is no protector of the b5 pawn, hence ...a7-a6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MichaelJHuman: Are there lines in this opening with more tactical play?
May-13-12  Shams: <MichaelJHuman> Heck yeah, there's the Botvinnik Variation, an insane line that goes 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5.
May-13-12  Pillonel: Could someone explain why afer 6... Bb4, Anand couldn't play is bishop in b2 ?? (and so why he was playing b3 just before ?)
May-13-12  Eyal: <Pillonel> After 7.Bb2 Qa5 White is going to lose the a2 pawn, probably without enough compensation - e.g., 8.Qc2 Ne4 9.Rc1 Qxa2 (10.Ra1?? Bxc3+). As for 6.b3, at least one purpose of the move is to discourage a Meran-type of play which is prepared by Black with 5...a6 - namely, dxc4 followed by b5 once the bishop is developed to d3; with b3 played White can recapture in such a case with the pawn rather than the bishop.
May-14-12  WiseWizard: Gelfand playing 6. b3 is very telling, recapturing on c4 with a pawn means he wants to avoid all those wild Bc4 b5 meran positions which Anand plays so masterfully. So mean. A shame Anand didnt have a killer line for 6. b3 as well or maybe he does, i hope so. It could be he prepares a variation and if his opponent deviates he cuts the game and goes into a safe draw line. There is supreme skill and art the way Anand can prevent/elimimate tension or a fight in the position.
May-14-12  Albertan: Check out this great analysis video of this game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: another three minutes of dancing-no punches.
May-25-12  Chess Network: I've created a YouTube video of this game.

May-29-12  WiseWizard: So, Kramnik subscribes to my posts.

<Kramnik:You can prepare for different scenarios: if he plays that then I’ll reply like this and make a draw.>

<<WiseWizard:> "It could be he prepares a variation and if his opponent deviates, he cuts the game and goes into a safe draw line.">>

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