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Boris Gelfand vs Viswanathan Anand
Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 11, May-26
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Gligoric System Exchange at c4 (E54)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-26-12  Gurn: In my opinion attempting to win a drawn position against a strong opponent is showing a lack of respect for that opponent. When the strongest players in the world face each other across the board in a World Championship Match and see no way to gain a winning advantage, the game is a draw. In post game analysis one might find a forced win for one of the opponents. I, also, would like to see and/or make notable moves leading to victory, but I do not expect either opponent to lose trying to win a drawn position unless such an attemp is the only way to victory. I'm sure many wood pushers and players have lost games trying to win a drawn game. That's ok in casual chess.

Let us look at these drawn positions and see if we can find a way to force an advantage leading to victory.

May-26-12  waustad: Trying to win a drawn game is the easiest way to lose.
Premium Chessgames Member Once again we thank all of you for participating in today's live broadcast, especially our two WGM analysts who have provided accurate and colorful coverage of the WCC.

The 12th and final game of the main classical match is Monday, and with Vishy holding the white pieces he has every reason to give it his best fight. We invite you all back at 7:00 USA/Eastern (11:00 UTC) for more. Hope to see you then!

Premium Chessgames Member

kevin86: Give both players dueling pistols and then tell them to DRAW!>
Bullit !?

May-26-12  Caissanist: I wonder if Anand's draw offer was a psychological ploy. Something along the lines of "I don't have real winning chances here unless Gelfand compromises his position and/or burns through more time, maybe a draw offer will do that. If he refuses it, then it'll be hard for him not to think about whether he should have accepted it later, which might be enough to push him over the edge. If he'd made the offer a couple of moves earlier, it might have worked.
May-26-12  Absentee: Trying to lose a drawn game is the easiest way to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: < *** The 12th and final game of the main classical match is tomorrow ***>

According to the schedule here:, tomorrow (Sunday, 27 May 2012) is a rest day, and Game #12 is on Monday (fortuitously and fortunately, a holiday in the US).

May-26-12  BadKnight: Very strange decision on part of Anand to not keep playing on..
May-26-12  Robyn Hode: No reason for Anand to do much of anything on Monday. He knows he can win in rapid. His entire match strategy seemed to be to hold the line, then win in rapid. Rather like playing back and winning in penalty shoot-out. Or worse, having a home run contest to decide a baseball game. Either way, it's not how a world championship should be decided.
Premium Chessgames Member Our apologies for the misstatement earlier.

The 12 and final classical game will take pace on Monday, May 28.

Hope to see you then!

May-26-12  Hesam7: During the game Svidler mentioned that Kramnik thought 9. ... cxd4 was the best move without question. However after 10. axb4 dxc3 11. b5!

click for larger view

I am not so sure I agree with that. The pawn on b5 really hinders Black's development and 11. ... cxb2? 12. Bxb2 is very good for White, for example: 12. ... Bc8 13. Qc2 Nbd7 14. Bd3

click for larger view

It is hard to suggset a move for Black: 14. ... Qe7 15. Ba3; 14. ... Qb6 15. Bd4 Qd8 16. Bxa7; 14. ... Nc5 15. Bxh7 Nxh7 16. Qxc5 Qd5 17. Qc3 f6 18. b6 a5! 19. Ba3 Re8 20. Nd4 Qh5! 21. Qc4! and finally: 14. ... Nb6 is met by 15. e4! where Black has to come up with a way to meet e5.

May-26-12  Hesam7: During the press conference Gelfand dismissed 14. e4 as a bad move and Anand remarked that after 14. ... c4 15. Bc2 Qxc3 White can not trap the Queen and you get a sharp position.

However White can force the following: 16. Rb1 Qa5 17. e5 Nd5 18. Ng5:

click for larger view

And here Black has only 2 moves: 18. ... h6 & 18. ... g6.

May-26-12  optimal play: <BadKnight: Very strange decision on part of Anand to not keep playing on..> Yeah I think so too. With so much more time on his clock it seemed to me that Anand could afford to try and create complications and really put Gelfand under extreme time pressure. I can only assume Anand is really confident about having White in the last game and then maybe going onto rapid games.

<Robyn Hode><His entire match strategy seemed to be to hold the line, then win in rapid.> His offer of a draw in this game might indicate that. <it's not how a world championship should be decided.> That’s right. We might have expected a bit more fight in this game from the current World Champion.

May-26-12  tarraschfan: The drawing rate in this match is no different to most of the other world championships matches in history. In the Aljechin-Capablanca Match there were 25 draws out of 33 games (roughly 75%), in Karpov-Korchnoi(1978) 21 out of 32 games (about 70%),Karpov-Kasparov (1984) has even a 80% drawing percentage. In Anand-Gelfand we have a drawing percentage close to 80%. So, everything normal and no reason to complain. Long Matches don't get better, just longer. Fischer-Spassky was an exception to the rule (with almost 50% decisive games), but that was Fischer at his peak against a Spassky, who at the time already defected mentally from the Soviet Union and wasn't in his best condition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Another way to do it is to *fine* the players for playing 'middle-aged' moves (as determined by a committee consisting of, er, me).

Send me your money and I'll keep it. No taurine excrement. Chess is hard.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Which, for some obscure reason, reminds me of a comment that Sosonko once made about Leko, after a sub-par result in Wijk-aan-Zee:

"Peter is still very young, but his chess mentality is in some ways already deformed. A good session with a psychologist would be quite sensible. If there was a rule that you could only offer or accept draws when there are bare kings on the board then Leko's results would have been much better."

It's interesting that a propensity to offer or accept draws can be seen as a deformity.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Give both players dueling pistols and then tell them to DRAW!>

Historically, many duels with pistols were, in fact, drawn. It depends on the precise rules that were used -- but a system where both players get one shot (and miss) or where both players are wounded (but survive) would normally have been agreed a draw. There's nothing like a chunk of lead in the guts to pacify an inflamed sense of honour.

Draws in chess is a different problem, and outraged honor (!) rarely enters into it. But if WC Matches have an optimal length, it's greater than 12 games (as currently being demonstrated) and less than 48 games (shown to be impractical in the first Karpov-vs-Kasparov match, 1984).

More to the point, any 'short' match *with a rapid/blitz playoff* permits a roughly evenly-matched player to draw their way to the playoffs -- where they might consider their chances to be better.

But, as a matter of principle, any playoff should use the same form of the same game as the main competition (one reason for objecting to penalty shoot-outs as a way of deciding football matches). Tiebreakers in golf and tennis at least use truncated versions of the regular game.

The problem in chess is that the clock is so integral to the game that you can't vary the rate of play without significantly altering the game. You may or may not like to watch a rapidplay game -- but nobody can argue that it isn't different from classical play.

May-27-12  amadeus: Scaramouche vs The Marquis?
May-27-12  queenfortwopawns: The ultimate goal of the match is to win. If either player is clearly not able to demonstrate dominance to clinch it, how about just revoking the title of the champion after the classical rounds instead of going through the rapids and the Armageddons? It wouldn't be the end of the chess world if we didn't have an official FIDE champion for a year. Then have a fresh match format among the top five + the "dishonored" champion to decide the new champion the next year. The challenger should be disqualified from taking part.

Yeah I know, I should really lay off the shrooms.

May-27-12  mrfuddington: I bet Anand has some sort of awful opening novelty prepared for his last game.
May-27-12  Shams: <Yeah I know, I should really lay off the shrooms.>

No, you should eat yet more of the lotus, until you follow your idea to its beautiful and logical conclusion: retire the world championship not just for one year but for all time.

<O rest ye, brother mariners; we will not wander more...>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <More to the point, any 'short' match *with a rapid/blitz playoff* permits a roughly evenly-matched player to draw their way to the playoffs -- where they might consider their chances to be better.


I think it puts the onus square on the defending champion (Anand) to prove he is the better player. Put Gerry Kasparov in the position Anand is in right now--he would play an opening that requires more work from both players to hold the position. Anand is just going to roll out the usual stuff, hoping that Gelfand makes a mistake (which is entirely possible). It's high percentage chess, just not too exciting.

If the match goes to rapids, and Anand loses, he has no one to blame but himself, for not trying harder to prove he was the superior player during the 12 long games. Too many short draws, and you can get burned in the tie breakers.

May-28-12  Chess Network: Video of this game:

May-31-12  piroflip: If they can't find any sponsors for the next W/C final blame it on the snooze brothers for giving the most awful show of all time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "The 11th game was one of the few moments in this match when Anand won the opening duel. It was hard for Gelfand to squeeze anything realistic out of the position. In a situation where one person is playing at the board while the second is following his computer analysis it’s hard to come up with anything. Anand was playing according to his preparation for quite a long time. While commentating I predicted the way the game went: Bf4, Ne5 – and the tension was diffused. Firstly, objectively speaking White didn’t have many ways to play for a win, and secondly, Black had almost an hour to spare. In such a situation Gelfand’s decision to bring an end to play was the optimal one."

-- Vladimir Kramnik


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