Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 1

Round 1 of the 2012 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand was a spectacular contest. My only disappointment with the game is that it did not last longer.

Anand, as I had predicted, played 1. d4 to kick things off. It was Boris Gelfand’s choice of the Grunfeld Defense which surprised chess enthusiasts the world over. Gelfand, as far as I can tell, has never employed this opening in a serious game. The game quickly becomes complicated and the contestants rise to the occasion with very precise moves. I consider the draw to be a psychological win for Anand as he played very well against his opponent’s preparation. On the other side of the coin, Boris Gelfand must be pleased to get a half point with the black pieces as drawing with black and winning with white is a grand master recipe for success.


[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow RUS”]

[Date “2012.05.11”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “D85”]

[Opening “Grünfeld”]


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Bb5+ {Rb1 is a favorite among players of the white pieces.} Nc6 9. d5 Qa5 {Black has scored better than white in this line. Its a good choice by Gelfand.} 10. Rb1 {White has only won 27% of the time from here. But as we see later, Anand is at home in this position.} a6 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. O-O Qxa2 13. Rb2 {This move is an invention by Anand. Both should be in unchartered territory here. However, I get the feeling that Gelfand had even prepared for this.} Qa5 14. d6 Ra7 15. Bg5 exd6 16. Qxd6 Rd7 17. Qxc6 Qc7 18. Qxc7 Rxc7 19. Bf4 Rb7 20. Rc2 {Ra2 would have been a more aggressive choice.} O-O 21. Bd6 Re8 22. Nd2 f5 {I was surprised by this move. But why not? Anand has no pieces that use light diagonals left.} 23. f3 fxe4 24. Nxe4 Bf5 {I like black’s position better here. Too bad the game did not continue. It could have been a very interesting endgame study.} 1/2-1/2

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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