Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 4

The World Chess Championship of 2012 saw yet another draw in round 4. As in game two, Boris Gelfand played 1. d4 and Anand opted for another Slav style defense. The key point on this game came on move 16 for black. Viswanathan Anand played Re8 instead of Rc8 and thus avoided whatever diabolical plans his opponent had in store for him. Another point of interest was the potential for a d-file to be completely stacked with pieces. Unfortunately for the artist/chess players like myself, the players avoided the temptation of playing into such a bizarre formation. Below is the game with light analysis:

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.15”]

[Round “4”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “D46”]

[Opening “Semi-Slav”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 a6 6. b3 Bb4 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Bd6 {Reposting the Bishop to d6 is the most common choice of the modern grand masters. It is of little use on b4 once white has castled and often become a liability if left there.} 10. Qc2 e5 {This move has only been played 14 times previously. The average rating of those that played e5 here is 2504.} 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. e4 {A wonderfully complex and beautiful position.} exd4 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 {The first time this position was used was way back in 1999 when Timoscenko played Godena. More recently, Irina Krush played white in 2005.} Nf6 15. h3 Bd7 16. Rad1 {This is a very high level move. To most chess players, this move does not look as tempting as Rfe1. However, Boris Gelfand forsees knights taking d-pawns and then eventually having his bishops move out-of-the-way to reveal a rook upon Anand’s queen. Simply amazing planning by Gelfand.} Re8 {I could almost here a expletive shout from Gelfand’s head when Anand did not play Rc8 attacking his Queen. I believe Boris Gelfand was hoping to play Qb2, then Qxd4 and finally Qh4. Having his Queen over on h4 would give him some attacking chances.} 17. Nxd4 Rc8 {Now that Gelfand’s queen can not capture on d4, Anand attacks it and forces it to retreat.} 18. Qb1 h6 19. Nf5 Bxf5 {Anand gladly trades his bishop away to remove the knight which is lurking to close for comfort.} 20. Bxf5 Rc5 {Anand plays the perfect move here and things are starting to look drawish.} 21. Rfe1 Rxd5 22. Bc3 Rxe1+ {definitely drawish.} 23. Rxe1 Bc5 24. Qc2 {Gelfand does not bother playing Bxf6 and exposing his opponent’s king as it would not lead to anything substantial against a player of Anand’s ability. For most of us, Bxf6 would be the most aggressive choice.} Bd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. Qc8 g6 27. Bg4 h5 {Forcing the trade of queens.} 28. Qxd8+ Rxd8 29. Bf3 b6 {Beginners take note of how Anand plays b6 here. Other pawn moves could lead to trouble.} 30. Rc1 Rd6 {Anand wants the draw. Tournament level players should proceed by playing Rd2 and taking “the seventh.”} 31. Kf1 a5 32. Ke2 Nd5 33. g3 Ne7 34. Be4 Kg7 {No hope for a win by either player.} 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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