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World Chess Championship 2012 (7)

Gelfand finally breaks through against Anand to take 4-3 World Championship lead

Gelfand was satisfied but hardly seemed excited at the press conference following his win in game 7. Here he chats with Anand after the game finished. Photo ©

Gelfand was satisfied but hardly seemed excited at the press conference following his win in game 7. Here he chats with Anand after the game finished. Photo © |

Boris Gelfand won the 7th game of the World Chess Championship in Moscow against Viswanathan Anand finally breaking the deadlock after 6 draws. This is his first win against Anand at a classical time control since a 29 move game at the Biel Interzonal of 1993. Gelfand played 6.c5 against Anand's Semi-Slav and got a small positional advantage. Anand soon didn't much like his position and he said after "I started to drift a little bit in the opening and the rest revolved around my bishop on c8", Anand added he didn't like his 20....Rab8. 21....Ne4 seems to have been a real error and 23...g5 showed he was desperate "In a bad position usually all moves are bad". Gelfand confidently moved in for the kill, calmly ignored Anand's inadequate counter-attack and threatened mate himself to force resignation. This was one of the most interesting openings and this decisive game will hopefully intensify the battle for the remaining games. IM Malcolm Pein looks at the game and has quotes from Peter Leko and Anatoly Karpov who were in the commentary box. Game 8 Anand-Gelfand Monday 12pm BST. 15:00 Moscow time.

Viswanathan Anand in game 7

Viswanathan Anand in game 7.

Gelfand against Anand Game 7 notes by IM Malcolm Pein

Gelfand,Boris (2739) - Anand,Viswanathan (2799) [D45]
WCh 2012 Moscow RUS (7), 20.05.2012
[IM Malcolm Pein]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.c5

I was more or less expecting this at some point as it's often the critical test of a6. There is a hole on b6 and Black's natural freeing attempt e5 cannot be played in one move. Of course b7-b6 is a natural response

6...Nbd7 7.Qc2

[7.b4 Qc7; 7.b4 g6 Seems to me to be the critical lines, perhaps a battleground in game nine.]


Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 7...b6

Effectively a novelty! why? it's so natural


[8.b4 a5 9.b5 Bb7=]


For the database junkies, this is the actual novelty

[8...c5 9.Na4 cxd4 10.exd4 Nxb6 11.Nc5 Nbd7 12.b4 +/=]

9.Bd2 c5 10.Rc1 cxd4

[10...c4 is met by 11.e4 But comparing it with similar positions in the Tarrasch Defence it doesn't look like much]

11.exd4 Bd6 12.Bg5 0-0 13.Bd3 h6 14.Bh4 Bb7 15.0-0 Qb8

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 15...Qb8


[16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Qd2? Bf4; 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Ne2 Rc8 18.Qd2 was worth consideration but Gelfand wants to play positionally and avoid tactical complications. He just asks Anand what he is going to do with his bad bishop now that his good bishop is being exchanged]

16...Rc8 17.Qe2

[17.Ne5 Intends f4 and was sharper but Boris wants to prevent Ne4. Very cautious, I was disappointed at the time but this approach is more than vindicated]


Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 17...Bxg3


[18.fxg3 Was possible looking for an attack but Boris is consistent. He has decided his chances are on the queenside and he consistently plays against the bad bishop 18...Qa7 Is a possible reply and a little awkward]

18...Qd6 19.Rc2 Nbd7

Covering e5 and allowing the queen to defend a6


Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 20.Rfc1


Directed against the plan of Na4. Interestingly afterwards Vishy expressed dissatisfaction with this move

[Karpov preferred 20...Rc7 and analysed it concretely with Leko 21.Na4 (21.Nb5 Rxc2 22.Nxd6 Rxc1+ 23.Kh2 Ng4+ 24.Kh3 Ndf6 Black is fine in these complications 25.Ne1 Bc6 26.f3 Rd8 27.Nxf7 Kxf7 28.fxg4 Bb5 29.Bxb5 axb5 30.g5 hxg5 31.g4 Rh8+ 32.Kg3) 21...Rac8 22.Rxc7 Rxc7 23.Rxc7 Qxc7 24.Qc2 Qxc2 25.Bxc2 Idea b4 25...a5 26.Nd2 Bc6 27.Nc5 Nxc5 28.dxc5 Nd7 29.Nb3 Ba4 is better for Black hence concretely Rc7 may be better.; 20...a5!? 21.Nb5 Qb6]




Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 21.Ne4

A natural response but now White certainly a bit better. Suspect this is the cause of later problems

[21...Rxc2 22.Rxc2 (22.Qxc2 Rc8 23.Nc5 e5!?; 22.Qxc2 Rc8 23.Qxc8+ Bxc8 24.Rxc8+ Nf8 25.Nc5 Qb6 26.Ne5 Qxb2 27.Ncd7 N6xd7 28.Nxd7 g6 Computer - is pleasant for Black or to quote his eloquent silicon eminence: -0.64/0 ) 22...Bc6 23.Nc5 Bb5= Exchanging this bishop is a key objective for Black]

22.Rxc8+ Bxc8 23.Qc2

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 23.Qc2

Played quickly. Interesting comments from Leko: "When a player is comfortable with black he is less likely to risk with white. Maybe this game is a turning point in that regard."

Commentary Box Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Anatoly Karpov and Peter Leko.

Commentary Box Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Anatoly Karpov and Peter Leko.

[23.Qe1! Karpov - Leko raved about this move, reveals Karpov's wonderful insight, ' Black square strategy' b4 and Nc5 coming 23...Bb7 24.Qa5 with b4 coming when White must be comfortably better; 23.Bxe4 dxe4 24.Qxe4 Bb7 25.Qf4 (25.Qe3 Bc6 26.b3 Bxa4 27.bxa4 Qb4=) 25...Qxf4 26.gxf4 Bxf3 27.gxf3 Rb4=/+]


Looks almost desperate. 'In a bad position usually all moves are bad' - Anand

[23...Bb7 24.Nc5! Leko thought Vishy missed this (24.Qc7 Rc8) 24...Rc8 (24...Ndxc5 25.dxc5 Qc7 26.c6) 25.b4]]


[24.Nc5 Also good but keep it simple against Vishy is often the right plan]

24...Qxc7 25.Rxc7 f6 26.Bxe4!

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 26.Bxe4

After 10 minutes thought just to be sure. At this point, a strong player can tell the game is won. Nf3-d2-c4-d6 is a terrible threat. The bishop on c8 is hopeless, a6 and e6 are weak and Black can hardly play a constructive move

26...dxe4 27.Nd2 f5 28.Nc4 Nf6 29.Nc5

Vishy 10 minutes left

29...Nd5 30.Ra7 Nb4

BG 00.13 VA 00.06 Vishy knows the game is over so he tries to create some diversionary tactics and because he is a genius he actually manages it

31.Ne5 Nc2 32.Nc6 Rxb2 33.Rc7 Rb1+

[33...e3 34.Rxc8+ Kg7 35.Rc7+ Kh8 36.fxe3 Nxe3 37.Ne5 Rxg2+ 38.Kh1 Rxa2 39.Ng6+ Kg8 40.Nxe6 Ra1+ 41.Kh2 Ra2+ 42.Kg1 No perp]

34.Kh2 e3 35.Rxc8+

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 35.Rxc8

Vishy is desperately trying to arrange Nc2-e3 to g4 and back rank mate but the Nc6 comes to e5 and defends

35...Kh7 36.Rc7+

Leko quoted Botvinnik. 'Better to be a piece up than to force mate'. Point is you can't mess up with an extra piece whereas if you miss the mate... This is worth pointing out to the masses who only follow the engine numbers. However the lines are not to hard to calculate so Boris decides to force matters

36...Kh8 37.Ne5

[37.Nd7 exf2 38.Nf6 f1N+ 39.Kh3!+- (39.Kg1 Nfe3+ 40.Kf2 Ng4+!=) ]

37...e2 38.Nxe6

Viswanathan Anand


Boris Gelfand

Position after 38.Nxe6. Anand Resigns.

'I started to drift a little bit in the opening and the rest revolved around my bishop on c8' - Anand

[It's mate on c8 or huge material loss after 38.Nxe6 Rh1+ 39.Kxh1 e1Q+ 40.Kh2]


Viswanathan Anand resigns

Viswanathan Anand resigns.

WCh Moscow
Anand, Viswanathan - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 24 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 25 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Anand, Viswanathan - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 37 D70 Gruenfeld Defence
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 34 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Anand, Viswanathan - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 27 B33 Sicilian Sveshnikov
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 29 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 38 D45 Anti-Meran Variations

WCh Moscow (BUL), 11 v - 31 v 2012
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total Perf
Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2727 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 . . . . . 4 2841
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2791 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 . . . . . 3 2677

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