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World Chess Championship 2012 (10)

Gelfand holds easily with black against Anand's Sicilian in Game 10

Viswanathan Anand discussing a point at the end of the drawn game 10. Photo ©

Viswanathan Anand discussing a point at the end of the drawn game 10. Photo © |

Boris Gelfand equalised pretty quickly against Viswanathan Anand's Sicilian Rossolimo (3.Bb5) to hold the draw in only 25 moves in game 10 of the World Chess Championship in Moscow. The match is tied at 5-5 with only Saturday and Monday's games to go before a potential tie-break. Boris Gelfand was fully prepared for 5.b3, which could have been something of a surprise, and replied immediately with 5...e5. The play that resulted was very much in line with Morozevich's observation that Gelfand was "Trying to play as direct as possible with the black pieces." Black's position looked quite tricky to play for a short while but his two bishops always looked likely to hold and when he traded one of them off for Anand's best minor piece the draw followed quickly afterwards. Although equal probably Anand should have played on for a few moves just to make it clearer. In the completed article today I have - Upcoming strong chess events brought on by the news that the Tal Memorial has a great innovation to establish the draw numbers for colours, a blitz tournament, and details of Karpov-Seirawan in St Louis. - A piece on twitter during the match - Quotes from the players and commentators - and IM Malcolm Pein's analysis in text, play-through and for download. Game 11 Saturday 26th May 2012 12pm BST 3pm Moscow time.

Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Peter Svidler in Commentary

Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Peter Svidler in Commentary

Upcoming very strong chess events.

On a short day of chess, discussion turned to other strong events coming up, especially before the Istanbul Chess Olympiad 27th August - 10th September 2012.

Peter Svidler had the news that instead of a random draw to determine the colours in the Tal Memorial there will be a blitz tournament. As the top 5 in the draw have 5 whites and 4 blacks it means that doing well in this event makes it a little bit more than fun.

7th Mikhail Tal Mem 7th-19th June 2012. Carlsen, Kramnik, Aronian, Radjabov, Nakamura, Caruana, Morozevich, Grischuk, Tomashevsky, McShane.

Only a few days afterwards there is another strong tournament. 6th Kings Chess tournament in Medias near Bazna: 23rd June - 4th July Carlsen, Anand, Radjabov, Karjakin, Ivanchuk and Nisipeanu.

Also later: Biel Chess tournament July 21st - August 3rd. Nakamura, Morozevich, Wang Hao, Dominguez Perez, Bacrot and Giri. 6 players 10 rounds.

Then as I am writing this the final announcement has been made about the Yasser Seirawan vs Anatoly Karpov match in St Louis June 9th-13th 2012 which was first mentioned during the final days of the US Championships. There will be live commentary from the Jennifer Shahade and Ben Finegold team.

There will be 2x Classical games 90 minutes for 40 moves 30 minutes for the rest + 30 seconds per move from move one which in the match scoring system will be worth 3 points each, 2x Rapid Games 25 minutes + 5 seconds per move worth 2 points and 10 Blitz games 5 minutes + 2 seconds per move worth a point a piece.

See more at the Saint Louis Chess Club.

16th Unive Crown Group 19th-27th Oct 2012. Nakamura, Giri, Tiviakov and Hou Yifan. Very nice field with US and Women's World Champions

Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, Alexander Morozevich and Peter Svidler in Commentary

Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, Alexander Morozevich and Peter Svidler in Commentary

Chess Tweets

I've been a fan of micro-blogging for a while now. I'm around all day for these major events, especially ones with commentary so tweeting is no effort. My account is!/MarkTWIC and this is IM Malcolm Pein's TelegraphChess. Both feeds are prominent on TWIC's live page during the World Championships and I may make a page with this and other essential links, stories and downloads on the TWIC site after the event is over. Anyway even if you aren't on twitter you can see what we're saying.

Sometimes I just have a small titbit of news or a short quote for which there is no real place. Twitter seems idea, especially during the World Championships. I especially liked Chess in Translation's tweeting of one of the comments from the Russian commentary box. Here are just a few from today. I've used most of my better ones today for lengthier quotes elsewhere in this article.

Mark Crowther: @MarkTWIC

World #Chess Championships tied at 5-5 with two games to go, Saturday and Monday. If it finishes 6-6 tie-breaks are Wednesday.

Svidler on Korchnoi's notorious insults: "If he feels compelled to insult you after the game you should wear it as a badge of honour."

Anish Giri @anishgiri

Seems like Anand wasted a nice advantage.. Some longer tortures were possible, at least! Now things can get very random- exciting match..

Erwin l'Ami @erwinlami

I think the correct sequence is 25.a3 bxa3 26.Rxa3 Kb7 27.Ra5 a6! with the idea 28.Nxc5? Kb6 29.Nb3 Bb4! and the a-pawn is dangerous. @Chess__News

Sutovsky doesn't think the draw was evident. He suggested several variants, underlined advantages for the both players.

@Chess__News: Sutovsky: I think this is the last competition with rules "draw whenever you like"

Chess in Translation @ChessinT Shipov says Gelfand offering a draw after 21...cxb4 was revenge for Anand's inappropriate offer yesterday (when Gelfand had the edge).

Grischuk on Anand's play in the World Championship: "Somehow he's playing both impulsively and slowly"

Russian commentary box

Russian commentary box with Ilya Smirin and Alexander Grischuk.

Quotes from the Press Conference and Commentary

There wasn't a huge amount of light at the press conference. They discussed the game for a bit. They were asked whether the champion should be able to draw 6-6 and retain his title ("You can take a wild guess at my answer." - said a laughing Anand). There was a question about comparing war to chess which featured a "hospital pass" from Anand to Gelfand. ("I'll let Boris handle that one" - Anand) but not much else. However it is really quite crazy if you are an English or Russian speaking chess fan not to make good use of the excellent commentary (also on replay) at the official site:

Gelfand on his Novelty, at least at the top level. "It's always nice to play a novelty on the 5th move because this doesn't happen every day. Usually you apply your novelties on move 20 or 25 and sometimes we are scared of novelties as late as move 40."

Gelfand on the position after move 12: "I didn't think this endgame would cause any serious trouble for black." - Gelfand.

Anand suggesting a place to look for improvements: "Maybe 17.Ba3 is already a slightly wrong plan but I'm not sure what else I could have done."

Anand on Gelfand's 21...cxb4 draw offer. "I thought I still had something with 22.Nd2-b3 but a few moves later I decided to return the draw offer."

Svidler on the finish to the game: "25.a3 is a surprising move on which to finish because it seems like the move that actually opens up the position." - Svidler.

Morozevich on Gelfand's play so far: "Trying to play as direct as possible with the black pieces."

Morozevich explaining that not all games are planned in detail by GMs but are more haphazard: "Oops suddenly I'm winning, oops suddenly it's a draw."

Svidler: "I dislike passive defense because I'm no good at it."

Svidler: "People sometimes look at your games and ascribe to you a depth that was never there."

We await the quiz answer for the question which rule did Euwe have a strong hand in changing. But Svidler showed Morozevich the answer: "Now he knows who to blame for the loss of about 20 elo points over the years."

Svidler post-game:

The game is over. It's mildly surprising because if you wanted to finish, a3 is a surprising move on which to finish because it seems like the move that actually opens up the position. Lets see why it has been offered for a second before we switch to the press conference.

For Boris I think it is a very reasonable result. He was never better today despite what I may have been saying around move 10. I think he was doing fine but no more than fine. A draw with black in the particular match situation they're both in right now is a fine result. And now we'e getting into properly nervous territory. There's two games to go. Each one will have a white after the rest day. It's important to note that those two games are not immediately following one another. there's a free day after game 11. So both of them will have an additional day to prepare something for the white pieces.

Svidler on the fact that the players discuss the game afterwards briefly: "I can imagine more than one pairing of players in a World Championship which wouldn't be doing this at all. I think it's nice."

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand.

Commentary from IM Malcolm Pein

Anand,Viswanathan (2799) - Gelfand,Boris (2739) [B30]
WCh 2012 Moscow RUS (10), 24.05.2012
[IM Malcolm Pein]

1.e4 c5

I was very impressed in game 9 how Boris bounced back from the game 8 debacle. He showed he was not crushed by it and pushed for the win

2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

3.d4 got nowhere

3...e6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.b3 e5

Boris Gelfand


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 5...e5

Novelty at the top level. Black prevents any dark square strategy from White directly. He intends d7-d6 with a chunky pawn mass and f7-f5 might open things up for the bishop on c8

[5...Ne7 6.Bb2 Ng6 7.h4 h5 8.e5 c4 9.bxc4 Rb8 10.Bc3 c5 McShane-Grischuk 2003; 5...Ne7 6.Bb2 Ng6 7.h4 h5 8.e5 d6 9.exd6 Qxd6 10.Qe2 f6 11.Qe4 Kf7 12.Nc3 e5 Adams-Shirov 2003 It ended England 0-2 Russian speakers]

6.Nxe5 Qe7 7.Bb2 d6 8.Nc4 d5

Boris Gelfand


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 8...d5

Technically the novelty. Black gains space with tempo and proceeds to block the Bb2 He has some long terms concerns as his c5 pawn could be vulnerable but right now he is active. His light squared bishop is unchallenged. Although this position is new, positions of this type occur frequently in this line

9.Ne3 d4 10.Nc4 Qxe4+ 11.Qe2 Qxe2+ 12.Kxe2 Be6

Boris Gelfand


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 12...Be6

13.d3 Nf6 14.Nbd2 0-0-0

Some potential for Black to gain space with his kingside pawns perhaps. Peter Svidler was wondering about h7-h5-h4 and Rh5 but Boris plays more sedately

15.Rhe1 Be7 16.Kf1 Rhe8

Boris Gelfand


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 16....Rhe8

If Boris can avoid giving up the white squared bishop he should be OK although in the game he gives it up and is OK! I suspect Vishy's next move is not absolutely the best as Boris neutralises any aggressive intent but White has nothing here. I reckon 5...e5 was a master stroke, it avoided all the sharp stuff


17. a3 was suggested by the Russian commentators. "I thought that if Black plays Nd5 and Nb6 somewhere I didn't find a way to make this b4 idea work." - Anand.

[17.Re2 Nd5 18.Rae1 Kc7 Black has no particular problems]


[17...Bd5 18.Rxe7 Rxe7 19.Bxc5 Red7 20.Ne5 Rc7 21.Ndf3 Bxf3 22.Nxf3 Rcd7 23.Re1]


[18.Re5 Nb4 19.Bxb4 cxb4 20.a3 bxa3 21.Nxa3 Bd6; 18.Rxe6 fxe6 Doesn't change evaluation - Anand, it's a lovely fortress]

18...Nb4 19.Re2

Boris Gelfand


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 19.Re2


Justified by concrete tactics and according to Anand, after "any other waiting move then I will double and play Bc1-f4

[Not 19...Bd5?? 20.Ned6+ Kd7 21.Nxe8 Rxe8; 19...Bxc4 20.bxc4 f5 21.Ng3 g6 22.Bc1 Bd6 Is very comfortable for Black the Ng3 has no prospects; 19...Bf8 20.Rae1 h6 21.Bxb4 cxb4 22.Ng3 Bd7=; 19...f5 20.Bxb4 cxb4 21.Ng3+/=]

20.bxc4 f5 21.Bxb4!

Boris Gelfand


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 21.Bxb4

[21.Ng3 g6 As above]


Boris offered draw. Again if Ng3 g6

22.Nd2 Bd6 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.Nb3 c5

Black's structure is completely safe the knight cannot do any damage. In fact it might have to watch a5 and prevent a long king march


Vishy offered a draw


Boris Gelfand


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 25.a3

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
Anand, Viswanathan - Gelfand, Boris 1-0 17 E60 King's Indian without Nc3
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 49 E54 Nimzo Indian
Anand, Viswanathan - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 25 B30 Sicilian Rossolimo

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
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2791 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ . . 5 2727
Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2727 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ . . 5 2791

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