Thursday, May 24, 2012

2012 Anand v Gelfand round 10 World Chess Championship

I got up late. They had been playing a half hour, and the coverage was in the first break, move 11. A very strange looking Sicilian. Gelfand as black has a lot of space and Anand as white looks cramped.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.b3 e5 6.Nxe5 Qe7 7.Bb2 d6 8.Nc4 d5 9.Ne3 d4 10.Nc4 Qxe4+ 11.Qe2 Qxe2 12.Kxe2 Be6 13.d3 Gelfand takes a long think, so maybe I should, too.

What follows is my thinking, and I am sure the commentors will have more insightful things to say.

Gelfand has space and the two bishops, but a compromised queenside pawn structure. He is black's normal tempo behind in development. I think bringing his king to the queenside to help shore up the pawns, contest the e-file, and try to find a good place for my knight and lines for my bishops. Perhaps, Bd5 and Bc7 to attack white's kingside.

Anand has a good outpost for his knight on c4, but his bishop has little scope. His king looks exposed, but with queens off the board, it will be fine. With black having the two bishops, it is too early to make the king a fighting  piece. Try to control the e-file and bring pressure on the c5-pawn. The f2-pawn wants to remain at home to deny black the e3 square. Black has only one outstanding weakness, and there is only one open file. I am not sure where a second weakness can be created.

I can easily see an exchange of pieces and rooks leading to a draw.

13...Nf6 14.Nbd2 O-O-O 15.Rhe1 Be7 16.Kf1 Rhe8 17.Ba3 Nd5 to block the Ba3 with Nb4 18.Ne4 Nb4 19.Re2 Bxc4 20.bxc4 f5 21.Bxb4 cxb4 22.Nd2 Bd6 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 Nb3 c5 25.a3 [½ - ½]

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