The Long-Awaited Victory

Время публикации: 21.05.2012 00:01 | Последнее обновление: 21.05.2012 01:39

Gelfand has taken the lead in the match against Anand. "Drogba on e3" didn't help

"There is a win wherever there is Kasparov", wrote Emil Sutovsky the day before yesterday, sensing that the first decisive game of the current World Championship Match would happen on the day when the thirteenth World Champion visits the Tretyakov Gallery. At the end, it turned out that the win is where Karpov is. Today, Kasparov's predecessor on the throne was the guest of honour in the press centre of the match, and Boris Gelfand overcome Viswanathan Anand in a classical game for the first time since 1993. The score in the match is now 4-3 in the Israeli's favour.

The developments of the game were covered on the Chess-News Twitter page. Today's most expressive and highly-rated commentator of the game, live on our radio, was the grandmaster Anton Korobov. Some statements from the official site's live transmission were also quoted on our Twitter page.

The Slav Defence

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

Grischuk, "This is called the Semi-Slav Defence in English, not sure why. It doesn't sound right in Russian."



Gelfand stepped over the "boundary" by pushing the pawn forward (с4-c5), which he didn't do in his previous white games of this match.

6...Nbd7 7.Qc2 b6 8.cxb6 Nxb6 9.Bd2 c5 10.Rc1

Anand chose 7...b6 and after 8.cxb6 used a novelty 8...Nxb6. But he was clearly met with the preparation: 10.Rc1!. Gelfand has an initiative.

10...cxd4 11.exd4 Bd6 12.Bg5

Houdini doesn't promise an advantage. After some thinking, Gelfand chose 12.Bg5. Bd3 was a more obvious move, while Na4 was more forcing.

12...O-O 13.Bd3 h6 14.Bh4 Bb7

Houdini preferred 14...Bf4!? a little bit.


Smirin considers that Gelfand is better. He and Grischuk are waiting for Anatoly Karpov to join them.


Anand's move 15...Qb8 is unexpected and risky as a minimum.

Korobov is now live on the Chess-News radio, "an exciting encounter awaits us, if Gelfand, of course, plays 16.Bxf6".

Korobov, "Gelfand's 10.Rc1 preparation was, probably, not very deep, since he started thinking as soon as Anand stopped making moves from the top line.


Korobov suggested 17.Ne2 after an exchange on f6. ("h5 - is a good place for the knight"). He assessed the position in White's favour.

Korobov, "the match will go down in history as humane; the opponents added 'don't overstretch' to the Bible's commandments. After 16.Bxf6 White, at least, has a specific plan. All in all, I think Anand has chances of interception after 16.Bg3. I don't understand why Gelfand didn't play Bxf6. <...> Pacifist's conclusions come to the fore."

16...Rc8 17.Qe2 Bxg3 18.hxg3

Korobov, "the d4 pawn isn't isolated (because there isn't a half-open file: Black has a pawn on d5), but it's separated from the group."

18...Qd6 19.Rc2

The fight is approximately equal at the moment. Korobov, "18.fxg3!? would be interesting instead of taking hxg3". Golubev, "19.Ne5!? instead of  19.Rc2 that was played".

19...Nbd7 20.Rfc1


Karpov on the official site (about the position after 20...Rab8), "White should try to arrange b2-b4". Smirin, "White has some advantage".

Korobov: "it's quite possible that 20...Rab8 is lapsus manus".


Karpov, Smirin and Grischuk tried to understand why Gelfand doesn't play 21.a3. He chose Na4 at the end. Houdini advocated Qe3.

Grischuk, "if White manages to push a3 and b4, and move the knight to c5, then it will be almost winning for him". (Korobov agrees.)


Anand played 21...Ne4 (Houdini preferred an exchange on c2 first). Gelfand's plan with 19.Rc2! turned out quite dangerous for Anand.

22.Rxc8+ Bxc8

Korobov, "there is now a very big strategic risk for Anand".


Gelfand played 23.Qc2!?. Karpov suggested an idea of the manoeuvre Qe2-e1-a5 instead. Korobov, "Black's position is holding together only by surgical means".

Korobov suggests a desperate attempt 23...e5!?, "this move definitely doesn't lose directly".


"Anand chose 23...g5; it's a suspicious move. White has 24.Qc7!", Korobov.


Anand has a difficult position.

24...Qxc7 25.Rxc7 f6

Gelfand can now choose 26.Bxe4!? dxe4 27.Nd2; he'd win a pawn in that case.

Korobov, "Gelfand's seeds are ready to harvest straight away. The position is completely winning now". After 27.Nd2 f5 - 28.Nc4 with White's domination.

It can be assumed that Anand started experiencing difficulties after the move 20...Rab8?!, which Grischuk couldn't understand. There may be some questions about 19...Nbd7 as well.

Gelfand is thinking whether to take on e4.

26.Bxe4 dxe4 27.Nd2 f5 28.Nc4

The variation with 28.Nc4! is on the board. There are not many people who can imagine that Anand would save this position.

28...Nf6 29.Nc5

28...Nf6 29.Nc5! has been played. "The only move now is 29...Nd5", Leko.

29...Nd5 30.Ra7

"Anand can resign", Korobov.
(Backtracking: the commentators of chesspro and crestbook, same as us, pointed at the possibility of 21...Rxc2 instead of 21...Ne4?! chosen by Anand).

30...Nb4 31.Ne5

Gelfand's decision 31.Ne5!? isn't particularly welcomed by the computers, but White continues to fully dominate.


Anand is searching for practical chances and this continuation gives some kind of a chance. Black wants to give up his bishop after Nc6 and take on b2.

A variation: 31...Nc2 32.Nc6 Rxb2 33.Ra8 e3 34. Rxc8+ Kh7 35.Rc7+ Kh8 36.fxe3 Nxe3 37.Ne5 Rxg2+, ..Rf2

32.Nc6 Rxb2 33.Rc7 Rb1+ 34.Kh2 e3

Gelfand played 33.Rc7 (logical), Anand decided to check from b1. Korobov, "White is mating, but he has to allow Black to promote to a queen. There's a 'checkmate in 16' moves".

Korobov, "While Drogba is standing on e3, there are chances of survival".

35.Rxc8+ Kh7 36.Rc7+ Kh8

36...Kh8 has been played. Korobov, "that's where the longest checkmate is". (37.Nd7!? with the idea Nf6!)
But any other attacking move also wins.


Gelfand has played 37.Ne5. White is winning.

37...e2 38.Nxe6 1-0

This is the first decisive game. After the win in the seventh game, Gelfand is leading with the 4-3 score. The last moves were 37...e2 38.Nxe6, promoting the pawn to a queen doesn't help.

Anand replied to the question about his move ...g5, "All moves are bad in a bad position".
Gelfand at the press conference, "after 20...Rab8 21.Na4 Black has an unpleasant position". Anand named his move Rab8 as unimpressive.

[Event "WCh 2012"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.05.20"] [Round "7"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D45"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2799"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2012.05.11"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 a6 6. c5 Nbd7 7. Qc2 b6 8. cxb6 Nxb6 9. Bd2 c5 10. Rc1 cxd4 11. exd4 Bd6 12. Bg5 O-O 13. Bd3 h6 14. Bh4 Bb7 15. O-O Qb8 16. Bg3 Rc8 17. Qe2 Bxg3 18. hxg3 Qd6 19. Rc2 Nbd7 20. Rfc1 Rab8 21. Na4 Ne4 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 23. Qc2 g5 24. Qc7 Qxc7 25. Rxc7 f6 26. Bxe4 dxe4 27. Nd2 f5 28. Nc4 Nf6 29. Nc5 Nd5 30. Ra7 Nb4 31. Ne5 Nc2 32. Nc6 Rxb2 33. Rc7 Rb1+ 34. Kh2 e3 35. Rxc8+ Kh7 36. Rc7+ Kh8 37. Ne5 e2 38. Nxe6 1-0

All materials about the match



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