Anand-Gelfand G1, a Grünfeld, drawn in 24 moves (VIDEO)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

The first match game between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand ended in a draw. Gelfand surprised his opponent by playing the Grünfeld, and if anyone was better in the final phase of the game, it was him. 

The first handshake between Boris Gelfand (Israel) and Vishy Anand (India)

EventWorld Championship MatchPGN via TWIC
DatesMay 11th-30th, 2012
LocationMoscow, Russia

Viswanathan Anand & Boris Gelfand

Rate of play120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 61
Prize fund2.55 million US $ (60% for the winner)
More informationRead all info here

About an hour before the start of the game, the first photographers and cameramen sneaked into the playing hall, even though there was still a staff meeting going on. On the first day the rules said that we couldn't get on stage, behind the glass wall, but we were allowed to take the first row of the theater. Thanks to being very early, and not giving in to some of the grumbling Russian photographers, we managed to get the ChessVibes camera on the best spot available: right in front of the board (see video below!). 

Boris Gelfand arrived about seven and a half minutes early - it was easy to see, because fifteen minutes before the start the big TV screen behind the board started counting down minutes and seconds. Exactly one minute to three World Champion Vishy Anand came to the board and shook hands with the challenger.

The Indian was in for a surprise, and we don't mean 1.d4 being performed by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. No, it involved Gelfand's second and third moves: the Grünfeld. Some experts in the press room saw this as more 'proof' that both players are using more seconds than the ones they brought to Moscow. For example in Israel Emil Sutovsky is a real Grünfeld expert...

Surprise, surprise! Gelfand plays 3...d5, the move that characterizes the Grünfeld Defence. In the background Chief Arbiter Ashot Vardapetian (Armenia), FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov amd Deputy Arbiter Hal Bond (Canada)

Anand quickly turned it into a side variation, which might have come as a surprise to Gelfand. The Israeli bravely consumed a pawn on a2 whereas after castling Black wouldn't have risked anything. According to Sergey Karjakin, who was one of many grandmasters in the press room today (also e.g. Sanan Sjugirov and Alexander Motylev),

Boris played a more principled and probably stronger move.

At that point White needed to look for an initiative because if Black would be allowed to castle he would be in a very good position. Anand did get some activity, but Gelfand just gave back the pawn and swapped queens to get to an ending that was absolutely fine for Black. In fact Nigel Short, commentator on the official website, was one of many who felt that Gelfand was slightly better a few moves before the end.

[Event "WCh 2012"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.05.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D85"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[Annotator "Doe,John"]
[PlyCount "48"]
[EventDate "2012.05.11"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8.
Bb5+ {A sideline.} (8. Rb1 cxd4 9. cxd4 Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Qxa2 {is another, much
more famous variation where Black also takes the pawn on a2. Gelfand has
played a number of good games with White from this position.}) 8... Nc6 9. d5
Qa5 10. Rb1 a6 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. O-O Qxa2 $5 (12... O-O {was probably fine
for Black too.}) 13. Rb2 $146 (13. Be3 cxd5 14. exd5 O-O 15. Bxc5 Rd8 16. Bxe7
Rxd5 17. Nd4 Bd7 {1/2-1/2 Niederwieser,P (2162)-Kratschmer,H (2098)/Austria
2006}) 13... Qa5 {White has to do something active here.} 14. d6 Ra7 15. Bg5 (
15. Bf4 $5) 15... exd6 16. Qxd6 Rd7 17. Qxc6 (17. Qb8 O-O 18. Ne5 Rb7 $1 19.
Rxb7 Bxb7 20. Qxb7 Bxe5) 17... Qc7 18. Qxc7 Rxc7 19. Bf4 Rb7 20. Rc2 O-O 21.
Bd6 Re8 22. Nd2 f5 23. f3 fxe4 (23... Bd7 {was suggested by Nigel Short. It is
"of course the critical test" according to Gelfand, but he couldn't find
anything after} 24. Rfc1 Bb5 25. c4 Bd4+ 26. Kf1 Bc6 27. exf5 gxf5 28. Ra2) 24.
Nxe4 Bf5 1/2-1/2

You can find Sergey Shipov's analysis in English here

Gelfand about to play 3...d5. This photo is by official photographer Alexey Yushenkov. The ChessVibes camera is the one with the red dot above Gelfand's hand.


More from PeterDoggers
Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory