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Anand is going for it. 1.e4! A shocker! And Gelfand responds with 1.c5 We have a sharp Sicilian!

2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 We have the Sveshnikov even though Gelfand is also a Najdorf expert

7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c4 More popular is 11. c3

11…b4 12. Nc2 0-0 I think Anand may be surprised by Gelfand’s opening response. Anand is not playing the sharpest line. When will the novelty come?

13.g3 a5 14. Bg2 Here white could play 14. h4 but chose not to. Still opening book and no new novelty.

14…Bg5 The idea is if h4 then Bh6 Interesting to see the guessing WC game by both players. Anand opened with e4 only to have Gelfand not play his pet Najdorf. Both of them are old foxes. They’re using their experience to avoid possible home prep. With computer technology today, it can be dangerous.

15. 0-0 Be6 Also popular is 15…Ne7

Very interesting. After 16. f4, Gelfand played 16…Bxd5. Anand is thinking hard about what to take back with.

Anand took back with 17.cxd5 and not 17. exd5. I am still shocked with 16…Bxd5. This is considered not so great.

17…Nb8 Nice post for the Knight at c5 after Nd7. I’m sure 16…Bxd5 was a part of his home preparation. He played it quite fast 🙂

18. a3 Na6 This is unusual but Gelfand played it instantly.

19. axb4 Nxb4 20. Nxb4 axb4 21. h4 Bh6 Even though we have even materials, white is slightly better because of black’s Bishop on h6, kind of out of the way. White should focus perhaps on the queenside.

22.Bh3 An unexpected move, perhaps to stop black’s access to the c file. If black plays Qb6 then Bishop can go to d7.

Gelfand is spending a lot of time in this position. He is looking for the least dramatic, most effective way to simplify this position for a draw.

So finally 22…Qb6. I expect 23. Bd7 from Anand now.

23. Bd7 it is. Gelfand responded immediately with b3

24. Bc6 Ra2 25. Rxa2 bxa2 26. Qa3 This is heading to another draw.

26…Rb8 27. Qxa2 and they agreed to a draw less than 2 hours into the game.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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