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Gelfand opened with 1. d4 in his first white game.

Anand responded with the Slav and Gelfand opted for the Meran.

4…Nbd7 is the most popular line. Anand’s choice of 4…a6 is probably the 2nd most popular choice along with 4…Bd6.

It is ideal for white to put his dark squared Bishop on b2. Therefore, black tries to disrupt that with 6. Bb4, forcing the white Bishop to go to d2.

9…Qe7 is also commonly played.

10. Qc2 is the most popular choice in the past. However, Gelfand deviated to a less played 10. Rc1.

After over 2650 votes, 84% picked Anand to win the match. This is one of the most lopsided numbers I have seen. From knowing both of these players very well, I can tell you that Gelfand is one of the most diligent players I have ever known. Therefore, I would not discount him that easily.

Black should make a play in the center. 10…e5 is a possibility.

Is Aronian helping Gelfand? And is Carlsen helping Anand? That is one of the rumors floating around. Who gets the better deal from this if true? 🙂

After 12. e4, Anand must be careful. If I have to guess, Gelfand has some serious home prep behind this line.

Anand opted for 12…dxe4. Something like this is possible 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 exd4 15. Rc4. White’s pieces are more well placed.

Anand admitted that he had been somewhat surprised by his opponent’s Grünfeld Defense in game 1. I’m sure Gelfand will have more surprises.

Gelfand is playing for 2 results. His pieces are better coordinated in a symmetrical pawn structure position. No risk at all.

A quick line off the top of my head: 14. Bxe4 Nf6 15. dxe5 Nxe4 16. exd6 Qxd6 17. Be3 Bg4 18. Qxd6 Nxd6 19. Ne5 Be6 20. Rfd1 =

Having played in a world championship match, I can say from experience that psychology does play a big role. Both players have many novelties up their sleeves. The question is when to reveal them to have the biggest psychological advantage.

Gelfand is spending a lot of time after 14…Nf6. Could be because he’s trying to recall the analysis and how sharp of a position he wants.

15. dxe5 is probably a calmer choice. Risky may be 15. Bg5. Too early in the match to go crazy.

15. dxe5 Nxe4 16. exd6 Qxd6 17. Be3 just like what I predicted earlier. This will likely head to a draw again.

18. Qxd6 Nxd6 19. Rfd1 Rfd8 and they can shake hands and go to dinner together 🙂

These two players have a lot of respect for each other. Old school. Does that mean I am old too since I’m in the same generation? 🙂

White has minimal advantage. Not enough to convert this.

Anand is taking his time to make sure he doesn’t get into any uncomfortable position. It should be a simple hold.

I know that Gelfand has tremendous respect for Anand. Perhaps he should be like Kasparov and despise his opponent to shake things loose? 🙂

Any prediction? How many more moves before they shake hands and call it a day? 🙂

If you want deep & heavy analysis in this position, consult with Houdini. My commentary is exactly what I see and feel from the position 🙂

I would play 22…Rac8 and offer to take Gelfand and his seconds to an early dinner at a good restaurant 🙂

Not sure why draw is not agreed yet. White is slightly better but not nearly enough to score a full point.

I still fail to see how white can create serious chances to win.

GM Csaba Balogh wrote: ” I don’t see any chance for White to make progress and I expect a draw offer soon. Fighting spirit does not help in such positions in my opinion.” I fully agree 🙂

OK. So they finally agreed to a draw. Now both teams can have an early dinner. Tomorrow is rest day to prepare for sharper lines 🙂

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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