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It is interesting that the players are taking time for just the first two moves.

Also very popular is 9. 0-0

Actually, 8. Bb5+ is rare. Other common lines include 8. Rb1 or 8. Be3. Perhaps Anand is afraid of home prep so he goes off the main line.

9…a6 or 9…Qa5 are the two basic options for Boris. 9…Bxc3 is no good because of 10. Bd2.

Interesting that Gelfand opted for the less popular 9…Qa5. I think both players are afraid of home prep. Now 10. Rb1 is logical to protect the b5 Bishop as well as getting the Rook away from the threat of Bxc3+.

10…Bxc3+ is also playable. Again, both are trying to surprise each other and not get caught in home prep.

I think I first met Boris at the World Junior in 1988. I met Anand for the first time in Wijk aan Zee in 1990. Both are good friends of mine for many years.

They both love chess and are very diligent with their chess study / preparation.

The position is approximately equal.

Don’t forget to read the commentary by GM Naiditsch of Chess Evolution as well. He will be participating in super Dortmund soon.

We are still in opening book. The interesting part so far is to see how the players carefully maneuver to avoid home prep lines.

12…Qxa2 is the more risky, sharper option. I believe it is the right choice.

It is not without risk. But unlike the old days, players are using high tech computers and world class programs to prepare. So I have to believe that Gelfand knows what he is doing.

14. d6 and 14. Bg5 are both interesting and sound. 14. d6 Ra7 15. Bf4 Rd7 16. Rd2 Qxc3 17. dxe7 Rxd2 18. Bxd2 Qd3 is possible.

I am in the middle of packing to move from Texas to Webster University in St. Louis. The SPICE program will have 9 GMs, 2 IMs and more next year: Meier, So, Robson, Hoyos, Moradiabadi, Bykhovsky, Diamant, Boros and 1 more 2600+ GM. The move will take place in just a few short weeks.

This is another option to think about: 14. d6 Ra7 15. Bf4 Rd7 16. Rb8 O-O 17. dxe7 Rxe7 18. Bd6 Rd7 19. e5.

So after thinking for a while, Anand decided on the aggressive 14. d6. We have an exciting game in our hands.

The first game for such a match is so important. It can set the tone for the entire match. It is even more important for a short 12 game match.

I have to believe that Gelfand is prepared for this line. White’s position is comfortable but Black is OK.

This was played before: 15. Bg5 exd6 16. Qxd6 Rd7 17. Qxc6 Qc7 18. Qxc7 Rxc7. No novelty so far.

I don’t know now but both Anand and Gelfand used to eat, sleep, breathe chess 24/7 when they were younger. They’re chess fanatics 🙂

GM Naiditsch said: “We know that Rodstein and Eljanov are specialists on the Grunfeld and that there is a chance for him to be in Gelfand’s team, but I will tell you that most probably another good friend of Boris Gelfand is helping him – Levon Aronian (more on this in WCC newsletter 1). Now if Carlsen is secretly helping Anand, can we actually be viewing a match of the theory of the N1 and N2 in the world?”

This was what I posted earlier. 15. Bg5 exd6 16. Qxd6 Rd7 17. Qxc6 Qc7 18. Qxc7 Rxc7. I do not see Anand making a dent in this position.

Vishy can’t be happy with this position as white in game 1.

Black’s position is quite comfortable. He can push on a la Karpov style. White has to work to make sure the position does not get worse.

Black can develop his Bishop to d7 now. White cannot take the c5 pawn due to Bb5 pinning the Knight after Rc8 first.

22..f5 is a shocker. I would probably have gone with 22…Bd7.

This is another option: 23. Bxc5 fxe4 24. Nc4 Rc7 25. Nd6 Re6 26. Bb6 Rc6 27. Nxc8 Rxc8 28. LinkBa5 e3 29. fxe3 Rxe3 instead of 23. f3.

Disappointing draw. It is good for Gelfand as he has one more white now. I will once again do LIVE commentary here as well as and Have a great day!

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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