Has Boris Gelfand out-prepared Vishy Anand?
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 11:15 IST
By Vijay Tagore | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Elizbar Ubilava thinks the world championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand, underway in Moscow, could go into a tie-break as the players have reached a situation of intense pressure. At this stage, the players will have a safety-first approach.

“The pressure is intense and neither will want to lose. The chances of mistakes are high, so they will get defensive and adopt a safety-first approach,” the former second of Anand says in a conversation with DNA. Anand, he reminds, could win the last world championship match against Veselin Topalov because the Bulgarian wanted to avoid the tie-break.

There are two more games left in the 12-game match after which there will be tie-break on next Wednesday. The scores are level at 5-5 after 10 games.

Anand is known for his rapid play and Ubilava is sure the Indian Grandmaster will have a better chance in the tie-break. “The tie-break is perfectly possible and it could favour Vishy. It is a psychological point as he has more experience in rapid play. But remember, Gelfand is more dangerous than Topalov.”

According to the Spanish GM, the match is still locked in a stalemate because Gelfand has managed to surprise Anand with his deep preparation and smart play. “I must say Gelfand has made good, deep and thorough preparation. He looked physically quite well. No doubt Anand is a strong opponent and has more chances but there is no guarantee. Gelfand is changing the openings constantly. Anand, too, has prepared deeply and thoroughly but his opponent is making life difficult for him. Anand may not have enjoyed it all. It is not working for him.

“I would not say Gelfand has out-prepared Anand but I must say he has played smart chess. Anand’s camp did not expect some of the openings, Najdorf for instance. If you are not getting an advantage in the opening, it becomes difficult. Anand had his chances but he was not very precise,” Ubilava, currently based in Madird, analyses.

Ubilava rates Anand as the favourite but only marginally. “Though Anand has a better chance, the win is not guaranteed. He is ahead but just about. The problem with Anand is that he has not managed to go to higher level after the Topalov match. It is hard to say if he has improved since the Topalov match (in 2010). He had to go to a higher level.”

The Chennai Tiger could extract some advantage if the match becomes long but Gelfand is not allowing that. “If the game goes on for a long time, Vishy will win. If he is able to extend the match, it could become tough for Gelfand. How to get there is the question.”

Motivation is an important factor and Gelfand has oodles of it “because, it is his last chance.”

And what about Anand? “Anand is a better player and the world championship has become a routine for him. He has huge experience but the motivation is higher for Gelfand. He’s doing everything,” notes Ubilava, who has worked with Anand for close to 10 years.

The veteran GM is, however, not very enthused by the quality of the matches. “Some games were interesting but frankly I was expecting more excitement,” he signs off.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com

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