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1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 We have the Nimzo Indian again.

7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bd7 This is a rare move. It seems that Anand wants to stay away from the main line. Gelfand is spending a considerable amount of time with this next move. He is surprised with 8…Bd7. I believe Korchnoi and Yusupov played it in the past but it is only on rare occasions. This is crunch time so Gelfand is being extra cautious. He knows that Anand has a surprise for him so he’s trying not to go deeper into it. Something like 9. Qe2 is too normal. So I expect him to try something unusual like 9. a3.

9. a3 Ba5 10. Qe2 Bc6 11. Rd1 Bxc3 Black cannot play 11…Nbd7 because of 12. d5. Therefore, he must give up his Bishop

12. bxc3 Nbd7 Now I believe that both players are on their own. 13. Bd3 Qa5 Once again, Gelfand has the Bishop pair. Unfortunately for him, the Bishop on c1 is kind of useless right now.

Not sure what Anand has in mind to allow but I’m not buying it. 14. e4 is my pick.

14. c4 Gelfand is nervous about getting into a sharper 14. e4 to allow Qxc3. I don’t blame him since it is his final white game and it’s really crunch time. If this would have been in a regular tournament game, I think Gelfand would have done it.

14…cxd4 15. exd4 I like white here +=

15…Qh5 16. Bf4 If Anand chooses to, we can see Knights vs Bishops again.

16…Rac8 Anand wants to keep his Bishop longer. Gelfand is back to his deep thinking mode after 16…Rac8. He’s way down on time.

17. Ne5 Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Rfd8 20. a4 Now 20…Ne4 and the position is equal. Black should have no problem holding this game.

20…Ne4 21. Rd3 The idea of 21…f6, followed by Be8 can prove tricky for white.

21… f6 22. Bf4 Be8 It is still technically equal but white must be careful, something which is hard to do in time pressure.

23. Rb3 and now if Rxd4 24. Be3 Nc5 25. Rxb7 Nxb7 26. Bxd4 =

23…Rd4 24. Be3 Rd7 1/2

Anand will have white in the final game. If no progress is made, they will head into the rapid / blitz playoff.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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