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1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 It’s the Nimzo Indian and not Slav!

3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O The question is if Gelfand prepared for the Nimzo at all.

5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O This is so far the main line of the Nimzo Indian. Anand is very familiar with this opening.

7…dxc4 8. Bxc4 cxd4 9. exd4 b6 We have yet to see a novelty so far.

10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Qe2 Both are still in theory.

11…Nbd7 12. Rac1 It is interesting that even though Anand surprised Gelfand with the Nimzo, White is playing faster. So it seems that Gelfand is not surprised at all.

12…Rc8 Anand spent a lot of time to make this move. White could make a play for the Kingside or the center. I give white a slight edge +=

13. Bd3 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Qc7 15. c4 Black’s position is fine, even though white has a pair of Bishops.

14…Bxf3 This is a total stunner. Why would black give up his Bishop? It is now a pair of Bishops versus a pair of Knights. I like white’s position a lot better after this.

16. Qxf3 Rfe8 17. Rfd1 h6 I now expect white to play 18. Bh4. Black has a problem finding good squares for his pieces.

18. Bh4 as expected. I am puzzled of some of Anand’s moves in this game. He is giving white an excellent position voluntarily.

18…Qd6 This is the best possible move for Anand. It gives his Queen more mobility. The question now is what should white do? How does white plan to maximize his advantage. One of the plans is to work on the idea of d5. This is the critical moment for Gelfand. He must find the right plan if he wants the full point. This why he is spending a lot of time here.

19. c5 interesting move. Here is a possible continuation 19…bxc5 20. dxc5 Rxc5 21. Bh7+ Kxh7 22. Rxd6 Rxc1+ 23. Rd1 Rec8 +=

19…bxc5 20. dxc5 Rxc5 21. Bh7+ Kxh7 22. Rxd6 Rxc1+ 23. Rd1 The players continued as expected. White is playing for two results with no danger of losing.

23…Rec8 += 24. h3 Nd5 25. Qe2 Ng6 Now white must take on f6. White cannot allow the black knight to go to d5.

26. Bxf6 gxf6 27. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28. Kh2 Black is planning his Rook on the 7th rank to build a fortress. The question is can white make progress?

28… Rc7 29. Qb2 Kg7 If Gelfand wants to, he can make Anand sweat this out for a long time. However, it is not so easy to make a serious dent.

With only 4 games left, the idea is simple. They want to hold with as little effort as possible with black and playing for two results with white. I do not expect either to take crazy chances as a loss may prove to be very hard to overcome at this stage of the match.

30. a4 This is a surprise. Black can play Ne7 then Nd5. This is a solid fortress.

30…Ne7 Anand is doing exactly that. Gelfand’s only chance is to find a way to make play with h4 – g5.

31. a5 Nd5 32. a6 Gelfand is trying a different plan, but I am still having a hard time to find a convincing path.

32…Kh7 33. Qd4 f5 34. f4 This is very strange. White must try the h4, g4 – g5 plan to have any practical chances.

34…Rd7 35. Kg3 Kg6 36. Qh8 Nf6 37. Qb8 h5 38. Kh4 Kh6 39. Qb2 Kg6 40. Qc3 Ne4 41. Qc8 Nf6 42. Qb8 Re7 43. g4 hxg4 44. hxg4 fxg4 45. Qe5 Ng8 46. Qg5+ Kh7 47. Qxg4 f6 48. Qg2 Kh8 49. Qe4 Kg7 1/2-1/2

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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