This is a must win game 3 for Gelfand. Hard to win with black against Anand in game 4 if he doesn’t do it here. Both of these guys are my friends for decades. Sad to see one of them lose. But that is a part of the game.
Rapid, blitz and Armageddon not the fairest way to decide a world championship but they are exciting for fans. Agreed?
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg6 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. O-O Bd6 10. h3 O-O 11. Qc2 Qe7 game 3 has begun.
12. Rd1 Rac8 13. c5 Bb8 14. f4 Ne8 Gelfand wants to suffocate Anand in this game. Anand’s pieces are on the first 2 ranks.
15. b4 g5 16. Rb1 f5 17. b5 gxf4 18. exf4 Nef6 I really like Gelfand’s position. Good position with plenty of time.
19. bxc6 bxc6 20. Ba6 Rc7 21. Be3 Anand is in trouble. His position is cramped with no serious counterplay. White’s plan is to double up his rooks on the b file.
21…Ne4 White can just ignore the knight and go with the plan to double up the rooks on the b file.
22. Rb2 g5 Deja vu? Didn’t Anand lose after g5 last time? 🙂
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23. Rdb1 gxf4 24. Bxf4 e5 25. Bxe5 Nxe5 26. Rxb8?? This is a blunder. 26. Nxe4 would be over. White is still better after 26…Ng6 but it is so much harder to make a dent now.
26…Ng6 27. Nxe4 fxe4 += Gelfand will kick himself in the behind if he does not win this game. 26. Nxe4 was a big miss.
28. Qf2 Qg7 White is still objectively better but that was a big mis-0pportunity for Gelfand to close out the game almost immediately.
Moves recap: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg6 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. O-O Bd6 10. h3 O-O 11. Qc2 Qe7 12. Rd1 Rac8 13. c5 Bb8 14. f4 Ne8 15. b4 g5 16. Rb1 f5 17. b5 gxf4 18. exf4 Nef6 19. bxc6 bxc6 20. Ba6 Rc7 21. Be3 Ne4 22. Rb2 g5 23. Rdb1 gxf4 24. Bxf4 e5 25. Bxe5 Nxe5 26. Rxb8 Ng6 27. Nxe4 fxe4 28. Qf2 Qg7 29. Kh2
The problem is Gelfand is way down on time again. It is also psychologically devastating knowing you just blew it.
29…Rf7 30. Qg3 Nf4 When pressure mounts, variations become blur. You start to doubt your analysis and sometimes you see bricks only. If you want to be a WC, you must be able to handle this devastating element.
31. R8b3 Qxg3+ 32. Rxg3+ Kh7 33. Rd1 Ne6 34. Be2 Rf2 35. Bg4 This is like playing the 5th set tiebreaker in a tennis grand slam. It is all about nerve. Anand capitalized on Gelfand’s blunder and has equalized. Gelfand has no time again.
35…Nf4 36. Rb1 Rf7 37. Rb8 If Anand proceeds to win this match, he clearly deserves it as his nerve held up better. He will also cement his legacy in chess as a great champion.
37…Rxa2 38. Rc8 e3 39. Rxe3 Rxg2+ 40. Kh1 Rd2 41. Rxc6 Ne6 The position is far from over. But Anand’s speed is causing havoc for Gelfand. 42. Rf3 is a must.
I am told it is draw but the live move feed went dead.