Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Anand vs. Gelfand after four games

Picture by Chessbase
It is enough to see FIDE rating list to understand that World Championship Match in Moscow between Vishvanatan Anand from India and Boris Gelfand from Israel is not a match between two best players in the World.
Of course, Anand is a worth World Champion, and Boris Gelfand won a completely legal candidate matches and deserved his right to play WC match.
Other question is how serious were candidate matches when some of candidates were eliminated in blitz games.

Still, if we can learn from our past we can be thankful just because we have normal circle for World Champion title. Maybe we ask to much if we want to have champions like Kasparov, Fischer or Capablanca all the time and criticizes to much if we have champions like Ewue or Anand. There is a normal WC circle and these guys were best when it counted.
Chess amateurs from the west in huge majority wants to see Carlsen on the top and there are a lot of people who wants old fashioned Russian champion (let´s say Karjakin).
There is no doubt that Carlsen, Karjakin, Radjabov and maybe Giri or Carauna will fight for a crown in the next decade but right now I think that most serious challenger is Kramnik.
It is just my speculation and it is somehow depressing to think that a player who already past his best years can fight for the crown (and is most serious contender).
Playing venue
Back to the Moscow match, I think first of all that is a very good decision for match to be held in Moscow, and I can see that like bringing back some of chess tradition.
The next thing is that I didn´t seen Anand as a favourite in this match. A very bad form in the tournaments before this event tells much. Many experts said that Anand were not ambitious in these tournaments and that he just tried to keep his touch with WC match in front of him. I think that he lucks energy to win a chess games in a row (same as Kramnik) against younger opponents. For example, if we talks about game number three, I can say that Anand would win that position in 2004 or 2007, but he failed to win it in 2012.
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Gelfand is also not a young player, but his motivation is huge compared to Anand´s. After all, he is contender.
He is prepared extremely well according to first four games.
Still, with a white pieces he failed to make problems for Anand. Both white games were a straightforward path to a draw.
With a black pieces Gelfand played more lively but with this strategy he creates chances for Anand. I don´t know is it some kind of match-strategy from Gelfand side, or he sipely tries with both colours. Anand´s approach is much more pragmatic. He is playing for a draw with a black pieces and his strategy is clear.
Click to enlarge
If he plays six draws with black, he can just play chess with a white and he should win one more game.
It is somehow simplistic but if it works he will definitely did it.
It almost worked in game number three.
So, Anand has a slight initiative in the match, but I think that Gelfand had a bit more luck with pairs. It is better to begin with black pieces, because you can play with White in decisive twelfth game of the match.
If I try to summarize advantages and disadvantages in this moment I can dome to conclusion that outcome is very unclear. It should be something like this:

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Gelfand advantages:

  • Motivation
  • Anand´s bad form lately
  • White in the last game
Anand advantages:
  • Playing strength
  • Experience in the WC matches


Today ended the biggest tournament in Sweden, Sigeman & CO in Malmö.
All information can be found on tournament website: Sigeman & CO Chess tournament .
I didn´t wrote about this tournament because I am not in the right location for that, and that was already played half of tournament when I finished my tournament in Sarajevo.
Besides this, there is just two more serious tournaments in Sweden: Rilton cup (you can find some informations about this tournament in my previous posts) in Stockholm  which is open tournament, and Manhem GM tournament in Gothenburg, which is round robin tournament for 10 players ( I took part in this tournament last year).

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