"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Friday, 18 May 2012

Anand's Pawn Sac Provokes Crisis - Gelfand Plays Safe.

Match Anand-Gelfand continued this afternoon by game six which ended up by draw in 29 moves. The current score is now 3:3. 

The Semi-Slav Defence was played and it was the same line which we have already seen before (in game 2), but Gelfand chose 6.Qc2 instead of 6.b3.

Position after 14.Bf3
In the move 10 Anand preferred to play 10...cxd4 instead of more common move 10...Nb4 and then in the move 14, playing 14...0-0 he offered a pawn sac which was undoubtedly  which was perhaps a part of his home preparation.  Gelfand accepted the pawn sac, however, several moves later, in move 18, he played 18.Bd2, giving the pawn back.
Position after 17.Rac8
There was a debate among the commentators whether he could keep the pawn and several lines were suggested. Probably the best way was 18.Qe2. Gelfand was asked afterwards during the press-conference why he did not keep the pawn and he replied that he did not see good way how to develop his pieces. 
Gelfand then successfully completed development of his pieces and perhaps White was slightly better at this point. He made a sortie by pushing  h-pawn on h5, however, Anand defended himself splendidly. He manage to exchange all pieces but one pair of rooks and in this rook ending the chance that White could gain some tangible edge was illusory and the draw was agreed.

Former World Champion, Garry Kasparov was the special guest today in the Tretyakov Gallery. There was a press-conference with him and then he joined the commentators on both channels, the English as well as the Russian.
Jan ten Geuzendam, Kasparov & Svidler
He mentioned that he is surprised that Gelfand plays Grünfeld Defence. The debate went around the game 3 of current match when Anand was close to get decisive advantage, however, he missed his chance.
Anastasiya Karlovich, B. Gelfand & V. Anand on the press conference
On the address of this match, Kasparov says that safety should not be a "buzzword of this match". He mentioned match Anand-Kramnik, where Anand's performance was superb and where he was willing to take the risk. He remarked that Anand perhaps lost his motivation. In the current match the situation is like in defensive war led around Maginot line.
As far as Boris Gelfand was concerned, Kasparov mentioned the fact that he has not won a single game with Anand since 1993! However, if he is able to keep pressure, then Vishy can stumble. Peter Svidler made an interesting remark that Anand should win quickly because Gelfand's chances would be better and better.
Tomorrow is the Rest Day so we can look forward to seeing another battle on Sunday.

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