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

Monday, 21 May 2012

Gelfand Commits Seppuku! Match Is Even Again

After interesting 7th game of match between Anand and Gelfand everybody was curious what trumps Anand will draw in game 8.
He came back to 1.d4 and perhaps intended to surprise Gelfand in Grünfeld defence. However, after normal moves 1...Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 (Anand's pet-line in this match) it was Gelfand who surprised his opponent by 3...c5! From now on the game became very unconventional and quite interesting. Gelfand's move 8...Bf6 was surprise not only for Anand but perhaps for everybody including the grandmasters on the commentator's posts. Svidler together with Smirin were of opinion that it is part of the home preparation, Konstantin Sakaev apparently did not like it, writing that this exchange of dark-squared Bishops is in favour of White. It is very difficult to say what really was a part of home prep and what was just sheer stroke of genius...
Anand successfully stabilized his position and after his mover 14 he could claim a small edge because of certain space advantage, but nothing more... It would have been ok if chess players had not been only human beings. I venture to say that Gelfand will never forget his move 14...Qf6. Why he chose this move and not one of two possible retreats of his Knight, it knows perhaps only Gelfand himself. But this is chess. After this move the Black position is definitely worse if not lost completely. Gelfand made two other moves but with the prospect of defending much worse position when White's attack can develop quite naturally, he decided to throw in the towel. 
Rather tough disillusion after yesterday's ecstasy...

Current score is 4:4
Tomorrow is another rest day so match will continue on Wednesday. Both players will have time to recover and we can look forward to seeing some new development.
Definitely we can agree with Karpov's statement that second half of this match will be more interesting than the first one.

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