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

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

GM Sergey Shipov on the Match Anand-Gelfand

GM Sergei Shipov
Sergei Shipov is a Russian chess grandmaster, with peak FIDE rating 2662 (in 1999), chess journalist and author. He recently issued two volume book on "The Complete Hedgehog". 
He is also know as an expert of website crestbook.com . He was asked for some opinions on the match Anand-Gelfand on the server "Obozrevatel" (i.e. Observer) and here are some of his views:
Shipov's recent books
"I do not think that the opponents will put themselves on the grill.
The opening preparation will play very important role. Who will be able to prepare an important opening surprise for his opponent, he will grab the initiative in the match. The “Meran revelation” in the world champion match Anand-Kramnik in 2008 is a good example. It means that scenario and character of the match is determined by pre-match preparation of both players. However, this is not know to anybody so far...
I do not expect high effectiveness. Only if one of competitors slipped in the beginning of the match and then he would be forced to play risky, in the style of “all or nothing”. I think that this will not happen. Gelfand, for example, playing in the candidate tournament, bet on sharp Najdorf variation in Sicilian instead of playing for equality in Petroff’s Defence, and also the “Meran Triumph” of Anand in the match with Kramnik tells that in present match the play for win with Black pieces is possible. In fact, the major objective of opening preparation in such an important match is to come out with significant novelties in an opening which your rival can hardly expect to be played. And for a human beings to foretell the opening choice is generally impossible.
In general, Anand is higher class of player – this is his major advantage. However, Gelfand has much higher motivations. He is hungry for big victories unlike Anand who has already won everything.
Objectively, Anand’s chance to win is higher. This statement is as clear as the fact that "2x2 = 4." But only the Almighty knows what happens in reality. And he will cast the dice on the table...
Recent failures of both contestants have had considerable impact on the publicity of the match as well as on the interest of the mass media. On the top of that, it's an unfortunate coincidence that the main match for the historically important title is played by players, whose rating is far from the top. And if Anand still has some reserves of public trust due to his great past, then the Gelfand’s are equal to zero.
I do believe, that the idea of an alternative match of two current top world players, Carlsen and Aronian, will keep levitating up in the air as an example of a more interesting competition which would be available at this moment. In any case, among the fans.
And from the point of view of predictions of results for the upcoming match recent failures of its participants are far from to be  importance! The tradition to hide and to keep secret before the most important matches has been developed historically. Before his triumphant match with Kramnik, Anand, if I remember correctly, had also played in Bilbao "-2" with an extremely modest quality of his game. This fact, however, did not prevent him to achieve success in the important match. So it is not worth to look back.
Everything can happen, no matter whether you like it or not!"

If you want to get some more interesting information about why Magnus Carlsen withdrawn from the candidate tournament and others, then please click on the following links: 

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