Reports | May 17, 2012 15:31

Anand-Gelfand G5, a Sveshnikov Sicilian, drawn after 27 moves (VIDEO)

Anand-Gelfand G5, a Sveshnikov Sicilian, drawn after 27 moves (VIDEO)

While Evgeny Sveshnikov attended the World Championship match in Moscow for the first time, Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand played "his" opening today. For the first time in this match the World Champion played 1.e4, and the challenger chose the defence that has three names: Sveshnikov, Pelikan or Chelyabinsk. Black equalized comfortably and a draw was agreed on move 27. The score is 2.5-2.5 with seven more games to play.

Event World Championship MatchPGN via TWIC
Dates May 11th-30th, 2012
Location Moscow, Russia
System Match
Players

Viswanathan Anand & Boris Gelfand

Rate of play 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 61
Prize fund 2.55 million US $ (60% for the winner)
More information Read all info here
Videos ChessVibes on YouTube

There was some excitement at the start of game 5 in Moscow today, but unfortunately it was short-lived. Unlike in his previous white games, Vishy Anand didn't play 1.d4 but instead chose 1.e4. Boris Gelfand was of course prepared for this ("It's not the most rare move. If you prepare for a World Championship match, you have to be ready for 1.e4," he said afterwards) and only briefly reacted by looking up to the ceiling for half a second, and then firmly responded with 1...c5, the Sicilian.

But which Sicilian would it be? After Anand developed his king's knight, Gelfand did not push his queen's pawn one square, which would normally lead to the Najdorf variation, but instead he put his queen's knight to c6. A few moments later it became clear which surprise weapon the Israeli had cooked up against 1.e4: the Sveshnikov.

Gelfand plays 5...e5 - the Sveshnikov/Pelikan/Chelyabinsk Sicilian

This opening had been played only once before in a World Championship match, in 1910 by Emanuel Lasker against Karl Schlechter (who played the dubious 6.Nb3). It was expected to come on the board in the match between Peter Leko and Vladimir Kramnik in 2004, but it didn't happen.

A wonderful coincidence was that exactly today, Evgeny Sveshnikov himself, the legendary Latvian grandmaster who started playing this system as early as in 1963, attended the match. He entered the press room about 20 minutes into the game, and spoke with many journalists who wanted to know his opinion about the opening. We were one of the first to speak to Sveshnikov, and so you'll see him in the video below (together with GM Alexander Grischuk, who also came to the Tretyakov for the first time and gave commentary for the official website).

Unfortunately that was about all the excitement there was, because also this game quickly petered out to a draw. It became clear even more how well prepared Gelfand is, and today Grischuk praised Gelfand's choice of going for something new or almost new against both 1.d4 and 1.e4. (Gelfand only played the Sveshnikov a few times in his long career, and the last time in a serious game was in 2003.)

Anand played what is currently considered as White's best attempt to get an advantage: 11.c4, where 11.c3 used to be the main line. From the speed with which Gelfand was playing we can conclude that he knew exactly what he was doing. Just after the opening he already neutralized white's first move advantage, and at move 27 Anand offered a draw. To the question whether this had been Gelfand's easiest game, he answered: "Probably, yes."

The two players just before the start of the game 5 press conference

So far the games haven't provided much entertainment, and perhaps as a result of that the players haven't been able to provide very interesting quotes at the press conferences. Today they were asked about the fact that they both have a one year old son at home. Anand:

You can't prepare 24 hours anyway and I think playing with your son is a very enjoyable way to relax a little bit, I mean it certainly brought me a lot of joy. To be fair, I'd have to admit that my wife helped me a lot.

Gelfand said that he didn't see his children much in the past six months, but that he hopes to "make it up this summer".

 

PGN string

Match score

 

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

Aidin's picture

Live ratings:
Anand: 2786,5
Radjabov: 2784,0
Anand losses 0,9 points after every draw against Gelfand, so three more draws and Anand is just number 5.

Aditya's picture

These games are discouraging me from waking up early. Meanwhile, the US championship has proven to be quite a treat. The level of games might be not as 'instructive' as these, but that's ok for a sub 2000 player like me. I'm getting enough learning and enjoyment. Nakamura - Stripunsky was such an awesome game yesterday. And today Gata is crushing Seirawan with more time on his clock than the start.

cip's picture

Maybe Gata played a home preparation? I think Gelfand would be able to pull a similar stunt off. Except he's playing Anand, not Seirawan.

Lee's picture

Yep, the Kamsky-Sierwan game was old preparation by Kamsky.

The US Champs are great entertainment, but with so many games going, it's easier to find a gem or two each day to provide pleasure.

Matt's picture

Anand and Gelfand do not take risks simply because the match is TOO SHORT, that simple. In the old days of 24 game-matches there was more entertainment. But FIDE only cares about money because rapid/blitz deciders attract more sponsort, but that's not real chess but lottery-poker-chess ala' Grischuck.

slonik's picture

No, strong players in good form take risks, as in all previous 12 game matches, these guys are just trying their best to avoid all risks and that's why it's so different from Kramnik vs Topalov, Anand vs Kramnik and Anand vs Topalov.

visy's picture

does Gelfand think he can become world champion like this?

Aditya's picture

It's all a conspiracy I tell you. FIDE and Filatov have decided to put down Danailov by secretly enforcing an anti-Sofia rule. Under this rule, the players have to be extremely friendly to each other and not show any sign of going for the championship at the other's cost. The anti-Sofia rules also dictate that the players play a maximum of 40 moves. No game should go beyond 40 moves. Draw offers before move 40 are encouraged so the people of Moscow can rest themselves early. Do not blame the players. They are bound by anti-Sofia rules.

Seriously, although I vehemently disliked the non-chess antics of Topalov, I sure do miss him.

TomTom's picture

now i understand why they dont allow beer cups in playing hall

Harish Srinivasan's picture

GM Shipov is right on the money when he says
http://www.chessintranslation.com/2012/05/two-cats-and-three-computers-s...
"No. The World Championship isn’t an exhibition match or a super-tournament for the spectators. This is a fierce fight for the title, so there can’t be any limitations. I think that if the participants in the battle for the title want to agree a draw on the 10th move, if they both consider that favourable, they’ve got the right to do that and absolutely – I’ll say a terrible thing – absolutely without thinking about the spectators, because it’s a fierce fight for the title. No prisoners are being taken, and just imagine – for the sake of the spectators you went for some unnecessary complications, lost a game and gave up the title. Then in your old age you’ll recall that for the sake of the spectators you once sacrificed the title. It’s hard to come up with something more stupid than that."

TomTom's picture

But he could also risk something and WIN. If he loses a game near the end of the match he would have to risk under much worse circumstances, and probably later in old age regret having wasted so many games.

Matt's picture

It's like that because fide decided for a short match; 24 games as it was in the old days is better, players would take more risks; with so few games this is the result, a boring uninteresting match because they are taking no risks.

cmling's picture

Excellent, thank you, Harish!

noyb's picture

This is what Bobby meant by "prearranged" draws. It's all been worked out before hand without any original thinking. But, preparation is part of chess, and someone must be willing to take a chance to try and win. That's where things will get interesting.

rdecredico's picture

memorized computer games....meh

DR. ARTFREDO C. ABELLA, PH.D 's picture

The cautious moves of the top two chess players in the world has led to a successive five draws. Neither player would want to venture into risky lines as it might lead to possible loss. Good for the two greatest chess players in the world but a bit sad for the chess fans. I think GM Anand would finally untie the Gordon's Knot and come up with a brilliant chess game to win the match. After all, he is dubbed as having the "eye of the tiger". I prefer him to retain his World Chess Championship title as he grew up in the Philippines and solved several chess quizzes posted by the Filipinos before. Although, I do not berate GM Gelfand of his chess prowess as he is also a super Grandmaster of Israel. May the best man win!

DR. ARTFREDO C. ABELLA, PH.D 's picture

The cautious moves of the top two chess players in the world has led to a successive five draws. Neither player would want to venture into risky lines as it might lead to possible loss. Good for the two greatest chess players in the world but a bit sad for the chess fans. I think GM Anand would finally untie the Gordon's Knot and come up with a brilliant chess game to win the match. After all, he is dubbed as having the "eye of the tiger". I prefer him to retain his World Chess Championship title as he grew up in the Philippines and solved several chess quizzes posted by the Filipinos before. Although, I do not berate GM Gelfand of his chess prowess as he is also a super Grandmaster of Israel. May the best man win!

DR. ARTFREDO C. ABELLA, PH.D 's picture

The cautious moves of the top two chess players in the world has led to a successive five draws. Neither player would want to venture into risky lines as it might lead to possible loss. Good for the two greatest chess players in the world but a bit sad for the chess fans. I think GM Anand would finally untie the Gordon's Knot and come up with a brilliant chess game to win the match. After all, he is dubbed as having the "eye of the tiger". I prefer him to retain his World Chess Championship title as he grew up in the Philippines and solved several chess quizzes posted by the Filipinos before. Although, I do not berate GM Gelfand of his chess prowess as he is also a super Grandmaster of Israel. May the best man win!

Anonymous's picture

Time for FIDE to sanction S-Chess? See
http://www.seirawanchess.com/

TM's picture

The solution is simply. Simply abolish the castle rule. Why should a player suddenly be able to make two moves in one, bring the king to securty and activate the rook at the same time? It is completely unnatural. Without castle, openings would be sharper, more decisive games, etc...

sam's picture

With the computer adided prep, the classical chess is dead among high level. Thaks to Fischer for his early prediction. Its public call now to jump on to Fisher chess.

GeneM's picture

World Chess Championship matches should be won by the first player to leads in wins with at least four wins, after an even number of games.
Draws should not count.

The draw rate in the Candidates' tournament that Gelfand won was 90%!! With about half of the WCChamp match over the draw rate is 100%!!
Evidence for the need for major change cannot be more plain and emphatic. Losing the drama of 1-on-1 matches and settling for the winner of many-player tournaments would be sad.

The core problem is the high draw rate. Unless another start position (from chess960-FRC) is used, the draw rate will remain suffocatingly high, too high to have draws not count.

A second start position would provide both players with fertile uncharted territory for powerful-clever *early* opening novelties they could plan at home and win with over the board.

Discard the "Random" part of Fischer Random Chess!

Thanks. GeneM

Michael's picture

Wos, this match is soooo boring. Well, I suppose you can't expect anything else when you have Mr Boring, "super solid" Gelfand and Mr "I take no risks" Anand. Why on earth don't guys like Morozevich, Sutovsky, Svidler or Mamedyarov get to play a World Championship Match? That would be some entertaining chess. Well, I suppose I should mention Carlsen with the guys above, but he always seems to be chickening out.

Is chess only a 20 something move draw?

Thomas's picture

Gelfand isn't - at least not always - Mr Boring super solid. Check some of his games from Kazan where he qualified for this match, and/or read his book "My most memorable games".

As to the others, well they didn't qualify. Sutovsky isn't even eligible for the early stages of the process - probably because he isn't quite strong enough, maybe also because he plays (too) entertaining chess without caring about results. Svidler is a rather random name - he is certainly a nice and funny guy, but also has a reputation as one of the most drawish players around.

Michael's picture

You know what the funniest thing would be? Gelfand World Champ! That would make me laugh for days on end. I just hope one of the guys I mentioned in my earlier post, plus Radjabov and Karjakin get the chance to play for World Champ some day. Ok, I enjoy Adams' and Bologan's styles as well, it would have been lovely to see one of them instead of Gandalf.

Chris's picture

Gelfand is afraid to play beyond his preparation :).
His preparation leads to dull positions.
Anand is better player so Gelfand strategy is understandable.
Match is boring. They are playing for money not for fans. :(

Sligunner's picture

After the Kramnik-Aronian match, this is like watching paint dry.

Matt's picture

Short match = players taking no risks. Simple.

Acropilite's picture

Any human being who thinks that a draw game is boring has no idea what modern chess is about.
I am completely sure that 99% of people claiming these draw games are boring/bad/easy would not be able draw a single one of these positions against either Anand or Gelfand

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