Wow. Six straight draws and now the second decisive game. With Boris Gelfand winning game seven, many felt he would play solidly and merely try to hold with black. Instead Gelfand went into a wild tactical line and made a huge oversight. Let’s recap.
Anand came out of the dressing room knowing that he had to rebound quickly with only four games remaining after today. He reverted back to 1.d4 and what would ensue would be totally unexpected.
Perhaps Gelfand’s team is researching for something in the Grunfeld and so he shelved it and trotted out a Benoni-type line. After 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 c5 4. d5 d6 5. e4 Bg7 6.Ne2, there are many tangents… Modern Benoni (…e6) and the Benko Gambit (…b5) are still possible. Gelfand stuck more with a King’s Indian and a Saemisch was on the board.
The game took a turn when Gelfand played the rare 7…Nh5 which was only played once before (by two computers). Anand played actively with 8.Bg5 and Gelfand played 8…Bf6?! forfeiting his good bishop after 9.Bxf6 exf6. Anand followed with 10.Qd2! in order to begin planning to roll the kingside with the pawns. Gelfand continued with 10…f5? which was the beginning of a miscalculation by the challenger. On 14…Qf6, Gelfand thought he could win the Rh1, but after 15.gxh5! Qxf3+ 16.Kc2 Qxh1.
After the game, Gelfand analyzed 17.Qf4 instead when black is better after 17…Qg1. However, Anand played 17.Qf2 and the black queen is suddenly trapped. The main line would be 17…Nc6 18.dxc6 Qxc6 19.Bg2 Qd7 and 20.Nd5 dominates. Gelfand did not care to see this position and resigned.
Many of the commentators were scrambling trying to see if this was the shortest win in World Championship history. Nevertheless, it still counts as only one loss and there are four games to play. It is a short match and perhaps we will see some cautious play the next couple of rounds followed by late surprises. Stay tuned!
Game Analysis of Game #8
Video by GM Daniel King.
Official Site: https://moscow2012.fide.com/en/
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2012/05/10/2012-world-championship-anand-vs-gelfand/