Anand vs. the World

Vishy Anand won the 2012 Chess World Championship and already ranks among the strongest players of all time. The chess community knows him as a fantastically consistent competitor. This is due in part to his excellent preparation, evidenced by the stellar match record he holds. Recently he agreed to a game on billed as “Anand vs. the World.” It was so-called vote chess wherein the power of a crowd is harnessed against a true star of the sport.

Unfortunately I looked at the game only afterwards; I think watching games live is a very instructive way to think about developing one’s game, and I’m quite sorry I didn’t get to be on the world’s team. You don’t really take in a sport just from a box score or a sheet of notation.

The drawn game provided a favorable result for the unwashed multitudes, since you don’t simply arrive at a group’s rating total by adding up their points – you also bring into the fold each member’s bad form. Sometimes a group is less than the sum of its parts; the American Legislature for instance has 535 participants, and together its members produce little more than spleen-filled bluster .So here is how the group acquitted themselves.

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Bb4 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. a3 {
Think back to Bb4. White’s pawns will now be doubled. While it seems easy to
trade off one of them for the d-pawn the recapture with the e-pawn allows a
Carlsbad Structure without white’s normal piece activity. His knight is also
on f3 rather than e2. While the bishop remains in position it indirectly
relieves pressure on the d-pawn.} Bxc3 9. bxc3 Qc7 10. a4 {I don’t truly
understand this move. Black’s b5 push is pretty standard. Perhaps Anand just
did not want to play those complicated Meran Lines without a prize on the line.
The last thing you want to do is give away a novelty in a game of skittles
chess.} e5 {Black can get in his important break.} 11. Nd2 e4 {Black’s bishop
problem is solved and he is not worse.} 12. Be2 {Without looking ahead ask
yourself if you would capture on d5 with a pawn or a piece. They’re both
reasonable tries, with objective evaluations closely resembling one another.
They lead to different play however.} Re8 13. Ba3 Nb6 14. c5 Nbd7 15. c4 Nf8
16. Rb1 Ng6 {Black has plenty of space. At least four pieces will vie for
white’s king. It’s not so easy to come to the defense. White’s avenues are
quite closed on the queen wing.} 17. Qb3 Rb8 18. Rfc1 Bg4 19. Bf1 Be6 20. Be2
Bg4 21. Bf1 Be6 22. Be2 Bg4 {There were other moves for both sides. Qd1 for
white and Ng4 for black would have kept the game level.} 1/2-1/2



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