Anand settles for a draw

Anand settles for a draw

Indian chooses to play it safe in exciting third game

A well fought, fantastic struggle ended without much fanfare as defending champion Viswanathan Anand played out a draw against Boris Gelfand in the third game of the World Chess Championship here on Monday.

The position was complex and appeared promising for Anand but experts commenting on the game could not come to any firm conclusion and only analysis by chess engines later could provide more insights into why Anand chose to play it safe in the dying stages of the game.

The scores now stand level at 1.5-1.5 in the 12-game series in progress at the Tretyakova Gallery at Mosocw.

It was one of those very rare occasion that Anand found himself in time trouble and impending checkmate when challenger Gelfand’s both rooks patrolling his seventh rank had him settling for a draw with repetition of moves. The third game, which lasted 37 moves, was the most sharp and fluid so far.

Gelfand’s Grunfeld was met with a new move on the third turn by Anand but the 43-year-old Israeli GM had more than done his homework, the speed with which he belted out the moves giving a strong indication that he was completely prepared for the challenge.

Anand castled on the queen side but it was Gelfand who was on the attacking side in the initial stages. His queen and rooks along with the knight kept the pressure on Anand’s King.

Anand ‘s pieces on the Kingside were undeveloped for which Gelfand had sacrificed a pawn. Anand exchanged off the queens, bishops and knights and appeared better to try and probe for victory.

A cautious 35th rook move by Anand, however, had the game petering into a draw.

Moves (Game 3): Anand - Gelfand: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0–0 8.Qd2 e5 9.d5 c6 10.h4 cxd5 11.exd5 N8d7 12.h5 Nf6 13.hxg6 fxg6 14.0–0–0 Bd7 15.Kb1 Rc8 16.Ka1 e4 17.Bd4 Na4 18.Nge2 Qa5 19.Nxe4 Qxd2 20.Nxf6+ Rxf6 21.Rxd2 Rf5 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.d6 Rfc5 24.Rd1 a5 25.Rh4 Rc2 26.b3 Nb2 27.Rb1 Nd3 28.Nd4 Rd2 29.Bxd3 Rxd3 30.Re1 Rd2 31.Kb1 Bf5+ 32.Nxf5+ gxf5 33.Re7+ Kg6 34.Rc7 Re8 35.Rh1 Ree2 36.d7 Rb2+ 37.Kc1 Rxa2. Game drawn.

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