Today’s fifth round game in the 2012 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand ended in a draw. But I’ll give some props to the players for mixing things up a bit. Anand finally played his old tried-and-true 1.e4 and Gelfand went for a Sicilian. Unfortunately, the game stayed “in book” for two-thirds of its length — and not just a well-known variation, but one which also wasn’t terribly dynamic. Neither player unleashed any major surprises. Houdini 2 Pro shows a very slight misstep for Gelfand at move 18 once the game left book, but it wasn’t fatal — and neither player was able to grab a subsequent advantage. Here is the game, replayable using the arrow buttons, with analysis generated by Houdini 2 Pro running in the Chess King Pro interface:

Anand, Viswanathan (2799) – Gelfand, Boris (2739)

Result: 1/2-1/2
Site: Moscow RUS
Date: 2012.05.17
[…] 1.e4 c5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.d4 cxd4 4.¤xd4 ¤f6 5.¤c3 e5 6.¤db5 d6 7.¥g5 a6 8.¤a3 b5 9.¤d5 ¥e7 10.¥xf6 ¥xf6 11.c4 b4 12.¤c2 O-O 13.g3 a5 14.¥g2 ¥g5 15.O-O ¥e6 16.£d3 ¥xd5 17.cxd5 +0.2217…¤b8 +0.2218.a3 +0.14* N
(18.h4 ¥e7 19.a3 bxa3 20.¦xa3 ¤d7 21.¦fa1 ¤c5 22.£c4 ¦b8 …1-0, Jakubowski Krzysztof 2507 – Bobras Piotr 2568 , Czech Republic 11/ 7/2009 Extra League 2009/10)
18…¤a6 +0.37*
(18…bxa3 +0.15 19.¤xa3 +0.07 19…¤d7 +0.11 20.¤c4 +0.07 20…£c7 +0.11)
19.axb4 +0.3719…¤xb4 +0.3720.¤xb4 +0.3620…axb4 +0.3621.h4 +0.3621…¥h6 +0.3422.¥h3 +0.10*
(22.£c4 +0.33 22…b3 +0.41 23.¥h3 +0.37 23…g6 +0.37 24.£xb3 +0.33)
22…£b6 +0.1023.¥d7 +0.0923…b3 +0.1124.¥c6 +0.1124…¦a2 +0.1125.¦xa2 +0.1125…bxa2 +0.1026.£a3 +0.0026…¦b8 +0.00* 27.£xa2
Here are the moves without analysis for those readers who wish to “copy and paste” them: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c4 b4 12. Nc2 O-O 13. g3 a5 14. Bg2 Bg5 15. O-O Be6 16. Qd3 Bxd5 17. cxd5 Nb8 18. a3 Na6 19. axb4 Nxb4 20. Nxb4 axb4 21. h4 Bh6 22. Bh3 Qb6 23. Bd7 b3 24. Bc6 Ra2 25. Rxa2 bxa2 26. Qa3 Rb8 27. Qxa2 1/2-1/2 Have fun! — Steve Lopez