The conclusion of today’s [5/18/12] sixth game of the 2012 World Chess Championship between champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Boris Gelfand marked the halfway point of the twelve game match. And, with the sixth consecutive drawn game, the score now stands tied at 3-3. In the game the players returned to the Semi-Slav for the third time in the match and, even after the game left the realm of known theory and sailed into uncharted waters, neither player was able to find an advantage. Even Houdini 2 Pro could find no improvements (as you’ll see in the gamescore below). This seems strange — since draws favor the champion (Anand), one would think that Gelfand with the White pieces would try to steer the game into more dynamic lines. Fans posting to Internet sites are asking the same questions. One hot rumor suggests that Gelfand has lodged a formal complaint with FIDE in which he claims that Anand’s second is sneaking up behind Gelfand at critical game moments and distracting him by slipping a large dead badger onto Gelfand’s head:
Chess grandmaster Boris Gelfand with a dead badger on his head

Who would be distracted more by the dead badger: Gelfand or his opponent?

You’re right — I made that up. Wishful thinking on my part, I guess, as it would sure liven things up — a lot. Here is the score of today’s game, replayable with the arrows below the board, along with Houdini 2 Pro’s analysis which was generated in the Chess King Pro interface. I’ve included Houdini 2 Pro’s analysis of the final position as well.

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

Result: 1/2-1/2
Site: Moscow RUS
Date: 2012.05.18
[…] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.¤c3 ¤f6 4.e3 e6 5.¤f3 a6 6.£c2 c5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.¥e2 ¥e6 9.O-O ¤c6 10.¦d1 cxd4 11.¤xd4 ¤xd4 12.¦xd4 ¥c5 13.¦d1 £e7 14.¥f3 +0.2214…O-O +0.20 N
(14…¦d8 15.a3
(15.b3 O-O 16.¥b2 ¦c8 17.¤xd5 ¥xd5 18.¥xd5 ¥xe3 19.£e2 …1-0, Ragger Markus 2655 – Kobalia Mikhail 2674 , Aix les Bains 3/30/2011 Ch Europe …1/2-1/2, Lenic Luka 2641 – Rublevsky Sergei 2681 , Aix les Bains 4/ 1/2011 Ch Europe)
15…O-O 16.b4 ¥a7 17.¥b2 ¦c8 18.£d3 ¦fd8 19.¤e2 …0-1, Elkin Leonid 2184 – Jakovljevic Vlado 2389 , Rijeka 3/ 9/2010 Ch Europe)
15.¤xd5 +0.2015…¥xd5 +0.1916.¥xd5 +0.1916…¤xd5 +0.1917.¦xd5 +0.1917…¦ac8 +0.1918.¥d2 +0.1918…¥xe3 +0.1919.¥c3 +0.1919…¥b6 +0.1920.£f5 +0.1920…£e6 +0.1921.£f3 +0.1921…f6 +0.1922.h4 +0.1622…£c6 +0.1623.h5 +0.1523…¦fd8 +0.1424.¦xd8+ +0.0824…¦xd8 +0.0825.£xc6 +0.0625…bxc6 +0.1326.¦e1 +0.0526…¢f7 +0.0527.g4 +0.0527…¥d4 +0.0528.¦c1 +0.0528…¥xc3 +0.0529.¦xc3 +0.05* 29…¦d4 30….
(30.f3 a5 31.b3 ¦d1+ 32.¢g2 ¦d2+ 33.¢g3 ¦xa2 34.¦xc6 ¦b2 35.¦c7+ ¢g8 36.¦c8+ ¢f7 37.¦c3 ¦e2 38.¢f4 g5+ 39.¢g3 h6 40.¦c7+ ¦e7 41.¦c6 ¦b7 42.¦c5 ¦xb3 43.¦xa5 ¦b7 44.¦a2 ¦d7 45.¦c2 ¦b7 46.¦c6 (0:01:52) 29…Rd4)
And here is the raw gamescore for those who wish to use it: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.Qc2 c5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Be2 Be6 9.O-O Nc6 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Rxd4 Bc5 13.Rd1 Qe7 14.Bf3 O-O 15.Nxd5 Bxd5 16.Bxd5 Nxd5 17.Rxd5 Rac8 18.Bd2 Bxe3 19.Bc3 Bb6 20.Qf5 Qe6 21.Qf3 f6 22.h4 Qc6 23.h5 Rfd8 24.Rxd8+ Rxd8 25.Qxc6 bxc6 26.Re1 Kf7 27.g4 Bd4 28.Rc1 Bxc3 29.Rxc3 Rd4 1/2-1/2 Have fun! — Steve Lopez

Copyright 2012, Steven A. Lopez & Chess King. All rights reserved.