Today’s ninth game in the 2012 World Chess Championship between champion Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand was a draw — but what a draw! Give the players full credit here – this was no short “GM draw”. The players duked it out for forty-nine moves. Gelfand, with the White pieces, enjoyed the edge throughout the whole game but couldn’t make anything out of his (sometimes more than slight) advantage. You’ll likely find the endgame material balance (Queen vs. Rook, Knight, and pawn) to be pretty interesting when you play this one. The score currently stands at 4.5-4.5, with Game 10 set for tomorrow. Below you’ll find the replayable game, with Houdini 2 Pro’s analysis generated in the Chess King Pro interface (along with a short observation by yours truly).

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

Result: 1/2-1/2
Site: Moscow
Date: 2012.05.23
[…] 1.d4 ¤f6 2.c4 e6 3.¤c3 ¥b4 4.e3 O-O 5.¥d3 d5 6.¤f3 c5 7.O-O dxc4 8.¥xc4 cxd4 9.exd4 b6 10.¥g5 ¥b7 11.£e2 ¤bd7 12.¦ac1 ¦c8 13.¥d3 ¥xc3 14.bxc3 £c7 15.c4 +0.0015…¥xf3 +0.51 N
(15…h6 +0.00 16.¥d2 +0.00
(16.¥h4 £f4 17.¥g3 £g4 18.h3 £h5 19.¤e5 ¦fd8 20.£e3 …0-1, Fuksik Jakub 2145 – Dovzik Juri 2395 , Pardubice 1996 It (open) “Czech Open-Komercni banka”)
16…£d6 +0.04 17.¦fd1 +0.07 17…¦fe8 +0.07 18.¥c3 +0.04 18…¤g4 +0.04)
(15…¦fe8 16.¦fe1 h6 17.¥d2 £c6 18.£e3 ¦ed8 19.£f4 e5 20.£g3 …1-0, Tristan Leonardo 2393 – Orsini Antonio 2352 , La Plata 8/ 2/2008 Ch Argentina)
(15…¤g4 16.¥h4
(16.¥e4 ¥xe4 17.£xe4 ¤gf6 18.£e3 £c6 19.¦fe1 ¦fe8 20.£b3 …1-0, Pokorna Regina 2381 – Exler Veronika 2018 , Baska 9/15/2009 It (w))
16…¥xf3 0-1, Testard Philippe 1962 – Boblin Laurent 2046 , France 11/29/2003 Ch de la Loire (Top20))
16.£xf3 +0.5016…¦fe8 +0.56 SL: I was watching the live feed, and after 16…Rfe8 Gelfand looked out at the crowd for several moments, put his head down on the table (on his crossed arms), then stared at the board with his head in his hands, like his brain was about to explode. What was he seeing? 17.¦fd1 +0.5017…h6 +0.5418.¥h4 +0.5418…£d6 +0.5419.c5 +0.33*
(19.¥g3 +0.56 19…£b4 +0.56)
19…bxc5 +0.3320.dxc5 +0.3320…¦xc5 +0.3321.¥h7+ +0.3321…¢xh7 +0.3322.¦xd6 +0.3022…¦xc1+ +0.2923.¦d1 +0.2923…¦ec8 +0.2924.h3 +0.2924…¤e5 +0.3425.£e2 +0.3425…¤g6 +0.3926.¥xf6 +0.3926…gxf6 +0.3827.¦xc1 +0.3727…¦xc1+ +0.3528.¢h2 +0.3528…¦c7 +0.3429.£b2 +0.3429…¢g7 +0.3430.a4 +0.3430…¤e7 +0.3431.a5 +0.3431…¤d5 +0.3432.a6 +0.3432…¢h7 +0.3433.£d4 +0.3433…f5 +0.4834.f4 +0.3834…¦d7 +0.3835.¢g3 +0.3835…¢g6 +0.3836.£h8 +0.3536…¤f6 +0.3537.£b8 +0.3537…h5 +0.4038.¢h4 +0.4038…¢h6 +0.4039.£b2 +0.4039…¢g6 +0.4040.£c3 +0.4040…¤e4 +0.4041.£c8 +0.4041…¤f6 +0.4042.£b8 +0.4042…¦e7 +0.4843.g4 +0.4843…hxg4 +0.4844.hxg4 +0.4844…fxg4 +0.4845.£e5 +0.4845…¤g8 +0.4846.£g5+ +0.4846…¢h7 +0.4847.£xg4 +0.23
(47.f5 +0.48 47…f6 +0.44 48.£h5+ +0.44 48…¢g7 +0.56)
47…f6 +0.39*
(47…¤h6 +0.22 48.£g1 +0.26 48…f6 +0.26 49.¢h5 +0.22)
48.£g2 +0.22*
(48.f5 +0.41 48…e5 +0.41 49.£h5+ +0.41 49…¢g7 +0.41 50.¢g3 +0.41)
48…¢h8 +0.2349.£e4 +0.2349…¢g7 50….
(50.f5 e5 51.¢g3 ¤h6 52.¢f2 ¤f7 53.£b4 ¢f8 54.¢e3 ¤h6 55.£b8+ ¢g7 56.£c8 ¤g4+ 57.¢e2 ¤h6 58.£c4 ¦f7 59.£h4 ¦d7 60.£e4 ¢f7 61.£c4+ ¢g7 62.£c6 ¦e7 63.£g2+ ¢f8 64.£g6 ¤g8 65.£g4 ¦d7 66.£c4 ¤h6 67.£e6 ¦f7 68.£c6 ¢g8 69.£c4 ¢g7 70.£h4 (0:00:45) 49…Kg7)
Here are the unvarnished moves for those who wish to copy and paste: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 cxd4 9. exd4 b6 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Qe2 Nbd7 12. Rac1 Rc8 13. Bd3 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Qc7 15. c4 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Rfe8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. Bh4 Qd6 19. c5 bxc5 20. dxc5 Rxc5 21. Bh7+ Kxh7 22. Rxd6 Rxc1+ 23. Rd1 Rec8 24. h3 Ne5 25. Qe2 Ng6 26. Bxf6 gxf6 27. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28. Kh2 Rc7 29. Qb2 Kg7 30. a4 Ne7 31. a5 Nd5 32. a6 Kh7 33. Qd4 f5 34. f4 Rd7 35. Kg3 Kg6 36. Qh8 Nf6 37. Qb8 h5 38. Kh4 Kh6 39. Qb2 Kg6 40. Qc3 Ne4 41. Qc8 Nf6 42. Qb8 Re7 43. g4 hxg4 44. hxg4 fxg4 45. Qe5 Ng8 46. Qg5+ Kh7 47. Qxg4 f6 48. Qg2 Kh8 49. Qe4 Kg7 1/2-1/2 Have fun! — Steve Lopez