Saturday, 12 May 2012

2012 World Championship - Game 1

Game 1 of the 2012 World Championship Match was not quite Karpov's "We were just testing the equipment"* but it might not have been far off. As I mentioned last night, Anand gave Gelfand a surprise in the opening, which caused Gelfand to sink into thought. However he avoided the land mines in the position and in fact seemed to have quite a comfortable position (two bishops, outside passer). So it was a little surprising that the players split the point while still in the middlegame.
Hopefully this was an exception rather than the rule, as I would hate to see the match essentially become a battle of opening prep, where the players try for an advantage early on, but then sue for peace if nothing works. But looking at Game 2 which is progress, I suspect another draw is not far away. The entire centre has been liquidated, and pieces are coming off.  It may take a willingness to return to 1.e4 before the match really comes to life.

*Attributed to Karpov after an 18 move draw in the first game of his 1978 match against Korchnoi

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