Moscow: Thorough preparation was the dominating factor to emerge out of the first two games of the World Chess Championship here.
In the first game on Friday, surprised by Boris Gelfand’s Grunfeld Defence, Anand went for a sideline but chose to play very aggressively. For many, it was surprising and delightful that Anand went for such a sharp strategy in the very first game.
After all, in a match, that too at the highest level, the contestants ‘probe’ each other for the initial period, trying to gauge each others’ form.
But as dust settled and one looked at the encounter again dispassionately, it turned out that Anand’s Opening choice has already been employed in hundreds of games played by Computer Engines against other Engines. Analogically, such games are termed as ‘laboratory tests’.
Increasingly, it is becoming important for chess players not only to study games played between other players, but also between computer engines.
Not having human emotions such as fear, anxiety or need for safety, engines test out sharpest of opening variations when playing each other, helping humans to study such games and draw conclusions.
In the second game played on Saturday, Anand’s new move 14…Nf6 prompted surprise reactions once again, as it was a seemingly new move. For a change, it was not considered seriously by any chess engine and thus proved to be a well researched improvement. Such a new move not played before, borne out of a research of the position is termed as a ‘Prepared Novelty’ in chess terms.
Humanism teaches you that it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, but in chess, it makes all the difference.
When Anand took a brush and dipped it into a box which came out with White paint during the drawing of lots on the first day of the World Championship 2012 at Moscow, it also meant that the framework for the 12 games had immediately been established.
Anand thus earned the right to play with White in the first game. After that, the colours get reversed for everyday till the 6th game, after which the colours are re-reversed. That is, Anand gets to play White in games 1, 3, 5, 8, 10 and 12, and Black in the other games. If you observe carefully, he has the white pieces in the first and last game of the match, but also has two successive blacks in the middle of the match — the sixth and seventh games.