Apr 25, 2010

World Championship: Anand Hits Canvas in Round 1 (Anand 0 : Topalov 1)

Anand lost badly in round 1 on the black side of a Gruenfeld, and I anxiously await his next response to 1.d4.  In the overview I undertook in December, I noted (airily I'll concede) that Anand had to go back to the drawing board against 1.d4.  He had previously been tossed around in the Queens Indian by Topalov.  I question the Gruenfeld at this level and particularly against Topalov.  As a CC player, my experience with the Gruenfeld is that in all its forms, it's an amazing amount of work, and the lines for Black often walk a razor's edge. "Work" in this context means computer analysis.  I'm of the mind that Topalov currently has no peer in the use of computers, and the Gruenfeld is accordingly a questionable choice.  As many have said, Anand appears to have lost game 1 at home.  Having said all that, many will suggest that had Anand played 23...Bd7 rather than 23...Kf7??, Black would have been fine.  Fair enough, but it's easy to fall off a razor's edge. 

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