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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anand vs. Topalov WCh Game 4: Prediction Time

By Dennis Monokroussos

anand thinking
This prediction business is fun, and a good skill to develop when preparing for one's own opponents. So, chess fans, what do you expect for game 4? If my and just about everyone else's analysis is correct, Anand achieved absolutely nothing - less than nothing, really - from the opening of game 2, at least from an objective point of view. On the other hand, Topalov was asea with respect to his handling of the position he got from the opening. So while I don't think Anand would repeat everything up to and including 15.Qa3, it wouldn't surprise me too much if he went for a different sub-variation in the Catalan, until Topalov proved he could handle the resulting middlegames.
On the other hand, Anand was probably fine, objectively speaking, in game 1, but he switched to a different opening in game 3. So one might expect a sort of hit-and-run strategy, aiming to give Team Topalov as many new analytical projects as possible to stretch them thin, maybe picking his spots for later in the match.
Overall, though, I think he'll stick with what has worked so far, and unless the Catalan was a bit of one-time only propaganda I think he'll keep needling Topalov with it until the latter proves it's a waste of time. In its favor are the following: (1) past success, (2) positions that aren't especially suited to Topalov's greatest strengths (which isn't to say that he's helpless, only that it's relatively low-risk), and (3) it continues the psychological head games involved in playing Kramnik's pet openings.
But what do you think?

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