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In the first game of the WCC 2012 between Anand and Gelfand, which was drawn, Gelfand had a passed pawn on a6. Could he not have exchanged the major pieces and then tried to win with it?

Why was the passer ignored and the draw accepted?

[Title "Viswanathan Anand-Boris Gelfand,Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match, Moscpw Russia, 5/11/2012"]
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1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Bb5+ Nc6 9.d5 Qa5 10.Rb1 a6 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.O-O Qxa2 13.Rb2 Qa5 14.d6 Ra7 15.Bg5 exd6 16.Qxd6 Rd7 17.Qxc6 Qc7 18.Qxc7 Rxc7 19.Bf4 Rb7 20.Rc2 O-O 21.Bd6 Re8 22.Nd2 f5 23.f3 fxe4 24.Nxe4 Bf5
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There's a great analysis of the game here: 2012 FIDE World Chess Championship: Anand vs. Gelfand - Game 1.

According to the video, it is easy for white to get one of his rooks behind that pawn especially when both players are left with 1 rook, 1 bishop each.

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  • How would White exchange his knight for a bishop? Sounds a little too hypothetical to me ... – Joe Nov 29 '12 at 1:07
  • @Joe not that White wants to, but the knight is secure on the e4 output and it would be hard for Black to make progress without exchanging it – prusswan Nov 29 '12 at 13:11
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Why? Probably because of subjective pressure of the first game of World Championship match. From what I recall when watching this game - the commentators were also surprised that Gelfand offered/agreed to a draw. His advantage was also not only in the passed pawn (which could e either a strength or a weakness) but also in having two bishops.

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