Reports | May 12, 2012 13:50

Gelfand-Anand G2, a Chebanenko Slav, drawn after 25 moves (VIDEO)

Gelfand-Anand G2, a Chebanenko Slav, drawn after 25 moves (VIDEO)

The second match game between Boris Gelfand and Vishy Anand also ended in a draw. Against Gelfand's expected 1.d4 Anand chose the Chebanenko Slav (or rather a hybrid of the Semi-Slav and the Chebanenko, the later being characterized by an early ...a6) and the Indian got a solid if just slightly passive position. After the queens were exchanged, Anand needed to find an accurate way to get full equality, and he did. After two games the score is 1-1 and there are ten more games scheduled.

Gelfand-Anand, game 2, also drawn | Photos © Anastasia Karlovich & Alexey Yushenkov 

Event World Championship MatchPGN via TWIC
Dates May 11th-30th, 2012
Location Moscow, Russia
System Match

Viswanathan Anand & Boris Gelfand

Rate of play 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 61
Prize fund 2.55 million US $ (60% for the winner)
More information Read all info here

Unlike yesterday, today the two rivals did not bring any big surprises to each other. On the board came a relatively new, but a very solid variation of the Semi-Slav Defence. 

After Black’s 14th move Boris Gelfand thought for a long time and finally chose a line which led to an endgame with a slight edge for White. According to Gelfand, the seemingly sharper continuation 15.Bg5 would actually have resulted in an equal position.

It leads to more complicated play but I didn't see an advantage for White.

At the end of the game a few precise moves helped Viswanathan Anand to get full equality. On the 25th move the challenger offered a draw, which was accepted by champion accepted.

And so after two of twelve match games the score is still level. Sunday is a rest day; the third match game will be played on Monday, May 14th.

Our video report of today includes a brief interview with English grandmaster Nigel Short.

You can find more ChessVibes videos here

PGN string

Match score



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


noyb's picture

Interesting game actually. The groundwork is laid, let's see who tries to land a punch first!

Anonymous's picture

Don't hold your breath.

sirschratz's picture

at the press conference to the 2nd game it has been stated that the 1st game saw 19 moves which had been played by COMPUTERS before!!

DANAILOV & TOPALOW should take control of these obvious cases of criminal behaviour .....

it can only be recommended that both anand and gelfand should be filmed on the toilet and that these films should be published...

DANAILOV & TOPALOV should move the match to SOFIA and apply the sofia-rule which prohibits draws and the toilet!

Chris's picture

And don't forget to cover the place in aluminum foil to prevent any secret radio-wave transmissions from entering the hall.

Anonymous's picture

It is amazing how "funny" you are....

slonik's picture

This far the match has lived up to the expectations excitement wise

Matt's picture

OMG, people are saying that the match is what they "expected"??!! Another draw in less than 30 moves! Just disgusting.
Hopefully next world championship will feature someone worthy like Carlsen, Aronian or Nakamura that really want to fight.

Brian Smith's picture

This isn't 1960...
Nothing disgusting about it. You are on the top stage, everything is at feel your opponent out and look for your spots. This isn't played for the gallery - it's played for keeps. If you can't enjoy...WCh play is not for you. Watch an open tournament or something.

Raj's picture

Well said, Brian!

Anonymous's picture

In a related story, at the recent world championship boxing match the two contestants decided they'd both had enough at the end of the fifth round....and went home.

Anonymous's picture

Matt, your remarks are disgusting. Go to your local irish pub if you want a bar room brawl. Be quick.

Casaubon's picture

As an Irish person I take offence at your disgusting remark

AljechinsCat's picture

When young Kasparov stormed the barricades he had to learn some lessons, but afterwards in `85 he played inspired, aggressive AND successful chess with both colours.
I´m not perfectly sure a whether similar approach can work today. But after 2 games it seems to me that guys like Carlsen, Aronian, Nakamura tend play more inspiring and complex chess to be successful than these 2 old boys.

RealityCheck's picture

If the chess they play is so inspiring, so succsesful, why isn't Carlson, Aronian, or Nakamura playing against Anand for the Wch Title?
Aronian has had two chances, Carlson has had one. Nakamura trained with Krasparov. What's the prob bob?

rajeshv's picture

Hey, don't ask tough questions.

AljechinsCat's picture

..This quests just look polemic to me? Fact is that neither Magnus or Nakamura played Chanty. And Lev - who has obviously become a lot stronger since Chanty- was eleminated in the rapids by Grishuk after he dominated the match.

But its really hard to understand why you ignore that Carlssen and Aronian dominate all tournaments they play, and also drive all the important theoretical developments. One could hardly debate whether their chess is successful or inspiring.

rajeshv's picture

2 out of the 3 mentioned don't find it worth their while to participate in khanty. So, lets blame the "2 old boys" for being here fighting it out. Disparaging remarks directed at legitimate contenders is getting a bit too old.
Not sure if these guys themselves feel a sense of "entitlement" or being wronged by the format - but there is no dearth of followers who feel so!

The point is - there is no system that is _guaranteed_ to bring the #1 and #2 to the championship table. So, any system can be picked on based on individual preferences.

No question about tournament performances of Carlsen and Aronian - Anand himself openly acknowledged it recently. But what systems they will play when faced with a championship struggle is yet to be seen. We all know the "boring" systems Kramnik used to bring the big guy down.

Besides, being the top performer at a given point in time doesn't automatically entitle someone to a championship title - rewind 98 - Anand. He still had to go through whatever was thrown at him and show he can handle it all.

redivivo's picture

"The point is - there is no system that is _guaranteed_ to bring the #1 and #2 to the championship table. So, any system can be picked on based on individual preferences"

That's pushing it a bit. Candidates tournaments/World Championships were won by Tal, Smyslov (twice), Bronstein, Petrosian, Botvinnik and Anand. Knockout World Championships/Candidates have been won by players like Khalifman, Kasimdzhanov and Gelfand. So even if no system guarantees that the strongest player wins, it isn't just a question of preferences or sour grapes to say that the best players benefit from not having knockouts.

redivivo's picture

"The point is - there is no system that is _guaranteed_ to bring the #1 and #2 to the championship table. So, any system can be picked on based on individual preferences"

That's pushing it a bit. Candidates tournaments/World Championships were won by Tal, Smyslov (twice), Bronstein, Petrosian, Botvinnik and Anand. Knockout World Championships/Candidates have been won by players like Khalifman, Kasimdzhanov and Gelfand. So even if no system guarantees that the strongest player wins, it isn't just a question of preferences or sour grapes to say that the best players benefit from not having knockouts.

RealityCheck's picture

First, why do you overlook the fact that Carlson had his chance to play, to prove himself at Chanty? And, Nakamura wasn't invited nor had he earned his place there. As regards Aronian, he played Mexico City and Chanty! His inspiring and succsesful tournament play did not cut the mustard.

So, we have one drop

RealityCheck's picture
Anonymous's picture

Good comment....but FIDE could stop this lack of fighting chess by a simple rule.

noyb's picture

Carlsen, Aronian and Nakamura failed to qualify for the World Championship...

Anonymous's picture


Septimus's picture

Looks like Gelfand is the only one who is trying to inject some excitement.Anand is content with draws.

calvin amari's picture

When you are not even a top 20 player yet have a shot at the FIDE championship, it is axiomatic that you at some point are going to be far more willing to take long shot chances. While we haven't seen that type of play yet, facing someone who has nothing to loose due to his standing and near universal low expectations is a new and unique challenge for Anand. This dynamic of likely facing a high risk surprise weapon at some juncture, the short duration of the match, and the near universal view that VIshy should win is an interesting mix of forces likely playing on Vishy's nerves. In contrast, Gelfand, with realistically nothing to loose, can be more relaxed.

mdamien's picture

This is the world championship -- it's really beside the point that FIDE is organizing it, since the title "FIDE championship" has lost credential as the sitting champion versus a challenger in a contracted match.

Ratings are overrated.

calvin amari's picture

Yes. What does a consistently applied measurement of you perform against the competition really matter...

redivivo's picture

Saying that ratings are overrated is like saying that playing good chess is overrated. The better player the higher rating, that's why they are taken so seriously by the players.

Thomas's picture

Ratings are spot measurements: two years ago Gelfand was still a top10 player - who then fell a bit behind and out of the top20 only very recently after a bad result in Wijk aan Zee this year.

And they reflect results against ALL of your opponents. Like it or not, for the WCh cycle results in dedicated events against your direct competitors decide. And here Gelfand was successful. It's legitimate to complain about the system, but it wasn't a coin toss. Or, in Gelfand's case, there were seven coin tosses - seven consecutive match wins against opponents rated above 2700. This can't be just luck.

redivivo's picture

"two years ago Gelfand was still a top10 player - who then fell a bit behind"

He was top ten temporarily after many years outside the top ten though, his normal world ranking the last decade and a half has been around #12-15.

And of course a knockout isn't the same thing as a coin toss, but I don't agree that the value of a players rating is showed in knockouts with blitz tiebreak, the format is just too depending on the draw and blitz games for them to be a comparable measure to the rating list.

RealityCheck's picture

You boys shd ask Thomas to translate this excerpt from Die Zeit, a major newspaper covering this event in Germany. You'll quickly see how stupid you look/sound to the world at large.

"Und was machen viele Schachfans? Sie mäkeln herum.
Da treffen nicht die beiden nach Rangliste stärksten Spieler aufeinander, sagen sie. Der Weltmeister Anand habe seit Längerem kein Turnier mehr gewonnen, sein Herausforderer Gelfand gehe auch schon auf die fünfzig zu. "Beide Finalisten haben zuletzt kaum begeisterndes Schach geboten", konstatierte am Donnerstag die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Stimmt alles – und doch verfehlt es die Wirklichkeit."

Raj's picture

Thank you for the article, RealityCheck - this should be read by most of the negative commentators (obviously low-ranked players who do not have the right idea of what WC chess involves)

calvin amari's picture

Low ranked players like Kasparov, who has asserted and supported the point repeatedly that this match, uniquely among championship matches, can have no pretense of determining the world's best....

RealityCheck's picture

We forgot to mention that Kasparov, the former communist party member w/ KGB ties, former world champion is the celebrity mouth piece behind this effort to discredit the current championship. His lip service has brought back, from the dead, the C-Team. The likes of Calvin Amari and clones.

Anonymous's picture

FIDE needs no help whatsoever in its overt efforts to discredit the championship. FIDE's singular efforts in this regard ensures that a strong champion, like Kasparov, will not challEnge FIDE's ability to act by fiat and maintain its ability to operate as a front for an international criminal enterprise. I'm sure the FIDE appreciates those who are duped and stupidly pledge their allegenge to the ruling goon squad.

Anonymous's picture

Wait, you were seriously trying to argue how stupid others look/sound by demanding others to translate a mediocre article from a mediocre daily in German?

RealityCheck's picture
RealityCheck's picture

@Anonymous You shd read before you type sh... :-)

Eric's picture

It goes something like this:

"And many chess fans do what? They nitpick. They say the two strongest players on the ratings list are not meeting. World Champion Anand has for quite awhile won no tournaments; his challenger Gelfand is already going on fifty. 'Both finalists have recently offered hardly inspiring chess,' stated the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Thursday. All true - and yet it misses the reality/the point."

Thomas's picture

Anyone's choice how relevant this article is - it's already noteworthy that a leading (rather than mediocre) German newspaper has a journalist and reasonably strong chess player (Elo 2083) reporting directly from Moscow. In the meantime, three more stories have appeared - see for links.

Eric's translation is quite accurate (I would say "complain" rather than "nitpick"), but the key part comes afterwards:
"The festive opening of the WCh in Moscow's Tretjakov Gallery Thursday evening saw a crowd and an atmosphere which otherwise isn't encountered in chess. Rachmaninow was played.Michail Gorbachov was in the first row. Former world champion Anatoli Karpov was there. Hundred journalists surrounded the players - by no means only Russians but also from India, Israel, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands."

redivivo's picture

So what is the missed point? Chess fans complained in 1995 because the match was outside FIDE, they complained about FIDE using the knockouts, they complained about Kramnik being given the match when Shirov won the Candidates, they complained about Leko qualifying when Anand and Kasparov chose not to participate, they complained about having a tournament World Championship and about Kramnik being given a title match after that, they complained about Topalov being given a Candidates match out of nowhere so he got a title match, etc.

I don't think all chess fans will start to like knockouts or stop complaining about FIDE's changing their rules during the previous cycle just because Gelfand ended up playing the title match. Chess fans will always be critical, because they take the game seriously and want a system where the World Champion is the best player in the world. Then maybe they complain too much sometimes, but rather that than just uncritically accepting everything.

Zeblakob's picture

I am not proud to show thiese games to the aliens.

rdecredico's picture


Zeblakob's picture

Btw, my deep and sincere condolence to those who traveled from out side the world to Moscow to see the games. (I can reimburse them if they want)

Sarunas's picture

Absence of 40 move draw ban 1) first af all is disgraceful towards watchers-on, full of highest quality entertainment expectations. If contenders think position is drawn, they could afford 15-20 moves more to prove it in purest form of chess; 2) Since WCC is the very peak of long-term qualification process, where thousands of players fight for World Crown glories, it humiliates the rest who have fought fair chess with 40 move anti draw ban raised in continental Championships. I am very much tempted to remind that both Anand -Gelfand draws would get a 0-0 estimate there at EICC, Plovdiv3) It makes suggestions on increasing the number of WCC match games made by very honorable and renowned persons of chess worth laugh or deploration.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Look at Kasparov Karpov games and the number of games drawn less than 15 moves. In 1984 there were only 8 decisive games in 48 total. Thats one ins 6 games. Some people who don't understand the nature of matches were bored then too and they will always be. Some people ofcourse have always things to complain about. Those who really love the game, enjoyed the K-K matches and continue to enjoy the game today.

Anonymous's picture

But don't quit when there is still a lot of play left in the position!...FIDE should not tolerate this in a match for the world championship.

rob's picture

Just the first two games. Long way to go. More exciting games will come.

rdecredico's picture

only 10 more games is hardly a 'long way' to go. that is what makes these draws more egregious to some.


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