Reports | May 24, 2012 15:50

Anand-Gelfand G10, a Rossolimo Sicilian, drawn after 25 moves (VIDEO)

Anand-Gelfand G10, a Rossolimo Sicilian, drawn after 25 moves

The tiebreak is getting closer and closer now that the 10th match game between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand also ended in a draw. Today Anand returned to 1.e4 and went for a Rossolimo Sicilian (3.Bb5) instead of allowing another Sveshnikov. Gelfand came up with a new setup, and held equality quite easily.

The handshake at the start of game 10 in Moscow

The score in Moscow is 5-5 with just two more games to play. Game 11 is scheduled for Saturday and the last game will be played on Monday. If the score is 6-6, a rapid/blitz tiebreak will be played on Wednesday.

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
Videos ChessVibes on YouTube

In the 10th match game it seemed that the whole atmosphere of the first half of the match was back again. As if nothing had happened, no decisive games, no blunder, no big advantage for Gelfand the day before, the players added another friendly draw to the score. This was the story on a superficial level, but as always much more was going on behind the scenes.

What was the situation? Three games to play, two whites for Anand, one for Gelfand. If the World Champion wanted to try and decide the match in the classical games, it was this 10th match game that perhaps suited most. One can take some risks when there are still two games to play, but in the last game it's tricky.

Anand didn't repeat the 3.f3 Grünfeld with which he had won his previous white game in 17 moves. Why? We can only guess, but one explanation is that he needs more time to find something against the 3...c5 move. Another option is that he has some big idea against the Grünfeld, which he likes to play only in the last game. 

No 3.f3 Grünfeld, no Sveshnikov, but the Rossolimo Sicilian

In any case, it was a 3.Bb5 (Rossolimo) Sicilian today and it was quite impressive to see that even against a sideline (Anand hadn't played 5.b3 before) Gelfand had prepared a whole new idea: 5...e5.

It is always nice to play a novelty on move five,

said Gelfand.

It usually happens on move 20 or 25.

To avoid getting a bishop on b2 biting granite, White had to take the pawn and this quickly led to a queenless middlegame with a better structure for White but the bishop pair for Black.

Peter Svidler and Alexander Morozevich, who were doing commentary together for about an hour, felt that the position was equal, but easier to play for White. When Gelfand found the excellent idea of trading one bishop for a knight followed by ...f5 he had more or less equalized.

On move 21 Gelfand offered a draw, but at first Anand declined.

I thought I had something with Nd2-b3 but later I decided to return the offer.

Here's our video of today, which includes an interview with Morozevich at the end. He has some strong opinions!

It remains to be seen whether one of the players is willing to take big risks in the remaining two games on Saturday and Monday. It seems more likely that we'll have a tiebreak that will decide the match next Wednesday, just like in 2006 between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov.

PGN string

The players today at the press conference. Gelfand: "I want to praise Vishy because with him the idea of the champion keeping the title in the case of a tie or the champion having an automatic revenge match vanished completely. It is out-dated, hopefully forever.”

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.


SetNoEscapeOn's picture

I think all your "shoulds" and "spirits" are a bunch of pretentious abstract nonsense.

S3's picture

I think you should look up the word "abstract" in a dictionary..

Ganesh's picture

Vishy is the only player that won with blacks in WCC since 2007. So I am expecting a masterstroke from Vishy in next game.

Ex-Vishy Fan's picture

Vishy is only 42, but already plays like an old man. Looking at how past greats played when they were 42, Botvinnik at 42, or Smyslov (who played a Candidates final with Kasparov in his 60s), or Korchnoi, or Petrosian, or Karpov would all have crushed today's Vishy when they were 42. Obviously Kasparov would crush him even now at 49.

RealityCheck's picture


Anonymous's picture

Is Boris Goodenuff?

Soviet School's picture

I was reading Gelfand,s book of memorable games and it opened my eyes to how strong he is and how hard he worked . For example it describes how much Boris prepared for a match vs the 18 year Old Kramnik when Gelfand was 26.

I think his good performance in qualifying and playing this match regardless of final result shows one should have qualification for the title match based on a system of match Competitions rather than ratings.
ratings and tournaments can be manipulated but a match result is a true result.

john's picture

It is surprising to see the change in the tone of all after one single draw!Just browse through the comments after game 9 and comments after this game..Reading some comments,makes me feel it is like some soccer match..BG has played out of his skin in this match but still Anand has been able successfully thwart them all..I have this gut feeling that,probably Anand still has some surprises in his sleeve..Gud luck to both of them

chesshire cat's picture

Guesses as to the openings of final two games? Well, depends on result of first one too, of course...for sure both players have planned what to use in every scenario...any ideas?

The only thing I don't want to see is two obviously careful draws to go straight to tie-breaks...then I really would have to agree with Steve Giddins' graphic!!

victor pastrana's picture

BORING Gelfand??

Zarathoustra's picture

It's time either for Carlsen or Aronian, to take the crown.


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