Reports | May 26, 2012 14:25

Gelfand-Anand G11, another Nimzo-Indian, drawn after 24 moves (VIDEO)

Gelfand-Anand G11, another Nimzo-Indian, drawn after 24 moves (VIDEO)

The 11th match game between Boris Gelfand and Vishy Anand was another Nimzo-Indian and ended in a draw after 24 moves The score in Moscow is 5.5-5.5 with just one more game to play, in which the World Champion has white. This game will be played on Monday. If the final score is 6-6, a rapid/blitz tiebreak will be played on Wednesday.

Another draw in the Tretyakov today | Photos by Anastasia Karlovich

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

Anand & Gelfand walking to their board for game 11

The score in Moscow is still even after the penultimate classical game, and so a win on Monday by either player will immediately decide the match in his favour. Although it's surely going to be a tense affair, it's likely that we'll see something we've seen many times before: two very cautious players who won't be fighting a very long game, but agree to a draw as soon as the position is more or less equal.

Two years ago the score was also equal in Sofia with one game to go. Veselin Topalov didn't feel he'd have much of a chance in the tiebreak, and went all or nothing. We don't expect Gelfand to do the same...

Today's game was mostly interesting because of the situation on the clock. In the second 4.e3 Nimzo-Indian of the match, Anand finally manage to outprepare his opponent by playing the off-beat 8...Bd7. Gelfand took a long think: for 38 minutes he was checking the possibilities and trying to remember theory.

Anand has just played 8...Bd7; Gelfand going for a deep think 

He did go for the most ambitious continuation, and so there were hopes of actually having a good game today. White was definitely keeping an edge, but the question was how serious Gelfand's timetrouble would get. Perhaps because of the clock situation (Anand had played quickly and had all the time in the world) Gelfand chose a very safe move 17 with which he exchanged queens.

PGN string

Here Gelfand needed two moves (a4-a5 and f2-f3) to get the ideal position (and a serious advantage), but he could only play one at a time and with a tactical sequence Anand (starting with 20...Ne4!) could liberate himself and there was nothing left to play for.

Today's video includes a brief interview with the famous trainer Mark Dvoretsky.

Two years ago Anand retained his title by defeating Topalov with Black in the final game. This time he has the luxury of playing that last game with the white pieces. He's likely to continue with the safety first approach, but if there is a chance, he'll surely try for more. Everything depends on whether he'll manage to surprise his opponent in the opening. Gelfand has to do just one thing: play like he did in ten of the eleven games, and try not to think about that one blunder...

Sunday is another rest day and so on Monday we'll know more. In case of a draw, Tuesday is also a rest day and the tiebreak will start on Wednesday at 12:00 local time (10:00 CET).

We'd like to mention one more time the excellent blog Mate in Moscow where you'll find great background stories and photos!

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.


VietLion's picture

Anand can win the fairplay award for not pressing the opponent in time trouble.

redivivo's picture

Ah, soon the match will finally be put out of its misery :-)

Thomas's picture

Didn't you always want longer matches?

S3's picture

Most of all he wants to troll.

chesshire cat's picture

Cool, a Wch decided in blitz, that would be a fitting end all right. Or else toss a coin (after extensive coin-tossing computer prep of course).

columbo's picture


Rodzjer's picture


chesshire cat's picture

They could play in the pub, and the prize could be a "World Champion" beermat, two bags of crisps and three pints of Carlsberg. However it should be best of three and for every draw a bag of crisps gets taken away. The audience could be the barman and a local drunk.

joe's picture

Why did he not press. Such a huge time advantage.

Anonymous's picture

....with two isolated pawns on the q side. He probably thought the two bishops were too much of a help to white for black to win.

Anonymous's picture

are u frreakin kiddin me ??

noyb's picture

I think Vishy made a huge mistake in not pressing his opponent in time trouble. Boris Abramovich had only 12 minutes for 16 moves. A real lost opportunity!

archimedes's picture

Can anyone verify that the prize sum increases if the match goes to tiebreaks?

Septimus's picture

I don't think so.

Septimus's picture

Why didn't Anand push? He had an hour+ more than his opponent. Very strange. I think Gandalf is better in rapids.

KingTal's picture

Yeah, i found it strange too. It was not the smartest decision, if you want to win the title you should try to win at any rate, it´s not that the position was completely dead drawn already.

shahman's picture

He is trying to win at the slowest rate :)

Thomas's picture

Shipov gives a line which may not be forced but looks very plausible: "There might have followed: 24... Rd7 25. Bxa7 Nc5 ( it doesn't do any good to play 25... Rd2 because of 26. Kf1! with the idea of f2-f3 ) 26. Rb2 Nd3 27. Bxd3 Rxd3 28. Rxb7 Bxa4 29. Rb4 (29. Rxa4? Rd1# ) 29... Bc6 30. Be3 , after which the peaceful outcome of the battle would be even more obvious."

People who love decisive results above all (or who want Anand to win by any means) might have preferred Gelfand to blunder in time trouble or lose on time - but, regardless of whether such an outcome is desirable, it seems unlikely: The position is simplified enough to blitz out a couple of moves without damage, and Gelfand is used to time trouble.

Zarathoustra's picture

What a bad match... Only draws in nearly 20 moves.

choufleur's picture

The most boring match in history of world championships.

mdamien's picture

It's a dire state of fandom displayed here, bashing this match and its participants. Both players are playing fantastically; unfortunately, preparation is part of the game and they have seriously prepared for a serious match. For my part, I am extremely grateful to have such an exciting event with such top-notch commentary, which I haven't paid a dime for incidentally.

joe's picture

Did anyone see the press conf. What did Vishy say about the game

idli's picture

The one who defeated Kramnik and Topalov is now way down the hill. Two of the undeserving title contestants playing the most friendly chess match for the world title?! The match is worth $ 2200 and not $2.25 million. The popularity of chess surely will touch rock bottom with this kind of matches

Anonymous's picture

Especially if BG wins...a real low...why did Carlsen chicken out?

Mauricio Valdes's picture

In case of a draw the Champion should retain his title!

honesty's picture

Just one thing to say about this match: ouch&%##¤!!

Bartleby's picture

I've started to play a tournament on my own. 45 moves average, playing the endgames, no short draws.

weakerthanf7's picture

It is hard to believe that there are some sponsors willing to give 2.5 million dollars to see two not-the-strongest players do some computer analysis and play those moves out on the board and offer each other short draws. And they are given rest days to spend even more times with their computers to cook up some short draws! The two decisive games were at a pathetic level. Why not just watch the computers play and continue through the end-games? I think even sub 100 level computer programs are now stronger than these guys.

Bartleby's picture

I think that's not what's actually happening. You over-estimate the amount of what can be memorized. They try to get something out of the opening, but with good preparation and precise play over the board Black manages to equalize, and when there's no advantage left, they call it a draw. Computers are only a part of preparation, the main work comes probably from the teams of seconds. The millions are given for the fight for the title, not for the entertainment value. I appreciate this, it would be wrong to make a single move not according to whatever they consider their best strategy to win the match. But I must admit I didn't care to watch the last few games, and played in a weekend tournament instead.

Berliner's picture

Oh, come on guys. This is high-level chess. If it's too far beyond you to enjoy it, meet a friend and blitz the Muzio-Gambit.

arkan's picture

This isn't high-level chess, because it isn't being played by high-level players. They both lack the creativity, ingenuity, brilliance and fighting spirit that for instance Aronian and Carlsen possess to make this match at least slightly interesting.

Within 5 years time, both Anand and Gelfand are either retired or have dropped out of the top100 altogether.

Rodzjer's picture

I believe your analysis is a bit off.

Gelfand's prep is so awesomely good, that he totally relies on it. Whenever he leaves prep however, he's not equipped to crush Anand.

As for Anand, his prep is so awesomely bad, that he is too afraid to try something OTB, probably thinking Gelfand's computer may just have thought of one night earlier...

It's a computer analysis stalemate...

Anonymous's picture

Let's ask the simple question: do you want to pay 2 million for a bunch of short draws and fans being very disappointed?

Bronkenstein's picture

If any of us paid the money, we would, naturally have the right to demand this and that. For example, you could force players to do some mud wrestling on rest days.

Thomas's picture

As you mention Aronian, let's revisit his match against Kramnik: It was a great match but
- Aronian won a game due to sloppy opening preparation by the opponent (which shouldn't happen in a WCh match, even though Vlad had managed in one game against Leko).
- He lost one spectacular and crazy game. Such a game cannot be produced on demand, maybe game 3 in Moscow was comparable (a draw after Anand missed a win).
- The four other classical games were correct draws (two pretty entertaining primarily thanks to Kramnik).
Then we had one rapid game, a spectacular loss by Kramnik. But - if Anand and Gelfand have to play tiebreaks - would we want such a game to decide the WCh match?

Nothing against Aronian, nothing either against Kramnik - but at face value, their chess wasn't on a much higher (entertainment) level than Anand's and Gelfand's. In the WCh match, subtleties were more hidden - which might also be the case in a serious match that includes Aronian.

hansie's picture


Titu's picture

Also, don't forget that both players (Kramnik & Aronian) played in the Candidates where they played a lot of draws with "boring chess". People were complaining about "bad chess" and draws back then also.

Obviously it's a different matter playing a friendly matches or even a candidate matches.

AljechinsCat's picture


Sligunner's picture

Hopefully, just five months.

Anonymous's picture

Nonsense. Kasparov, Karpov, Fischer, Kramnik, Topalov, they all would play on this position. This is not high level chess, this is chickening out chess. What a waste of time, money and resources.

giovlinn's picture

Most boring match ever. It wouldn't surprise me Gelfland will become world champion. In the last "official" game Vishy will probably fall asleep.

Mike's picture

The most ridiculous "match" ever...Twenty and a few moves, is this what Chess is all about...? Only computerized home prep. This guys transformed themselves into wood pushers in service of their Master Machines...

Anonymous's picture

Same blabla you keep posting since the last 3 games... try to be more original.

Sligunner's picture

If you don't like it, head off to

Anonymous's picture

You could do the same too.

john's picture

I feel sad to read such comments about two great players..This game was extremely interesting..Perhaps my understanding of "boring" is different than others..
Anand looked comfortable throughout the match inspite of black pieces..Positionally he had an edge..probably neutralised by the bishop pair..
I expect Anand to win with white pieces,since I get the feeling that Anand still has a few tricks to unleash.

foo's picture

so what exactly is Anand waiting for to unleash these fantastic novelties? wake up. Anand is done. washed up.

Anonymous's picture

You should feel sad about the chess fans and the sponsors, who feel betrayed here. The players deserve these harsh comments: they are the ones not wanting to play and cash 2 million for the most boring WC match ever. This is an absolute shame for chess.

bhabatosh's picture

I think the best thing would be something like this -->
1. win 3 points , loss 0 points
2. If a draw is resulted in more than 60 moves each gets 1 point and they can say end of that day.
3. If a draw is resulted in less than 60 moves players must play rapid game of may be 20/25 mins - If a decisive result occurs then winner gets 2 points on that day and loser of the rapid gets 1 point on that day.
4. Instead of so many rest days reduce rest days , right have 2 more games i.e. 14 Game match under same time frame

let me be very clear I am Anand's fan and that does not mean i am enjoying the manner in which this match is progressing. Sponsors are paying so much and these gentleman's are getting enough rest , they must work harder to earn this money and fame . For spectators there will be lots of fun since everyday there will be blood and intense fight.

Mike's picture



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