May 30, 2012 10:20

Anand beats Gelfand in tiebreak, retains world title (VIDEO)

Anand beats Gelfand in tiebreak, retains world title

Viswanathan Anand defeated Boris Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in the rapid tiebreak on Wednesday. The Indian won the World Championship in Moscow and retained his world title for the third time. After winning the 2007 World Championship tournament in Mexico City, Anand defeated Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 and Veselin Topalov in 2010 and now emerged as the winner in Moscow as well.

Gelfand congratulates Anand at the end of the 4th tiebreak game

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 or 55% if a tiebreak is needed)
More information Read all info here
Videos ChessVibes on YouTube


Video of the tiebreak

A very equal match, with two players extremely close to each other in terms of both chess strength and opening preparation, came to an end on Wednesday with a tense rapid tiebreak that was won 2.5-1.5 by Anand. In the State Tretyakov Gallery in central Moscow, hundreds of spectators had come to see the showdown – more than the playing hall could hold. "It went my way," Anand commented afterwards, admitting that a fair share of luck had been involved.

The start of the tiebreak, with Gelfand playing White

Even on this very last day Gelfand didn't really play worse than his opponent, but he needed much more time on the clock. Where Anand showed a "regular" time consumption during his classical games, in the tiebreak the hallmark of his success was his speed.

The games were played at 25 minutes and 10 seconds increment per move. After each encounter there was a 10-minute break in which the players could consult two of their seconds who were backstage. With a clock counting down visibly on stage, this schedule was strictly followed and no incidents occurred.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was one of the spectators | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

It was quite a different day from all the others. The level of security was much higher this time, mostly to avoid noise and other disturbances in the playing hall. We filmed the start of game 1 and then went to the press room for a while. When we wanted to film the final part of the game, we were not allowed back into the playing hall. As it turned out, it had been announced – in Russian only – that people could only leave the hall, but not re-enter, during the games.

Just when the guard at the door said njet one more time, we noticed that we were standing right next to Andrei Filatov, the main sponsor of the event. When we explained the situation, he said: "I'm having the same problem!" Amazingly, even the man who paid for everything couldn't get in! However, all this was quickly resolved when we spotted organizer Ilya Levitov in the corridor...

Gelfand started with the white pieces in the first game, which was a very sharp fight. Anand got an advantage, but it seems that with 21...Bxg3 he miscalculated. After 22.Ra3! and especially 27.Rxb7 it was the World Champion who had to watch out. Instead of 28.Qxh6 perhaps with 28.Qd3 Gelfand could have tried for more.

PGN string

Game 1 in progress, this time seen from the stage | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

In the second game Anand repeated his Rossolimo Sicilian. Probably following more home analysis he won a pawn, but Gelfand clearly had compensation with active pieces and a bishop against a knight. Later in the ending he was even playing for a win for a while, but Anand maintained his extra pawn. With much less time on the clock (basically playing on the increment at some point) Gelfand suddenly allowed his bishop to be exchanged for white's knight, and the resulting R+p vs R was a textbook win – Anand didn't even have to show it.

PGN string

The third game was arguably the most dramatic, with Gelfand having excellent chances to immediately level the score. "I was lost of course," Anand admitted afterwards. Not only in the middlegame, but also in the rook ending. Just three moves before the end, Gelfand gave away the last win, again with little time on the clock.

PGN string

Gelfand agrees to a draw - he missed several wins, the clearest shortly before the end | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

Gelfand had to win the last game with Black, and he actually got an advantage. Anand was "playing too much for a draw", as he said afterwards. However, Gelfand probably chose the wrong plan at some point and as soon as white's pieces became active on the kingside, Anand knew that the worst was behind him.

PGN string

Here are a few quotes from Anand at the press conference:

It was incredibly tense. Right now probably the only feeling you have is relief. I think I'm even too tense to be happy but I'm really relieved.

I would say that my nerves held out better. I simply held on for dear life.

The problem with such a tight match is that every mistake has a much higher value than in a match where there are mistakes going back and forth in every game. In a match where there were so few chances for me it was really an incredibly heavy blow to lose game 7. I cannot remember such a black day. I couldn't sleep. That day I really thought I'd blown the match.

Vishy Anand | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

More comments by Anand are included in our video above.

Gelfand said:

I would say that it was an equal match, and that I was better sometimes, for example in the second game. I think I had more than enough compensation for the pawn and good chances. Probably the problem of the whole tiebreak was that I was behind on the clock for most of the time. In such a situation it is sometimes difficult to find the best move on the spot, which happened with my blunders in games 2 and 3. Also in game 4 I had the advantage but because of the same problem, I failed to convert it.

Boris Gelfand | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

On Monday Hans-Walter Schmitt, a good friend of Anand and organizer of over a dozen of strong rapid chess events in Mainz, said that "Vishy must be the favorite in the tiebreak. He won almost all of my tournaments!" And indeed, Anand, who owns an apartment in Germany right next to Schmitt and who spent his last weeks before the match preparing right there, proved that Schmitt had predicted right.

The winning team: Peter Heine Nielsen, Radek Wojtaszek, Surya Ganguly, Eric van Reem, Hans-Walter Schmitt (back), Aruna Anand, Vishy Anand, Rustam Kasimdzhanov (front) | Photo thanks to Mate in Moscow

Anand pocketed approximately US $ 1.4 million (1,13 million Euro) -- 55% of the total prize fund of USD 2.55 million. Gelfand won approximately US $ 1.15 million (92,700 Euro).

According to the latest FIDE schedule, Vishy Anand will defend his title in October-November 2013 against the winner of the next Candidates tournament, to be held in March 2013.

Match score




Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


muralidhara gk's picture

first game draw but after a tense fight

Thomas's picture

Not important to some people who just count the moves and say that 32 ain't enough.

blitzking's picture

First one was draw, now following great play in G2

calvin amari's picture

We can turn the page to end a rather uninspiring chapter in chess history. The next cycle will usher in a changing of the guard. Congratulations to Vishy who has been an truly amazing talent and who remains for now a classy champion, even if not a forceful one. He is entitled, of course, to one more major paycheck after this one, but I, and i strongly suspect most close observers of the game, would give very considerable odds indeed that the next challenger (assuming FIDE manages to hold together a respectable candidate process) will be the next champion.

limes's picture

that´s possible. on the other hand: vishy seems to grow with the challenge(r). I´m really looking forward to a match against a less "classical" fighter like carlsen, aronian or nakamura.

Bronkenstein's picture

Naka didn´t even try to qualify (maybe hoping to be wildcarded by his sugardaddy , but even if that was the plan - azeris were faster and/or had better connections!?)

I am hoping to see Gandalf emerging as the challenger again - why not? It wouldn´t be the first time he surprised all those people that never considered him serious or worthy or young enough, while confusing Elo with playing strength - therefore assuming that Vlad, Levon or Magnus will somehow auto-qualify.

RealityCheck's picture

@Bronkenstein Remember he came in second at Mexico City ahead of Kramnik, Aronian, Morozevich, Leko, Ponomariov, Polgar... did I miss anyone?
A win for Gelfand (which is plausible) in the up coming challengers tournament would shut his critics up once and for all. Make 'em eat all the bulls-heet they've said about him!! Already I'm rooting for Gelfand in that tournament.

Bronkenstein's picture

Nothing will shut his critics up, just check these pages if you have any doubts about that. I believe that they are already annoyed by the very fact that Gandalf will participate in the next candidates final.
Tip: just don´t take the comments too seriously , its bad for nerves and blood pressure ;)

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the advice. I took a short time-out from the blog. Blood pressure's back to normal.

RealityCheck's picture

Thanks for the advice. I took a short time-out from the blog. Blood pressure's back to normal.

Chess Fan's picture

Hats off to a great match by a great champion - Gelfand. Classy on and off the board. It is sad that only one had to win. He was as close to being equal to the World Champion as anyone could have been without winning the match and I hope this great man gets the respect that he deserves.
And I am an unconditional Anand and Chess Fan.

Sam's picture

Great ..congrats to Anand. Both players played just chess on the board and no cheap tricks and legpullings. Wonderful sportsmanship display by Boris. Watch the press conference videos how decent they spoke.

Jimmy Liew's picture

We will see some exciting chess after all

victor pastrana's picture

at least, great chess!

B L 's picture
victor pastrana's picture

Boring G-Vishy Anand?

giovlinn's picture

Well now at least they GOTTA fight, right? You can't draw these games too....

giovlinn's picture

Well now at least they GOTTA fight, right? You can't draw these games too....

James Eadon's picture

A meaningless way to settle a meaningless WC contest. The players have been so non-fighting that it is practically fraudulent at worst, and unprofessional at best. Sometimes one has to put selfishness second and do the right thing, which is play exciting chess, not sterile chess. This is a game of kings, not middle-aged accountants!

giovlinn's picture

Both players have the looks!

Chess Fan's picture

I see nothing wrong with their looks. They are not into makeups or surgery anyway. These two grandmasters are in their 40s. How are you going to look in your 40s?
Besides, if you are not following them for Chess you are in the wrong place for the wrong reasons anyway.

giovlinn's picture

That was meant as a joke...Too bad you didn't got that.

Chess Base.'s picture

OK, I trust you. I did not mean anything personally against you, anyway.

abhishek's picture

dude if you don t knw chess then jst fck off.....i ve seen too many players cribbing for no action....but the pressure on players is take any game even football...finals are always so called dull....if you re a true chess plyr though you ll find relish in the psychological battles......

peter leko was asked the same question and he said this looks pretty interesting to me.....

Drag Queen's picture

You are right about the pressure but what is there to like?
What about combinations,sacrifices,problem-moves is so wrong to love them,ask for them at least hope for them?

S3's picture

there were plenty of sacrificies to see if you paid attention.

Anonymous's picture

eh, what were you watching? There were pawn sacs in like half of the games! In Game 12 Vishy gave a pawn for structural compensation, before Gelfand gace two back in return for activity!

Don't blame the players, blame the format, which is too short to allow them to take a chance and risk making a mistake

Prasanna Bandihole's picture

Well said. As Anand said at the post match conference, the value of one error is very high in such a short match. I guess, 16 game format looks fairer for exciting chess.

RealityCheck's picture

@James Eadon

Go away.

foo's picture

would you prefer champion retain the title in case of a tie?Perhaps you would want a fair system like 1997 Lausanne where Karpov got seeded to the final maybe? Cmon give some credit where its due. All other WCC insisted on rights to retain their title in case of a tie. Vishy did not and I am sure he could have insisted. He played in Topalov's backyard. How many players have done that? Mid aged ar..

jo's picture

The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey.

Seems like in old times they were pretty much the same thing

nep's picture

I disagree. Gelfand pushed for win in his white games, following his style: get positional advantages and work on them. Anand, on the other hand, really disappointed, at critical moments on his white games, he would choose harmless moves and blow his edge. On the other hand, although disappointing, this match had a higher technical level (less mistakes) than the previous two matches - of course, partly due to drawing the game somewhat early.

nep's picture

I disagree. Gelfand pushed for win in his white games, following his style: get positional advantages and work on them. Anand, on the other hand, really disappointed, at critical moments on his white games, he would choose harmless moves and blow his edge. On the other hand, although disappointing, this match had a higher technical level (less mistakes) than the previous two matches - of course, partly due to drawing the game somewhat early.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

kudos to vishy for winning the second! mmmmm..... he has to defend a minority attack by boris in the third!

Anonymous's picture

how's game 3 going. Gelfand had huge advantage in early middlegame about 45 minutes ago but I can't get to TWIC to see the latest

Zeblakob's picture

And the third game was drawn .. (it seems )

Anonymous's picture

Which means that Anand is the WC

Zeblakob's picture

..rapid WC*

Matt's picture

Horrible WC match, can't think of something worse than what we've seen. Fide and its poker-chess rules have ruined the game at the high level

Thomas's picture

Correct classical games ending in a draw are bad. Rapid games full of inaccuracies are also bad (even if we cannot really complain about lack of entertainment). So what do you want??

MJUl's picture

Loger classical matches with some fighting spirit from the WC and the Challenger. Without rapid games in the classical WCC wich force them to fight.

I have no trouble with draws if they show some fight, and I know there are decisive games wich are extremly boring.

Also I'm not asking for Tal-like games, but non-Houidini-like ones.

Sunil's picture

Nothing would please some of the guys here . Remember they don't care abt providing entertainment to you . Both want to become world champion.

Anonymous's picture

Is game 4 underway?

Zeblakob's picture


S3's picture

So Anand keeps the title. Let's hope people will stop complaining when he wins the next championship.

chessian's picture


samthecat's picture

So ends the worst world championship match of all time-thank goodness its over.

abhishek's picture

yeah re really a cat....jst can t appreciate the effort of the let me name for you

1. Boris gelfand prepared v well..n lot of hard work...he almost outtrumped anand every time

2. the entire match was exciting on the note that play was v accurate in all games...and when one of them lacked...the plyd v ingenious ways to equalize...for instance c4 frm boris in G12...n the fortress frm anand in a game with black....

3. its pathetic to hear pple who have no knwoledge of chess give comments such as these....

Sligunner's picture
Anonymous's picture

@ Sligunner, your comment is a violation of chessvibes terms and conditions.


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