Reports | May 28, 2012 13:44

Anand-Gelfand: 12th match game drawn, tiebreak on Wednesday (VIDEO)

Anand-Gelfand: 12th match game drawn, tiebreak on Wednesday (VIDEO)

The 12th match game between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand ended in a draw, which means the match will be decided on Wednesday with a rapid/blitz tiebreak. Today the opening was another Rossolimo Sicilian and although Anand started ambitiously with an early push of the h-pawn, yet again the game reached an ending quickly and at move 22 the World Champion offered a draw.

Heading for a tiebreak: Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand | Photos by 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
Videos ChessVibes on YouTube

The 12th match game in Moscow didn't go quite as we predicted, but it did end in a draw rather quickly and so we can all prepare ourselves (take off a day from work or school?) for a tiebreak on Wednesday, in which both excitement and a decisive result are guaranteed.

By looking at the first few moves, many fans felt that the World Champion had come to the Tretyakov Gallery to win his game. He repeated his Rossolimo of game 10 against the Sicilian, but with a slight change. Again, Gelfand had to use a lot of time on the clock, just like the day before.

An early h2-h4 by Anand, which involved a pawn sacrifice, looked especially aggressive. Everyone, including commentator of the day (on the official website) Vladimir Kramnik, was looking forward to a great fight.

However, Gelfand's long thoughts resulted in a number of excellent defensive moves. Where his opponent had given him a pawn, he responded by giving back two pawns! This led to an ending with an extra pawn for the Indian, and the bishop pair for the Israeli. The question was whether this provided enough compensation.

And then, all of a sudden Anand offered a draw, and it was all over.

What is this? Really confusing.

was Kramnik's reaction in the commentary booth.

I can only have one explanation: [Anand] just couldn't stand the pressure of the last game. It is not a good sign for Anand fans, at least for today: he cannot hold the pressure. It is one of the strangest decisions I ever saw in the World Championship matches.

At the press conference Anand used some general terms to explain why White doesn't have much in the final position. When a journalist asked if they could elaborate a bit more, Gelfand's answer was:

We are here to play the match, we are not here to entertain spectators. We don’t have to play out the moves; commentators can explain that.

Anand said, more general about the whole match:

We really had a tense struggle and agreed to a draw only when we understood that a game wasn’t going anywhere.

Here's our video report of game 12, which includes some comments by Peter Svidler and a remark by Boris Gelfand about Dutch football!

A lot of reasons have been given for how the match has progressed: the number of games (only 12), the influence of computers, the cautious approach by the players, et cetera. One thing is for sure: a lot of fans and also a number of top players are disappointed about this match. At least they'll be treated with a nice dessert on Wednesday, just like in the match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov five and a half years ago.

At 12:00 local time (10:00 CET), a 4-game rapid match starts. There has already been a drawing of colors, and it is Boris Gelfand who will start with White. The players get 25 minutes on the clock and 10 seconds increment per move. Whoever scores 2.5 or more in the rapid games, wins the match overall.

In case of 2-2, after a new drawing of colors a match of two blitz games follows, with 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment on the clock. In case of a level score, another 2-game match will be played. If still there is no winner after five such matches (a total of ten games), a sudden-death game will be played.

The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces receives 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces 4 minutes with an increment of 3 seconds per move, from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

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.


James Eadon's picture

This WC match will make chess "boring" in the eyes of the world. If I were to be uncharitable I would say, Anand and Gelfand have betrayed fans and the game by playing event-free chess (apart from two dodgy games). And before people say, it's modern chess, no one thinks that Carlsen or Aronian would produce sterile play, nor guys like Moro.

S3's picture

Carlsen, Aronian, and Moro might play exactly the same. Unfortunately for them they were not able to qualify for this type of match where the stakes and pressure exceed anything they have ever experienced.

giovlinn's picture

Ahh come on now...You don't really believe that.

NN's picture

Aronian was there, in Kazan last year, but Gelfand qualified in his place. I remember his words very clearly: 'Perhaps I didn’t quite cope with the pressure.' (

hansie's picture


xtc's picture

That's what Aronian actually said, but apparently he was visibly ill during the Candidates - so it was not clear that nerves were to blame.

Aingle Pack's picture

Yeah right! Every time Aronian fails to win or qualify in a WC qualifier/tournament, he is ill. He played badly in 2007 WC tournament and 'he was ill'. He won zero classical games in candidates matches and 'he was ill'. Kasparov never felt sick while he was dominating the WC for 16 years. Never heard of Karpov or Anand 'being ill' when they lost matches in early 2000s. Kramnik never complained of being ill even when he lost in WC matches in 2008 and candidates. For all other great players it was just a bad performance.

xtc's picture

That's right. Aronian blamed it on nerves. (I'm the suggesting he was ill - not Aronian himself - got it?)

Zeblakob's picture

Dear S3, you have to agree that this is a half match.

chewish guy's picture

@Zeblakob You forget this Match has three parts: Classical, Rapid, and Blitz. You being the smart azz that you are, you shd know that only a 1/3 of the Match has expired so far.
Gelfand did not beat Anand in the Classical time control.... Part two coming our way Wedsnesday.

Zeblakob's picture

@chewish guy, I mean by half match the whole of the classical games. Think of a half-book, half job etc ... :)

chewish guy's picture

yes.yes. i see your point... "part time" lovers so to speak. but it is hard for me to imagine gelfand or anand not giving their all.

hansie's picture


hansie's picture


Aingle Pack's picture

In Kramnik-Leko match, there 5 games of 18, 23, 21, 20, 16 moves.
Kramnik forgot his opening preparation and lost 8th game and so had to play 14th game to win otherwise he would have played 14th game to a draw (because a drawn match gives him World championship). Except for 2 games, Kramnik and Leko were never really setting the board on fire.

columbo's picture

but what a winning game by Kramnik ! I remember this one very well, magnificient

NN's picture

In the opening, white played a completely new gambit in order to secure long term positional advantages. Then black sacrificed two pawns, but in return it was he who had more active pieces, giving him compensation for the sacrificed pawn. Overall, quite an interesting game with three positional pawn sacrifices.

Thomas's picture

+1 (at least, to NN if my comment doesn't appear right below). People who complain about the result and the "insufficient" number of moves either haven't even watched/looked at the game, or know very little about chess. Or they had made up their mind already before the game or the entire match - "wrong players", let's complain!

Dare I say this was also the case for a few other relatively short draws in the match ...

doublefish's picture

I'm sorry, but after months of listening to "he's playing worse now because he's saving his preps", today's game just didn't cut it. It was a good pawn sac, but even to a 1900 patzer like me it was obvious that black should offload some of his clumsily placed pawns in order to activate his pieces. When Gelfand executed this manouver, Anand didn't have anything up his sleeve and simply let the game fizzle.

As far as 22 move draws goes, this was a fairly interesting one, and it would have been a decent effort in a tournament. As the big, final push in a WC match, however, it just didn't cut it. It would have been a great disappointment had I had any kind of expectations for the game, but as it was I was just happy the game ended early...

Taiman's picture

The great battle to determine which of these two players sucks the least tragically continues.

It is sad to see Anand wilt under the minor pressure generated by a challenger barely in the top 20. Poor Kramnik had to comment on this game knowing that he still has twice as much talent as Gelfand and is in twice as good form as Vishy.

This pretense of a "world championship" is almost as absurd as when that moniker adorned the second Fischer-Spassky match.

I don't know is Vishy will hold it together in the tiebreaks. Gelfand is no more impressive than he ever is, but at least he is not in a nerve-wracked free fall. If Vishy squeaks through, however, I would bet that he will not opt to defend his title. He does not suffer from self-delusion. He sees the writing on the wall and he has no fighting spirit left. He will simply bow to the class of players who have now surpassed him.

mdamien's picture

Looks like the "masses" have found chessvibes. Bummer.

weakerthanf7's picture

Yes...Anand made his fans very disappointed through his short draw offers...specially in two games where he had huge time advantage and position was just getting interesting. Anand said they offer draw when it is obvious to them that the game is going nowhere! What nonsense! If you can tell after only 20 moves or so that the "game is going nowhere" then what does it say about the chess itself? Why play it? Waiting to see if opponent forgot the computer analysis? Isn't chess supposed to be still open-ended with near-infinite possibilities? Then how can you tell that after only 20 moves or so "game is going nowhere". Anand self-inflicted a severe blow to his credibility and fame in this match.

seturamann's picture

Not to agree, it is very interesting to people, only page I could load (lower traffic I guess) with live games was all the others plus also official site were slow.

So this means everyone is interested, including you.

steve's picture

you must be living in a cave. chess is already boring in the eyes of the world.

steve's picture

you must be living in a cave. chess is already boring in the eyes of the world.

columbo's picture

what a statement ! what world are you talking about ? planet depression ?

RealityCheck's picture

@Steve Did get your GED attending night classes? Public schools right?

Chess and Anand Fan's picture

You have the right to make your comments but I think your comments are unchartiable and ill-informed. This is a World Chess Championship - highest stakes in Chess. They do not play just to entertain you and I!
While you are taking about sterile and boring chess, how about your World Cup "Football" matches? Interesting enough?! And in that game you cannot prepare every move with computers like you can with chess at this level.
I expect people in this forum from Europe and elsewhere to have at least average intelligence. Please dignify it with your comments. I see it lacking with most people with comments in the WC match when it comes to Anand.

Anonymous's picture

What is so hard about seeing the relationship between fan interest (no matter how intelligent) --> online viewers --> attractiveness to sponsors --> money for chess (--> money for word champion and challenger)? Even though there might have been a lot of viewers this cycle, I don't think the quality of the games made them happy in a way that they would positively related to the advertised products. Thus, close to zero (if not negative) impact of commercials on viewers, which makes chess even less attractive to sponsors. It is important to satisfy the average chess viewer!

TomTom's picture

this whole event is suspicious

Chris's picture

It looks as Anand is afraid of winning.

chewish guy's picture

What is not suspicious that takes place in Moscow?

Isildur's picture

Yeah, suspicious at least. The way I see there are only 2 possibilities: Or this have been pre-arranged or they are more than "friends".

 yanayeiv's picture

this beats the 2004 brisago match as the most boring&stupid wch match ever,no one really was intrested in it anyway,every body wants to see carlsen vs anand

Anonymous's picture

Brisago had 4 decided games, the Benoni game in the penultimate round and an exciting last game.
Compared to that it was a thriller.

columbo's picture

and why not Carlsen vs Carlsen while you're at ?!?!?

VB's picture

Next time straight to blitz for the price fund. No need for such short draws.

columbo's picture

yeap ! or just flip a coin instead like someone proposed the day before yesterday :)

PircAlert's picture

I'm pretty sure now 90% of the chess world would consider that Anand retains crown!! ;)

Anonymous's picture

@pircalert +10 Anand is still the WCC. Gelfy didn't beat him.

boardgame's picture

I honestly doubt it. Anand will crumble under the pressure. I am almost certain. So pitiable. It's about time Gelfand gives him the coup de grace. We have been seeing enough of this.

Anonymous's picture

Nr.6 vs. Nr.17 playing for the WC Title in Chess is like Bayern and Chelsea would play the UEFA Championsleague Final in football.
Oh wait...

Antonin's picture

What a silly game. Before the match, I thought the world of Anand, and fully expected him to win. I also thought he would be at least even if not better than Aronian or Carlsen in a match. Now, I don't think that at all. Let's say this current game was played between Carlsen (white) and Anand (black). Do you honestly think that Carlsen, up a pawn, with a massive time advantage, in the last game of the world championship, would let his opponent off with a draw? Not a chance.

Antonin's picture

Just to add, Anand even OFFERED the draw! Outrageous.

Anonymous's picture

None of the previous world champions would have offered a draw in this position. None. Nor would Carlsen, Aronian or Kramnik. Once again the whole chess world has a big reason to feel betrayed. And it is not the first time in this match, the most boring ever.

PircAlert's picture

What is wrong? It is Gelfand who started the whole draw offering thing. You have every reason to draw the classical part when you see your opponent knows all your preparations. Even a 20 game match would not be any different to a champion who is determined to draw. Per tradition, fight is mostly expected from challenger who wants the throne?? Now rapids, and you can show your originality.

Antonin's picture

Anand is world champion because he won the previous match, not because he is not losing this one by offering early and insipid draws. At the beginning of the match, both players are going into this contest even. They should both try to win. Anand has showed no fighting spirit at key moments, particularly when it comes to Boris' late-match time trouble.

LuxAeterna's picture

Why Anand must to show fighting spirit? Anand is the champion, all that he must to do is prevail. Gelfand must show he want win. If Anand offer a draw, then Gelfand, in any case, can not accept and fight for a win. Why he accept?... Because is a DRAW period.

Anonymous's picture

Only ONE game lasted more than 40 moves. Not one time scramble. Many draws before 30th move. No fight, just exchange pieces and draw. If you think that is OK, the chess world is in a truly horrible state.

Antonin's picture

And in that one game that lasted over 40 moves, it was Gelfand who was pressing.


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