Reports | May 14, 2012 17:12

Anand-Gelfand G3, a 3.f3 Grünfeld, drawn after 37 moves (VIDEO)

Anand-Gelfand game 3, with again most of the seats in the playing hall filled

The spectators in the State Tretyakov Gallery saw an exciting game today between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand, which eventually ended in a draw again. The World Champion got some advantage with his 3.f3 against Gelfand's Grünfeld, but eventually had to settle for splitting the point in another double rook ending. The score is 1.5-1.5 with nine more games to play.

Anand-Gelfand game 3, with again most of the theatre seats in the playing hall filled | Photos © 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

Many experts in the press room had expected that Boris Gelfand wouldn't try the Grünfeld again in his second black game, but they were wrong. It was Vishy Anand who was the first to deviate, and it wasn't a bad choice: the lively 3.f3, a move that almost without exception leads to fighting games.

Even so, Gelfand played faster than his opponent in the opening and thereby made the impression that he was following preparation longer than Anand. The Indian also looked a bit nervous, but as soon as he got into the game this was gone. It also helped that at some point White won a pawn, and the only thing Black could do was win it back somehow, and hope for a draw.

Once the fastest player on the planet, in this game Anand got into slight time trouble. (For instance, he spent 15 minutes on the relatively standard 15.Kb1.) The Indian had to make his last ten moves in about ten minutes, and perhaps that's why he missed a strong continuation in a double rook ending which might even have won the game. (Sergey Shipov thinks so.)

Although it needed further analysis, Anand was showing some disappointment during the press conference. At the same time there were also some funny moments, for instance when both players started to enter variations on a laptop, of which the screen was shown on a TV. At one moment Anand, the World Champ himself, allowed a mate in one – he joined the laughing journalists with a big smile.

Later the translator pushed the mic under the World Champion's face, and asked: "Can you please speak into the microphone?" Anand pushed it back and said: "Yes, but first let's figure out what happens, then I'll tell you!"

Find this and more in the video report below, which also includes part of Monday's press conference by Yuri Averbakh, the oldest living grandmaster in the world. He tells about the first Karpov-Kasparov match.

Watch all our 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.


Alexei's picture

Great game for Boris and Vishy! As Naiditsch stated in both were well prepared, Anand following the game of his second Nielsen, and the other going for novelties.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Contrasting commentary by GM Naiditsch and GM Shipov. Naditsch mentions that Gelfand's ...Nb2 was played instead of the calm ...Nb6 (obviously ...Nb6 is a computer move which is what Naiditsch always recommends). And Shipov mentions It was truly miserable to play 26... Nb6 and bravo to Gelfand to play Nb2.

arkan's picture

A nice fighting draw indeed!

sundararajan ganesan's picture

mmm..... the ch., is getting hot! an exciting game!

Sanose's picture

Did Anand bungle under time pressure and failed to convert a win? At least that is what Shipov's commentary says!

Siva's picture

Carlsen or Aronian would have squeezed a win out of this; or at least made Gelfand sweat for a long time; almost all engines gave fighting alternatives for White than 35. Rh1. Anand is no longer as sharp as he used to be.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

This was not a position to squeeze a win. Either you see the Rf6! resource at the end of the 34d7 line or you dont. A squeezing win is a from a positional edge position.

Siva's picture

It wasn't the only double-edged alternative albeit may be the clearly wining one. If you are a club player you would understand what I tried to say. Use this forum to discuss the game not armchair kibitzers like me or you..

Harish Srinivasan's picture

If you want to look up my rating on uscf or fide, you are welcome to. Atleast look at the analysis and commentary before giving opinions on world champions.

foo's picture

you do speak a lot! lots of gems in your commentary if you like. I suspect you are not very strong. I didn't see a FIDE rating for you maybe I missed it.

foo's picture

you do speak a lot! lots of gems in your commentary if you like. I suspect you are not very strong. I didn't see a FIDE rating for you maybe I missed it.

david korn, seattle's picture

i have no gripe with anyone, even the person who spoke against you. peace to all of you. not my point. i just want to say i respect the way you stand up for yourself. you have every right. namaste. shri guru namah. blessings, dk

nis's picture

yeah , exactly why aronian did not win the candidates. or the 2007 world champion ship.

Aingle Pack's picture

Yeah, have they ever played under the pressure of a World Championship Match and in time trouble.

I wonder, who stopped Aronian or Carlsen from playing a WC match. I guess, one could not handle the pressure of a Candidates knock out and the other doesn't have the ambition of winning a WC. You might be rated # 1 but you can't complain about the WC format and wait till infinity for the format to improve. All greats of the past/present, Lasker, Capa, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Tal/Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Kasparov, Karpov, Kramnik, Anand played whatever format was available to them.

Anonymous's picture


redivivo's picture

"All greats of the past/present, Lasker, Capa, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Tal/Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Kasparov, Karpov, Kramnik, Anand played whatever format was available to them"

That's far from true. Fischer refused to participate in several cycles because he didn't like the rules, and refused to play Karpov because he wasn't allowed to decide all the rules himself, among them that Karpov would have to win 10-8 to win the title. Anand refused to play for the non-FIDE World Championship 1995-2007, together with Kasparov he didn't play the Dortmund Candidates 2002, Capa didn't accept the rules Lasker decided after challenging him to a title match, Kramnik refused to play for the FIDE title in 1998 and Karpov refused to defend his FIDE title when Khalifman won because he didn't like the rules. Claiming that Carlsen is "waiting till infinity" when he only is 21 is to exaggerate and he had good reasons to dislike FIDE changing the rules of a cycle that already had started, and introducing a knockout with various players invited without qualifying.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

In the press conference, they analyzed a nice line that at the end with a rook sac and queen with check. This was 34.d7 Rcc2 35.Rc4 Rb2+ 36.Kc1 Rxa2 37.Rc8 Rf2 (Threatening mate on f1 or a1) 38. Re6+! Kf7 39.Rf6!! wins. So Vishy had not seen this resource and hence dint play 34.d7. A pity. But a nice fighting game :)

Siva's picture

Nice! At this level we expect to the contenders to be able to see these and more. It is not only a pity that Anand didn't see it, but in general a pity that this happens to be WCH match :-(

nis's picture

wht would a woodpushing patzer know about world champions?

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Well in your interpretation, its also a pity that Gelfand did not play ...Nb6 earlier which lead to equality. Apparently, if you expect people at this level to play perfectly, then its a pity chess is objectively a draw from move 1. Also there is no wch match in history of chess where the players have not made any mistake. What a pity!

syzygy's picture

At this point, Anand's clock was running low - he was having to move and think fast. Is it surprising he missed a tricky line?

Harish Srinivasan's picture

A longer line that need to have been calculated before pushing 34.d7 was 34.d7 Rcc2 35.Rc4 Rb2+ 36.Kc1 Rxa2 37.Rc8 Rf2 (Threatening mate on f1 or a1) 38. Re6+! Kh5!? (instead of my previous comment of Kf7) 39.g4+ fxg4 40.fxg4+ Kxg4 41.Re4+ Kg3 42.Rg8+ Kh3 43.Rh4+!! and the pawn again queens with check. Its one of those positions that if white does not win, he is mated in 1.

RealityCheck's picture

A good example of the threat being stronger than its execution. Great game.

notyetagm's picture

So your saying that Anand missed a brilliant win? Damn it!

Bronkenstein's picture

Kudos to Gandalf for another (too?!) ambitious black game (well , it worked nice in Kazan), and to Vishy for almost punishing him!

Aditya's picture

Why do Chessbase articles keep stretching their headlines towards Anand? If one just reads the titles of the three games, it would appear as if Anand has Gelfand on the ropes. Gelfand has produced some fine play in these games and it seems he gets no credit at all.

RealityCheck's picture

The German headline reads:
Much Tension, No Winner
Pretty neutral, don't you think so?

Aditya's picture

I read the English headlines, and they go thus

World Championship G1 – a fighting draw sets the tone

World Championship G2 – Anand shows his hand as Semi-Slav is played

World Championship G3 – Anand tantalizingly close to first win

Doesnt seem so neutral, dont you think so?

RealityCheck's picture

So, you read the english headlines. Maybe you shd learn to read german, get over your inferiority complex. Your argument is based on Anands name being mentioned twice and Gelfand zero. Anand is the reigning Wch afterall. I don't don't sense any eal bias, sorry.

RealityCheck's picture

So, you read the english headlines. Maybe you shd learn to read german, get over your inferiority complex. Your argument is based on Anands name being mentioned twice and Gelfand zero. Anand is the reigning Wch afterall. I don't sense any real bias, sorry.

Aditya's picture

Inferiority complex? And getting over it by learning to read German? If you are smoking something, I'd love to have it too. My argument is not based on the mentioning of names but the content. For example, the second match article indicates that Anand was in command all the time(!!??). Maybe that is justified for you because he is World champion. To me it seems a one-sided description.

Fireblade's picture

You are definitely right.Chessbase does 'lean' towards Anand and Kramnik.
Frederic Friedel has very warm relations with the current Champion and the ex-Champion for reasons best known to himself. And i guess we do come across other portals that 'lean' towards Topalov for example Chessdom and Susan's blog. Havnt seen anyone mention that before.....

Isildur1's picture

This, I though exactly the same... "Anand tantalizingly close to first win" ....????

Niima's picture

If true, it could be because the ChessBase team has had good relations with Anand for years. For example, he has done DVDs for them.

Septimus's picture

The official site commentary was marred by ridiculously long commercials at critical moments. Who the f--- cares about an art gallery on move 19 when there is tension on the board? The organizers better cut that crap out or they may end up being a joke.

Martin's picture

That's quite disrespectful to the sponsor!

Martin's picture

Although, it's true, they were a bit too long.

Septimus's picture

Commercials sprinkled with a bit of chess here and there does not deserve respect.

Lee's picture

There was a whole lot more chess than there was commercial breaks. Perhaps the timing of those breaks could be a bit better, but in the long run, I'd get used to having your chess sprinkled on - so to speak.

Zeblakob's picture

@Septimus, agree +1. Maybe S3 disagrees ... who knows ...

S3's picture

Of course I disagree. But culture and education are not for everyone apparently.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

The week in chess mentions a holdable line for black after 34.d7 Rcc2 35.Rc4 Rxc4 (instead of the much analyzed ...Rb2+ that loses for black) 36.bxc4 h5 37.Kc1 Rd4 38.Kc2 Kf6 39.Rh7 Ke6 40.Kc3 Rxd7 41.Rxh5 Rg7.
Firstly, instead of 41.Rxh5 the pawn endgame after 41.Rxd7 Kxd7 42.Kd4 is interesting.
Secondly, if Vishy had seen this was the only alternative for black ofcourse he would have gone for the line. The problem was the other line which had mate hanging which he could not fully calculate under time pressure.

Thomas's picture

In this line, why not 40.Kb3 Rxd7 41.Rxd7 Kxd7 42.Ka4 b6 43.Kb5 Kc7 44.c5 bxc5 45.Kxc5 ? This is the Houdini line on Chessbomb, and looks like a winning pawn endgame. So - with respect to the Chessbase coverage - "Anand ... close to first win" was probably a correct description of the game (but he couldn't convert his advantage).

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Yes nice, 40.Kb3 looks better with the idea of going to Ka4. Interestingly Andrew Martin at in his video mentions some other lines for black after 34.d7 starting with 34...Rd1+ 35.Kb2 Rd2+ 36.Ka3 Rcc2 leading to a complicated line. Look at around 15:00 in the video.

Aditya's picture

Interesting line ending with 45 K x c5, but at the end of Houdini's analysis I'm not so sure if that pawn endgame is a trivial win. I see a white zugzwang with 46) h4 and and other King moves. 46) f4 and 46) h3 lead to both of them queening and black still able to reach in time if white exchanges queens. (I did'nt check other variations with queens on board). Anbody else analysed this line?

Bartleby's picture

That may be, but being short in time, his Rh1 was a very human way to play it safe.
It was a good double-edged fight, after all. I was surprised how easy Anand could tame the black attack, and get an advantage. The bishop g7 was meant be a scary monster, and the black rooks on the c file would have impressed mere mortals. So it's kind of reassuring that, when he could have taken off for the magic conversion and left us below staring up, he covered his back rank like we all do.

Harish Sinivasan's picture

Great video ChessVibes. The full press conf is not there in the official website due to some commercial. So it is only now after seeing the video here I understand that Anand had actually seen that d7 was a better move just a minute after he had played the rook retreat.

Anonymous's picture

The level of the pundits here is lower than last w ch matches. I cant bother to look it up, but how high is your rating, Harish Sinivasan, that you feel the need to let us in on it?

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Someone mentioned "if I were a club player" i would understand. That was for that person ... if you can see chessvibes reply thread indented.

Harish Sinivasan's picture

My rating is 2021. 17 wins and 18 losses and 3 draws so far in FIDE ratings. I am from USA and an avid fan of Vishy. He will win the WC.


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