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.


Anonymous's picture

Of course, with your sixty move rule, the player that brings about a repetition of the position loses.

Rodzjer's picture

Funny rules, but there's a gap. In this way people will see deadly boring 60+ move draws if one player benefits from that. Instead of deadly boring 20-25 move draws. From the two, I'd still prefer the latter.

I say: re-instate the old formula of first to 6 points wins the match and draws don't count. We'll see contestants battling for full points and we'll get at least 6 decisive results before the match is over.

bhabatosh's picture

Only then we will see Age is a factor in chess or not , it wont be as easy like this . I do hope younger players will be benefited from this and we will have more fun watching this . Anand may opt not to play many games in each year and happily keeping his Word Title , fair he can do that but only after putting the world title under intense battle.

Bronkenstein's picture

Another good white effort by Gandalf , hoping for anything more in Vishy´s prepared line would be childish - same as expecting Anand to play on in the final position.

Looks like we are up for some exciting TBs.

What's Next?'s picture

Chess on highest level is - draw. Gambling is losing or winning.

Mike's picture

Chess at high level is like checkers at high level (computer exhausted)? For me Chess at high level means the superiority of a human mind against another, it means for example Capablanca...whose adversaries did not understand why they loose without making any wrong move...

Anonymous's picture

But the problem is the match rules allow the players to take a draw when they are afraid they might lose....hence the short draws. A sport interested in sponsorship would never tolerate such a state of affairs.

Anonymous's picture

Chess at highest level = Computer Chess
Any home computer, set to not accept draws under any circumstances, would totally smash especially these two guys.

Anonymous's picture

Running at highest level = horses

What's Next?'s picture

Chess at highest level = winning - is a fairy tail.

Mike's picture

If all that matters is just to win a game...Just play dice...You don't need Chess...

bhabatosh's picture

Chess at highest level means = intense fight , not draws in 15-20 moves can not play few moves and draw the game and go home taking 1 M $ . there must be blood everyday even it is draw . many sports does have draws in highest level , but they dont have luxury of finishing the game as and when they want to ....

Thomas's picture

But most other sports have the "luxury" of knowing in advance when the game is over - whereas chess is open-ended and offering plus accepting a draw is one possibility to finish the game. Unlike Anonymous' suggestion above, the draws in Moscow didn't happen because one or both players were afraid of losing, but because neither player saw realistic winning chances against a strong opponent, and both considered it pointless to keep pushing wood just to reach move 40 (or 60 or 80 or whatever).

BTW according to one author (Ulrich Stock reporting for the German newspaper "Die Zeit") today's game had lots of drama:
Three pages are too much to translate from German, maybe Google translate can help those who can't read the original.

Anonymous's picture

Exactly correct.

dev anand's picture

unfortunately as a vishy anand fan I am forced to admit - the king is dead. He is too toothless to pose a threat to the modern generation. I dont think he will survive a match with the US Chess Champion - forget Aronian, Kramnik or Carlsen. I expect him to lose to Gelfand tomorrow - his play is not active enough to win. He should have refreshed his team - done something to change things around - unfortunately too late now.

FvT's picture

Personally, this match is as exciting as Kramnik - Leko...who cares about quality if there is no fight?

What's Next?'s picture

Anand losing game 12? Not a chance. He showed in game 11 that a surprise move gives a big time advantage. And game 13 is a rapid game...How about big time advantage then... Congratulations to the WC title Anand.

NN's picture

This match is 10/10 interesting to any serious chess player. Those who don't find it interesting should simply train harder and become stronger in chess, so that perhaps some day they will be able to follow World Championship matches.

Sligunner's picture
Chris's picture

match is interesting??
don.t you see "king is naked"
as kid had told in a fairy tale ?

Rodzjer's picture

Sure NN, you are so brilliant that you are the only one that sees the 10/10 interest to "serious" chess players...
Offer half of your ego to the Red Cross and world hunger is solved.

Anonymous's picture

Gary Kasparov's comments re the future of chess were extremely important (and heartening)...His support for the Sofia rule and changing the starting position of the chess pieces in the future in top level chess tournaments and world championship matches tells us chess will adapt to the advances being made by computers with the traditional starting piece positions. Future generations will not find our game "played out" but with continued richness and new beauty.

Anonymous's picture
Rodzjer's picture

+1 +1 +1

redivivo's picture

Maybe a couple of Lasker's 8-0 title matches could be seen as boring in the way that they weren't much of matches, but at least Lasker showed why he was such a great player in them. Nowadays high quality is much too often equalled with drawing in the opening and avoiding creativity and complications. The less that happen in a game the stronger the players are said to be by the chess masochists, but that won't change the fact that no one will remember this title match next week.

Zarathoustra's picture

Anand 6th at the live rating list. After this event,if he wins, he will have to focus again on the legitimacy of his crown, by winning some events. Or he just decides to drop chess, because it doesn't make sense anymore.

redivivo's picture

Anand's play has been so insipid the last years that it's hard to imagine that he will continue playing much longer, it's obvious that he doesn't enjoy it anymore. He was an awesome player once but he has disappointed not only here, also in his previous events last year in London, Tal Memorial and Bilbao has he failed to produce a plus score.

Whatever happens in the tiebreak the same people will keep repeating the same old same old in the future about players saving preparation and being much stronger than their actual results, but they won't believe it themselves any more than they do now. Anand may be 6th on the live rating at the moment, but it's been a while since he played like a top ten player.

Thomas's picture

Anand certainly played like a top ten player (or better) in Wijk aan Zee 2011 - which is now 1 1/2 years ago. He finished in second place only due to Nakamura's outlier performance. Before, he was consecutively second in Bilbao, Nanjing and London. His total score against Carlsen in these events: +2=4.

So "the last years" is wrong, and "last year" actually just means second half of 2011. Whether that's enough to draw substantial conclusions, I doubt it ... .

redivivo's picture

Well, last one and a half year after being second behind Naka in January 2011 then, but that time has been bad enough for a player of his general level. Most people rank Anand as one of the ten greatest players ever, and he is the current World Champion. He should be able to play chess on an entirely different level than he has been doing in Bilbao, Moscow, London and Moscow again if his heart is in it.

Chris's picture

in that match Anand is playying vs computer preparation not vs Gelfand.

Matt's picture

Can't remember watching such a bad match.....

Sligunner's picture

I agree. Crap from two average GMs. Nine bore draws with only one game (the Anand fortress) of any fighting spirit and real interest, and two wins that were really losses – second-rate play from the supposed creme de la creme. If only both could lose this game... whatever happens, this match should be a watershed. If it isn't, no one will want to sponsor the world championship ever again.

Anonymous's picture

Lol! why do you keep watching then?

RainPiper's picture

For all those who complain of being bored by the match: Make an appointment with some other chess players, switch off the engines, follow the match live and give it a serious think what *you* would have played in place of the WC contenders.

Let me assure you: It's fun! We did it yesterday at our chess club. It was a great event and we enjoyed the afternoon tremendously.

Lee's picture

This is also why the non-engine assisted commentary is so awesome. I don't have any of the engine enabled sites running while watching the live telecast, as it takes alot of the mystery out of the positions.

dev anand's picture

world bore championships - starring bore-anand and bore-is drawfand.

John's picture

This match has so little fight... :-(

Deep Mikey's picture

Cool pic on the "Mate in Moscow"-site with Peter and HWS! :D

Manu's picture

Fortunately , this is about to change , next match rules will be different , is there is a next match since this already proves what Carlsen and me (ehemm) already knew : we need World championship tournaments like San Luis , not this boring duels which couldn be more ignored by the almost the whole world .
I hope Gelfand wins tomorrow , just to see lots of people annoyed by the fact that the Champ is not even a top ten player.

Cyric Renner's picture

This is why the draw offer has to be removed from chess. Sofia rules have to be in effect for the next World Championship.

TM's picture

It's actually simple: Just abolish the (unnatural) castling rule. Games will naturally be much sharper and the entire opening theory will be erased at once.

Martin's picture

Sorry, but that sounds just random. If you really want to change something, i would go for Chess 960 (Fischer-random). Theory is gone forever, and it would be a fight from move 1.

Soviet School's picture

Anand should go for f3 anti grunfeld today.
Gelfandbreally used to like 6 c5 in samisch variation so may go for it again I.e. 3 c5

Anonymous's picture

utter gutlessness


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