Anand Hits Back Against Gelfand

  • SonofPearl
  • on 5/21/12, 7:16 AM.

After losing in game 7 of his world championship defence against Boris Gelfand, Vishy Anand needed a quick response in game 8, but no-one expected it to be 17-moves quick! 

Gelfand blundered on move 14 and resigned when his queen was trapped just 3 moves later.  The game was the quickest decisive game in World Chess Championship history!

Anand had reverted to 1.d4 and no doubt expected to face another Gruenfeld defence, but after 3.f3 Gelfand opted for a Benoni type structure with 3...c5, transposing into a kind of King's Indian Samisch.

The players left theory quite early and on move 11 Gelfand blundered with Qf6. Anand accepted Gelfand's resignation after 17. Qf2 trapped Gelfand's queen.


Name  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pts
Vishy Anand ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 . . . . 4
Boris Gelfand ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 . . . . 4



Ian Nepomniachtchi (centre) and Peter Leko (right) thought Anand was in trouble...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Peter Leko Ian Nepomniachtchi.jpg


...but Leko, Nepo and Gelfand had all missed Qf2, trapping the queen.

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Vishy Anand.jpg


Realisation dawned for the challenger...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Boris Gelfand.jpg


...who searched for an answer while Vishy waited off-stage

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Boris Gelfand resigns.jpg


Gelfand resigned by stopping the clock, and the match is level at 4-4

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Boris Gelfand stops the clocks.jpg


What a difference a day makes! After finally breaking through in game 7 yesterday, Gelfand's blunder today allowed Vishy Anand to equal the scores immediately in a humiliatingly quick debacle.

Tomorrow is another rest day, so game 9 is on Wednesday 23 May when Gelfand will have the white pieces, and will hope to put today's disaster behind him.



All games start at 15:00 local time (11:00 UTC).  The time control is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 60 minutes for the next 20 moves, and a final 15 minutes to a finish with a 30 seconds increment after move 61.

The prize fund is $2.55 million, with the winner receiving $1.53 million (60%), the loser $1.02 million (40%).

If the match is level after 12 games there will be a 4-game rapid match tie-break at 25 minutes per game plus 10 second increment. If scores are still level a 2-game blitz match will be played at 5 minutes plus 3 second increment.  If the deadlock is still not broken, there can be up to 5 of the these 2-game blitz matches before a sudden-death blitz game will decide the winner (5 minutes for white, 4 minutes for black, and a 3 second increment from move 61).

The full rules for the match can be found here (pdf).

The match schedule is below (times are Moscow time = UTC+4 hours):

Date Event Time Date Event Time
11-May Game  1  15:00 21-May Game  8  15:00
12-May Game  2  15:00 22-May Rest day   
13-May Rest day    23-May Game  9  15:00
14-May Game  3  15:00 24-May Game  10  15:00
15-May Game  4  15:00 25-May Rest day   
16-May Rest day    26-May Game  11  15:00
17-May Game  5  15:00 27-May Rest day   
18-May Game  6  15:00 28-May Game  12  15:00
19-May Rest day    29-May Rest day   
20-May Game  7  15:00 30-May Tie break  12:00


The official match website has video commentary in Russian and English.  The English language host is Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, who will be joined by Nigel Short (on 11–12 May), Jan Timman (14–15 May), Joel Lautier (17 May), Peter Svidler (18, 23–24 and 28 May), Peter Leko (20–21 May), and Vladimir Kramnik (26 May).

Screenshots taken from the official coverage, which is available for replay at the match website.

Computer analysis from the official website.

19586 reads 95 comments
8 votes


  • 4 years ago


    i don't think its really playble after Nc6 against a GM.after  17..NC6 18 dxc6 Qxc6(forced, on bxc6 Queen remains trapped).Bg2.. Bd5, Ne4 is coming.. then black will take with h pawn and push the other h would be ~10 more moves of suffering before resignable position. 

  • 4 years ago


    ha! blunders,U are real socialists...U make friendship with a novice and a Grandmaster and U make them smile with a pathetic face with great similarity!

  • 4 years ago


    nice game !!!

  • 4 years ago


    Leko and Nepomniatchi were commenting the game in the official site, and they didn't consider Qf2 at any time.

  • 4 years ago


    Yes, I gave the position to my search engine Houdini and it found Nc6 right away.  It does seem to be a position that Gelfand should have played a little longer.  Go Anand!

  • 4 years ago


    Typical Anand, steady as she goes, and makes few mistakes. Kind of pathetic tactical ability by Gelfand (for a championship game)--Karpov or Kasparov would never have missed the trap.

  • 4 years ago


    very nice game

  • 4 years ago


    gotta love Gelfand's look on his face after the trap had set off

  • 4 years ago


    Based on the live video, considering the psychology of players I would think that Gelfand was too shock to consider a rescue with Nc6. Anand's stare was so obsessing.

  • 4 years ago


    magic-yak you are right lol - he looks stupid there lolLaughing

  • 4 years ago



  • 4 years ago


    interesting compilation of GM commentaries for this round

  • 4 years ago


    That picture of Gelfand is really bad. I hope if I am ever on the world championship stage i never have to have a picture like that.

  • 4 years ago


    opinions are ridiculous

  • 4 years ago


    "he dont play much as the others that why his rating is that low"

    Or rather, his rating is that low because he doesn't play better than he does.

  • 4 years ago



  • 4 years ago


    Sacrificing to gain!

    Awesome game!

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago


    Quickest decisive game...does this mean there are shorter drawn games in WCC history?

  • 4 years ago


    Non one can question Gelfand,s right to challenge Vishy. Who doesn,t blunder. Even Grand Masters have blundered QUEEN EN PRISE and even after long thinks. Its the un explainable factor. Look at the players he has beaten, i,m sure Kamski and Aronian are on that list of many. Two tournaments with all the top GM,s and he won both. The way some people talk is as if Gelfand is the England football team coach and they just lost and won,t be in the world cup! lol He beat Vishy bigger than Vishy beat him.

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