Anand Withstands Pressure In Game 2

  • SonofPearl
  • on 5/12/12, 8:09 AM.

It was Boris Gelfand's turn to play the white pieces in game 2 of his match against Vishy Anand for the World Chess Championship in Moscow.

The challenger elected to play 1.d4 and Anand chose the Slav Defence in reply.  A battle of opening preparation followed, which Anand concluded with the novelty 14...Nf6.

Soon after that the centre pawns were liquidated, leaving Gelfand with a slight edge, but he was unable to convert his temporary initiative into anything more concrete thanks to accurate defence from the champion.

So the initial sparring is out of the way, with honour maintained on both sides.  Tomorrow is a rest day, so play will resume on Monday 14 May when Anand will have white in game three.

The opening two games have been interesting, but relatively short and bloodless.  Time for the real match to begin!

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


Gelfand maintained some pressure on the champion, but Anand was comfortably equal to the task

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 2  Boris Gelfand.jpg

Still good friends? Whose smile will be first to disappear?

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 2 press conference 3.jpg


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.

7149 reads 47 comments
3 votes


  • 5 years ago


    The tournament style is unfortunately NOT the optimal way to choose the candidate for world champion. The top players draw many games, so you have to try to beat the low man on the pole. It really puts the whole affair in  a gambling type of position, where it's not based on skill, but more so on luck.

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    I read up on Gelfand,s journey to here and he beat alot of top players to get to play Vishy. Deserves to be there!

  • 5 years ago


    "If Aronian was better he would be here"

    I think Aronian is better, just like I think Kramnik was better than Khalifman in 1999-2000 in spite of the latter doing better in the knockout.

    "Carlsen wanted FIDE to change the rules to suit his style of play, and thus give him the advantage"

    What he wanted was that FIDE wouldn't change the rules the way they did instead of keeping the rules the cycle started with.

    "Anand is the only WCC who has won in every format. He never protested about changing rules"

    Anand declined the title match that instead went to Kramnik in 2000, and he declined to play the Candidates in 2002 when Leko qualified. He was also critical of FIDE's giving Kramnik a title match against him in 2008. I don't think it's necessarily such a bad thing if top players protest about FIDE changing rules, by the way.

  • 5 years ago


    On the topic of "boring chess", I don't think people realise that we are looking at a game of chess...this is not basketball, football nor boxing. These other games are indeed more exciting, and they were created to be such. Chess, although classified as a sport, is mostly mental and thus to appreciate such we have to look beyond the physical. The facts are that most chess games are I am very surprised that people are expecting more than the norm. At the end of this match we will only see a few decisive games...and this is what it is. I personally am enjoying these games so far, and can't wait for tomorow's game.

  • 5 years ago


    I think we need to put to rest all this talk about Carlsen and Aronian being better, and therefore should be here. If Aronian was better he would be here...but he was beaten in the Candidates. And Carlsen wanted FIDE to change the rules to suit his style of play, and thus give him the advantage.

    The facts are that Anand is the only WCC who has won in every format. He never protested about changing rules...and even played and defeated Topalov in Topalov's own back yard. He could have easily refused on the basis of "unfair advantage", but did not.

    And Gelfand  although #22, he was the only one who survived the Candidates, and rose to the top...ahead of Aronian as well. So he deserves to be here.

  • 5 years ago


    Each game is a complex design to appreciate like a symphony, good luck.

  • 5 years ago


    I don,t know why people think the match is boring. Only people who don,t play chess would rather watch paint dry. Its a world chess championship and I feel lucky to see it unfold from move 1 and theres a few hundred moves left yet to be played which is as good as world cup football to me lol moves like Anands last 3 or 4 are class and those who don,t realise that are missing the quality in his thinking behind them moves. Its possible that Anand is playing without taking much risk because his stats for blitz against Gelfand are dominating and this might be where the best action will happen. We won,t get to see the rapid games unless scores are tied, bring it :)

  • 5 years ago


    sregor: I sense that your suggestion that the match doesn't "feel" like it's being played by two all-time greats (after two accurately played games!) says more about your (unconscious or not) bias against the two players: Anand because his recent tournament results haven't been great, and Gelfand because a lot of people somehow feel his appearance in the WCM is a fluke.

    fabelhaft: Game 2 of the 2006 match was poorly played, and Kramnik didn't play well at the beginning of the 2008 match. It's true that the first two games of the 1996 match were well-played victories. Actually I think the 1996 Karpov-Kamsky match was of very high quality but has been mostly forgotten by history.

    Dnyan-TheWarrior: Thanks!

    sregor22: It has been said many times, but I will nevertheless try again: matches and tournaments are a completely different thing. Personally, I would pick Anand in a match over either Carlsen or Aronian. Furthermore, I would make Gelfand only a slight underdog against those two, as I feel he is against Anand. I would also give Gata Kamsky, for example, decent chances against any of those four because he is a great match player.

  • 5 years ago


    I suspect Anand is sizing up Gelfand now, in about one to two more games he will unleash his surprise and my guess is it will come as Black (Caro-Kann). Anand is certainly up there amongst the greatest Chess Players certainly the most dominant since Karpov and Kasparov left the scene.

  • 5 years ago


    @Andre - Hats Off!!!

    Superb post...I completely agree...These Two Candidates both Anand & Boris have proven to be better than anyone else...Many feels Carlsen/Aronian would have been better candidate than Boris...This is nothing but utter non-sense...This is not about rapid chess or any other smaller tournament where games are decided not because of ability of winner but because of Inability/blunders/weak moves by loser...and People call it as a so called "EXCITING CHESS".

    People should wake up now...We were seeing regular Novelties because Chess was less explored at that time where it has already been much explored now...Guys there are only 64 Squares It should be little more with addition of New Pieces to bring New Exciting!!!

  • 5 years ago


    Both players are smart but on game 3 it's time to GM boris to show his defense against the white piece. go go go GM Boris never mind the price let's continue your game...bravo 

  • 5 years ago


    "Those of you who think that the World Championship match would be more "exciting" if it involved different players are kidding yourselves"

    This far it's hard to say with any amount of certainty that no other constellation could have made it more exciting, but there are some games left. The latest title matches usually had dramatic starts. Kramnik was leading after two games against Kasparov and won the first against Leko. Against Topalov he had 2-0 after Topalov missed a win in the second game. Anand had three wins after six games against Kramnik, and in Anand-Topalov both the first and the second game were decisive. The FIDE title matches in 1996 and 1998 also started with two decisive games.

  • 5 years ago


    Why not give black incentives for every draw, say 1/4 of a point. In this case the winner will be concluded.

  • 5 years ago


    I totally agree with GmPrice.

    Those of you who think that the World Championship match would be more "exciting" if it involved different players are kidding yourselves. These are top-level players who have prepared for months with seconds and computers. They won't be playing any risky stuff without reason, just because the fish in the audience want to see it.

    Alekhine won his 1927 match against Capablanca 6-3...with 25 draws.

    Karpov won his 1978 match against Korchnoi 6-5...with 21 draws (not even mentioning the 1974 match that decided the World Championship when Fischer threw a hissy-fit...Karpov won 2-1 with 19 draws).

    Karpov led his match with Kasparov in 1984-85 by 5-3...with 40 draws.

    Kasparov defeated Anand in 1995 4-1...with 13 draws (including the first 8 games).

    Kramnik defeated Kasparov in 2000 2-0...with 13 draws.

    The point is...there are going to be a lot of draws in a World Championship match! Most of the people complaining are still butthurt that Carlsen didn't participate in the cycle, and that Gelfand outlasted Aronian, Topalov, and Kramnik. Get over it.

  • 5 years ago


    Until the winner takes all and the loser pay ,even , his expenses . we'll see

    .those million$ $mile$.

  • 5 years ago


    Loved Nigel Shorts commentary again.

    After 2 short draws, I suspect peoples interest will already be waning a little.

    As the climax of the WCC cycle, the spectacle needs to be worth watching and that means there needs to be a fight. That doesn't neccessarily mean we need every game to be a result, but there needs to be a chance for a result.

  • 5 years ago


    on that draw discussion, Twitter between GM Ludvig and TWIC,

  • 5 years ago


    I think we are just in a feeling out period. I hope there will be at least one victory in normal chess and the title isn't decided by any form of rapid chess.

    As far as Karpov winning the title, unfortunately FIDE deprived us of any chance of seeing that by electing to strip Fischer of the title. That would have been a truly great match between two of the greatest ever. FIDE started a trend of doing what was bad for chess instead of what would build up chess. At least Karpov represented the title with greatness and dignity during his reign.

  • 5 years ago


    Thanks for the commentary Staff's SoP. I came here looking for something n the match (there is precious little actually; maybe most are bored?). I watched the Nigel Short Show today for Game 2. There was much more going on in the analysis and suggestion of possible moves than on the actual board! LOL.

    I understand, to some degree, the apologetic stance of one poster who compared chess players watching a match to a crowd watching a boxing match. "We want knock-outs! We want checkmates!". But unless the World Championship match is only for the rarified air of the loftiest ivory towers of technique, I would hope to see at least some sharper play.

    The old time greats certainly never played things safe did they? I can't imagine Alekhine, Capa, or Lasker doing this. But maybe different age.

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