Gelfand Barely Survives Game 3

  • SonofPearl
  • on 5/14/12, 11:45 AM.

The World Chess Champion Vishy Anand came agonisingly close to scoring the first win of his title defence against Boris Gelfand in a pulsating third game.

Gelfand choose the Gruenfeld Defence in a repeat of game 1, but this time Anand was prepared and opted for 3.f3 which led to a very complicated opening battle in a dynamic and unbalanced position.

A confident Gelfand punched out moves quickly, but his position started to sour as Anand managed to hold onto his extra pawn on the d-file.  As the pawn reached d7, Gelfand desperately doubled rooks on the 2nd rank and clung on for a dramatic draw.

The match really sparked into life today, and it's possible that the champion may have missed a win as his time ran short.

Boris Gelfand will have white in game 4 tomorrow. Who will draw first blood?


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



Gelfand feels the pressure and...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 3 Boris.jpg

...the champion sneaks a look at his quarry.

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 3 Anand.jpg

The cameras captured all the action...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 3 board.jpg

... as Jan Timman provided commentary

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 3 Jan Timman.jpg

Did he miss something? The exciting game ends in a draw.

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 3 Anand end.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.

Computer analysis of game 3 from the official website.

9070 reads 39 comments
4 votes


  • 4 years ago


    At this rate of draws, Gelfand has a chance and may win. We will soon have a new WC.

  • 4 years ago


    Game 5 is a draw again.

  • 4 years ago


    Go Anand!

  • 5 years ago


    Great play by the champ but he missed the win. That pawn was a sure winner. 

  • 5 years ago


    These two weeks seems to be a study in draws.

    How boring.

  • 5 years ago


    Game 4 is a draw again. So I think this will only be decided at the end.

  • 5 years ago


    is this the winning line?

  • 5 years ago



    I'm intruiged. What did he say wrong specifically - or where can we see it. I watched some of his commentary and found it fine. It's his partner in crime the NIC representative that was bugging me to be honest.

  • 5 years ago


    Anand is only sitting back and waiting untill Gelfand fired all his bullets,

    untill now (all 3 games), only Gelfand tried to push and fight and have initiative.

    This game , Gelfand also pushed hard and forced Anand into timetrouble (the reason he missed the opportunity to go for a win) , something that never happened to Anand before.

  • 5 years ago



    Interested to hear this.  All the reports i read were complimentary.  Is there a transcript or overview of his comments anywhere to back up what you are saying? is it possible you are being a overly melodramatic in your critique?

    Nigel is an acquired taste (thats for sure!), and very eccentric - as are so many in chess - but doesn't that just add to the colour?  i am sure many enjoyed his performance - if only at his expense... don't take him (or yourself) so seriously.

    Example:  Your bold italic style to puctuate every point serves to highlight your own self-regard. Its as if you don't trust the reader to spot the importance of the points you are making.  Only messing ;-)

  • 5 years ago


    the momentum of the game was on GM Gelfand on game 4...I feel the GM Anand weakness in game 3. He can't stop the momentum although both players are in good condition...

  • 5 years ago


    Both players are very strong. I hope they both perform at their best. My money is on Anand though.

  • 5 years ago


    @RuralRob: Excellent pun, sir.

  • 5 years ago


    Yes, WC is an art museum. Although it doesn't mean chess has become a boring thing.Smile

  • 5 years ago


    first win'll come with black !?   and its fixed   --  :-)

  • 5 years ago


    I hope Gelfand wins!

  • 5 years ago


    Anand definitely missed a great opportunity.

    34.d7! appears to be winning. There's some very long analysis with Houdini available at the TalkChess forum.

  • 5 years ago

    NM dcremisi

    A very interesting game.   I expect a few more games like this and than finally a breakthrough... or perhaps this is just wishful thinking.

  • 5 years ago


    i have to commend gelfand for surviving this game,hope he does not lose his composure, and for anand its nice to see him play for the win out in the opening,  congratulations to both players

  • 5 years ago


    I don't understand Anand move 13 hxg6 which gave Gelfland possibility to free the rook on the f file which will be later so important in the game... why don't' just push that pawn forward to h6 and put a lot of pressure instead?

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