Super-Solid Anand Keeps Gelfand At Bay

  • SonofPearl
  • on 5/15/12, 9:03 AM.

Boris Gelfand repeated the opening from game two in the fourth match game of his challenge for the World Chess Championship against Vishy Anand.

Anand's super-solid Slav never looked like being breached, as accurate play from the champion extinguished Gelfand's attempts to prove an advantage.

So after 1/3rd of the match, the players are locked together at 2-2, and with no early breakthrough the tension continues to rise.

Tomorrow is a rest day, so game 5 is on Thursday when Anand will have the white pieces.

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


No breakthrough yet at the World Chess Championship
WCC Anand v Gelfand game 4 playing hall .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 from the official website.

5899 reads 31 comments
2 votes


  • 5 years ago


    Matchplay is a different ball game from tournaments and ranking. Here home preparation and depth makes a lot of difference. Anand is champion because he has the ability to uncover unexpected ideas. Gelfland (or Magnus) will have to equal him on that front if they want to take his title away.

  • 5 years ago


    any way anand is going to win

  • 5 years ago


    @ manoocena

    believe me, it isn't that simple

  • 5 years ago

    NM dcremisi

    I think that things will open up om the next two games... or perhaps its just wishful thinking.  In any event Annand has surprised the opponent and done something new:  the combination of a6 and the semi slav is, although not dubious not a constant guest at the highest level and the Grunfeld was not exactly predictable from Gelfrand.  And what about f3 in the Kings Indian? that game was the closest anybody came to winning a game! dont you think the players will take a hint?

  • 5 years ago


                   GO  ANAND!!!!!!!!!

  • 5 years ago


    I'm sure when either one will draw first blood then things will get more exciting. Anand is probably favourite but Gelfand is no pushover in my humble opinion.

  • 5 years ago


    The 1984 Karpov-Kasparov match had a series of 17 consecutive draws, in total there were 40 draws and only 8 decisive results before the match was abandonded because of health problems.

    That was before there were any computer analyses...

  • 5 years ago


    I think we should wait the end of the match before reaching conclusions but I don't think it's fair to blame computers. It is common to have many draws in such matches. Last WC they could prepare with computers and they had 5 wins and 7 draws, a good ratio compared to many pre-computer era matches. Every match has its history but I don't put blame on computers.

  • 5 years ago


    In such a short match there should be only one rest day after the first six games.

    Anand is happy with drawing all 12 games (quick draws, less than 40 moves) because his record against Gelfand in rapid games shows that he dominates Gelfand completely on the rapid games. It is the easiest million plus dollars he will ever win in his life.

  • 5 years ago



    I don't understand why they get that much rest if they are barely working

  • 5 years ago


    A lot of draws in Championship matches is not unusual and never has been. That also counted for days without computer analysis.Thinking of what is at stake, no one wants to go too risky unless being well sure of having found an exploitable weakness.

    Yesterdays draw was an interesting one really, please do not forget that already

    If you are tired of draws, take a look at the U.S. championships. That format offers more decisive material ;-)

  • 5 years ago


    Alright rural rob, I gave Giddins' article a read. What he says is true! My concern though is that both players are so cautious. Anand plays into Gelfand's prep and vice versa. This is partially because the match is so short and one loss is disproportionally horrid. The other component though is a lack of confidence being displayed by both players. If Anand trusted his playing strength he could just surprise Gelfand with 1.g3 in the next game. The computer prep is a crutch is that gives players the feeling that they've optimised their chances of a reasonable result. But it also makes them (and the result) predictable.

  • 5 years ago


    I'm quite sure Anand was expecting to play to the Slav again today. Wouldn't it be better for Boris to vary his openings a bit to evade Anand's computer prep. As in the exchange Slav next White game, then perhaps a Slav with Qc2, a g3 system, an English etc. Suprise the opponent. Find something he hasn't got covered.

  • 5 years ago


    Both players is waiting for the other to err in a game and then take the advantage.

  • 5 years ago


    I couldn't imagine sitting there for hours watching some guys think at a chess board.  Playing chess is great, but watching it really takes as long as watching paint dry.

  • 5 years ago


    The Onus is on Boris Gelfand to make something happen. :|

  • 5 years ago


    Draws, draws, draws.

  • 5 years ago


    Gelfand is trying to draw with both white and black!!

  • 5 years ago


    fabelhaft The latest title matches all had 4-5 decisive games but I doubt we'll see something similar this time.

    More's the pity. How's the weather in Nauru? (I actually know where Nauru is!)

  • 5 years ago


    The latest title matches all had 4-5 decisive games but I doubt we'll see something similar this time.

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