Anand and Gelfand both happy to play in Moscow

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Both World Champion Vishy Anand and his challenger Boris Gelfand are happy to play their 2012 title match in Moscow. In a reaction to today's news, Anand said he likes to play for "the knowledgeable and appreciative audience" in Russia. Gelfand: "It's good to have a neutral venue."

Earlier today FIDE confirmed that the 2012 World Championship match will be held in the Skolkovo Technology Centre near Moscow, with a prize fund of $2.55 million. After messing around with their press release, it seems that the second version FIDE put online is also inaccurate. The Russian Chess Federation today clarifies that part of the match will be played in Skolkovo, and part in one of the major Moscow museums.

In any case, Moscow it will be, and not India. World Champion Vishy Anand gave us the following comment on the news:

"I think the venue is important but in the end it depends on your form and how well you play. Also once the match starts, somehow only the opponent is visible. I have played in Moscow on many occasions and have always had pleasant memories, especially to play in front of such a knowledgeable and appreciative audience."

We briefly spoke to Boris Gelfand on Skype, who said:

"It's good to have a neutral venue. It's also better to have the match in a country where the organisational experience is better. And, for a long time we didn't have a private sponsor in chess, but now we do! Mr Filatov is a big chess fan who visits every big tournament that's held in Moscow. For a long time we did not have a choice but to go for political sponsorship, but when there is a choice, it's better to rely on people who love chess."

Gelfand pointed out that it's also climatically better to play in Moscow rather than in Chennai.

"There you can have 90% humidity and 32 degrees in May. And in Israel it's 75% and 27 degrees."

Although no doubt the games would be played in an air-conditioned room in either Israel or India, we know that Gelfand is fond of evening walks outside... To our question whether he had started preparing already, Gelfand said:

"A little. I'm thinking about it, although of course a lot of tournaments are scheduled before the match. My confirmed tournaments are the European Club Cup, the Tal Memorial and the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee."

And so the players might be facing each other more than once before their match, the first time being at the Tal Memorial in November, also in Moscow.

On a final note, Gelfand confirmed to us that everything is fine with his family and especially his new-born son.

"Yes, he's growing. He's now five months old. When I see Vishy again we can talk about these things - his son is almost the same age."

The World Championship Match between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand will consist of 12 games and if necessary, tie-break games: first 4 games rapid games, if necessary up to five blitz matches of 2 games and if necessary 1 sudden-death game. So far it's not clear when it will be held, but according to FIDE it's supposed to take place in the first half of 2012.
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