Anand beats Gelfand in tiebreak, retains world title (VIDEO)

0 | Chess Event Coverage

Viswanathan Anand defeated Boris Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in the rapid tiebreak on Wednesday. The Indian won the World Championship in Moscow and retained his world title for the third time. After winning the 2007 World Championship tournament in Mexico City, Anand defeated Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 and Veselin Topalov in 2010 and now emerged as the winner in Moscow as well.

Gelfand congratulates Anand at the end of the 4th tiebreak game

Event World Championship MatchPGN via TWIC
DatesMay 11th-30th, 2012
LocationMoscow, Russia

Viswanathan Anand & Boris Gelfand

Rate of play120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 61
Prize fund2.55 million US $ (60% for the winner or 55% if a tiebreak is needed)
More informationRead all info here
VideosChessVibes on YouTube


Video of the tiebreak

A very equal match, with two players extremely close to each other in terms of both chess strength and opening preparation, came to an end on Wednesday with a tense rapid tiebreak that was won 2.5-1.5 by Anand. In the State Tretyakov Gallery in central Moscow, hundreds of spectators had come to see the showdown – more than the playing hall could hold. "It went my way," Anand commented afterwards, admitting that a fair share of luck had been involved.

The start of the tiebreak, with Gelfand playing White

Even on this very last day Gelfand didn't really play worse than his opponent, but he needed much more time on the clock. Where Anand showed a "regular" time consumption during his classical games, in the tiebreak the hallmark of his success was his speed.

The games were played at 25 minutes and 10 seconds increment per move. After each encounter there was a 10-minute break in which the players could consult two of their seconds who were backstage. With a clock counting down visibly on stage, this schedule was strictly followed and no incidents occurred.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was one of the spectators | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

It was quite a different day from all the others. The level of security was much higher this time, mostly to avoid noise and other disturbances in the playing hall. We filmed the start of game 1 and then went to the press room for a while. When we wanted to film the final part of the game, we were not allowed back into the playing hall. As it turned out, it had been announced – in Russian only – that people could only leave the hall, but not re-enter, during the games.

Just when the guard at the door said njet one more time, we noticed that we were standing right next to Andrei Filatov, the main sponsor of the event. When we explained the situation, he said: "I'm having the same problem!" Amazingly, even the man who paid for everything couldn't get in! However, all this was quickly resolved when we spotted organizer Ilya Levitov in the corridor...

Gelfand started with the white pieces in the first game, which was a very sharp fight. Anand got an advantage, but it seems that with 21...Bxg3 he miscalculated. After 22.Ra3! and especially 27.Rxb7 it was the World Champion who had to watch out. Instead of 28.Qxh6 perhaps with 28.Qd3 Gelfand could have tried for more.

[Event "World Chess Championship Match"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2012.05.30"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D46"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2791"]
[Annotator "Doe,John"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O
e5 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. e4 exd4 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. exd5 h6 13. b3 Ne5 14. Nxe5 Bxe5
15. Re1 Re8 16. Bb2 Bd7 17. Qd2 Qf6 18. g3 Rac8 19. a4 Qf3 20. Be4 Qxb3 21.
Reb1 Bxg3 (21... a5) 22. Ra3 $1 Qb6 (22... Qc4 $5) 23. Bxd4 Bxh2+ 24. Kxh2 Qd6+
25. Rg3 Rxe4 26. Bxg7 Kh7 27. Rxb7 $1 Rg8 28. Qxh6+ (28. Qd3 $5 Qf4 29. Kg2
Rxg7 30. Rxd7) 28... Qxh6+ 29. Bxh6 Rxg3 30. Kxg3 Bc8 31. Rc7 Kxh6 32. Rxc8

Game 1 in progress, this time seen from the stage | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

In the second game Anand repeated his Rossolimo Sicilian. Probably following more home analysis he won a pawn, but Gelfand clearly had compensation with active pieces and a bishop against a knight. Later in the ending he was even playing for a win for a while, but Anand maintained his extra pawn. With much less time on the clock (basically playing on the increment at some point) Gelfand suddenly allowed his bishop to be exchanged for white's knight, and the resulting R+p vs R was a textbook win – Anand didn't even have to show it.

[Event "World Chess CH #2/4"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2012.05.30"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B30"]
[WhiteElo "2791"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[Annotator "Doe,John"]
[PlyCount "153"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. b3 e5 6. Nxe5 Qe7 7. d4 d6 8.
Nxc6 Qxe4+ 9. Qe2 Qxe2+ 10. Kxe2 Bb7 11. Na5 Bxg2 12. Rg1 Bh3 13. dxc5 dxc5 14.
Nc3 O-O-O 15. Bf4 Bd6 16. Bxd6 Rxd6 17. Rg5 Nf6 18. Rxc5+ Kb8 19. Nc4 Re8+ 20.
Ne3 Ng4 21. Ncd5 Nxe3 22. Nxe3 Bg4+ 23. f3 Bc8 24. Re1 Rh6 25. Rh1 Rhe6 26. Rc3
f5 27. Kd2 f4 28. Nd5 g5 29. Rd3 Re2+ 30. Kc1 Rf2 31. h4 Ree2 32. Rc3 Bb7 33.
Rd1 gxh4 34. Nxf4 Re8 35. Rh1 Rc8 36. Rxc8+ Bxc8 37. Rxh4 Bf5 38. Rh5 Bxc2 39.
Rb5+ Ka8 40. Nd5 a6 41. Ra5 Kb7 42. Nb4 Bg6 43. Nxa6 Rxf3 44. Nc5+ Kb6 45. b4
Rf4 46. a3 Rg4 47. Kd2 h5 48. Nd7+ Kb7 49. Ne5 Rg2+ 50. Kc3 Be8 51. Nd3 h4 52.
Re5 Bg6 53. Nf4 Rg3+ 54. Kd4 Bc2 55. Rh5 Rxa3 56. Rxh4 Rg3 57. Nd5 Rg5 58. b5
Bf5 59. Rh6 Bg4 60. Rf6 Rf5 61. Rb6+ Ka7 62. Rg6 Bf3 63. Rg7+ Kb8 64. Nc3 Bb7
65. Kc4 Bf3 66. Kb4 Bd5 67. Na4 Rf7 68. Rg5 Bf3 69. Nc5 Kc7 70. Rg6 Kd8 71. Ka5
Rf5 $2 (71... Ra7+ 72. Kb6 Rf7) 72. Ne6+ Kc8 73. Nd4 Rf8 74. Nxf3 Rxf3 75. Kb6
Rb3 76. Rg8+ Kd7 77. Rb8 1-0

The third game was arguably the most dramatic, with Gelfand having excellent chances to immediately level the score. "I was lost of course," Anand admitted afterwards. Not only in the middlegame, but also in the rook ending. Just three moves before the end, Gelfand gave away the last win, again with little time on the clock.

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.05.30"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D12"]
[WhiteElo "2738"]
[BlackElo "2780"]
[Annotator "Doe,John"]
[PlyCount "126"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg6 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8. Bd3
Nbd7 9. O-O Bd6 10. h3 O-O 11. Qc2 Qe7 12. Rd1 Rac8 13. c5 Bb8 14. f4 Ne8 15.
Rb1 g5 16. b4 f5 17. b5 gxf4 18. exf4 Nef6 19. bxc6 bxc6 20. Ba6 Rc7 21. Be3
Ne4 22. Rb2 g5 23. Rdb1 (23. Nxe4 $1 fxe4 24. fxg5 e5 25. Qd2 $18) 23... gxf4
24. Bxf4 e5 25. Bxe5 (25. Nxe4) 25... Nxe5 26. Rxb8 $2 (26. Nxe4 $18) 26... Ng6
27. Nxe4 fxe4 28. Qf2 Qg7 29. Kh2 Rcf7 30. Qg3 Nf4 31. R8b3 Qxg3+ 32. Rxg3+ Kh7
33. Rd1 Ne6 34. Be2 Rf2 35. Bg4 Nf4 36. Rb1 Rf7 37. Rb8 Rxa2 38. Rc8 e3 39.
Rxe3 Rxg2+ (39... Nxg2 40. Re2) 40. Kh1 Rd2 41. Rxc6 Ne6 42. Rf3 Rxf3 43. Bxf3
Nxd4 44. Rc7+ Kh6 45. Bxd5 Rc2 46. Be4 Rc3 47. Kh2 Kg5 48. Rd7 Nf3+ 49. Bxf3
Rxf3 50. Rxa7 Rc3 51. Rc7 Kf5 $2 (51... Rc2+) (51... Kf4) (51... Kh4 {all draw.
}) 52. c6 $2 (52. Rc8 $1 {was the only winning move although far from easy -
tablebase gives mate in 51!}) 52... Ke6 $2 (52... Rc2+ {was the only drawing
move.}) 53. h4 $1 {Now White is winning again.} Kd6 54. Rc8 Ra3 55. Kg2 Re3 56.
Kh2 Ra3 57. Kg2 Re3 58. h5 Re5 59. h6 Rh5 60. Rh8 Kxc6 61. Rh7 $4 (61. Kg3) (
61. Kf3 {and even}) (61. Kf2 {win for White.}) 61... Kd6 62. Kg3 Ke6 63. Kg4
Rh1 1/2-1/2

Gelfand agrees to a draw - he missed several wins, the clearest shortly before the end | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

Gelfand had to win the last game with Black, and he actually got an advantage. Anand was "playing too much for a draw", as he said afterwards. However, Gelfand probably chose the wrong plan at some point and as soon as white's pieces became active on the kingside, Anand knew that the worst was behind him.

[Event "WCC Tie Break"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2012.05.30"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[Annotator "Doe,John"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 Ngf6 5. e5 Qa5+ 6. Nc3 Ne4 7. Bd2 Nxc3 8.
Bxd7+ Bxd7 9. Bxc3 Qa6 10. exd6 exd6 11. Qe2+ Qxe2+ 12. Kxe2 f6 13. b3 Bb5+ 14.
Kd2 Bc6 15. Rad1 Kf7 16. Kc1 Be7 17. d5 Bd7 18. Bb2 b5 19. Nd2 a5 20. Rhe1 Rhe8
21. Re3 {Black is slightly better but from this moment the advantage somehow
slips away.} f5 22. Rde1 g5 23. c4 b4 24. g3 Bf8 25. Rxe8 Bxe8 26. Nf3 Kg6 27.
Re6+ Kh5 28. h3 Bf7 29. Rf6 Bg6 30. Re6 Re8 31. Bf6 g4 32. hxg4+ Kxg4 33. Nh2+
Kh3 34. Nf3 f4 35. gxf4 Kg4 36. Ng5 Ra8 37. Re3 Kf5 38. Bb2 a4 39. Ne6 Bh6 40.
Rh3 Bxf4+ 41. Nxf4 Kxf4 42. Bf6 Ra7 43. Re3 Be4 44. Bh4 axb3 45. Bg3+ Kf5 46.
axb3 Ra1+ 47. Kd2 Ra2+ 48. Ke1 Ra6 49. f3 Bb1 50. Kd2 h5 51. Kc1 h4 52. Bxh4
Kf4 53. Bg5+ Kxg5 54. Kxb1 Kf4 55. Re6 Kxf3 56. Kb2 1/2-1/2

Here are a few quotes from Anand at the press conference:

It was incredibly tense. Right now probably the only feeling you have is relief. I think I'm even too tense to be happy but I'm really relieved.

I would say that my nerves held out better. I simply held on for dear life.

The problem with such a tight match is that every mistake has a much higher value than in a match where there are mistakes going back and forth in every game. In a match where there were so few chances for me it was really an incredibly heavy blow to lose game 7. I cannot remember such a black day. I couldn't sleep. That day I really thought I'd blown the match.

Vishy Anand | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

More comments by Anand are included in our video above.

Gelfand said:

I would say that it was an equal match, and that I was better sometimes, for example in the second game. I think I had more than enough compensation for the pawn and good chances. Probably the problem of the whole tiebreak was that I was behind on the clock for most of the time. In such a situation it is sometimes difficult to find the best move on the spot, which happened with my blunders in games 2 and 3. Also in game 4 I had the advantage but because of the same problem, I failed to convert it.

Boris Gelfand | Photo Alexey Yushenkov

On Monday Hans-Walter Schmitt, a good friend of Anand and organizer of over a dozen of strong rapid chess events in Mainz, said that "Vishy must be the favorite in the tiebreak. He won almost all of my tournaments!" And indeed, Anand, who owns an apartment in Germany right next to Schmitt and who spent his last weeks before the match preparing right there, proved that Schmitt had predicted right.

The winning team: Peter Heine Nielsen, Radek Wojtaszek, Surya Ganguly, Eric van Reem, Hans-Walter Schmitt (back), Aruna Anand, Vishy Anand, Rustam Kasimdzhanov (front) | Photo thanks to Mate in Moscow

Anand pocketed approximately US $ 1.4 million (1,13 million Euro) -- 55% of the total prize fund of USD 2.55 million. Gelfand won approximately US $ 1.15 million (92,700 Euro).

According to the latest FIDE schedule, Vishy Anand will defend his title in October-November 2013 against the winner of the next Candidates tournament, to be held in March 2013.

Match score




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