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Anand Hits Back Against Gelfand

Anand Hits Back Against Gelfand

After losing in game 7 of his world championship defence against Boris Gelfand, Vishy Anand needed a quick response in game 8, but no-one expected it to be 17-moves quick! 

Gelfand blundered on move 14 and resigned when his queen was trapped just 3 moves later.  The game was the quickest decisive game in World Chess Championship history!

Anand had reverted to 1.d4 and no doubt expected to face another Gruenfeld defence, but after 3.f3 Gelfand opted for a Benoni type structure with 3...c5, transposing into a kind of King's Indian Samisch.

The players left theory quite early and on move 11 Gelfand blundered with Qf6. Anand accepted Gelfand's resignation after 17. Qf2 trapped Gelfand's queen.


Name  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pts
Vishy Anand ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 . . . . 4
Boris Gelfand ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 . . . . 4



Ian Nepomniachtchi (centre) and Peter Leko (right) thought Anand was in trouble...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Peter Leko Ian Nepomniachtchi.jpg


...but Leko, Nepo and Gelfand had all missed Qf2, trapping the queen.

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Vishy Anand.jpg


Realisation dawned for the challenger...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Boris Gelfand.jpg


...who searched for an answer while Vishy waited off-stage

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Boris Gelfand resigns.jpg


Gelfand resigned by stopping the clock, and the match is level at 4-4

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 8 Boris Gelfand stops the clocks.jpg


What a difference a day makes! After finally breaking through in game 7 yesterday, Gelfand's blunder today allowed Vishy Anand to equal the scores immediately in a humiliatingly quick debacle.

Tomorrow is another rest day, so game 9 is on Wednesday 23 May when Gelfand will have the white pieces, and will hope to put today's disaster behind him.



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.

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