Gelfand Comes Out Fighting In Game 1

Gelfand Comes Out Fighting In Game 1

| 39 | Chess Event Coverage

The first game of a big match can often be something of a quiet affair, but that was emphatically not the case today.  Boris Gelfand took the fight to champion Vishy Anand by playing the double-edged Grunfeld Defence in game one of their match for the World Chess Championship.

Anand appeared unfazed by this opening choice, which Gelfand has hardly ever played before, and chose a daring response himself with 9.d5!?  Gelfand grabbed the a2 pawn with his Queen, forcing the champion to prove he had enough compensation.

A complicated position resulted, and Anand sank deep into thought after 13...Qa5, with many commentators preferring the Israeli's position.

Anand on a sticky wicket? The champion was under pressure...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 1 vishy anand.jpg

. the packed audience watched behind a giant glass screen...

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 1 playing hall.jpg


...and Nigel Short (right) provided entertaining commentary with host Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam

WCC Anand v Gelfand game 1 nigel short commentary.jpg



A good start and a moral victory for the challenger Boris Gelfand, who will have the white pieces for game 2 tomorrow (12 May).

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.

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