Superb Gelfand Frustrates Anand
Vishy Anand had his third game with the white pieces today, and for the third time he failed to breach the defences of his Israeli challenger.
The game started promisingly when Anand switched to 1.e4 and instead of responding with his usual solid Petroff defence, Gelfand chose the Sveshnikov Sicilian.
Gelfand had taken the champion by surprise with his opening preparation, and continued rattling off moves quickly in the complex position while Anand had to be more circumspect.
After 27 moves the result was not in doubt, and the players agreed a draw. Vishy Anand now faces two games in a row with the black pieces. This would be the perfect opportunity for the challenger to strike.
The longer the match goes without a decisive game, the more the tension rises, as the first player to break the deadlock will be in a very strong position to take the title.
...while Joel Lautier (right) takes his turn in the commentary room...
...and we see the first 1.e4 of the match...and a Sicilian!
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):
|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.