World Championship: Anand levels the score as Gelfand blunders his queen (VIDEO)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Due to a tactical oversight by Boris Gelfand, Vishy Anand needed only 17 moves to level the score in the World Championship match in Moscow, Russia. On Monday the World Champion played 3.f3, just like in game 3, after which the challenger went for a Benoni-like structure with 3...c5 instead of the Grünfeld. The game quickly got quite sharp, but suddenly the Israeli chose the wrong path and completely missed that his queen would be trapped. The score is 4-4 with four games to go.

EventWorld 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)
More informationRead all info here
VideosChessVibes on YouTube

Anand returns to 1.d4, but Gelfand won't play the Grünfeld

If we don't take into account the second match game Fischer-Spassky, Reykjavik 1972 it was the shortest decisive game ever played in a World Championship match. Right after the opening Boris Gelfand miscalculated, and got his queen trapped on h1. He could have saved her majesty by developing his queen's knight, but his position would have been lost anyway and so he duly resigned.

For a moment the State Tretyakov Gallery was in total shock, and the journalists in the press room couldn't believe their eyes. Vishy Anand had only needed 17 moves to level the score, breaking the previous record of 19 moves in Steinitz-Zukertort (20), 1886.

At the press conference, which started a bit later than usual because the players were taken away for drug testing, Gelfand admitted that he had simply missed Anand's last move 17.Qf2.

I had to calculate a lot of lines, and I miscalculated.

Anand had seen the idea quite early.

I had seen sometime before that it was a blunder. I think I even saw this when I played exf5.

We've alreay looked at some of the online commentaries and it's striking to see how everyone, blinded by the engine's evaluations, fails to explain the blunder from a human perspective. Hungarian grandmaster Peter Leko, who was giving commentary on games 7 and 8 for the official website, told us:

First of all I don't think it's a tactical idea. It's just an accident which suddenly happens because it's completely unexpected, nobody thinks of this. For sure the computer points it out long in advance and that's why everybody thinks it's simple, but no. Black's problem was that after White's g4 he had an incredible wide range of moves. For example he could take on b1 and move his knight, and Black is fine. However, by that point Gelfand was probably very motivated, he was looking for more. Then he saw ...Re8+ and the motif with Qf6 attacking f3, and after Black takes on h1 White's attack on the kingside is not winning. Then, there is also Kc2 for White but I think Gelfand was planning to sacrifice an exchange there. So he was calculating all these complicated lines... I was explaining this to the audience already half an hour before it happened, and it all had a very logical consequence. It was very human to think like this.

The continuation of Leko's explanation is included in our video:

As the video also shows, Gelfand was amazingly professional during the press conference, answering questions the same as always, and even joking a bit here and there.

The match has really come to life now, with two decisive games after six draws. Anand was asked whether he had a different mindset.

I would like to think I play each game hard. It is true, sometimes it happens like that. The last two games were not same as before; they were emotionally tough. I don't know if I (knowingly) played aggressively today. It was a consequence of this position and I knew I had to fight hard. If I played well, I'm happy.


On Wednesday the match resumes with game 9, in which Gelfand will play with the white pieces again.

[Event "WCh 2012"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.05.21"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Anand, V."]
[Black "Gelfand, B."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[Annotator "Doe,John"]
[PlyCount "33"]
[EventDate "2012.05.11"]

1. d4 ({In game 5 Anand tried} 1. e4) 1... Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 ({Anand repeates
what is "one of the most ambitious ways against the Gruenfeld" (Leko). The
first match game went} 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5
8. Bb5+ Nc6 9. d5 Qa5) 3... c5 ({No Gruenfeld this time. Game 3 had gone} 3...
d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 e5 9. d5 c6) 4. d5 d6 5.
e4 Bg7 6. Ne2 $5 (6. Nc3 O-O 7. Be3 e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. cxd5 {would be more
standard, but Anand is trying to profit from Black's move order.}) 6... O-O 7.
Nec3 {That was the idea. White's king's knight often doesn't have a good
square in these structures. The b1 knight has a better future.} Nh5 $5 $146 {
A provocative novelty.} (7... e6 8. Be3 Na6 9. Be2 Nc7 10. a4 Nfe8 11. Qd2 f5
12. O-O Nf6 13. e5 $5 {Sadler,M (2667)-Tkachiev,V (2634)/Enghien les Bains 1999
}) 8. Bg5 $5 {Trying to profit from the fact that ...e6 hasn't been played yet.
Peter Leko liked this move.} ({Anand described} 8. g4 {as "rather committal".})
8... Bf6 9. Bxf6 {Leko felt this was inaccurate and in Black's favour, because
of ...exf6 and ...f5.} exf6 10. Qd2 f5 11. exf5 Bxf5 12. g4 {At the press
conference Anand pointed out that this move isn't so much a form of aggression
being 4-3 down in the match. "White has to gain space like this."} Re8+ ({
"Black has an incredible wide range of moves." (Leko) One option was} 12...
Bxb1 13. Rxb1 Nf6 {"with a comfortable game" (Leko).}) 13. Kd1 Bxb1 14. Rxb1
Qf6 $2 {The logical follow-up of the sequence that started with 12...Re8+, but
it's based on a miscalculation.} 15. gxh5 $1 ({As Leko explained, probably
Gelfand first calculated} 15. gxh5 Qxf3+ 16. Kc2 Qxh1 17. Bd3 Qf3 18. hxg6 hxg6
19. Rf1 Qe3 {and then he saw that after}) (15. Kc2 Nf4 16. Ne4 {he has} Rxe4 $1
17. fxe4 Nd7 {with good compensation.}) 15... Qxf3+ 16. Kc2 Qxh1 17. Qf2 $1 ({
When playing 12...Re8+ Gelfand had only looked at} 17. Qf4 {and at first Anand
had the same thought, but then he "refined" it to Qf2, already when
calculating 11.exf5.}) ({Strictly speaking Black's queen isn't trapped,
because after} 17. Qf2 Nc6 {White cannot move his bishop from f1 because of 18.
..Nd4+ (or first 18...Qf3).} {However, after} 18. dxc6 Qxc6 19. Bg2 Qd7 20. Nd5
{White is winning anyway.}) 1-0

Match score



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