WCh Tiebreak: Anand draws final game, retains title!

5/30/2012 – The fourth game of the tiebreak brought a tangible advantage for Challenger Boris Gelfand, who needed to win with the black pieces to stay in the match. But World Champion Vishy Anand kept things under control and found a very neat solution to the problems. With a draw the World Champion won the tiebreak 2.5-1.5 and keeps his title. Full report with photos, videos and GM analysis.

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The World Chess Championship 2012 is being staged in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, between the current World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India and the winner of the Candidates tournament Boris Gelfand of Israel. The match is over twelve games and lasts from May 11 to 30. The prize fund is US $2.55 million, the winner getting $1.53 million (60%), the loser $1.02 million (40%).

NIIT report: Anand wins tiebreaks, retains World Championship title

Reigning World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand defeated Challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel in the rapid tie-breaks 2.5-1.5 to win the World Chess Championship for the fifth time. This is also a hat-trick in classical matches for Anand, who won the tournament format in 2007 in Mexico. When FIDE switched to match format he defeated Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 in Bonn, Germany, and then won against Veselin Topalv in 2010 in Sofia, Bulgaria. This win against Gelfand is his third match win in a row.

Today when it mattered most, the "Speed King” was at his tactical best be it in attack and defence. “It was a tough match and I am too tense now to feel anything more than a sense of relief,” said the 42-year-old after the game.

Speaking on Anand’s win at Moscow, Mr Rajendra S Pawar, Chairman of sponsor NIIT, said: "I heartily congratulate NIIT MindChampion Viswanathan Anand for retaining the World Chess Champion title. Anand’s fifth World Chess Championship win- is a new FIDE record and a milestone in the history of chess. Anand’s fighting spirit, perseverance and determination to overcome any challenge will surely inspire youngsters in India to embrace the game of chess. NIIT remains committed to promote chess in schools in India, through the NIIT MindChampions' Academy, our joint initiative with Anand.”

The 12-game match had resulted in a 6-6 deadlock, and the tie-breaks were needed to decide the title. In the first game of the rapid, where each player had 25 minutes on the clock with a ten second increment for every move, Anand defended nicely with the black pieces, once again opting for the Slav Defence. The game ended in a draw after 32 moves.

Anand playing 6.Nxe5 in game two of the tiebreak

Boris Gelfand about to play Pd7-d6 on his seventh move...

... and pondering his tenth move, Bc8-b7, in this decisive game

However there was excitement with Anand wielding white pieces in the second game. It was once again a Sicilian Rossolimo which saw Anand playing a novelty on the seventh move. Once again the queens were exchanged rather early, and thereafter it was a tactical battle between the minor pieces. Anand did appear better and won a pawn in the middle-game. Thereafter in an intense battle Anand played fast and Gelfand found himself on the losing side after 77 moves.

Anand looked in trouble in the third game but wriggled out with a draw. The Indian GM, who needed just a draw in the fourth game, played solidly to earn the vital half point after 56 moves.

About NIIT MindChampions’ Academy

NIIT MindChampions’ Academy is a joint initiative by NIIT, a leading Global Talent Development Corporation and Asia’s largest IT Trainer, and World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, to initiate young minds into the world of chess. Established in 2002, the Academy has fostered over 11,000 chess clubs with more than one million students as its members, in schools across India. GM Viswanathan Anand has personally travelled across India, spreading the message for enhancing thinking skills by learning chess and motivating the school students. NIIT Mind Champions’ Academy conducts an annual event for the academy’s members. The academy provides teaching learning materials on chess, which includes computer based tutorials, video based mentoring by Viswanathan Anand, chess software, puzzles and a database of games.

NIIT Nguru is a smarter education solution for schools that utilizes appropriate technology as backbone and encompasses all the possible components required to make the school smarter. NGuru enables the school to move to a higher plane by introducing innovations in the Computer Lab, Subject lab, classrooms and administration. For more information, please write to nguru@niit.com or TeamAnand@niit.com visit www.niitnguru.com.

All photos by Anastasya Karlovich


 Vishy Anand
 Boris Gelfand  

Tiebreak games analysed by GM Gilberto Milos

[Event "World Chess Championship tiebreaks"] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.05.30"] [Round "2"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B30"] [WhiteElo "2791"] [BlackElo "2727"] [Annotator "Gilberto Milos"] [PlyCount "153"] [EventDate "2011.10.25"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. b3 e5 6. Nxe5 Qe7 7. d4 {The novelty.} d6 8. Nxc6 Qxe4+ 9. Qe2 Qxe2+ 10. Kxe2 Bb7 11. Na5 Bxg2 12. Rg1 Bh3 13. dxc5 dxc5 14. Nc3 {Anand's new move has worked and White is better.} O-O-O 15. Bf4 Bd6 {Interesting decision. Black should take care against Nb5.} 16. Bxd6 Rxd6 17. Rg5 (17. Rxg7 Nf6 {with the idea of Re8 attacking white's king.}) 17... Nf6 18. Rxc5+ Kb8 19. Nc4 Re8+ 20. Ne3 Ng4 {Black's counterplay is against White's king and the isolated pawn on h2.} 21. Ncd5 Nxe3 22. Nxe3 Bg4+ 23. f3 Bc8 24. Re1 Rh6 {Black has enough compensation for the pawn and the position is equal.} 25. Rh1 Rhe6 26. Rc3 f5 27. Kd2 f4 28. Nd5 g5 29. Rd3 Re2+ 30. Kc1 Rf2 31. h4 Ree2 (31... g4 {was necessary to keep the balance.}) 32. Rc3 Bb7 33. Rd1 $1 {Suddenly White is better again because Black's king is in danger. Time trouble is also an important factor here.} gxh4 34. Nxf4 Re8 35. Rh1 Rc8 36. Rxc8+ Bxc8 37. Rxh4 Bf5 38. Rh5 $1 Bxc2 39. Rb5+ Ka8 40. Nd5 a6 41. Ra5 Kb7 42. Nb4 Bg6 43. Nxa6 Rxf3 44. Nc5+ Kb6 45. b4 {It's difficult to say if this is winning but certainly White has chances. Boris played very well this part of the game and managed to hold.} 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 {This should be a draw but even in a match for the world title a knight is very strong in time trouble.} 57. Nd5 Rg5 58. b5 Bf5 59. Rh6 Bg4 (59... Bg6 {seems better cutting off White's rook.}) 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 {The decisive mistake. Black's position is unpleasant and very difficult to defend in time trouble. The correct move was} (71... Bh1 {and with precise play, Black should draw. Of course, with seconds left, precise play is a tall order.}) 72. Ne6+ $1 Kc8 73. Nd4 Rf8 74. Nxf3 Rxf3 75. Kb6 {Black's king will be expulsed from the b and c files and the pawn will queen.} Rb3 76. Rg8+ Kd7 77. Rb8 {Black resigned. The plan is simple: White will play Ka7-b6-Kb7-Rh8 with an easy win.} 1-0

[Event "World Chess Championship tiebreak"] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.05.30"] [Round "3"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2791"] [Annotator "Gilberto Milos"] [PlyCount "126"] [EventDate "2011.10.25"] 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 (10... dxc4 11. Bxc4 Nb6 {was played twice in Carlsen-Gelfand and Boris lost both games.}) 11. Qc2 Qe7 12. Rd1 Rac8 13. c5 Bb8 14. f4 (14. b4 e5 {and Black would free himself.}) 14... Ne8 15. Rb1 g5 16. b4 f5 (16... a6) 17. b5 gxf4 18. exf4 {White is now clearly better.} Nef6 19. bxc6 bxc6 20. Ba6 Rc7 {A very strange position for the rook but} ({after} 20... Rce8 21. Bb7 {wins the pawn.}) 21. Be3 Ne4 22. Rb2 g5 23. Rdb1 gxf4 24. Bxf4 e5 25. Bxe5 Nxe5 26. Rxb8 $2 ({Completely focused on b8, Gelfand misses} 26. Nxe4 $1 {which wins immediately after} fxe4 {The mistake is actually understandable, since under normal circumstances this would be a positional horror, but tactical considerations change that.} (26... Nc4 27. Bxc4 fxe4 28. Ba6) 27. dxe5) 26... Ng6 {Black has managed to avoid immediate defeat, though he is still worse.} 27. Nxe4 fxe4 28. Qf2 {A good move, taking advantage of the pin on the 8th rank. White is only better though, and no longer winning.} Qg7 29. Kh2 Rcf7 30. Qg3 Nf4 31. R8b3 {Gelfand starts to play strange moves, no doubt a combination of nerves and time trouble. More natural was} (31. Rxf8+ Rxf8 32. Qxg7+ Kxg7 33. Rb7+ Kh6 34. Rc7 Rf6 $14 {and White is slightly better.}) 31... Qxg3+ 32. Rxg3+ Kh7 33. Rd1 $6 Ne6 34. Be2 Rf2 35. Bg4 Nf4 36. Rb1 Rf7 37. Rb8 Rxa2 38. Rc8 e3 39. Rxe3 Rxg2+ 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+ $2 { exchanging the minor pieces is a serious mistake similar to the one in the decisive second game. The rook ending is probably lost.} (48... Ne6 49. c6 a5 50. Ra7 Nd4 51. Rxa5+ Kf4 {is a draw.}) 49. Bxf3 Rxf3 50. Rxa7 Rc3 51. Rc7 Kf5 52. c6 Ke6 53. h4 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 {An incredible mistake! While it is true, Gelfand had less than a minute left on his clock, the increment per move would ensure he never actually ran out of time.} ({White could have won with} 61. Kg3 Rh1 (61... Kd6 62. h7) 62. Kg4 Kb7 63. Kg5 Rg1+ 64. Kf6 Rf1+ 65. Kg6 Rg1+ 66. Kh7 {followed by Rg8-Kg7 and the pawn will queen.}) 61... Kd6 62. Kg3 Ke6 63. Kg4 Rh1 {and black king reaches the pawn in time.} 1/2-1/2

GM Daniel King analysis of the first game in the tie-break

GM Daniel King analysis of the second game in the tie-break

GM Daniel King analysis of the third game in the tie-break

GM Daniel King analysis of the fourth game in the tie-break

IM Andrew Martin analysis of the decisive fifth game

Video report by Vijay Kumar for Doordarshan Indian TV Network

Video stream of the round (from the official World Championship site)

Once again the Russian organisers are providing unprecedented coverage,
with a HD video stream of the action and commentary by visiting grandmasters.

Pre-Tiebreak news

The above e-paper spread in the newspaper Mid-Day, Mumbai, was written by our friend and colleague Manisha Mohite. To do so just click here or on the image above for a high-res version of the story.

 Tiebreak games

Rapid game one: The first rapid chess games of the World Championship tiebreaks in Moscow was exciting and super-sharp. Vishy Anand, playing with the black pieces, gained a considerable advantage but missed a possibly game-winning continuation. The game ended as a tense 32-move draw.

Rapid game two: The second rapid chess game was a super-sharp see-saw affair, with the World Champion gaining clear winning chances twice, but being foiled twice by a precise and accurate challenger. However Boris Gelfand used too much time on his clock and blundered and Anand won in 77 moves. He now leads with 1.5-0.5. GM Daniel King is commenting on Playchess.

Rapid game three: The third game was yet another super-sharp piece of tactical fireworks, with Challenger gaining a decisive advantage and then relinquishing it in face of imaginative defence by the World Champion. In addition Boris Gelfand ran down very badly on time, and in the end had to concede a draw. He now needs to win the fourth game with black to stay in the match.

Rapid game four: The fourth game of the tiebreak brought a tangible advantage for Challenger Boris Gelfand, who needed to win with the black pieces to stay in the match. But World Champion Vishy Anand kept things under control and found a very neat solution to the problems he faced and went on to draw. With that the World Champion won the tiebreak 2.5-1.5 and retains his title.

Replay all four games on our JavaScript board


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