World Championship G12 – Draw in 22 moves

5/28/2012 – It has been an underwhelming match, but there can be no peace, as the rules will not allow it. After a very strange game, Anand entered an endgame a pawn up, and although he was slightly better and Gelfand had 16 minutes for 18 moves, they drew! This means that the classical world champion will be decided by rapid games, and possibly blitz. Full report with GM commentary, pictures and videos.

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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%).

Round twelve – Draw in 22 moves

The twelfth and final classic game of the match epitomized this encounter in many ways.  Entering the match, in spite of the World Champion’s distinct lack of form in the previous months, it was presumed that he had been saving his best for the upcoming battle and would steamroll Boris when the time came. The time came, the time passed, and the impending massacre never took place. In fact, with few exceptions, the match has been lacking not so much great technical qualities as great fighting spirit.


Waiting for the start of game twelve: e4 or not e4, that is the question


1.e4 it is, something Anand has played for most of his career


Gelfand replies with another Scilian Rossolimo...


... and tries to divine what his opponent intends to do

This isn’t to say the twelfth game was boring by any means: it was not. It just should never have ended in 22 moves. After an interesting tussle in which Gelfand gave up a pawn for compensation in a massive center and bishop pair, one that Kramnik even favored for Black, Anand managed to come out of it into an endgame a pawn up. Though his winning chances were minimal, to be fair, his opponent was down to sixteen minutes to make eighteen moves, and it was entirely riskless to press on and see what happened. Vishy’s justification in the post-game conference was that it was equal and simplified, but that is hardly the question. The real question is: where was the harm in playing on? The only certainty is that he will not win if he does not even try.

When queried about the lack of entertainment, Gelfand became slightly defensive, replying that the commentators should do their job in explaining to the uninformed audience the innuendos of match play. If only he knew… since names such as Kasparov, Karpov, Kramnik, Grischuk, and Svidler, have not exactly been siding with the players.

When the players finally shook hands, Kramnik, expert commentator of the day at the official site, was fairly shocked. His only explanation was that Anand was wilting under the pressure, and just wanted it over with as quickly as possible. This does not bode well for the upcoming rapid and blitz games where the tension will be at its highest.


In the post-game conference, GM Ian Rogers asked the players what color they would choose for the
Armageddon. With a possible fourteen speed chess games, we hope this concern never materializes.

One thing is clear: the title is still up for grabs. The tiebreaks are on Wednesday at 12:00h Moscow time (00:00h CEST, 04 AM New York) and will consist of four 25mins+10s rapid games, then five pairs of 5min + 3s blitz, then sudden death. After that rock, paper, and scissors? Actually this could be the first World Championship with more tiebreak than regular games.

Game commentary by GM Gilberto Milos

Game analysis by Malcolm Pein

IM Malcolm Pein comments on the games on TWIC and live during each game via Twitter #telegraphchess.


GM Robert Fontaine and his video producer Gérard Demuydt are in Moscow, producing video reports and interviews after each round for the French chess magazine Europe Echecs. We are grateful to receive the reports very soon after the end of the games, so that we are able to publish them on the same day. It is also great to catch a glimpse of the many interesting personalities that visit the World Championship.


Tiebreaks forecast by Daniel King

Video commentary Game 12 by Daniel King

Video commentary by Andrew Martin


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.

 

All pictures by Anastasya Karlovich


Scoreboard

 Players
Rtng
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Tot.
Perf.
+/–
 Vishy Anand
2791
½
½
½
½
½
½
0
1
½
½
½
½
6.0
2727
–11
 Boris Gelfand  
2727
½
½
½
½
½
½
1
0
½
½
½
½
6.0
2791
+11

Remaining schedule

Days of play, with live commentators on Playchess.com. Note that the tiebreak games start at 12:00h Moscow time (10:00h CEST, 04 a.m. New York) or here in your location.

Tues May 29 Rest day  
Wed May 30 Tiebreaks  
Thurs May 31 Closing  

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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