World Championship – Tiebreak preview and prediction

by ChessBase
5/29/2012 – Tomorrow, Wednesday, at 12:00h (High Noon) Moscow time, the tiebreak games for the World Championship begin – four rapid games, five pairs of blitz, and then if necessary Armageddon. Who has the better chances? GM Daniel King examins this question – with annotated game examples. We also bring you an pictorial report on the many interesting personalities in Moscow.

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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 – Tiebreak preview

We start with two typical portraits of the World Champion and his Challenger, provided by our collegues in Moscow, Anastasya Karlovich and Alexey Yushenkov. They have been providing us with extraordinary visuals on the match, which we share with you in the course of this rest day report.



Anand vs. Gelfand tiebreak forecast by Daniel King

Aronian and Kramnik on the match

This is what Armenian GM Levon Aronian had to say about game twelve in Moscow:

[Event "WCh 2012"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.05.26"] [Round "11"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E54"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2799"] [PlyCount "48"] [EventDate "2012.05.11"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O dxc4 (7... Nc6 8. a3 Ba5 9. Ne2 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Bb6 11. dxc5 Qxd1 12. Rxd1 Bxc5 13. b4 Be7 14. Bb2 Bd7 15. Rac1 Rfd8 16. Ned4 Nxd4 17. Nxd4 Ba4 18. Bb3 Bxb3 19. Nxb3 Rxd1+ 20. Rxd1 Rc8 21. Kf1 Kf8 22. Ke2 Ne4 23. Rc1 Rxc1 24. Bxc1 f6 25. Na5 Nd6 26. Kd3 Bd8 27. Nc4 Bc7 28. Nxd6 Bxd6 29. b5 Bxh2 30. g3 h5 31. Ke2 h4 32. Kf3 Ke7 33. Kg2 hxg3 34. fxg3 Bxg3 35. Kxg3 Kd6 36. a4 Kd5 37. Ba3 Ke4 38. Bc5 a6 39. b6 f5 40. Kh4 f4 41. exf4 Kxf4 42. Kh5 Kf5 43. Be3 Ke4 44. Bf2 Kf5 45. Bh4 e5 46. Bg5 e4 47. Be3 Kf6 48. Kg4 Ke5 49. Kg5 Kd5 50. Kf5 a5 51. Bf2 g5 52. Kxg5 Kc4 53. Kf5 Kb4 54. Kxe4 Kxa4 55. Kd5 Kb5 56. Kd6 {1-0 (56) Spassky,B (2660)-Fischer,R (2785) Reykjavik 1972}) 8. Bxc4 Bd7 {[#] Aronian: That's a very interesting move from Vishy. I've never seen it before, but I've got a sneaky suspicion that something similar was played during the first game of the Spassky-Fischer match in Reykjavik. The one where Fischer went h2. I can't remember the exact sequence of moves, but something tells me that that's what it is. It's an extremely interesting move and you can tell it's the World Championship, that it's the strongest players in the world out there, and that they have a great deal of very serious ideas.} 9. a3 Ba5 10. Qe2 Bc6 11. Rd1 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nbd7 13. Bd3 Qa5 14. c4 cxd4 15. exd4 Qh5 16. Bf4 Rac8 17. Ne5 Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Rfd8 20. a4 Ne4 21. Rd3 f6 22. Bf4 Be8 23. Rb3 Rxd4 24. Be3 Rd7 1/2-1/2

Aronian under siege: the world's number two was a favourite consultant of the media

Aronian continues: "It’s a really interesting match. A lot of unexpected things have happened, like the openings for one. I never thought that Gelfand would play the kind of variations that he’s been playing here. And I’ve had the opportunity to see the match live, as I’m passing through Moscow at the moment." And in reply to the question " Do you agree with Kasparov that for the first time in the modern history of the game the world championship will not be decided by the strongest two players in the world?" he says: "I don’t think that’s true. The player that made it through a very tough Candidates’ Tournament and the player that has held the title for so long are, by rights, the strongest players in the world." We remind you: Levon himself is currently ranked number two in the world.

Vladimir Kramnik chatting GMs Yury Dokhyan, long-time second of Garry Kasparov,
and Joel Lautier, once France's top player, and now a successful businessman in Russia

Kramnik was asked by journalists to comment on the opinion that his recent match in Zurich against Aronian was full of excitement, while the one in Moscow has been rather boring. His reply: "How can you compare an exhibition match – no matter how seriously it was taken – to a match for the World Championship?! It’s the same as comparing an international friendly in football with the final of the European Championships! It’s two completely different things. Of course it’s easier to play interesting, attractive and “sexy” chess when you don’t have the consequences of the result constantly hanging over your head. If you want to compare this match to something, compare it with previous world championship matches, and not with my match against Levon.

Let me show you: Vlad Kramnik analysing with Max Dlugy (right) in the press centre

Seriously, this is our entire lunch? Spanish journalist and chess organiser Leontxo
Garcia with the chief organiser of the World Championship in Moscow Ilya Levitov

The main sponsor of the event, Andrey Filatov, talking to Russian journalist Evgeny Atarov

When former World Championship Challenger Peter Leko (above right, chatting with French reporter GM Robert Fontaine) arrived in Moscow, after game six, he remarked in the press centre: "Hasn't this been an absolutely fascinating match!" Can you guess what his next remark was? "Why is everyone looking at me at me so strangely?"

Ukrainian super-talents: Sergey Karjakin, youngest grandmaster in chess history,
and Kateryna Lahno, who is now married to Bob Fontaine and lives in Paris.

Ten years ago: Sergey had a 2556 rating, Kateryna 2417. Serge is sixteen days younger than her.

Czech chess organiser Pavel Matocha, who wears this hairdo
even when he is dealing with the heads of states

Veterans: FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos (Greece)
and Continental President for Americas Jorge Vega (Cuba)

Nikolai Lugansky is a Russian pianist and famous prodigy. At the age of five, before he had even started to learn the piano, he astonished his parents when he sat down at the piano and played a Beethoven sonata by ear, which he had just heard a relative play. If you watch him play – there is plenty of material on YouTube – one question springs to mind: how can anyone be so good at anything?

Nikolai Lugansky explains Rachmaninov's third piano concerto (very enlightening – maximize for full enjoyment)

We have spent hours – literally – listening to Nikolai explaining classical music and are big fans.

Vadim Repin and Nikolai Lugansky having fun with Paganini (Carnival of Venice)

All photos by Anastasya Karlovich and Alexey Yushenkov

Remaining schedule

Days of play, with live commentators on Note that the tiebreak games start at 12:00h Moscow time (10:00h CEST) or here in your location. Yes, that right: 01:00 a.m. in San Jose, 04:00 a.m. in New York, 05:00 in Rio de Janeiro – sorry for the inconvenience for all our American friends.

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


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server 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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