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Anand vs Gelfand, 2012
Moscow, Russia

The World Chess Championship 2012 was a match between the defending world champion Viswanathan Anand of India and challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel, winner of the World Championship Candidates Knock-Out Tournament.1

 Vishy Gelfand 2012
  Ready to start game number four.

The match took place from May 10 to 30, 2012, in the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The prize fund was approximately 2.5 million US dollars.

The match format was 12 games, with the first game on May 11. The normal FIDE tiebreak protocol was in place: should the match be tied 6-6 tiebreaks would first employing rapid games, then blitz games, and finally an Armageddon game if needed. The time controls for the classical games was 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, add 60 minutes after move 40, add 15 minutes and the increment +30s/move after move 60.

The first half of the match saw the players tied after six fairly short draws. Gelfand drew first blood in game seven, in which Anand made some provocative or inaccurate moves and Gelfand held a commanding position. The very next day, revenge was had in game eight when Gelfand got his queen trapped on move 17--the shortest loss in WCC history! Then after four more draws, the match headed into overtime. Remarkably, only one of the first 12 games (#9) had lasted long enough to reach the time control at move 40.

Known for his prowess at rapid play, Anand was the clear favorite going into tiebreaks. After a see-saw victory in the second rapid game, and two more complicated draws, Viswanathan Anand defended his title once again.

click on a game number to replay game 12345678910111213141516
Gelfand½½½½½½10½½½½½0½½
Anand½½½½½½01½½½½½1½½

FINAL SCORE:  Anand 8½;  Gelfand 7½
Reference: game collection Anand-Gelfand WCC 2012

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #8     Anand vs Gelfand, 2012     1-0
    · Game #7     Gelfand vs Anand, 2012     1-0
    · Game #9     Gelfand vs Anand, 2012     1/2-1/2

FOOTNOTES

  1. World Chess Championship 2012, Wikipedia
    2 The Times of India

 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Anand vs Gelfand ½-½242012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD85 Grunfeld
2. Gelfand vs Anand ½-½252012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
3. Anand vs Gelfand ½-½372012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
4. Gelfand vs Anand ½-½342012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Anand vs Gelfand ½-½272012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
6. Gelfand vs Anand ½-½292012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. Gelfand vs Anand 1-0382012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. Anand vs Gelfand 1-0172012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
9. Gelfand vs Anand ½-½492012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
10. Anand vs Gelfand ½-½252012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipB30 Sicilian
11. Gelfand vs Anand ½-½242012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
12. Anand vs Gelfand ½-½222012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipB30 Sicilian
13. Gelfand vs Anand ½-½322012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Anand vs Gelfand 1-0772012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipB30 Sicilian
15. Gelfand vs Anand ½-½632012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Anand vs Gelfand ½-½562012Anand - Gelfand World Chess ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 194 OF 194 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-11-12  7he5haman: This may sound like a rather naive comment, but:

As far as I am aware, none of the players who played in the qualifier complained that the format was silly, etc., <even after they were knocked out of it>.

Why then should the rest of us complain? If it was good enough for the competitors both during and after their participation in it, then what we think really pales into insignificance.

Aug-11-12  Kinghunt: <7he5haman> Can you imagine how it would be if Aronian and Kramnik complained about the format after being knocked out? No, the only chance they had to complain was before the event. Also, GM Sutovsky spoke with them before the event, and the majority stated they would like to see the matches made longer. Gelfand, however, wanted to keep the short mini-matches, and as contracts had already been signed, no changes could be made so long as any single person objected. Most of the players did not like the format, but simply accepted it as the best they were going to be able to get, and once they agreed to it, there was no point in complaining, especially after they were knocked out.
Aug-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  PinnedPiece: What kind of champion, or one who wants to be thought of as champion material, would say "I need many many chances to prove I am the best. And if I am not proved the best, then I wasn't given enough chances."

It's up to the chess world to ensure the funding and fairness of the matches...it seems to me that a decent contender can't be expected to do so.

I would redo the entire nature of the championship cycle, myself, with the current "champion" but one of the participants from the outset.

.

Aug-11-12  csmath: The format is the way it is because there is no money for anything better.

The championship match was the way it was because there were no better players to play it.

Aug-11-12  Kinghunt: <csmath> There is money for more. Aren't FIDE/Agon about to stage a huge Grand Prix circuit? Turn two of those events into Candidates Quarterfinals and Semifinals, then change the 14 round Candidates we already have into a final match, and you're done. There is money for a better Championship system - it just has to be used where it matters instead of on an extravagant Grand Prix.
Aug-26-12  shivamshukl280: hye will anyone play a game
Sep-12-12  Ulhumbrus: Anand said that people had underrated Gelfand and that Anand had played as strongly as Kasparov had played at the London match in 2000. Gelfand still drew the match and came close to winning it which means that Gelfand also played as strongly as Kasparov had played at the London match in 2000.
Jan-01-13  tabul008: You can't choose challenger by just fide rating!
Jan-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Based on the assessments and opinions. its safe to say that clearly, Anand is no longer the player that he is...
Jan-11-13  voyager39: @morfishine Different situations require different character. Anand remains on the throne and we wait for a challenger to emerge.

Hopefully it will be one of the youngsters so that the next generation can gain legitimacy and find its place in history.

Jan-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Some would say that the younger generation has plenty of legitamacy. It's just that great players are hard to beat in matches, even when they are in their 40s.
Jan-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <voyager39> I appreciate the reply; I have the utmost respect for Anand. My comment was sarcastic, interjecting the words 'he is' instead of the normal 'once was'...

With that said, I think the 12-game format is too short and short-changes the chess viewing audience; the 24-game format allows for much more flexibility in openings. If nothing else, for that much money, the chess community deserves more games.

May-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <I am pleased that in a match for the World Championship I was able to conduct a game in the style of Akiba Rubinstein, where the entire strategic course was maintained from the first to the last move> - Boris Gelfand (on game 7).
Apr-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I remember this match as a huge disappointment to me.

I liked both players, they are both really nice guys. And this was the first WC match since Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Rematch (1934) where both players were over 40. How did that happen in the 21st Century??

Because I am British I have always likes that mental bacon-cruncher Anand. But I am also very pro-Israel (I'm a Freemason), and Gelfand is a superb player, so I wasn't worried about who won.

But when the match started I was very disappointed. Games went to theory, then a few moves after theory, then draws were agreed.

I was very upset with Gelfand. Not with Anand.

I was upset with Gelfand because HE should have been taking every game to its limit, as Spassky said he would do and did in Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969).

If you count the moves that happened AFTER known theoretical positions had been reached then this whole match lasted about 10 moves.

I was so disappointed.

May-21-16  Chessinfinite: I was happy Anand won, would have been happier had Anand beaten Gelfand in the classical part, just like he did in his previous two matches.

I am happy this match did not take place in London or NY where someone like the British would have liked their man Gelfand to win, but in Moscow where Anand likes it better. Good match , but could have been better.

Jun-22-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  GM Igor Smirnov: Wow, there is a lot to learn from these games! Watch the three-part video lesson "Gems from Anand-Gelfand Match" at http://chess-teacher.com/affiliates...
Aug-24-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Pawn Dillinger: Nadark: I'm grateful someone else sees the big picture. I used to cover boxing. These people remind me of the squids in the crowd calling some guy a bum. At least he had the talent to step in the ring and give it his best and didn't need to sit in the dark and yell like a coward. Anand and Gelfand have one mission, and entertaining whiners and their silicon buddies isn't it....>

Another day, another clown languishing in obscurity and abject misery who gets his moment in the sun. Happens every day here at <cg>.

Aug-24-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <offramp>: <I was very upset with Gelfand. Not with Anand.>

Other way around for me. Anand was the stronger player. If a stronger player is willing to give Gelfand easy draws, of course he'll take them. Also, Anand is a double-offender. Of the two shortest matches in history (in terms of Moves Per Game), Anand was involved in both of them.

In the end Gelfand's reputation was improved, as he joined the ranks of Schlechter, Bronstein and others as people who drew a match with the world champion, while Anand's reputation suffered slightly. He didn't look nearly as good in this match as he did against Kramnik and Topalov.

In fact, Gelfand's reputation was improved so much that we gave him the nickname "Mr. Mitzvah", after a Jewish-themed superhero on Stan Lee's "Who Wants To Be a Superhero?".

Aug-24-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Petrosianic: <offramp>: <I was very upset with Gelfand. Not with Anand.>

<Other way around for me. Anand was the stronger player.>

In this crazy old century that we call the 21st, I think that any player who reaches a World Championship Match should be considered very close in strength to the Holder, regardless of the actual Elo ratings themselves.

<If a stronger player is willing to give Gelfand easy draws, of course he'll take them.>

But <surely> Gelfand must have known that this was going to be his ONE and ONLY chance to win the title. Did he think he would win through the next Candidates'? LOL. No way.
Why play 15 moves of theory, then another 5-10 careful moves and then immediately shake hands, before any real play has taken place. Gelfand must have been very badly advised by someone.

<Also, Anand is a double-offender. Of the two shortest matches in history (in terms of Moves Per Game), Anand was involved in both of them.>

Correct. And in all his world championship matches, from 1995 to 2014, the great Indian won 8 games in normal time. Think about that... <8> games. So is that not an incentive to try to WIN a few against him? Two wins should beat Anand.

<In the end Gelfand's reputation was improved, as he joined the ranks of Schlechter, Bronstein and others as people who drew a match with the world champion,>

A strange, argillaceous type of successful drawn match. In the photos I looked at, Anand looked like the winner.

<...while Anand's reputation suffered slightly.> Agreed, slightly. Possibly not at all. <He didn't look nearly as good in this match as he did against Kramnik and Topalov.>

But he still won!

<In fact, Gelfand's reputation was improved so much that we gave him the nickname "Mr. Mitzvah", after a Jewish-themed superhero on Stan Lee's "Who Wants To Be a Superhero?".>

Israeli men, Hallelujah! Israeli men, amen!
Perhaps the Israelis have a similar Umwelt to the British, where gallant failure is taken as some kind of success.

Aug-24-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <offramp>: <In this crazy old century that we call the 21st, I think that any player who reaches a World Championship Match should be considered very close in strength to the Holder, regardless of the actual Elo ratings themselves.>

Close, yes. But I thought and still think that Anand was noticeably superior, but failed to show it.

<But <surely> Gelfand must have known that this was going to be his ONE and ONLY chance to win the title. Did he think he would win through the next Candidates'? LOL. No way.>

You're probably right there. At a guess, I'd say he felt that he had a better chance in the Playoff. It was only 4 games, and Rapid, where anything can happen.

But I'm wrong to just say I blame Anand. I also blame the rules. Under the Old Rules, where the champion had Draw Odds, one player or the other was ALWAYS losing, with time running out. At least one player always needed a win. In this match, nobody neeeded a win so both were content to mostly skip the match and go to the playoff.

<A strange, argillaceous type of successful drawn match. In the photos I looked at, Anand looked like the winner.>

I never said differently. I said Anand's reputation suffered a bit. I never said he lost the match. Yes, he still won, as you say, but he took an unnecessary risk by not taking advantage of the 12 game match where he had more time to make his superiority felt. That works sometimes, but not always. It's one way that stronger players lose to weaker ones.

<Perhaps the Israelis have a similar Umwelt to the British, where gallant failure is taken as some kind of success.>

Gelfand's great success was winning the candidates and getting there at all. Nobody expected him to, and he beat out stronger players to do it. Sorry, I may have been unclear. We gave him the Mr. Mitzvah name after the Candidates, not after the championship.

We gave Anand the nickname Two Sheds (long before this match) but I'll let others try to figure out why. Suffice to say that he'd probably love it if he knew.

Aug-24-17  Nerwal: <Under the Old Rules, where the champion had Draw Odds, one player or the other was ALWAYS losing, with time running out. At least one player always needed a win. In this match, nobody neeeded a win so both were content to mostly skip the match and go to the playoff.>

Indeed, now that we have seen a few matches with the 12 games format and no draw odds for the champion, a flaw has started to appear : 3 matches saw one player thoroughly dominating, 4 matches were close. Of those last 4, 3 went into tie-breaks, the last one saw Topalov overpressing as White in the last game because he rated badly his chances in rapids. Overall that's almost a 50% rate of title decided by 4 rapid games, and whenever the match is close the players seem to decide it's best not to push too hard; in this regard modern opening preparation makes things even worse.

Aug-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: Having the tie-breaks at the start of the match to decide who gets draw odds would quite simply solve two huge problems and cause no new problems whatsoever. Why can't they just do it?
Aug-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Lambda: Having the tie-breaks at the start of the match to decide who gets draw odds would quite simply solve two huge problems and cause no new problems whatsoever. Why can't they just do it?>

A similar idea was mooted in soccer, or, as Americans call it, Footbutnothand is usable to score a goalball. The idea was to have the Penalty shoot out FIRST, then play the match.

Aug-26-17  Olavi: It would cause new problems. The psychological setup would be very different (than when the draw odds are automatically the champion's). It's not the same in soccer, chess being a draw.
Aug-26-17  Olavi: Gheoghiu famously said that (in a tournament) three draws is better than two wins and one loss. There are many players like that, it wouldn't probably help to rationalize that it's only rapid games. Some others in turn would get extra motivation.

One could argue that handling a loss is an important part of competing. Fair enough, but it's supposed to be classical chess.

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