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2012 World Chess Championship
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ INTRO ★★★

The 2012 World Chess Championship was a match between 43 year old defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India and 44 year old challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel.

★★★ QUALIFICATION ★★★

After Anand had defended his title against Veselin Topalov in 2010 (see Game Collection: 2010 World Chess Championship for games and more info), it was time for a new challenger. To determine who this challenger would be, FIDE held an 8 player knockout tournament for the Candidates tournament. It was the first time in 22 years that FIDE held a knockout tournament for the Candidates tournament.

8 players competed in the Candidates tournament. Topalov earned his qualification by losing the 2010 Championship. Magnus Carlsen and Magnus Carlsen both earned their qualifications by being the two highest rated players in the world (based on July 2009 and January 2010 lists). Levon Aronian and Teimour Radjabov both earned their qualification by finishing first and second, respectively in the 2008-2010 FIDE Grand Prix Cycle. Gata Kamsky earned his qualification by being the loser of the last Candidates match (see Topalov - Kamsky Candidates Final (2009) for games) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov earned his qualification via. a nominee. However, Carlsen withdrew in protest, and was replaced by the 3rd place finisher of the 2008-2010 FIDE Grand Prix Cycle, Alexander Grischuk.

The above 8 would play in a knockout tournament. The first 2 rounds were each a best of 4, while the finals were a best of 6. If any of the matches were tied, rapid followed by blitz matches would follow. Players were seeded by rating, except for Topalov who was the first seed. In the quarterfinals, Kamsky beat his rival Topalov 2 1/2-1 1/2, Gelfand edged Mamedyarov 2 1/2-1 1/2, Grischuk surprised Aronian 4 1/2-3 1/2 on tiebreaks while Kramnik defeated Radjabov 6 1/2-5 1/2 also on tiebreaks.

In the semi-finals, Gelfand downed Kamsky 6-4 on tiebreaks, while Grischuk overcame Grischuk 5 1/2-4 1/2, also on tiebreaks. In the final between Gelfand and Grischuk, (see World Championship Candidates Final (2011) for games), Gelfand made sure Grischuk (6-4 in tiebreaking games) didn't reach tiebreakers by winning the final game (see Gelfand vs Grischuk, 2011 for game) and securing a match with Anand by the score of 3 1/2-2 1/2.

★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

The match was played in Moscow, Russia. It was a best of 12, with the first to 6 1/2 points being declared the champion. If it were tied 6-6, 4 rapid games would be played. If it were still tied, 5 2-game blitz matches and 1 armaggedon game would be played, as necessary. Game 1 was played on May 11th, 2012. Note: The overall match score is displayed, with tiebreak score (if necessary) in brackets.

★★★ NOTABLE GAMES ★★★

Game 7: Gelfand vs Anand, 2012

Game 8: Anand vs Gelfand, 2012

Game 9: Gelfand vs Anand, 2012

★★★ FINAL ★★★

Entering Game 12, both players had 5 1/2 points. Anand had the white pieces, but if either player won, they would be declared World Champion. The game was drawn, a first since 2006 (see Game Collection: 2006 World Chess Championship for games and more info). As a result, 4 rapid games were required. Game 1 was a draw, but Anand won Game 2 with the white pieces to take the lead. Game 3 was a draw, meaning Gelfand needed to win with the white pieces in Game 16 to force the match into blitz games.

Game 16: Anand vs Gelfand, 2012

With the draw, Anand had defended his undisputed title for a 3rd consecutive time, becoming just the 4th champion (out of 15 total) to do so, after Wilhelm Steinitz (1889-1892, 3 matches), Emanuel Lasker (1897-1910, 5 matches) and Garry Kasparov (1986-1990, 3 matches).

★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

Anand 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 | 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 (2 wins, 1 loss and 13 draws) <53.2% score>

Gelfand 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 | 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 (1 win, 2 losses and 13 draws) <46.9% score>

★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

See also: Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012)

Head to Head Record Prior to 2012: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... (16 wins, 6 losses and 44 draws in favour of Anand)

Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 2010 World Chess Championship

Next World Championship: Game Collection: 2013 World Chess Championship

Game 1, Match tied 1/2-1/2
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(D85) Grunfeld, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 2, Match tied 1-1
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3, Match tied 1 1/2-1 1/2
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(D70) Neo-Grunfeld Defense, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4, Match tied 2-2
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 5, Match tied 2 1/2-2 1/2
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(B33) Sicilian, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6, Match tied 3-3
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7, Gelfand leads 4-3
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 38 moves, 1-0

Game 8, Match tied 4-4
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(D70) Neo-Grunfeld Defense, 17 moves, 1-0

Game 9, Match tied 4 1/2-4 1/2
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(E54) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 10, Match tied 5-5
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(B30) Sicilian, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 11, Match tied 5 1/2-5 1/2
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(E54) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 12, Match tied 6-6
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(B30) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 13, Match tied 6 1/2-6 1/2 (1/2-1/2)
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 14, Anand leads 7 1/2-6 1/2 (1 1/2-1/2)
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(B30) Sicilian, 77 moves, 1-0

Game 15, Anand leads 8-7 (2-1)
Gelfand vs Anand, 2012 
(D12) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 16, Anand wins 8 1/2-7 1/2 (2 1/2-1 1/2)
Anand vs Gelfand, 2012 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

16 games

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