Anand wins shootout to keep world chess crown



Published — Thursday 31 May 2012

Last update 31 May 2012 6:12 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MOSCOW: India’s Viswanathan Anand retained yesterday his world chess title by outgunning his Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand in a quick-fire shootout forced after their 12-game Moscow epic ended all square.
Dubbed the “Battle of the Armageddon” in chess circles, the tiebreak saw the two chess titans clash in four nail-biting speed chess games that lasted over four hours and left both players emotionally exhausted.
Three of the games ended in draws but a mistake by Gelfand in the endgame of game two as his allotted 25 minutes ran out proved decisive. Anand, known as the “Tiger of Madras,” won that game and then doughtily resisted attempts by the Israeli to break through.
“It was incredibly tense,” a drained Anand told reporters after the match. “I think that right now, the only feeling you have is relief. I am really too tense to be happy, but there is relief.”
“Today, it is difficult to claim anything. I would simply say that my nerves held on better. I simply hung on for dear life.”
With the players knowing one mistake could cost the championships, the match was marked by the almost unbearable tension of past great clashes like the epic world title match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in 1984-85.
The series had been staged at the Tretyakov art gallery in Moscow, the first time the Russian capital has hosted the world chess championships since the Kasparov-Karpov game that was called off due to fears for their health.
Anand will take $1.4 million and Gelfand $1.15 million from a $2.55 million total prize fund, under rules that saw an evening-out of the prize money if the match went to a tiebreak.
The thrilling tiebreak was worthy of a tournament whose history also includes the historic 1972 clash in Reykjavik at the height of the Cold War between Bobby Fischer of the US and Soviet great Boris Spassky.
The Minsk-born Israeli had chances in all four tiebreak games to put pressure on Anand and at times showed magnificently resourceful defense against the Indian’s attacks.
Anand, dressed in his usual blue shirt, sat rooted to his chair as the more expressive Gelfand ran his hands through his hair and took long walks away from the board to think out his positions.
As tension mounted, Gelfand indulged in his favorite stress-busting habit of repeatedly rotating one of the taken bishop pieces in his right hand.
But he did not find a way to break down the Anand defense and seeing no chance of the victory he needed in the final fourth game Gelfand offered the draw which gave Anand the tiebreak by 2.5 points-to-1.5 and the title.
After four-and-a-half hours of extreme tension, the two men shook hands and immediately left the stage.
“Boris had his chances in each of the four tie-break games,” commented Russian grandmaster Peter Svidler.
“Today has been a magnificent struggle, not without mistakes, but a lot of fight was shown by both players,” he added.
Gelfand used up most of his allotted time in each of the games, leaving him under huge pressure as he made the endgame moves with just seconds remaining.
“I think the decisive factor was that fact I did not use my time so wisely,” he said. “My strategy was simple — to take it one game at a time, create the most problems and make the best moves.”
The two masters displayed titanic control of the board in the regular 12-game series earlier this month but it ended level with just a win apiece and 10 draws.
Anand lost game seven but then levelled the scores by coming back to win game eight. He revealed yesterday that he could not “remember such a bad day as after game seven. I mean I could not sleep.”
FROM: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Absent from the world championship process has been the world No. 1 , the 21-year-old Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen who dropped out in the qualifying rounds as he did not agree with the format.
FROM: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdullah Al- Muallami unveiled a beautifully framed old kiswa (covering) of the door of the Holy Kaaba at one of the newly refurbished halls of the world body. The...
A policeman was shot dead by an unknown gunman in Qatif in the Eastern Province on Tuesday night.According to a spokesman of the Eastern Province police, the firing took place at 11:30 p.m. in a suburb called Al-Jishi.The targeted police officer was...
JEDDAH: Jeddah Show, one of the many events of Jeddah Summer Festival 36, is attracting a large number of visitors. The sound-and-light show is being run at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center.The show tells the story of the Bri...
JEDDAH: The Riyadh Traffic Department carried out extensive campaigns on the main streets, intersections and squares in the city to boost traffic safety levels and discourage bad driving.During the first 72 hours of the campaign, traffic personnel re...
RIYADH: One of two women infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) died here in Riyadh, while the other patient is being treated at a hospital in Al-Kharj, some 60 km from the capital. Since June 2012, the Ministry of...
AL-AHSA: Approximately 20,000 tons of Al-Ahsa dates are planned to be marketed abroad during the new dates season.Muhammad Ismail, director general of the King Abdullah City for Dates (KACD), said: “The authorities in the city are planning to increas...
JEDDAH: Al-Bagdadiya neighborhood residents in Jeddah are living in a state of worry because of 20 abandoned houses, which serve as hideouts for criminals.Residents said some houses are on the verge of collapse and have turned into shelters for crimi...
JEDDAH: A committee consisting of representatives from the Hail governorate, municipality, health department and the Saudi Food and Drugs Administration (SFDA) has ordered the closure of a restaurant in the city’s industrial area.Twelve people suffer...
The board of the Saudia Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization has announced that mandatory application of the regulations on new tires produced or sold in the Kingdom will commence in November this year.The board explained that the technical...
JEDDAH: The number of people with mental health issues or depression is increasing in Saudi Arabia due to urbanization, marital or relationship problems, and not being able to keep up with rapid progress. A Saudi mother said that her daughter suffers...
JUBAIL: Jubail beaches are expected to receive many tourists during September as a large number of people usually head to the city once the summer gets cooler to enjoy their holiday here.As part of the beach preparations for this season, the Social S...
RIYADH: More than 50 percent of vehicle users in the Kingdom are not satisfied with the after-sales service of auto agencies in the Kingdom.In a survey conducted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) to evaluate the performance of automobile...
JEDDAH: The Appeals Court has upheld the verdict issued by a specialized penal court which sentenced Dr. Said bin Zair to four years in prison from the date of his arrest in 1428.According to the ruling, the academician is also banned from traveling...
JEDDAH: Health authorities in the Eastern Province are expected to issue a decision soon against four Saudi nurses accused of “negligence” for an incident which led to the amputation of the hand of a Saudi girl after they tried to insert a needle in...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah municipality has closed down a popular restaurant following the discovery of a rat rummaging through food items.The rat act was captured on video and posted on social media websites. It went viral, prompting the authorities to laun...

Stay Connected

Facebook