Monday 21 May 2012
Last Update 23 May 2012 5:27 pm
MOSCOW: India’s reigning world chess champion Viswanathan Anand yesterday immediately struck back after his first defeat to Boris Gelfand of Israel by defeating the challenger in a thrilling game.
Anand, playing white, leveled the match at 4-4 with just four games remaining as he took full advantage of a rare mistake by Gelfand who is usually renowned for his keenly focussed matchplay.
After a slow start where their initial games all ended in tense draws, the two men are now trading exciting blows after Gelfand stunned Anand with the first victory of the series in Sunday’s encounter.
The scoring system awards the winner one point and the loser none. Draws see players share a half point each.
Gelfand made his miscalculation on move 14 where he moved his queen to f6, failing to notice that this allowed Anand on move 17 to move his own queen to f2, a position where the piece could command the board and cause huge damage.
Realising the error once the position became clear several moves later, Gelfand placed his head in this hands as Anand coolly sipped water opposite.
Anand then left the stage to allow his opponent to contemplate his position alone for several agonizing minutes.
Seeing that his position was hopeless, Gelfand stopped the clock, shook hands and resigned.
“I did not see the last move queen f2 — it was a very risky game and I had calculated different variations,” a clearly disappointed Gelfand told reporters after the game.
Anand said of his opponent’s decisive queen f6 move: “I saw some time before (move 17) that it was a blunder.” The World Chess Championship is being contested in Moscow — seen by many as last century’s capital of chess — for the first time since an epic 1984-85 clash between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov was aborted and later replayed.
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