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Anand strikes back

other Updated: May 22, 2012 01:38 IST
HT Correspondent

The defeat in the seventh game seemed to have jolted World Champion Viswanathan Anand and he responded with a stunning victory in the eighth game of the World Chess Championship match against Boris Gelfand of Israel in Moscow on Monday.

Just when everyone was castigating Anand's strategy and claiming his imminent downfall, the Indian maestro replied with a brilliant game that contained a devilish plan, which lured his Israeli challenger into believing his chances of sealing a second win in a row. Anand offered him a couple of pieces and Gelfand went on the offensive, only to get his queen trapped. Faced with loss of heavy material and an imminent mating attack, Gelfand resigned on the 17th turn.

The superb win helped Anand level scores at 4-4 in the 12-game match. Tuesday is a rest day and the two will return on Wednesday for the ninth game in which Gelfand will be playing with white pieces.

On Monday, Anand was in full flow and played in his natural aggressive style, shunning the safety-first approach that had seen him settling for a draw in the third game of the series last week. Gelfand once again opted for Grunfeld Defence but the Israeli deviated from the third game early.

Gelfand tried to lure Anand by attacking his king but the Indian did not take the bait. Anand responded with a fantastic effort as one seldom comes across a decisive 'miniature game' of less than 20 moves in World Championship matches. An invitation to swap bishops on the 8th turn by Gelfand was rather surprising but Anand accepted it without hesitation. Gelfand played another sharp move on the 10th turn and Anand was equal to the challenge.

By the 12th turn, Anand had a clear advantage and Gelfand hastened his downfall by a premature and foolish attack.