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Set for 12th game finale

Many thought it was the last chance for Boris Gelfand to put pressure on defending champion Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Champion-ship clash in Moscow. HT reports.

other Updated: May 27, 2012 02:08 IST
HT Correspondent

Many thought it was the last chance for Boris Gelfand to put pressure on defending champion Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Champion-ship clash in Moscow.


It was the 11th and penultimate game and the Israeli Grandmaster was playing with white pieces - the last time he would do so in a classical game in this 12-game match. With both players tied on five points each, Gelfand was expected to make one last ditch effort, considering that Anand would play with white pieces in the final game and is considered one of the best players in the shorter version of the game, which would be resorted to break the tie after the 12th game. However on Saturday, Anand did not allow Gelfand to capitalise on his final white game and stumped his opponent with a new move in Nimzo Indian Defence that had Gelfand burning the clock to find the right response. The Israeli managed to find the precise moves to neutralise the position and steer the 11th and penultimate game towards a draw.

The players are locked on 5.5 points each, with one game to go, it seems destined for tie-break games unless Anand lands the decisive blow on Monday.

The Indian maestro had sealed victory in similar circumstances (in the final game) when he defended his title against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in 2010 in Sofia.

Anand added to his opponent's woes by uncorking a hitherto unplayed move on the 11th turn, which brought his queen into action. Gelfand appeared tense and stayed hunched for a long time on the board. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/27_05-pg-21b.jpg

But the Israeli GM regained his cool, exchanged the queens and a few other pieces and steered the game to a draw after 24 moves. When the players agreed to share the point, Gelfand had very less time on the clock and many thought Anand would continue with the game to see whether his opponent commits mistakes under time pressure.

However, the Indian maestro did not press his time advantage and made the draw offer after playing the 24th move.