Defending champion Viswanathan Anand created good chances but could not press home the advantage as his challenger, Boris Gelfand, thwarted his attempts with precise moves in the third game of the World Chess Championship match in Moscow on Monday.
The game ended in an exciting draw in 37 moves with Anand under time pressure. The two players remain locked at 1.5 points each with nine games to go in the 12-game series in which the player reaching 6.5 points first will win the title. The battle continues on Tuesday with Gelfand playing with white pieces.
Whether Anand missed the chance to win in time pressure is not clear as experts gave different opinion on the position, but the game did create some excitement among Anand’s supporters as the Indian maestro got into a very promising position.
Gelfand, as he did in the first game, opted for Grunfeld Defence and the players reached a very sharp and fluid position, unlike the first two games. After Gelfand surprised him with Grunfeld in the first game on Friday, Anand seemed better prepared and uncorked a new move as early as in the third turn. Both the players came up with quick responses early on, clearly indicating that they had done their homework well and expected the moves made by the other.
Gelfand was very aggressive initially and created some pressure on Anand’s king with his queen, rooks and knight. The Israeli Grandmaster sacrificed a pawn to prevent Anand from developing his king-side pieces fully. However, Anand responded with precise moves and exchanged off some pieces to slowly create a slight advantage.
In the process, the 42-year-old Indian, who has reigned supreme as world champion since 2007, lost a lot of time and at one point had only 12 minutes to complete 10 moves and meet the criteria of playing 40 moves in two hours.