Wednesday, 30 May 2012

2012 World Championship - Anand wins

Viswanathan  Anand has retained his World Championship title after beating Boris Gelfand in the first round of tie-break matches today. After the main match was tied at 6-6, the players returned to play an additional 4 games of rapidplay (G25m+10s). After the first game game was drawn, Anand managed to win with his extra pawn in game 2, although Gelfand missed a draw towards the end. Game 3 was the most dramatic (and the one that is currently missing from the official web site), as Gelfand built up a winning position, but then failed to convert as he ran short of time. Anand needed only to draw the final game to win the match, and despite being slightly worse out of the opening, managed to keep the Gelfand at bay for the entire game.
Overall the match didn't deliver the excitement that people had hoped for. While Gelfand probably surprised most people with his play, it is also fair to say that is was a match he lost, rather than Anand won. Game 8 in the main match helped Anand quickly recover from his loss in the previous game, while Game 3 in the rapidplay was obviously the final nail in the coffin for Gelfand.
As for my pre-match prediction I was way off, as I thought Anand would just be too good. However once the draws started to pile up, it became clear that neither player was willing to risk too much, and it became a match of 'nerves'. In the end Anand's nerves held out longer than Gelfand's, which was all it took.

Anand, Viswanathan - Gelfand, Boris
2012 World Championship Rapid Game 2, Moscow, 30.5.2012

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