Anand and Gelfand to play a Tiebreaker Match
Who will be the next world chess champion after tomorrow, May 30, 2012? Will Vishy Anand retain his title through his rapids or blitz games, or will Boris Gelfand pull an upset and win the championship?
For the first time in history, the chess world championship, which tied 6-6 in classical chess, will be decided by four Rapids games, or a series of blitz games, or even an Armageddon game. 10 of the 12 classical games ended in draws. Seven of the draws ended in less than 30 moves.
In 2008, Anand was able to win 3 out of 4 decisive games against Vladimir Kramnik. Anand played 390 moves in 11 games. He averaged 35 moves a game.
In 2010, Anand was able to win 3 out of 5 decisive games against Veselin Toplalov. Anand played 627 moves in 12 games. He averaged 60 moves a game.
For 2012, he was only able to win one game, and he lost one game out of 12 games. Only 351 moves were made in the classical portion of the match, the lowest number of any world chess championship.
The first tie-break will be four Rapids games. Each player will have 25 minutes, with a 10 second increment after each move. The match begins at high noon local Moscow time. The drawing of colors was made earlier and Gelfand will have White in the first rapid game.
If that results in a 2-2 tie, then the players will play two blitz games. Each player will have 5 minutes, with a 3 second increment after each move. If there is still a tie in this blitz match, then they will repeat the blitz match four more times.
If that does not produce a winner, then they will play an Armageddon game. White has 5 minutes and must win. Black has 4 minutes and only needs a draw (or win) to become world championship.
Other final game tiebreak methods were considered. They could play two games of checkers, but that might draw. They could play one game of backgammon to determine the champion. They could play Twister, and the first person who falls loses. They could sit at a chess table and not make a move, but each must turn their cell phone on (only known to the arbiter and the players). The first person whose cell phone rings is eliminated and the other player is declared world champion. They could settle it with the spin of a roulette table like Smyslov and Huebner had done. Since they are playing in an art gallery (State Tretyakov Gallery), the player that guesses the closest number of paintings in the gallery wins. They could have a hot dog eating contest, but Anand is vegetarian and it looks like Gelfand would win anyway. They could arm wrestle on the chess board and the winner is declared the strongest player in the world. They could play best out of five in a tennis match.
Both players are in there 40s. Anand is 42 and Gelfand is 43. No two 40-year-old players have fought for the world championship in over 100 years.
Both players have taken 1st place in the world junior championship. Anand was world junior champion in 1987. Gelfand tied for 1st place in the world junior championship in 1988, but lost the title in tiebreak to Joel Lautier of France. Lautier is now a successful businessman in Russia.
For the past 20 years, Anand has been one of the best Rapid and Blitz players in the world. He has won the Chess Classic at Mainz 11 times. This is an annual open Rapids championship. He has won the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Championship five times. He has won the Amber Rapid championship seven times. In 1996, he won the Credit Swiss Rapid Grand Prix in Geneva, Switzerland. He defeated world champion In 2003, he won the FIDE World Blitz chess championship. Garry Kasparov in the final round. In 2006, he won the Tal Memorial blitz tournament. In 2011, he won the Botivnnik Memorial Rapid championship, perhaps the strongest Rapid tournament ever with Magnus Carlsen, Aronian, and Kramnik.
However, Anand has lost in rapid tiebreakers in the past. In 1994, he lost a Rapids tiebreak to Gata Kamsky in the Candidates semifinal match. In 1998, he lost a Rapids triebreak to Anatoly Karpov in the world championship match.
Gelfand won the 2009 World Cup after defeating former world champion Ruslan Ponomriov in a blitz tiebreak, 7-5. In 2009, he won the 2009 ACP World Rapid Cup. Later, he defeated world number 2 Levon Aronian in the Leon Rapids finals. In 2011, he defeated Gata Kamsky in the blitz tiebreak during the 2011 Candidates tournament. He then beat former world blitz champion Alexander Grischuk to qualify as the challenger to Anand.
Anand and Gelfand have played each other in 28 Rapid chess games. Anand has won 8, Gelfand has won once, and there have been 19 draws.
Anand and Gelfand have played each other in 7 blitz games. Anand has won 3, Gelfand has never won, and there have been 4 draws.
The winner gets $1.53 million in prize money. The loser gets $1.02 million in prize money.
– Bill Wall