The opponents continued their Slav Defence duel that started in the second game of the match. White was the first to deviate from the previous game and managed to get the so-called two-bishop advantage in the middlegame. After a series of exchanges, the game transformed into an ending with somewhat better chances for White. In the resulting technical position, the game could have had either of two results: a draw or a victory for White. It turned out, however, that the white pieces were not sufficiently well coordinated and that the bishop’s advantage over the knight was not enough for a win: with precise play, Viswanathan Anand built a “fortress” and deflected all threats. A draw on the 34th move.
During the press conference, Boris Gelfand noted that there were no critical moments in the game as such, but the question was whether White would manage to gain an advantage or Black would find a clear way to equalise. “Even though I got the two-bishop advantage, the coordination between the pieces was not very good, so Black did not have any major problems.” The opponents considered the possibility of going into a knight against bishop endgame after 32. Rc6, but concluded that the white king lacked the tempo to occupy square d4, so White’s chances in this variation were also minimal.
The challenger showed the position after 18…h6, which produced a great aesthetic impression on him. At that moment, each square on the d-file was occupied by black and white pieces, Black’s rooks were on squares c8 and e8, and the whole array resembled a T-shaped figure that is rarely seen on a chessboard.
Assessing the situation in the match after the first four games, the world champion said the match was just developing and the rivals were still trying each other out. “You don’t really want to start doing evaluations, but so far it’s a pretty tough match,” commented Viswanathan Anand. Boris Gelfand refused to give any assessment of individual parts of the match and stressed that any analysis was pointless until after the 12th game.
Asked by a journalist what scenario the players would have preferred during the game and if something had gone wrong at some point, Gelfand answered jokingly: “Well, of course I would have loved my opponent to choose some doubtful variation that I know well. Then I would have used a strong novelty and won the game, say, by the 20th move. I would be too naïve to count on that, however, so of course one has to be ready for any course of events.”
The match score is equal: 2-2. May 16 is a rest day for the opponents, with the fifth game to be played out on 17 May. The world champion will play with white pieces.
The FIDE World Chess Championship match between the world champion Viswanathan Anand (India) and the challenger Boris Gelfand (Israel) will take place from 10 to 31 May 2012 in the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery. Chess championship match will be taking place in one of the world’s biggest museums for the first time.
Organisers of the match are FIDE (the World Chess Federation) and the RCF (the Russian Chess Federation). Initiator of the idea of holding the match in Moscow and its sponsor is the Russian entrepreneur Andrei Filatov (joint owner of the N-Trans Group). Other sponsors of the contest include businessman Gennady Timchenko and the Ladoga charitable foundation, and also the NVisionGroup, Novatek and Almaz-Antei companies.
Contact information for journalists:
Press Attaché for the Russian Chess Federation
at the World Championship Match