CHENNAI: The Grandmasters are already talking about the tie breaks in the World Chess Championship in Moscow and the chess fraternity is divided in its opinion about the calibre of the contestants but the defending champion Viswanathan Anand and the challenger Boris Gelfand know the rapid tiebreak games are still miles away.
Two big games – on Saturday and Monday – are still remaining in the match.
Anand and Gelfand are likely to continue their safety-first policy in these last two games as they are aware of the consequences of one loss in a two-game match.
Anand’s World Chess Championship games since 2007 show that he is the only one to have won with black pieces and he will have black in Game 11. His match against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria was decided on the last black and for the record, even his crushing defeat of Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in 2008 started with two black wins in Games 3 and 5.
It is difficult to predict who’ll have the edge in the rapids because reputation does not mean much in those time-controls. Anand had found this the hard way in both his tiebreaker matches against Kamsky (1994) and Karpov (1998).
The chess lovers don’t seem to be happy that too many games are drawn without any fight; they are also upset over the amount of theory that is being summoned to the table to drift the games into unchartered territory.
Curiously, both the players seemed reluctant to get into a contest over the board and were content to try their home preparations.
Game 10 was typical of this theoretical debate. The interesting part was that black could surprise white with a novelty as early as Move Five and the credit for that should go to Gelfand.
“It’s always pleasant to apply a novelty on move 5. It doesn’t happen every day,” commented Gelfand later. “I liked the series of moves where black attacks the knight four times in a row. Black should play precisely but I think the position holds, which I actually demonstrated.”
Yet, the novelties do not bring wins for their masters, which is a huge concern. Probably, this match will be remembered for the ideas that black, in general, brought to the board for getting equality. It remains to be seen whether Anand can recreate his black magic in Game 11 to break this trend.