Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the World Chess Championship 2012 match between Boris Gelfand and Viswanathan Anand on Chessdom.com. Today is the opening ceremony day and we will have a live blog from Moscow that will be updated every 15 minutes.
The messages will appear at this article in chronological order, including details of the preparations, statements by famous chess people in Moscow, interesting facts and figures, playing hall arrangements, and of course the opening ceremony itself. Enjoy!

Information: Anand Gelfand 2012 / World Chess Championship all news / Anand Gelfand live

Ананд – Гельфанд (руский) / Anand – Gelfand (Español)

Newsletter: Anand Gelfand 2012 newsletter / First video preview / Photo gallery

Moscow, 10:00 CET

And finally the day has come! Today the World Chess Championship 2012 will be given official start with an opening ceremony in the Mikhail Vrubel’s hall of the State Tretyakov Gallery. It is scheduled for around 18:00 CET and Chessdom editors will be in Moscow to follow for you live every detail of the preparation of the event.

Just a few days ago Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand got a gist of what is coming, it is time for us to dive in the atmosphere of the major chess event of the month.

Moscow, 10:15 CET

“Chess is art, sport, and science at the same time”, goes a famous chess quote. It turns out not only to be a cliche, but rather a fact, as both players have affirmed that it feels natural having the Tretyakov Gallery as match venue.

Boris Gelfand stated, “I am very excited that the match will be in the gallery. Typically tournaments are conducted in conference rooms or hotels. This is a brilliant idea of the sponsors to combine art and chess. I think it will be inspiration for good games.”

Viswanathan Anand spoke in a similar manner, “It is a very interesting move to have the match in the Tretyakov Gallery, it underlines the art roots of the game.”

All this was stated by Anand and Gelfand during their mutual visit at the venue. Two interviews are now available, with Viswanathan Anand here (video) and with Boris Gelfand here (video), as well as a match preview here (video)

Moscow, 10:30 CET

We already mentioned that the opening ceremony will be at the Mikhail Vrubel’s hall (photo here). It is a very small hall, nothing compared to what we saw in Khanty Mansiysk during the Olympiad opening (the impressive scenes from then are here), the gallery is a small hall with limited capacity.

Having such limited capacity for an opening ceremony certainly makes it VIP to some extent, however, having the internet you will be able to fully enjoy the details, as if you are there at the hall.

A more interesting detail is the photographs taking and video shooting during the match. As per the FIDE rules photos with flash and videos are allowed only during the first 10 minutes of the game. However, this time no journalist will be allowed on stage during the games, for them is designated the first row in the audience. And even this number will be limited to 20 journalists only with special permits.

Moscow, 10:45 CET

Today we will bring you lot’s of historical details on the Anand – Gelfand matches. As a start let’s see their most recent game. It was played in the same city where they meet today, just sixth months ago during the Tal Memorial. It was a Queen’s Gambit declined and finished in a 29 moves draw. (replay this game and more recent games here)

Both players also met during the 2007 World Chess Championship in Mexico, it was one of the first games that Chessdom covered with a live commentary, take the time machine and take a look. It was an 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 Petroff game, just as multiple chess specialists expect after 1.e4 by Anand.

In the direct encounters Anand – Gelfand, the Indian player is only on +1 (6 wins for Anand, 5 wins for Gelfand, 24 draws), with over 50% of the games finishing in a draw. We can expect a similar trend during the match – based on the experience of both players we can predict a very balanced and fighting match. But again, this is just a guess, we will know the “secret” details of both camps in only a few days!

Moscow, 11:05 CET

It is a partially cloudy day in Moscow, right now the temperature is 11C, but is expected to get up to 20C. A nice beautiful spring in Russia, in a city that just celebrated the Victory Day 9th of May. Yesterday, the ceremony passed right under the window of Vishy Anand who stays at the official hotel of the match Baltschug Kempinski Hotel, it almost seemed a part of the military parade was to honor the World Championship.

The last time Moscow held a “World Championship” event was the World Blitz (see the details of the event here) and the city is vibrating with chess spirit again, having the chess community, the media, and the state involved in the event.

Today the Gelfand – Anand opening ceremony announcement and details of the match are present in practically all respectable newspapers, as well as on TV stations.

Moscow, 11:15 CET

To thank the organizers and the large Russian audience visiting Chessdom, we will be covering the match in details on Chessdom.ru page. And as the World Chess Championship 2012 is a truly global event, we will certainly not miss any updates in the Spanish version which in the past days is a busy place with the live coverage of the Capablanca memorial.

Moscow, 11:35 CET

Update from the playing hall: very few signs of the recent construction work is left in the playing hall. Now things seem to be ready and the stage is expecting the players.

A trusted source has informed that Vishy Anand might prefer another chair than the hi-tech ones demonstrated during the playing hall inspection. Will that be so we will know at the start of game 1.

Moscow, 11:45 CET

A pre-match press conference will be held at the press center at 6:30 p.m. local time (16:30 CET). The press conference will be attended by world chess champion Viswanathan Anand, the challenger for the title of world champion Boris Gelfand , World Chess Federation (FIDE) President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Russian Chess Federation Supervisory Council President Arkady Dvorkovich, State Tretyakov Gallery Director Irina Lebedeva and match sponsor Andrei Filatov. During the press conference the organizers will provide information about the cultural and sporting events accompanying the match and the grandmasters will answer questions from journalists. The opening ceremony, as already announced, will be held at 8:00 p.m (18:00 CET).

Moscow, 12:10 CET

As we already commented in the update “11:05 CET”, Russia is vibrating with the coming World Chess Championship. Various media, sports commentators, and VIPs are using the opportunity to comment the upcoming match.

One of the most prominent sources is Eurosport (Russia), “In recent years our country has organized all kind of major sporting events. From the world championship in figure skating – to the Winter Olympics. From Student – up to the world championships in athletics, water sports, hockey and His Majesty football. We have decided not to miss on chess as well, and we will host the World Chess Championship. However, as a difference from all others, even though Boris Gelfand is a brilliant representative of the Soviet Chess School, he will defent the flag of Israel, leaving Russia without direct representative.”

But Eurosport also notes, “Undoubtedly, the battle for the crown in Moscow and Russia will allow fans to join the big chess festival. Hopefully this surge of chess activity will grow into something more.”

Moscow, 12:25 CET

The playing hall entrance during the World Chess Championship will be free. The chess fans will be asked to use the wardrobe of the Tretyakov Gallery, where they have to leave not only their coats, but also the mobile phones and electronic devices.

The only place where the fans cannot sit is the first two rows, Nr1 is reserved for the journalists, Nr2 is reserved for VIP guests.

In case someone is not keeping the general norms of the playing area, there are designated guards that will escort them to the exit.

The only remaining question: what will be more in the Tretyakov Gallery, the seats or the chess fans that want to enter?

Moscow, 12:45 CET

The first (of total 14) newsletters on the Anand – Gelfand match will be ready tomorrow and will be in the mailbox of every subscriber. If you still have not reserved your copy, you can do it at this link or for a combined offer of 52 issues of the premium chess magazine CEWN here.

Moscow, 13:05 CET

One of the leading Russian chess players GM Dmitry Jakovenko commented on the World Chess Championship 2012, “Ever since the world championship match shortened to 12 games, it has become a strategical rather than tactical battle. Match strategy no longer plays its former role. I think 16 games would be optimal for sports point of view. But now the conditions dictated by sponsors and television, and chess players can only play by the rules that exist today.”

The World Championship match consists of 12 games. The time control for each classical game will be 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61 has been made.

Winner is the player who has collected 6,5 or more points. In case of a tie 6-6 we can witness a rapid and blitz show. First, four rapid games are played with time control 25 min + 10 sec.

If the score is still level (after 12 classical and 4 rapid games) a match of 2 games will be played with a time control of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment after each move. In case of a level score, another 2-game match will be played to determine a winner.

If still there is no winner after 5 such matches (total 12 classical, 4 rapid, and 10 games blitz!) then an Armageddon game will be played.
The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

So a short 12 games match can actually turn into a 27 games epic battle!

Moscow, 13:25 CET

We will be bringing you interesting details from prominent Russian journalists and players in the next hours. However, the World Chess Championship is making strong headlines in Israel and India as well.

Haaretz deems the match as “Israeli’s Grandmaster great chess challenge” and notes, “the tournament will demand of Gelfand and his opponent all their reserves of mental strength in this first world chess championship to be held in Moscow since the Cold War.”

The Indian DNA describes the World Chess Championship as “Mission Moscow” and goes on to say, “At 42, Anand is one of the oldest world champions. Across sports!… At the given moment, he is undoubtedly the best… Over the next three weeks, his credentials, competence and character will be come under the scanner.”

Moscow, 13:45CET

What video coverage can the viewers interested in the World Chess Championship find? Going chronologically, let’s take a look first at the last handshake of Anand – Topalov match from the last World Championship.

Next is the wonderful performance of Gelfand at the Candidates where he defeated Grischuk at the final.

After came the signing of the contracts (video 1 and video 2), and now is the preview of the match by GM Danielsen.

Moscow, 14:00CET

As you know parallel to the World Chess Championship are taking place a number of important events (see list and live games here). Among them is the strong Sigeman Chess tournament, the games of round 2 have just started, yo con follow them here.

Moscow, 14:25CET

Leading bookmakers are updating the odds on World Chess Championship 2012 winner.

Ladbrokers: Gelfand 11/5, Anand 3/10; match going to tiebreak 5/2

VBet (without tiebreak): Anand 1,55 ; Draw 6-6 4,30 ; Gelfand 4,30

VBet (with tiebreak): Anand 1,22 ; Gelfand 3,85

Baltbet: Anand 1,6 ; Draw 4,15 ; Gelfand 4,3

Baltbet: Anand or Draw (1X) 1,18 ; Anand or Gelfand (12) 1,19 ; Gelfand or Draw (X2) 2,19

PAF: Anand 23/100, Gelfand 14/5

Moscow, 14:35 CET

After all, the ones who surely are winning money from this event are Anand and Gelfand. The winner takes 60% of the 2,55 million prize fund, the loser takes 40%.

What is at stake is the crown and writing the name in golden letters in the history pages of chess.

Moscow, 14:55 CET

Did you know that actually the World Chess Championship 2014 is also going on at the moment? Ok, to be more precise the qualifications for it. Now is the Asian Continental phase, 5 male and 1 female players will qualify for the World Cup 2013. The winner of the World Cup is going to the Candidates Matches, and the winner of the Candidates matches will challenge the winner of Anand – Gelfand. Quite a long way, no? But that makes the World Chess Championship crown so important.

To see the results of the Asian Qualifier go to the live games page.

Moscow, 15:25 CET

We had the chance to listen to a very interesting study in the past minutes. Everyone is dreaming about “restoring the audience levels” to the times of Kasparov-Karpov matches. A careful calculation shows something very interesting: it is very probable that the audience of chess competitions at this very moment on the internet is surpassing by far this “dream”. Combining with TV, Radio, and local media coverage, the numbers are indeed higher.

Very interesting, and the proof is rather direct following a simple “long tail” principle. We will be bringing you details of the study in the next days on Chessdom.com.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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