first_imgViswanathan Anand achieved his prime objective of a draw with black pieces in the penultimate game and in the process also made Boris Gelfand sweat under time pressure in the 11th game of the World Chess Championships at the Tretyakov Gallery.The score now stands tied at 5 points each as the match heads into the 12th and final game, where the defending champion has the advantage of white pieces. Anand offered the draw in 24 moves and the match had lasted a little under two and three quarters of an hour, with Gelfand having used up an hour and 47 minutes of that.Anand not only unleashed a very rarely played move on the eighth 8… Bd7 which sent Gelfand into a problem with the clock, but later on the Indian also had a novelty Bc3 on the 11th.As the match headed towards a climax, and this being the weekend, a huge crowd turned up for the match and it spilled over outside the main hall.Two years ago in a match that put Anand under a great deal of pressure off the board, too, the Indian had successfully defended his world title by winning the 12th and final game with black pieces. This time around he has white.Considering Anand’s reputation in shorter formats, he may start as the favourite in the tiebreaker, involving rapids and maybe even Blitz games. Both players refused to be drawn into that discussion though Gelfand with a smile, said, “Vishy is the best player in all formats and that’s why he has been the world champion for so many years.”advertisementAnand admitted that he had played some Blitz games but those were not as a preparation specifically for this, and it was more routine while trying a few games. He also admitted that the thought did cross his mind, but felt that there was time (a rest day) before the tie-breaker, if it came to that.Gelfand with white pieces might have hoped to put Anand under some pressure, as he had with white in the past in this match. But this time Anand surprised him first with an eighth move that has been very rarely played. It left Gelfand thinking for more than 35 minutes, putting him under severe time strain, which may have also thwarted any thoughts he may have had of trying to play for a win.The win was never there, unless Anand made a mistake, which he indicated he was not going to in this crucial game. Despite having almost 50 minutes more on the clock, Anand realised that there really was no way black could play for a win unless Gelfand made a serious error. So, the Indian offered a draw after 24 moves and Gelfand, who then had only 13 minutes left on the clock – as against Anand’s 64 minutes – accepted the truce and sent the match into the 12th and final game.In the past, Anand has lost to Anatoly Karpov in the rapids in the 1998 title match in Lausanne and Vladimir Kramnik beat Topalov in the tie-breaker in 2006.Gelfand played white for one last time in the scheduled 12-game series. For Anand, a quick draw would mean negating Gelfand’s advantage with his last white, and in case he got some good play, it would give him an added psychological boost, however small, before the final game where the defending champion has white on Monday.Scoreboard, Game 11 Boris Gelfand (white) vs Viswanathan Anand (black) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O- O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O- O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bd7 9. a3 Ba5 10. Qe2 Bc6 11. Rd1 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nbd7 13. Bd3 Qa5 14. c4 cxd4 15. exd4 Qh5 16. Bf4 Rac8 17. Ne5 Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Rfd8 20. a4 Ne4 21. Rd3 f6 22. Bf4 Be8 23. Rb3 Rxd4 24. Be3 Rd7 -Aronian laughs off on Gelfand linkThere was much speculation that Levon Aronian, the world No. 2 was helping Boris Gelfand with his prematch preparation, but Aronian himself laughed it off, while neither confirming nor denying the news.Making a brief visit to the venue in Moscow on Saturday, Aronian, when asked by some media person if he had helped Gelfand, smiled and said, “Well if I was helping I should be helping both as they are playing my opening.” Then he made a few quick comments on the game and left.Aronian, who is one of the few players against whom Anand has a minus score, was on his way to Berlin for some personal work, so stayed on for a very short time. Aronian is scheduled to play the strong Tal Memorial to be held in Moscow soon after the World Championships, where the field also includes Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Teimour Radjabov, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.advertisementlast_img

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