Defending champion Viswanathan Anand struck back with vengeance on Monday and scored the much-needed equalizer against Boris Gelfand in the eighth game of the World Chess Championship now underway here.
On a day when everything worked in favor of Anand, Gelfand simply could not hold his thoughts together and ended up blundering his queen for little compensation. It turned out to be the shortest match in recent world championship history, lasting just 17 moves. The win helped Anand level the scores at 4-4, and against expectations, the Indian ace made a comeback in the 12-game match.
Gelfand surprised Anand again when he chose the King’s Indian Defense to enter the Saemisch variation. However, there was little impact on Anand, who was better prepared this time. The shocker came on move seven for Gelfand when Anand went for a rare sideline, which was obviously a part of his preparation.
Gelfand responded well, but it was clear that he was taken out of his preparation early in the game, something that Team Anand had been striving for the last seven games. Anand took his chances on the eighth move when he had some choices, and traded the long-diagonal black Bishop with his own, Anand forcibly dented Gelfand’s pawn structure, but also gave the Israeli hope about his own position given the double edged nature of the game.
“I don’t think I played particularly aggressive today, the moves I played are typical of the position we had on board,” said Anand, when asked whether the loss in the previous round had brought out the best in him.
The middle game soon became razor-sharp as Gelfand chose a complicated game, and on the 12th move, Anand pushed one of his king-side pawns forward to push back a black knight. Gelfand lost his cool here. The blunder by Gelfand happened on move 14 when he simply brought his queen forward to attack a white pawn and subsequently the white rook, forgetting that the rook was taboo, as his queen was getting trapped.
Anand did not waste time and when Gelfand realized his mistake, it was all over. The Israeli resigned immediately instead of prolonging his agony.
“I had to calculate a lot of variations, I simply miscalculated,” conceded Gelfand in the post-match conference.
The moves (game 8):
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 c5 4. d5 d6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Ne2 O—O 7.
Nec3 Nh5 8.
Bg5 Bf6 9. Bxf6 exf6 10. Qd2 f5 11. exf5 Bxf5 12. g4 Re8+ 13.
Kd1 Bxb1 14.
Rxb1 Qf6 15. gxh5 Qxf3+ 16. Kc2 Qxh1 17. Qf2 black resigned.