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Friday, June 1, 2012

Anand Retains World Chess Champion Title: Experts Comment Including Legendary Gary Kasparov

World Chess Championship 2012 - A selection of expert comments were compiled by Pogonina.com. After drawing Boris Gelfand 6-6 in the classical part of the match Anand won the rapid tie-break 2.5-1.5 to retain the World Chess Champion title. Here's what some of the well-known chess experts have to say about it:

GM Sergei Shipov has published Garry Kasparov's opinion about the match:
"Anand played the match terribly. However, obviously, Gelfand wasn’t destined to beat even such an opponent, the one who was significantly weakened. Anand performed in the match against Kramnik splendidly and so-so against Topalov in 2010, while his play nowadays is of a completely different level. The tie-break was below any criticism. Gelfand should have won 3 games out of 4. In the first game he, of course, had to play 28.Qd3 instead of capturing on h6.

I have played the endgame from the second game of this tie-break in the USSR Championship in 1979 against Geller. The very same endgame, but only mirrored, with White’s pawn on g4. The spectators were laughing! Efim Petrovich made like 10 moves and succumbed to a draw. It is unreal to lose that position with Black.
In the third game Gelfand clearly outplayed Anand. In the opening he could have taken on e4 and won a piece; in the endgame he had a winning position.
In the fourth game, in my opinion, Black could have won “with his hands” – just push the pawns.

Anand is lucky that Gelfand was the one who challenged him. If the Candidates Matches in Kazan were held using the 6-6-8 system (6 games in the ¼-final and ½-final, 8- in the final), Gelfand’s chances to make it to the WCC match would be minimal. Somebody else would have played against Anand and could have actually won. For example, Grischuk. Not to mention that Carlsen would have been playing.

I would like to repeat once again that this match has nothing to do with determining the world’s strongest chess player. - (Translated from Russian by Pogonina.com)

Levon Aronian: Congrats to World Champion Anand! Great comeback in the later stage of the match! Gelfand deserves a praise for his creative and dynamic play!

Ian Nepomniachtchi: Congratulations to Vishy Anand who retains his title! But my sympathy prize undoubtedly goes to Boris :)

Judit Polgar: What a nail-biting tiebreak at the WC. I enjoyed every moment of the play off.

Vladimir Bellow: The champion held on, held on and won on penalty kicks. Very many missed chances by Boris - a pity.

Alexandra Kosteniuk: I would like to congratulate the World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand once again and say that I started respecting Boris Gelfand as a Chess Player even more than before the match.

John Saunders: World Chess Championship: Commiserations to Boris Gelfand who put up a fantastic fight, arguably outplaying Vishy Anand in several games.

Malcolm Pein: 3 fantastic games today, last one was 2tense and Boris had chances in all of them.

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