The Left Hook. The Right Hook. Break

Время публикации: 22.05.2012 20:19 | Последнее обновление: 23.05.2012 13:19

When I started writing this report, I caught myself thinking that the events of the seventh and eighth rounds were so shocking that memories of the first six games have almost been erased from the memory.

The day seven named after Pierre de Coubertin.

The first day after the colour changeover started in the same way as six before that. The only difference was that, since Kasparov's visit wasn't able to break down the drawing fort, most of those present didn't amuse themselves with illusive hopes, but rather put up with the inevitable: oh well if it's a draw!

A lot more people congregated: it was Sunday. Peter Leko appeared on the captain-commentator's bridge. The namesake Peter Svidler continued to peacefully watch live cricket transmission on the internet,

and nothing, it seemed, could disturb the peaceful flow of "life according to the Tretyakov Gallery" .

The main characters are in place

The clock has been started. 1.d4

Having seen that Gelfand played Grunfeld in the first game, some experts suggested that Gelfand's first move with the king's pawn isn't far off. It's unlikely that Anand excludes that sort of development of events. That's why, when the opponent moved the queen's pawn, there was a barely noticeable relief in the eyes of the Indian.

As we already described in detail in the news, the seventh game went along the new path: 6.с5. Everything was calm in the match until the unexpected 15… Qb8 from Vishy. At this point the crowd livened up. This hasn't been seen before: it became possible to double the kingside pawns!  That's what happens when spectators are starved of chess: any slightly asymmetrical position, where the central pawns remained, just seems as a treasure of winning chances. Having imagined the time when we'll see Gelfand's assault on the enemy king, we soon had to take a cold shower: 16. Bg3.

To say that the disappointment filled the air is to say nothing. It reminded despair, "How is that possible? That was the only chance to fight for an advantage! How is it possible to decline this kind of possibilities?! Oh no, is it going to be a draw again?". Having flown to the magic dreamland of 16.Bf6 and again filled ourselves with hopes that the decisive score will be opened, it was hard to return to the initial feeling of inevitability.

However, Gelfand didn't hear any of it and obviously had his own thoughts on the matter. It's very hard to give an objective assessment of the bishop's retreat; if the game was between soulless pieces of iron, then it was possible to say that this wasn't the strongest move. But it was people who were playing. Knowing now how the game finished, it's possible to justify everything that Gelfand did. We have no idea how the game would have developed after the exchange on f6. Perhaps, everything would have finished with an impressive attack full of sparks, "as we like it", or may be it would have ended as another draw due to exhaustion of resources. But we know what happened after 16. Bg3. Vishy lost guard in the position where there were almost no threats towards him and fell apart practically within several moves. Gelfand won and took the lead on the score line. How could there be any objective chess thinking? It's pure psychologyPierre de Coubertin could be proud of what he started.

It was hard to watch Anand at the press conference. The composure left him: sharp and fragmented responses that often started before questions were fully asked, forcing askers to fall silent, made Anand's comparison with a wounded tiger very appropriate.

Gelfand, on the other hand, almost didn't show his joy at all. That's the long term friendship for you. Because of that, even such important wins don't (allegedly) bring full satisfaction!

Anatoly Karpov, who was the guest of the match on the seventh day of play, turned out to be extraordinarily insightful. As soon as he said that Gelfand had to win in the classical games, Boris took active actions.

He should know all the intricacies of a match play! "Careful play in a short 12-game match is quite a viable strategy, which can bring success to one of the participants. The fact that this strategy isn't normally liked by fans and journalists is another question. But you do understand that the most important thing for them at the moment is to win the match; the rest is secondary".

All of the Israeli forces are needed to help Gelfand!

The President of the Austrian Chess Federation Kurt Jungwirth and the ex-President of the Russian Chess Federation Boris Kutin are closely following the developments of the match.

Dmitry Plisetsky is saying to Anatoly Vaiser, "How can you explain this? I don't understand".

In the last minutes of the seventh game.

Eli Shvidler tells Peter Leko something he can't quite believe by looking at his laptop's screen, "The news about Gelfand's win is the main news on the site of the most popular Israeli newspaper! It's above politics, economics and sport".

The day eight. To end or to start again.

After the decisive game in the seventh round, it became clear that the chain reaction has started and the opponents are not intending to keep trumps in their sleeves. Anand has to win back and Gelfand has to stop it. And, if possible, use the opponent's overly daring play to finish him off; it's unlikely that the World Champion would have recovered after a second unanswered win by the Israeli.

The spectators were a bit puzzled as they expected to see collected and angry (in chess terms) Vishy, but the reality didn't match expectations. Everything in the World Champion's appearance, the way he sat down and his first moves showed that he still hasn't found his foothold.

Gelfand also didn't leave an impression of a chess player who was absolutely sure in himself, but at least he appeared a bit calmer.

The game started and it became clear straight away that the Candidate was ready to enter into an open battle.  Anand accepted the glove after weighing up all reasons "for" and "against".

And again it was possible to look from all sides and discuss if it was right to play 8…Bf6 and then ... (name here any Black's moves that you didn't like), but we perfectly understand that the fight in this game wasn't restricted to the 64 squares. Gelfand wanted to try and finish the match by using the fact that the opponent hasn't collected himself.

However, it seems that he didn't consider his own state. He "burned himself up" and, strangely (for a player of this calibre), miscalculated. Anand, who was forced to either go for it or to give up the initiative for free, certainly, chose the former. The World Champion's character has to be credited: he collected himself and did everything in his power to neutralise the opponent's activity. It's not known how it all would have finished if the knight retreated instead of 14… Qf6, but again - it doesn't matter. Anand won. The score is even. Everything is starting again.

It's the usual scene: Anand is thinking at the board, while Gelfand by walking on the stage.

Chess and arts. A demonstration. The Tretyakov Gallery prepared great educational and artistic clips, but they appear at such a wrong time sometimes...

Valentina Gunina is a continuous source of a great mood.

This is a place of work of NTV+ (a Russian TV channel). It's also known as the coldest place in the engineering building. Unfortunately, the TV channel didn't have a choice, but it's hard to stay in that place for more than half an hour (it was tested out by Surov, the colleague, during one of the live radio transmissions).

Ian Nepomniachtchi, "Anand or Gelfand?.. Kasparov!"

"When are you planning to enter the fight for the crown?" "The sooner the better!"

Five minutes after the catastrophe. First of all, Gelfand opened a bottle of water just as usual, and then tried to hide internal feelings. He almost succeeded.

Attention to chess has substantially increased in the second half of the match.

It's the familiar sorry expression. Now it's on Anand's face. By the way, remembering his feelings a day earlier, Anand decided to minimise sufferings of his friend in life and opponent at the board by taking most of the questions to himself.

Peter Leko, "We can only guess what might happen next in the match!"


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