Moscow in its bid to bring back the lost glory of the Soviet era, hosts the $ 2.55 million World Chess Championship. The opening tie was between Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and challenger Boris Gelfand of Grandmaster of Israel. The clash ended in a draw as both the experts were probing on each other’s weakness. However Anand was the favored on the eve analysis, as the Indian Grand Master was the four-time world Champion. Boris Gelfand was the hope of the Soviet to regain the Championship title. Both the Grand Masters (GM) declared their colors by painting the colors on Thursday when the game’s opening ceremony was held.
Anand takes on white and Gelfand plays with black. It is a general tendency that GMs choose White with a feeling that it would be advantageous. However the colors will be reversed after six games, the mid way of the match, which shall stretch to a three week schedule. The game had the GMs on a roller coaster ride with fortunes swaying sides. Israel GM started with a classic Grunfeld defence, however received a jolt as the Indian GM with a quick sixth move that shredded the challenger's queen-side defence. It was Anand’s turn to be shocked when he tried to break the game open in the 14th move by pushing his queen's pawn down the flank instead of taking material at c6. On the whole the game ended in a draw.
History of the combat:
Both the GMs were in their early forties and are noted for their on-board skills. However it is Anand who has the stats in his favor. Gelfand has been on the elite circle since 1989, but Anand has been on since 1990. In spite of their prolonged existence the stalwarts have met for the first time in a title clash, is the strangest thing say experts.
Moscow and Chess:
The former Soviet Union was considered as the breeding grounds for GMs and stalwarts like Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. Moscow during that time was the centre-stage for the sport. However the last match held between these connoisseurs of the game was in 1985 and it was a 24-game schedule. After a gap of so many years, the city gets to hold the Championships. This match has prize money of $ 2.55 million, the highest stake in the history of the game. The winner will get 60% and loser 40% of the price money. Winner will receive Rs.8.10 Cr and loser Rs.5.40 Cr. (With Inputs from Internet- Aarkay)