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My 40-minute chess move was crucial: Gelfand

France,Sports, Tue, 29 May 2012 IANS

Moscow, May 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Israel's Boris Gelfand has said taking 40 minutes for a crucial move helped him draw the last round and stretch defending champion Viswanathan Anand to the tie-breaker of the World Chess Championship here.

The players shook hands after the 22nd move by Anand, who was playing white, tying the match at 6-6 and forcing it to go to a tie-break Monday. Gelfand said caution on the 10th move helped him through.

"If I hadn't been thinking for a long time and made a move quickly, maybe, it would be already impossible to do anything on the next move," Gelfand said.

"The black had an uneasy task in the opening - to neutralize a well-defined plan that the white had. I pondered for a long time, because it was a critical moment, I needed urgently to come up with a counterplay and enhance my bishops," he said.

Anand, in turn, admitted his challenger played "very well", unexpectedly moving a pawn to e4.

Tied 6-6 after the best-of-twelve series, the Grandmasters are to hold the tie-breaker Wednesday, playing four matches with a shortened time limit of 60 minutes per player.

If that fails to determine a winner, the next stage is Armageddon, whereby the white gets five minutes while black gets just four but is named the winner in the event of a draw.

Regardless of how the result is decided, the winner will receive $1.5 million, while the loser will earn $1 million.

Anand, 42, has held the undisputed World Chess Champion title since October 2008, when he defeated Russia's Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn, Germany. He defended his title in 2009 by beating Bulgarian opponent Veselin Topalov 6.5-5.5 in Sofia.

Gelfand, 43, gained the right to become the world title contender after a win last May against Russia's Alexander Grischuk at a contenders' tournament in Kazan, Russia.

Russian billionaire and Gelfand's school friend Andrey Filatov paid $7 million from his own pocket to hold the event in one of the halls of the renowned State Tretyakov Gallery before the eyes of some 400 spectators.

Many others follow the matches on the huge electronic board hanging outside.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

abr/dg


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