Israel's Gelfand beats defending chess champ

After 6 straight draws, Israel's Boris Gelfand takes significant step towards chess championship, beating Viswanathan Anand in Game 7 of the World Chess Championships.

May 20, 2012 19:27
1 minute read.
Israeli grandmaster Boris Gelfand

Boris Gelfand 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel’s Boris Gelfand took a significant step towards an historic achievement on Sunday, beating defending-champion Viswanathan Anand in Game 7 of the World Chess Championships in Moscow to take a 4-3 lead in the best-of-12 series.

After the first six games all ended in draws, Gelfand made the most of playing with white pieces and Anand’s under-par play to claim a win and edge closer to becoming just the 16th undisputed world champion since 1886.

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Gelfand, who led Israel to the bronze medal at the 2010 Olympiads and also won the World Chess Cup in 2009, entered the final as a clear underdog.

However, with Sunday’s win against Anand, his first over the Indian in 19 years, he will be confident of taking the title and collecting over $1.5 million in prize money.

Legendary chess champion Garry Kasparov, who was guest of honor for Friday’s match between Gelfand and Anand, was critical of the Indian’s play, claiming that he is “sliding downhill”.

“What I think with Vishy is that he has lost motivation,” Kasparov said. “I think he’s sliding downhill these [last] years. He wants to win, he knows he’s a better player, but it’s not enough.”

Gelfand was not impressed with Kasparov’s comments.

“Maybe Kasparov wants to remind everyone that he was once the strongest chess player in the world,” he said.

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