Israeli chess grandmaster Boris Gelfand now shares the No. 2 spot with outgoing world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, after tying for second place at the 2007 World Chess Championship tournament in Mexico City. Kramnik handed his title over to Indian national Vishwanatan Anand at the tournament's closing ceremonies Sunday.
"Gelfand played against the best players in the world. This achievement is really something," said Yigal Lotan, managing director of the Israeli Chess Federation.
Gelfand, a chess grandmaster who has participated in tournaments for over two decades, trained diligently for this year's championship and was especially praised for the improvisational maneuvers he used in his match against Kramnik.
Lotan said Gelfand, 39, the tournament's oldest competitor, played with skill and endurance.
"Chess is a physical game, it's not only mental. I thought Gelfand would be tired because he was the oldest [player], but he performed nicely."
Gelfand, of Rishon Lezion, immigrated to Israel from Belarus nine years ago. He is a member of the national team.
Both Gelfand and Kramnik earned eight points out of a possible 14 in the double round-robin, eight-player tournament. With three wins, 10 draws and one loss, Gelfand finished one point behind Anand, who seized the championship with four wins and 10 ties as the tournament's only undefeated contender. Each player earned one point per win and half a point per tie in the 14-match competition.