Israeli chess player heads to FIDE Candidates final

Boris Gelfand, a Rishon Lezion resident, will face off against Russian Alexander Grischuk to advance to finals; Ayalon sends congratulations.

May 17, 2011 09:48
1 minute read.
Chess in Tel Aviv [illustrative]

chess record 311. (photo credit: Ben Spier)


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Belarus-born Israeli grand master Boris Gelfand has qualified to compete against Alexander Grischuk for the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Candidates final in Kazan, Russia, the game-enthusiast site Chess Vibes reported.

The two opponents passed a “thrilling tie-breaker on Monday” to advance onto the final stage that will determine who will head to compete against reigning champion from India, Viswanathan Anand.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon offered his congratulations to Gelfand in a tweet for his advancement to the FIDE finals.

Gelfand, 42, commented on the last match which propelled him towards the Candidates final, saying “The match was full of mistakes from both sides.

Luck was on my side. I’m very glad it happened like this. Basically the quality was pretty low.

Normally the quality of tiebreaks is higher, I don’t know what happened today.”

Chess Vibes reported that Gelfand had reached a “mustwin situation” after his American opponent Gata Kamsky won Gelfand’s queen, tightening his grip on the Israeli player.


Trumping Kamsky’s “stubborn defense” in the second half of the game, Gelfand managed to outplay his persistent competitor gaining a sweet victory and rights to advance to the final.

The final match-up is slated for Thursday in which six games will be played with a break on Sunday. In the event of a 3-3 score, a tie-breaker will take place the following Thursday.

At 17, Gelfand was a Junior Champion in the Soviet Union and a European Junior Champion just two years later. He immigrated to Israel from Belarus in 1998 and settled in Rishon Lezion. He has since become Israel’s top chess player.

Gelfand has won about 30 tournaments during his professional life.

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