Israeli chess master Gelfand takes breakthrough win

Israeli chess master Gelfand takes breakthrough win

Six-game deadlock in the World Chess Championship broken by underdog, paving way for possible world title

Boris Gelfand faces Viswanathan Anand in Moscow on Saturday. (photo credit: screen capture,
Boris Gelfand faces Viswanathan Anand in Moscow on Saturday. (photo credit: screen capture,

Israeli grandmaster Boris Gelfand took a huge step in his bid to overtake reigning world chess champion Viswanathan Anand as the world’s best, scoring the first victory of the series after six successive draws.

With five games left and the score 4-3 in Gelfand’s favor, Anand will likely be forced to take a more aggressive tact, changing the dynamic of the series.

The World Chess Championships, a three-week event, opened in Moscow a week ago Friday. The title will be decided over 12 matches, and the winner will take home $1.53 million while second place will win $1.02 million.

This is the fifth time Anand is defending his World Champion title, though he no longer holds the top world ranking, falling to No. 4 recently.

Gelfand, ranked 22, was born in Minsk and immigrated to Israel in 1998, quickly dominating the local chess scene and capturing a number of world chess tournaments, including the Chess World Cup in 2009.

He is thought to be a classical player who often has tricks up his sleeve. He defeated the world’s top players in the 2011 Candidates Cup round, which earned him a spot at the board opposite Anand.

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