World Chess Championship

The World Chess championship is in progress in Moscow. Over the years the format has changed. In the Soviet era, the matches were heavyweight affairs. They were with few exceptions contested between 2 Soviet grandmasters in Moscow with just a nominal prize to the winner. The time limit was 2½ hours for 40 moves. The match was the best of 24 games. There were numerous time outs & many draws. It was before the days of computers & there were adjournments anytime after 40 moves. In those days, one player sealed his move so that it was for both players, the other player’s move.  It followed a gruelling 3 year cycle for the challenger.  The match for the title of world champion use to last about 2 months. It was a gruelling affair & the champion had a return fight clause. Botvinnik normally lost the first match but won the return.  We used to find out the result & the moves in the fullness of time. In the end Karpov & Kasparov, latterly just Kasparov predominated. Then it was just Kasparov until Kramnik defeated him. Since then  the World championship hasn’t in all honesty been of much interest. Both Anand & Gelfand are well past their best. It is disappointing that no-one young has challenged them.

These days the match is the best of 12 games followed by what they call tie breaks.

I have copied & pasted this from the internet.

If the match is level after 12 games there will be a 4-game rapid match tie-break at 25 minutes per game plus 10 second increment. If scores are still level a 2-game blitz match will be played at 5 minutes plus 3 second increment.

If the deadlock is not broken, there can be up to 5 of the these 2-game blitz matches before a sudden-death blitz game will decide the winner (5 minutes for white, 4 minutes for black, and a 3 second increment from move 61)

It isn’t ideal. But times change. However Anand is an expert at speed chess. It is fairly certain if, as looks likely the match goes to the tie break that Anand will win it.

The match between Anand & Gelfand has been a huge disappointment. So far 8 draws, most of them routine. Two decisive results, in the 7th & 8th games both the result of poor play by the loser.

There don’t seem to be any great players around these days. In the end Magnus Carlsen might be. But it seems unlikely to me. In fact I doubt if Carlsen will ever be World Champion at all. Maybe it is the result of the collapse of the Soviet empire, maybe some other reason. It could be that children who would have learned chess now prefer computer games.

The match will probably go to the speed chess next week which Anand will be expected to win quite easily. He is much better than Gelfand at speed chess.

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