Defending champion Viswanathan Anand was on Monday stretched to the tie-breaker of the World Chess Championship by his Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand following a draw in the 12th and final game here.
The 10th draw in the 12-game match ensured that the Israeli stays in the match with honours and now it will be a high-voltage drama in the rapid games to be played at the State Tretyakov Gallery on Wednesday.
Anand, with his reputation of being one of the best rapid players ever, still holds an advantage but things have not exactly materialised the way he might have wanted in this match.
Anand, who has inspired the younger generation in India to take to the game for the last 13 years as brand ambassador for IT company NIIT, started as an overwhelming favourite in the match. But the Indian Grandmaster could only force one victory in 12 games and lost one. This is indication enough that the first round has been won by the Israeli. In the rapid chess, Anand will have to score 2.5 points in the four games scheduled on Wednesday. There will be 25 minutes to each player in this contest with a 10-second addition after every move is played. If the scores are still tied after these four games, there will be two more games with blitz chess rules. Should the tie persist, there are five such blitz matches to be played. If the deadlock still continues, there will be an Armageddon game with five minutes to white and four to black and black wins the title in case of a draw also.