Shortest Chess Game in World Championship History: Anand - Gelfand Game 8, Moscow, 2012 ~ World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shortest Chess Game in World Championship History: Anand - Gelfand Game 8, Moscow, 2012

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The shortest decisive World Chess Championship game took place between World Chess Champion Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and Israeli Grandmaster Boris Gelfand (originally trained in Russia) on 31st May, 2012. The game lasted only 17 moves, ending with Gelfand's resignation. 

Here is the game, replayable in your browser using the arrow buttons below the board. The gamescore includes Houdini 2 Pro's analysis generated automatically in the Chess King Pro interface:

Israel's Boris Gelfand and India's Viswanathan Anand at Game 8 press conference. Photo: Fide.

During the press conference, which took place immediately after the game, Boris Gelfand confessed that he simply failed to spot white's 17. Qf2. After playing 14...Qf6, he could only see 17. Qf4, after which white would have to play either 18. Bd3 or 18. Bh3. The Israeli grandmaster also considered the possibility of offering a losing exchange after a potential 15. Kc2 Nf4 16. Ne4 continuation. An interesting position appeared after 16... Re4 17. fe. “I played a risky variation and thought it would turn out okay, but I didn't anticipate White's last move. It's difficult to say where I could have played better. I think that, if this variation fails, then the whole concept is wrong. Of course, I could have just played Knight to g7 or f6 on the 14th move instead of Qf6, but then Black's position would have been worse after 15. h4.”

Viswanathan Anand revealed that he had seen the possible blunder as early as the 11th move, when he played pawn takes f5. “At first I had the same thought as Boris – that actually I had to go Queen f4, and then I refined it to Queen f2, and that's how it happened.” The world champion called move 7... Nh5 provocative as Black usually plays this move after 7... e6. He could have responded more aggressively and played 7. g4, but considered this to be too “committal”. “I played Bc5 taking advantage of the fact that had not played his pawn on e7.” (Read the full press conference report at

Anand Viswanathan (IND) (2775) - Gelfand Boris (ISR) (2751)

Result: 1-0
Site: Moscow (Russia)
Date: 2012.05.21

[...] 1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.e4 ♗g7 6.♘e2 O-O 7.♘ec3 ♘h5 8.♗g5 ♗f6 9.♗xf6 exf6 10.♕d2 f5 11.exf5 ♗xf5 12.g4 ♖e8+ 13.♔d1 ♗xb1 14.♖xb1 ♕f6 15.gxh5 ♕xf3+ 16.♔c2 ♕xh1 17.♕f2 how does Black save the Queen :( 17......

17...♘c6 18.dxc6 ♕xc6 19.♗g2 ♕d7 20.♘d5 ♕a4+ 21.b3 ♕xa2+ 22.♖b2 ♕a1 23.♘f6+ ♔g7 24.♗xb7 ♖e1 25.♗xa8 (0:00:39) 17.Qf2

17...♖e3 18.♕xe3 ♕xh2+ 19.♗e2 ♘d7 20.♕e7 ♘b6 21.♖f1 ♖f8 22.♔b3 ♘c8 23.♕xb7 f5 (0:00:03) 17.Qf2