The Final Countdown

Время публикации: 01.06.2012 18:17 | Последнее обновление: 01.06.2012 19:32

"A win... a loss... these high-sounding words have no meaning. Life doesn't linger in heights like that; it... creates new images. A win weakens people: a loss wakes up new strengths in them... The only thing worth taking into account is the course of events".

A. de Saint-Exupéry

The tie-break is over; Anand is in the seventh heaven. No matter how he tried to hide his happiness at the press conference that followed, he sometimes forgot himself, so a genuine and warm smile showed on his lips, "Be that as it may, I've won this match".

The four games, which were the moment of truth for Gelfand, will stick in his memory forever. The ill-fated move 59. Rh7 will probably not let him rest for many years. At night, he'll dream about his blunder in the second game. The final drawn position from the fourth game will pop up before his eyes, as well as the moment when he had to stop the clock and accept that his whole life's dream, towards which he moved for such a long time, has remained only a dream.

That's Gelfand's little tragedy and Anand's great joy. The two eternal opposites, like Black and White, are together again.

The Tretyakov Gallery boiled, bubbled and was generally excited. The spectators, having forgotten their proper image, cursed and pushed. If only they could, by hook or by crook, get into the paying hall and see the tie-breaks. Your correspondent acquired two bruises as trophies from particularly ardent fans. I'll be proud of them: can you believe in such a love of the game!

The perfect rows of international cameras lined up in advance and occupied almost the entire press centre. The multitude of camera operators and photo correspondents, who were sent by publications that don't understand chess at all, abandoned their technical equipment half an hour later and poked their fingers into the monitor with an interest. Say what you like, but rapid chess is closer to ordinary people than pretentious classical games.

The first game was like pouring petrol on fire. It's hard to say what Gelfand and Anand felt, but spectators were as if they received a portion of dessert each. It was tasty and they wanted more. "Look at how they've started playing!", "That's real chess!", "They can do it when they want it", "Why didn't they play like this before?!, was heard from every corner. "We don't have anything against draws like this!", summarised a translator and a chess fan.

The second game was an alcoholic "Mojito". Anand worked his rival up with a rum-like opening novelty and didn't allow to recover for a long time. And when Gelfand almost became sober again, everything was messed up by the secondary wave of acid and lime. An inaccurate move in the fever of the time-trouble meant that Boris was faced with the bleak prospect of needing to recoup.

The third game was a dried up fountain, like a symbol of broken hope. "No luck", is the only explanation that can be given to Gelfand's last move. There's no luck to win this match. He's not fated to become the World Champion, at least for now. As it's well known, fighting against fate is useless...

That's why the fourth game was about acceptance. It was difficult for the Israeli to do anything, no matter how hard he tried. Anand confidently signed the draw agreement.

And then there was the surprisingly good-natured press conference with the participation of both players. Anand was so happy that he readily answered any questions. Gelfand also didn't restrict himself with short answers. Still, he didn't answer one question.

"Can you announce who were your unofficial seconds, now that everything is in the past?"
Gelfand squinted, smiled slyly and answered, "Probably not. The time has not come yet..."



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