Boris Gelfand

by Bill Wall



In 2012, Boris Gelfand won game 7 in his match with world champion Vishy Anand after 6 draws (4-4 tie). But then he lost in 17 moves in game 8. It was the shortest game ever played in world championship play. The previous shortest game was 19 moves in the first world championship match between Steinitz and Zukertort.


Gelfand-Anand, Game 7, World Ch, Moscow, May 20, 2012

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.c5 Nbd7 7.Qc2 b6 8.cxb6 Nxb6 9.Bd2 c5 10.Rc1 cxd4 11.exd4 Bd6 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Bd3 h6 14.Bh4 Bb7 15.O-O Qb8 16.Bg3 Rc8 17.Qe2 Bxg3 18.hxg3 Qd6 19.Rc2 Nbd7 20.Rfc1 Rab8 21.Ba4 Ne4 22.Rxc8+ Bxc8 23.Qc2 g5? [23Ndf6] 24.Qc7 Qxc7 25.Rxc7 f6 26.Bxe4 dxe4 27.Nd2 f5 28.Nc4 Nf6 29.Nc5 Nd5 30.Ra7 Nb4 31.Ne5 Nc2 32.Nc6 Rxb2+ 33.Rc7 Rb1+ 34.Kh2 e3 35.Rxc8+ Kh7 36.Rc7+ Kh8 37.Ne5 e2 38.Nxe6! [threatening mate with Ng6+ and Rg8. Not 38.Ng6+ Kg8 39.Nxe6?? Rh1+ 40.Kxh1 e1=Q+ 41.Kh2 Qxe6 and Black should win] 1-0


Anand Gelfand, Game 8, World Ch, Moscow, May 21, 2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Ne2 O-O 7.Nec3 Nh5 8.Bg5 Bf6 9.Bxf6 exf6 10.Qd2 f5 11.exf5 Bxf5 12.g4 Re8+ 13.Kd1 Bxb1 14.Rxb1 Qf6?? [14Nf6] 15.gxh5 Qxf3+ 16.Kc2 Qxh1 17.Qf2! [17Nc6 18.dxc6 Qxc6 19.Bg2 (or 19.Bd3 Re5 20.Rf1 Qc7 21.Nd5 or 19.h6) 19Qc8 (19Qd7 20.Nd5) 20.Rf1 Qf5+ 21.Qxf5 gxf5 22.Rxf5] 1-0


Boris Abramovich Gelfand was born on June 24, 1968 in Minsk, Belarus. His parents were construction engineers.


In 1972, he learned how to play chess from his parents.


In 1975, Boris studied chess under the well-known teacher Eduard Zelkind. He later became a student of IM Albert Kapengut.


From 1980 to 1983, he was a pupil at the Tigran Petrosian School of chess.


In 1983, Gelfand was awarded the USSR master title after playing in the Sokolsky Memorial in Minsk. He finished ahead of 2 grandmasters without losing a game.


In 1984, he won the Belorussian adult championship at the age of 16.


In January 1985, Gelfand won the USSR Under-18 Junior Championship with the score of 9 out of 11.


In 1985, he again won the Belorussian adult championship.


In 1987, Gelfand was European Under-21 Junior Champion.


In 1988, he tied for first in the World Junior Championship, held in Adelaide, but lost the title on tiebreaks to Joel Lautier. He then tied for 1st in the European Under-20 championshhip.


In 1989, he won the GMA Candidates Tournament in Palma de Mallorca. The event had 150 grandmasters participating.


In 1989, he was awarded the Grandmaster title without ever being an International Master.


In June-July 1990, he tied for 1st place with Ivanchuk at the Manila Interzonal without losing a game. Anand and Short tied for 3rd-4th.


He qualified for the 1993 World Chess Championship Candidates. In 1991, he beat P. Nikolic, but was later knocked out by Nigel Short.


In 1992, he tied for 1st at Wijk aan Zee. He was ranked #3 in the world, behind Kasparov and Karpov.


In 1993, he won the Biel Interzonal, defeated Kramnik in a Candidates match, but lost in the Candidates match against Anatoly Karpov in the finals in 1995.


In 1994, he took 1st at Dos Hermanas.


In 1997, he was knocked out of the World Championship cycle by Viswanathan Anand in Gronginen.


In 1998, he immigrated to Israel and moved to a small town south of Tel Aviv.


In 1999, he played in the world championship knockout in Las Vegas, but was knocked out by eventual winner Alexander Khalifman.


In 2000, at New Delhi, he was knocked out by Alexey Shirov.


In the 2001-02 world championship knockout tournament in New Delhi, he was knocked out by Peter Svidler.


In 2005, he finished 6th in the FIDE World Cup.


In 2007, he tied for 2nd with Vladimir Kramnik in the FIDE World Championship tournament in Mexico City.


In 2009, he won the World Cup and qualified for the World Chess Championship 2012 Candidates Tournament.


In January 2010, he peak FIDE rating was 2761.


In 2011, he won the Candidates Tournament in Kazan,Tatarstan, defeating Gata Kamsky and Alexander Grischuk in the final match (5 draws and 1 win), and qualified to play Vishy Anand for the 2012 world championship. For winning the Candidates Tournament, he won 250,00 euros.


In May 2012, he was rated 2727 and ranked #20 in the world.


Gelfand played in 9 chess Olympiads. He represented the USSR once, Belarus twice, and Israel 6 times.


He was aWorld Championship Candidate six times (1991, 1994-95, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2013).


His peak rating was 2777 in November 2013. His rating is 2747 as of January 2015.