Skip to comments.Israelis flock to Moscow to show support for Gelfand
Posted on 05/17/2012 8:37:50 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
JERUSALEM: Chess may not be among the most popular sports in Israel, but a lot of Israelis are flocking to Moscow to cheer countryman Boris Gelfand who is in pursuit to dislodge Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand as the world`s leading chess player at the FIDE world championship.
"Israelis are indeed showing their pride and support for Gelfand. Many hardcore chess fans have come to Moscow to see the match in person, as opposed to following it online like tens of thousands of others are doing," reported daily Ha`aretz, as the championship is generating more and more interest in the Israeli public.
Several Israelis arrived in the Russian capital a few days before the match started. Even though lodging in one of the world`s most expensive cities requires both daring and deep pockets, many continue to follow as the match enters the final stages.
"And those aren`t even the bulk of Gelfand`s supporters, who are expected to arrive next week. That group includes several high-ranking chess players and a fair number of amateurs, who decided to combine a tour of Moscow`s countless historical sites with the final stage of the match," the report added.
A lot of these amateur and professional chess players have gathered in the centre of Israel to watch the match.
"Of course, the chess players are excited about this," Yoav Nissenbaum, a member of the Israel Chess Federation said, adding, "This is the first time that an Israeli has made it to the world championship." Ido Ben Artzi, a 17-year-old grandmaster, says that he hardly misses a single move in the match.
"I try to get home in time. I go over the game and see what I think of every single move, without relying on the commentary for help. That`s how I put myself in the players` places," he said.
MOSCOW: The two chess stars vying for the world title ground out another draw on Tuesday, the fourth such result in as many matches and leaving the series all square one-third of the way through.
Indias title-holder Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand of Israel agreed to a draw after a tough game at Moscows Tretyakov Gallery which is hosting the 12-game series, leaving the match level at 2 points apiece.
Gelfand - playing white - sought to test out Anands defences with a long endgame but the Indian showed no weaknesses to make a draw inevitable.
Both players conceded afterwards that the series was only just getting underway as they fence around for opportunities with the full knowledge that one mistake could cost the championship.
We are still probing, Anand told reporters afterwards. Its a pretty tough match.
The Minsk-born Gelfand, known for his robust matchplay skills, added: I take each game as it comes. You should be ready for anything.
The winner is set to pocket $1.5 million, with the loser earning $1 million.
Will Andres Cantor be doing the play-by-play?
I used to be a big chess fan many years ago. But now with computers able to beat even the best humans, and very low-priced or free software able to beat the casual player, it takes the glamor out of it.
That, and there is no real economic future for chess. Live matches don’t translate to media well at all, and there are a very limited number of people willing to pay for a ticket to see a live match.
All of which is too bad, because chess, when viewed in the proper context, teaches some very good lessons to the young learner - preparation, memory, sportsmanship, creativity, logic, discipline.
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