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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interesting chess stats for Gelfand versus Anand in May!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

We found these interesting statistics in the New York Post about Boris Gelfand taking on Viswananthan Anand for the World Chess Championship in May 2012.

When Boris Gelfand sits down at a board in a Moscow art museum in May, he will join an elite club.

But, first... a cute simul video. Must watch!

He will become the 28th player to compete in a world championship match since the undisputed title was created 126 years ago.

He’s regarded as a heavy underdog. Only 11 percent of fans think he’ll win, according to an online poll on the match’s Web site.

But even if Gelfand, of Israel, wins a single game from Vishy Anand of India, he will join another elite fraternity: Only 95 players have ever defeated a reigning world champion in a slow-speed game. The last to join that club was Hikaru Nakamura of St. Louis, who beat Anand in December. World champions lose very rarely. Vasily Smyslov of Russia only resigned once in his year as champion, before defending his title.

Many great players — including Lev Polugaevsky, Leonid Stein, Aron Nimzovich, and Geza Maroczy — never made the club. Six of the world’s current 15 highest-rated players aren’t members. Bobby Fischer didn’t join until his title match with Boris Spassky.

Other US members are Frank Marshall and Harry Pillsbury, who defeated Emanuel Lasker; Arthur Dake, Reuben Fine and Sam Reshevsky, who beat Alexander Alekhine; and Yasser Seirawan, who won against Anatoly Karpov.

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