- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Indian world chess champion Viswanathan Anand successfully defended his crown Wednesday, winning a four-game playoff in Moscow over challenger Boris Gelfand, who was seeking to become the first Israeli grandmaster ever to hold the title.

The two men were tied at 6-6 after the scheduled 12-game match Sunday. In Wednesday’s playoff, played at an accelerated rate in which each player has just 25 minutes to make all his moves, Mr. Anand won the second of four games and managed to draw the other three.

Mr. Anand, a onetime prodigy who is the only man from his country ever to hold the world crown, has been the game’s undisputed champion since 2007 and has won three title matches since then. He will remain the world champion at least through 2013, when he will face the winner of the next candidates’ tournament to pick a challenger.

The Indian wins $1.53 million for retaining his championship, while Mr. Gelfand, a surprise qualifier ranked only 20th in the world, receives $1.02 million.

Despite the tension of the playoff Wednesday, many rated the overall play in Moscow as somewhat lackluster. The first 12 games features a single win for the champion and one for the challenger, along with a number of short draws.

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