I recently watched a chess documentary called “Album 61”. It is about the Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012 match and focuses on the development, preparation and situations of Gelfand during the match.
I really enjoyed watching it. The filming was nice, deep and emotional. That’s why I thought that I could share some information (the most important ideas in the film) about it with you. So let’s get started. 🙂
The film gets its name “Album 61” because Gelfand’s father used to collect pictures about his son’s development and make albums.
The World Chess Championship is a juicy battle, rife with passion, power and money. Boris Gelfand has spent his entire life getting ready for this moment; he was raised to become a champion since the age of six.
As I often say, preparation is the key! Gelfand had a team of four GMs who helped him prepare. They learned Anand’s games and looked for his weak points. For the World Championship match, Boris prepared twice as much as normal.
Anand, too, had his team and prepared in equal measure for the match.
Yes, after all, we’re human and do feel pressure. Chess players feel nervous before and/or during a game. This has serious implications for our results.
During a game between Anand and Gelfand, the commentator says that he is not able to read the facial expressions of the two players.
This shows how strong both players are, psychologically. They don’t give a chance for their opponent to read their mind and facial expressions.
I’ve already published a book for you on this topic. It is called Champion Psychology – A Book for Future Chess Champions, where I discuss typical psychological problems and how to overcome them.
Words from great players:
“Psychology is the most important factor in chess” – Alexander Alekhine
“You must not let your opponent know how you feel” – Alexander Kotov
“Any experienced player knows how a change in the character of the play influences your psychological mood” – Garry Kasparov
Yes, there will be some periods of ups and downs in the rhythm of life. However, this will not hinder the champ.
It is nice to see that the film turned the world chess championship into a nerve-racking drama.
Yes, even one of the greatest players ever, Garry Kasparov, said that chess is mental torture. When it comes to strong and important events like the World Championship, you require about ten hours of sleep per day.
Moreover, it is surprising to see what former world champion, Vladimir Kramnik, says about stress.
He then says that he was not on a diet but still lost weight due to stress.
Gelfand very much had the habit of leaving the board after making a move, often during the World Championship games. Gelfand’s coach says that he calculates moves and thinks while he walks.
Kasparov says that doing so on a regular basis or more frequently is not so good. It is just for the sake of relaxation or maybe to ‘outdo’ your opponent psychologically.
The main event consisted of twelve games and the first six were drawn. There was a breakthrough in the seventh game, where Gelfand outplayed Anand.
Gelfand – Anand WC 2012 Game-7
White to play
What do you think is the best continuation for White here? After calculating, continue reading below.
But the Indian Tiger made an immediate comeback in the eighth by defeating Gelfand in just seventeen moves!
Anand – Gelfand WC 2012 Game-8
White to play
After calculating all possible variations, you may watch the video lessons we published and check the whole game:
- Gems from Anand-Gelfand WC Match (Part-1)
- Gems from Anand-Gelfand WC Match (Part-2)
- Gems from Anand-Gelfand WC Match (Part-3)
- Gems from Anand-Gelfand WC Match (Part-4)
Finally, Anand defeated Gelfand in the tie-break (with time control of 25 minutes each + 10 seconds per move), which Vishy is very good at. Ironically, Gelfand didn’t have much time to go for a walk after making a move in this situation. 🙂
Becoming a grandmaster or a world champion is not that easy! It’s all about your hard work, preparation, passion, thinking skills, and understanding of the game.
The impact of parental ambition
One of the most important factors behind those who become champions is support and motivation from their parents. How the child has been brought up really impacts on its performance and growth.
For example, Carlsen’s parents took him around the world to play chess for a year when he was just twelve years old.
“He did so much for me. He spent his whole life thinking about me and caring. I’m less of a perfectionist than him” Gelfand himself says about his father.
As we can see, the importance of parents in guiding their children to progress in chess is REALLY huge. I cover this topic quite extensively in my new book, A Promoted Pawn: My Chess Journey. I’ll also talk about parents of chess prodigies and my own parents. 🙂
Talking about my forthcoming book, today I’ll reveal one more bit of ‘hot news’ about it. I’ve published the teaser video on the book for you! 🙂 You can watch it below: