Israeli Chessmaster and Indian Rival Kick Off World Championship With a Draw

Israel's Boris Gelfand rejects computer analysis that he should have continued playing, saying victory was not practical.

Israeli Boris Gelfand's first match in a three-week tournament against World champion Viswanathan Anand of India has ended in a draw, which was a good start for the Israeli contender as he played black, putting him at a disadvantage.

A computer-generated analysis of the game said that Gelfand shouldn't have agreed to a draw, as he could have won were he to continue playing. The Israeli chess master rejected the claim, saying it wasn't likely he could have actually won, mostly because the time was running out.

Chess slideshow - May 4, 2012
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Gelfand seemed calm. When asked after the game if he was nervous at his first bid for the world championship, he answered, "I heard many stories of 'fear of heights' at an occasion like this. Retroactively, I wouldn't worry."

Anand told the press after the game that he was surprised by his opponent's choice of opening, which Gelfand doesn't use often.

Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery's 400 seats were filled to capacity with people giving up their places mid game to other spectators waiting outside.

The next game in the series will be played on Saturday.