Israeli grandmaster Gelfand's great challenge starts today
Israeli grandmaster faces Indian rival in bid to become world chess champion.
MOSCOW - The final stage of a long journey toward a grand objective gets underway today for chess grandmaster Boris Gelfand. The Israeli chess champion faces current world champion Viswanathan Anand of India in a duel that will last nearly three weeks.
The tournament will demand of Gelfand and his opponent all their reserves of mental strength. In this first world chess championship to be held in Moscow since the Cold War, the winner will take home $1.5 million in prize money.
Gelfand, who immigrated to Israel in 1996, has competed among the world elite for over two decades. Thanks mainly to him, Israel won two Chess Olympic medals - silver and bronze - in 2008 and 2010. The world championship, however, is a completely different challenge - the high point in any chess player's career and a distant dream for many of the best who don't manage to peak at the right time.
Gelfand managed just that over the past couple of years by first winning the World Cup and then the challenger final, the latter earning him the right to face Anand for the title of world champion.