Here are the match conditions and procedure for tie-breaks:
The match format is the best of 12 games. Players scored one point for a win and half a point for a draw. The match will end once either player scored a minimum of 6½ points. Time control is 120 minutes, with 60 minutes added after move 40, 15 minutes added after move 60, and 30 additional seconds per move starting from move 61.
In case of a tie at the end of 12 games, there will be a series of tie breaks.
1. Colors will be drawn and four rapid games will be played. The time control for these games will be 25 minutes plus 10 seconds per move.
2. If the score is tied after the four rapid tie break games, colors will be drawn and two blitz games (5 minutes plus 10 seconds increment per move) will be played. If the score is tied after two blitz games, another two-game blitz match will be played, under the same terms. The process will repeat, if necessary, until five blitz matches have been played.
3. If the score is tied after ten blitz games, a single sudden-death "Armageddon game" will determine the champion. The winner of a draw of lots gets to choose the colour to play, with white given 5 minutes and Black 4 minutes. Beginning with move 61, a three-second increment will be added following each move. If the game is drawn then the player of the Black pieces is declared champion.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Ches ... conditions
I am hoping Anand will win. But in the event it does go to the tie-breaks it should be pretty interesting and exciting to see them play the faster games.
reflection, you are correct, in the past there were no tie-breaks. They started the tie-break system around the late 1990s.
The tie-break system sort of reminds me of the penalty kicks in soccer (football) when there is a tie at the end of regulation / full time. The tie-break system does not provide the best chess just as the penalty kicks does not provide the full soccer skills, but it gives some closure with a decisive outcome for the fans.