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Showing posts with label viswanathan anand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label viswanathan anand. Show all posts

Monday, November 24, 2014

Magnus Carlsen Retains World Chess Title with Game 11 Victory

SOCHI: Magnus Carlsen asserted his supremacy over Viswanathan Anand for the second year in running as the Norwegian retained his World Championship title after defeating the Indian Challenger in the 11th game on Sunday. 

The Norwegian world champion closed the 12-game match with a 6.5-4.5 scoreline, courtesy his win in the penultimate game. 

While this may have been closely fought in the eyes of the experts, the fact remains that Anand lasted only one extra game compared to the 2013 match at Chennai when it was all over in the tenth game of the match itself. 

For Anand, there were a lot of lessons to be learnt and it is clear that the five-time world champion will probably like to get another shy at the title during the next Candidates tournament. 

Anand knew that a draw would keep him in the match but expectedly the Indian ace was not hooked to the idea of staying on till the last game of the 12-game match, and tried to complicate when he got the first opportunity. 

When Anand went for the real complications the opinion of the experts was pretty divided out of another Berlin defense game. While the opening discussion continued, Anand was the first to deviate from earlier games in the same opening and in the opinion of Ian Nepomniachtchi, a former second of Carlsen, Anand went for unwarranted complexities. 

In the 11th game too, Anand made fewer mistakes than Calrsen and some even opined that the Indian had better chance. As it happened in the game, Anand came up with an exchange sacrifice when according to Grandmaster Peter Svidler, 'he felt he ought to be doing something'. 

As things became clear, the exchange sacrifice was probably not the best of solutions for Anand in a seemingly equal situation and this was what eventually plotted the downfall for the Indian, Anand however regretted his decision to sacrifice a rook for a minor piece. 

"It was a bad gamble, and I got punished," he said. Carlsen on his part remained the calculation machine he is known to be and his super judgment on the position was the critical factor to seize the initiative. 

Anand was pretty sure that the position was equal before that but while he was playing objectively till a certain point but took a nervous decision in the match. Anand could have drawn this and gone on in the 12th game of the match in a must-win situation. 

Anand conceded after the match that Carlsen's nerves held better in this match. But for the experts, it was clear that Anand had his chances which he did not capitalise. 

"Taking in to account that all things considered he did better. I did not something better and some things worse," Anand concluded at the post-game conference. 

Magnus Carlsen v/s V Anand 11th Game of World Chess Championship 2014: 

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Bd7 10. Nc3 h6 11. b3 Kc8 12. Bb2 c5 13. Rad1 b6 14. Rfe1 Be6 15. Nd5 g5 16. c4 Kb7 17. Kh2 a5 18. a4 Ne7 19. g4 Ng6 20. Kg3 Be7 21. Nd2 Rhd8 22. Ne4 Bf8 23. Nef6 b5 24. Bc3 bxa4 25. bxa4 Kc6 26. Kf3 Rdb8 27. Ke4 Rb4 28. Bxb4 cxb4 29. Nh5 Kb7 30. f4 gxf4 31. Nhxf4 Nxf4 32. Nxf4 Bxc4 33. Rd7 Ra6 34. Nd5 Rc6 35. Rxf7 Bc5 36. Rxc7+ Rxc7 37. Nxc7 Kc6 38. Nb5 Bxb5 39. axb5+ Kxb5 40. e6 b3 41. Kd3 Be7 42. h4 a4 43. g5 hxg5 44. hxg5 a3 45. Kc3 1-0.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

World Chess Match Anand-Carlsen 5.30 pm Live Today in Sochi, Russia

Sochi, Nov 8: World Chess Championship Match 2014 between reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand of India begins today in Russia at 5.30 pm in the city of Sochi. You can watch it live at the official website from 5.30 pm onwards.
 


A glittering ceremony, opening press conference and pre-match 'rituals' took place yesterday in Sochi -- all broadcast live via the high-powered super-sleek official website last evening. 

The took place at the Congress Hall of the Radisson Blu Hotel and was attended by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Russian Chess Federation President Andrey Filatov, the adviser of the Russian President Igor Levitin, former World Champions Boris Spassky, Nona Gaprindashvili, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Zhu Chen, Antoaneta Stefanova, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian deputy minister of sports Pavel Kolobkov and other officials, chess stars, and eminent guests.
 


Russian People's Artist Sergey Makovetsky and 12th WOmen's World Chess Champion ChessQueen Alexandra Kosteniuk were hosts of the ceremony.
Igor Levitin read out the welcome address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin:“Russia deserves the honour of holding this important and prestigious event. Our country has won wide recognition for its chess school and has extensive experience at holding events of this level, all the more so as this championship match is taking place in Sochi, which hosted the Winter Olympics earlier this year.

I am confident that Sochi’s developed sports, transport and tourism infrastructure and the traditional hospitality of its residents will ensure that this event takes place at the highest standard and will enable the competitors – Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand – to demonstrate the full measure of their skill and ability to find original solutions to the most complex tasks and show that they are worthy rivals in this battle for the chess world’s crown.”

Read full welcome address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin (RUS)


Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on behalf of the FIDE Presidential Board (the International Chess Federation unites 181 countries) sent greetings to the guests of the championship. He revealed a rich competitive and cultural agenda during the championship – the Tal Memorial grandmaster blitz tournament, junior Tournament of champions, master-classes, simultaneous displays, etc. In the end Mr. Ilyumzhinov wished good luck to the match participants and expressed hope for brilliant and exciting games.

Igor Levitin awarded the Russian players with state decorations. The order “For Merit to the Fatherland” of the 1st class was given to Alexandra Kosteniuk, Natalia Pogonina received this order of the 2nd class. Olga Girya and Sergey Rublevsky received Honorary Mentions of the Russian President. These players and the Russian women's team coach got their awards for winning the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway as well as for their contribution to chess development in our country. 
 


After the mime show “Dance of chess queens” the Chief Arbiter of the match Andrzej Filipowicz (Poland) called for the drawing of lots. Vishy Anand will have the white pieces in the first game.
The grandmasters will play 12 games with classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 seconds per move for the rest of the game. If the match is tied, the tie-break with quick time controls will take place on November 27th.

The ceremony was concluded with the concert of a singer Tina Kuznetsova and the Jazz Quartet of People's Artist of Russia Igor Butman.

More photos from the opening ceremony

Official website

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good Luck Vishy, says Modi

World Chess Championship 2014 in Sochi between five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlse: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today extended his good wishes to Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand as he prepared to reclaim the World Championships title from Norwegian Magnus Carlsen in Sochi, Russia from tomorrow. 
 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. Press photo from the Gujarat Swarnim Chess Mahotsav, 2010.

"Good Luck Vishy! Conveying my best wishes to our pride, Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Championship in Sochi," Modi tweeted.

The much-awaited clash will conclude on November 28 during which Anand will take on Carlsen in a repeat of the 2013 World Championships.

The Indian had been outwitted on his home turf of Chennai by Carlsen the last time around. Anand earned a shot at the title by winning Candidate's Tournament earlier this year. -- PTI

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Anand wins Candidates Chess Easily

RUSSIA: Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand sealed the Candidates tournament title with an effortless draw with Peter Svidler of Russia in the 14th and final round on Sunday.

Having won one of the strongest tournaments of recent times with one round to spare, Anand just didn't want anything to go wrong and went for the draw with white pieces that was for the taking. The Indian ace thus officially earned the right to a rematch with Magnus Carlsen of Norway along with the winner's purse of 13,5000 Euros (a little over Rs one crore).
 
The bidding for Anand-Carlsen II are now open and FIDE, the apex chess body will decide the awarding of this match after receiving all the bids by April 30 this year. The match will be held from November 5-25. (Right photo -- Viswanathan Anand by Kirill Merkuriev/FIDE)

The last day provided mixed games. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also played out a quick draw as white against Vladimir Kramnik while Veselin Topalov's bid to come out of the last place was foiled by Russian Dmitry Andreikin.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia was the lone winner in the day at the expense of out-of-form Levon Aronian of Armenia. Till the ninth round, Aronian was considered as the likely challenger but then things turned out really bad for the world number two here.

Anand ended the tournament on 8.5 points, a full point ahead of Karjakin who finished a creditable second after a bad start. Kramnik, Andreikin and Mamedyarov finished joint third on seven points apiece while Aronian and Svidler ended joint sixth on 6.5 points in all. Topalov ended last scoring six in all.

Playing the white side of a Marshall gambit out of a Ruy Lopez opening, Anand simply gave no chances to Svidler. The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals as Svidler also could do little and in almost no time the players found themselves in a drawn minor piece endgame. The game lasted 34 moves.

As if taking a cue from Anand, Mamedyarov also wasted no time in taking the half point from Kramnik. For the records, it was the Capablance variation of the Nimzo Indian defense that Kramnik was well prepared in and Mamedyarov got nothing in the queen-less middle game that ensued.

The Azeri decided to go for mass exchanges and had a dead-drawn position on board by move 30 in a Bishop and pawns endgame. The draw was a just result.

Veselin Topalov tried putting in some pressure on Dmitry Andreikin but the Russian who has shown tremendous determination throughout this event despite being the lowest ranked, did not budge. Topalov went for the closed Ruy Lopez when offered to play against the Berlin and got a complicated position in the middle game.

Andreikin found his defense in form of a pawn sacrifice that relieved him of tention as the queens got traded. The extra pawn was only an optical advantage as Topalov learnt and after trying out for 69 moves agreed for the drawn result.

Karjakin played a patient game with black pieces. Aronian went for the Closed Sicilian and the players were in unchartered territory pretty early in the opening. Marshalling his forces on the king side, Karjakin damaged Aronian's pawn structure and waited for the opportunity that came very late.

It was past the sixth hour that Aronian crumbled under pressure, blundered a piece through a tactical skirmish and lost the game after 94 moves. Karjakin, after pushing Anand for 90 moves in the previous round, yet again played the longest game of the tournament that lasted seven hours. -- PTI
Results final round: V Anand (Ind, 8.5) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus, 6.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 7) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 7); Veselin Topalov (6) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (7); Levon Aronian (Arm, 6.5) lost to Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 7.5).

World Chess Candidates Victory: Anand gets 1 crore, Critics get Zero!

Khanty Mansiysk, Russia: Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand proved all his critics wrong and won the Candidates Chess tournament after settling for a draw with Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the 13th and penultimate round here today.
 
Viswanathan Anand drew with Sergey Karjakin in Round 13 to win the World Chess Candidates in Khanty Mansiysk on Friday. One more round is to be played tomorrow, but Anand has an unassailable lead. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

It was a marathon against Karjakin and the rest day did Anand a world of good. The Indian held on to his own in the endgame that lasted more than five and a half hours.

The draw helped Anand reach eight points and he benefited from the biggest upset in the tournament when top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia lost to lowest ranked Dmitry Andreikin of Russia.


On a day that saw Vladimir Kramnik avenging his earlier loss in the tournament against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan played out a draw with Russian Peter Svidler to seal the fate in Anand's favour irrespective of the results tomorrow.

With Anand on eight points, Karjakin, Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Andreikin and Aronian are now 6.5 points each. Peter Svidler stand seventh on six points while Topalov reamined on 5.5 to fill the last place.

In the last round Anand meets Svidler and the draw could be a likely result as the Indian will play with white pieces. In the game against Karjakin, Anand equalised quite easily with the Queen's gambit declined and had no troubles whatsoever in finding a thematic pawn sacrifice that made his position easier to play.

However, while trying to work out the right path, Anand erred slightly and faced a difficult but possible defense when he parted with two pieces for Karjakin's rook.
The ensuing endgame was easier for Karjakin and the defense was not easy, yet Anand kept finding the right moves and obtained a passed pawn on the king side that proved vital. Karjakin was aware at this point that the fight was over but he played on till 91 moves before signing the peace treaty.

The tournament victory gives Anand the winner's cheque of 135000 Euros (a little over Rs 1 crore) and the right to a match against Magnus Carlsen of Norway who dethroned the Indian champion at Chennai in November last at the World Chess Championship. This rematch will take place sometime in the last quarter of this year. -- PTI

Friday, March 28, 2014

Khanty Mansiysk Chess Candidates: Flight Anand Ready to Land Safely!

Friday March 28, 2014, Khanty Mansiysk (Russia): As he approaches the big game against Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand would aim to carry forward his good from into the crucial 13th and penultimate round of the Candidates Chess tournament, here tomorrow.





The oldest competitor in the fray, Anand has thus far outlasted everyone else. The Indian’s tryst with destiny to win the Candidates and earn the right to challenge tormentor Magnus Carlsen is well on track.And Karjakin is one last hurdle that Anand faces with black pieces before he has a white game against Peter Svidler of Russia in the final round.

With 7.5 points in his bag from the first 12-rounds of this double round robin event, Anand has a full point lead over top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia who has 6.5 points.Karjakin and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan are the other two in contention with six points each while the other four players – Russian trio of Vladimir Kramnik, Dmitry Andreikin and Svidler and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria have an identical 5.5 points.The one point lead for Anand is effectively 1.5 points lead as he beat Aronian 1.5-0.5 in their personal encounter.

The tournament rules specify that in case of a tie for the top spot, the personal encounter between the tied players will be the first consideration to resolve the tie.And since Anand beat Aronian, it is clear that the Armenian will have to score half a point more than Anand if he has to win the tournament. Matching Anand on points is not an option for Aronian.In the scenario, one point from the remaining two games will be enough for Anand to secure the tournament victory even if Aronian wins the last two rounds. The Armenian has a black game against Dmitry Andreikin before he plays his last game against Karjakin.

The history here is in favour of Anand. The Indian ace has never lost to both Karjakin and Svidler in any Classical game ever and this would give Anand a lot of confidence. This fact could also be one of the reason Anand did not “tempt fate” in his own words in the previous round. -- PTI

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Candidates Chess R11: Anand almost Unstoppable, Leads with 1 Point

Khanty Mansiysk: Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand inched closer to clinching the Candidates Chess tournament title after settling for an easy draw as black against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the 11th round here. With just three rounds to go, Anand maintained his full point lead over nearest rival Levon Aronian of Armenia and with two white games in hand out of the last three, there is little that can go wrong for the Indian ace.


Anand is almost there... Only three rounds remain and he has a comfortable 1 point lead over the rest of the field after 11 rounds. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

On what turned out to be a pretty dull day, Russian Peter Svidler played out a draw with Aronian, Dmitry Andreikin signed peace with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan while Sergey Karjakin held his position against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to get a half point.

With all games ending in draws, the leader-board did not see any change apart from the fact that everyone added to their overnight tally in this 600000 Euros prize money tournament that double up as the selection event for the next World Championship challenger.

Anand took his tally to seven points out of a possible 11 and Aronian remained his closest adversary with six points. Karjakin, Mamedyarov and Svidler follow the Armenian a half point behind while Kramnik and Andreikin have five points in all. Topalov is on last spot with 4.5 points in his kitty.

Kramnik chose the Catalan opening with white pieces and the pressure of having lost the last two games weighed heavy on the Russian. Anand opted for a quite and fashionable system wherein Kramnik's attempt to complicate matters did not see the light of the day.

In the early middle game, Anand had a pawn weakness and instead of a passive defense, he sacrificed it for active counter play. Kramnik played on with an extra pawn but had to give it back to release the tension. Soon peace was signed in just 31 moves.

Peter Svidler's approach was cautious against Aronian after the latter parted with his Bishop for a Knight early in a Reti Opening. Playing white, Svidler allowed a symmetrical pawn structure on the board the rooks changed hands on the only open file leading to a level queen and minor pieces endgame. The players did not find a reason to continue after the queens also got traded and the draw was agreed to in 33 moves.

Sergey Karjakin had some chances after defending a slightly passive position for a long time. His opponent Veselin Topalov went for the English opening and faced the Hedgehog set up. Though Topalov had optically better prospects for the major part of the game, Karjakin also hung in there waiting patiently and making the right defensive moves.

After exchanging queens, Karjakin still had an unpleasant position but easier to defend. In his bid for complications, Topalov sacrificed a couple of pawns and Karjakin followed up with a counter rook sacrifice for a Bishop. While Karjakin came out with a miniscule advantage after the tactical sortie, Topalov was equal to the task in defense when situation demanded. The game lasted 57 moves.

Andreikin and Mamedyarov played a long theoretical variation in the Catalan opening where the former played white. The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals and in almost no time a minor pieces endgame was on board. Further liquidation led to another draw. -- PTI



Standings
1 GM Anand Viswanathan 2770 IND 7
2 GM Aronian Levon 2830 ARM 6 

3 GM Karjakin Sergey 2766 RUS 5½
4 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2757 AZE 5½
5 GM Svidler Peter 2758 RUS 5½
6 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2787 RUS 5
7 GM Andreikin Dmitry 2709 RUS 5
8 GM Topalov Veselin 2785 BUL 4½

Candidates Chess R10: Anand on Course to WC, Keeps 1 Point Lead!

Khanty Mansiysk: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand remained on course for a rematch with Magnus Carlsen of Norway after securing an easy draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the 10th round of the Candidates Chess tournament.

It turned out to be another good day for Anand as main contemporaries Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia failed to bridge the gap and the Indian ace continues to be in front with a full point lead.

Aronian could not use his white pieces to much use against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov and had to settle for a draw while Kramnik's poor run continued when he failed to spot a tactical stroke that led to a quick loss against compatriot Peter Svidler. The other game of the day between Russians Dmitry Andreikin and Sergey Karjakin also ended in a draw.




Anand remained on course for a rematch with Magnus Carlsen after securing an easy draw against Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the 10th round. Photo: Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

With just four rounds to come, Anand is sitting pretty training his sights for the next world championship match on 6.5 points. Aronian remains the nearest contender on 5.5 points followed by Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Svidler who all have five points apiece.

Kramnik remained on 4.5 points and he has Andreikin as company while Topalov is at the last spot another half point adrift.

Apart from the match for the next world championship, the winner here also takes home 135000 euros.

Playing with white, Anand stuck to his guns and repeated the moves of his previous round game against Topalov.

The opening went off well for Anand but Mamedyarov was probably not impressed and came up with the equaliser in no time.

The Indian had to exchange the dark square Bishop early and then Mamedyarov followed suit with castling on the queen side leaving the position absolutely level.

Anand tried manoeuvring his pieces to correct squares and once that was done the players just decided to split the points. The game lasted 30 moves.

The shocker of the day came from Svidler when Kramnik simply missed a game changing tactical stroke. It was the Dutch defense as black by Svidler and Kramnik, trying to shy away from the usual, allowed his Russian teammate to equalise easily.

It was in the middle game that Kramnik missed a simple check by the Bishop. The result was huge deficit in the material as Svidler picked up a rook and a couple of pawns for his Bishop and romped home.

Aronian faced the Slav defense from Topalov and the latter had no difficulty in getting a playable position.

The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals and even though Aronian had something to hope for, the position was close to equal for major part of the game. The ensuing rook and minor piece endgame had little chance for either player and the peace was signed in 45 moves.

Karjakin-Andreikin duel was the shortest game of the day lasting 29 moves.

Karjakin went for an early trade of queen in the Sicilian Taimanov but Andreikin was up to the task in keeping the balance. The draw result was guess of every expert. -- PTI

Results after round 10: Vishwanathan Anand (IND, 6.5) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 5); Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 4.5) lost to Peter Svidler (RUS, 5); Levon Aronian (ARM, 5.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (BUL, 4); Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 4.5).

Pairings Wednesday March 26 Round 11GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM M Shakhriyar AZE
GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS
GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Aronian Levon ARM
GM Kramnik V RUS - GM Anand Viswanathan IND

Monday, March 24, 2014

Candidates Chess R9: Anand on Top!

khanty Mansiysk world chess candidates 2014 Round 9 -- India’s Viswanathan Anand regained the sole lead with a sparkling victory over former challenger Veselin Topalov from Bulgaria in the ninth round of Candidates Chess tournament, here today.
Anand demolishes Topalov, takes one-point lead in Khanty Mansiysk at the World Chess Candidates 2014. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

The hard-earned victory proved crucial for five-time World Champion Anand as he took his tally to a six points out of a possible nine.

The equations went for a toss in the ninth round as Shakhriayar Mamedyarov defeated top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Russian teammate Sergey Karjakin.

The other game between Russian duo of Dmitry Andreikin and Peter Svidler ended in a draw.

With five rounds still to come, Anand now enjoys a full point lead over Aronian who remained on five points after the debacle.

Kramnik was joined by Karjakin and Mamedyarov on 4.5 points for joint third spot while Andreikin and Svidler are now joint sixth on four points apiece while Topalov is on the last spot on 3.5 points.

To sum things up, Anand is on a roll and will fancy his chances a great deal now.

It was Anand’s day all the way. Up against Topalov’s pet Sicilian Najdorf, Anand did not give much away in the opening as white and retained a minuscule advantage as the game entered unchartered territories.

Topalov decided to go for exchanges at regular intervals while his position remained slightly worse and this was not a good strategy as Anand continued to exert pressure when the game reached queen and minor piece endgame.

The Indian picked up a pawn when Topalov erred and handled the remaining technicalities of the queen and pawns endgame in masterly fashion to script his third victory in the tournament.

Mamedyarov played the spoiler for Aronian and continued with his roller-coaster ride in the tournament. After blundering his way against Kramnik in the seventh round game when he mishandled a won position and lost, Mamedyarov made sure he held on to his own after attaining an advantage against Aronian who was out of sorts in this ninth round game.

Mamedyarov won in 44 moves.

Karjakin continued with his comeback act and defeated Kramnik for his second straight victory. Starting with an ultra-safe approach in the opening, Karjakin capitalised on some erroneous play by Kramnik in the middle game to win a handful of pawns.

The technicalities thereafter were not difficult to handle. -- PTI

Results round 9: V Anand (Ind, 6) beat Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 4.5) beat Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 4.5) beat Levon Aronian (Arm, 5); Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 4) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus, 4).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Candidates Chess: Anand at Crucial Juncture; Play Resumes Tomorrow

Khanty Mansiysk: Placed comfortably on top of the table with a half point lead, five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand will enter the crucial phase of the Candidates chess tournament, taking on Peter Svidler after the second rest day in Khanty Mansiysk on Friday.

Viswanathan Anand: Can he set up a second date with Magnus Carlsen? Photo: Kirill Merkuriev/FIDE

From a great beginning to some cautious play, Anand, with four points in his bag from six games, enjoys a half point lead over nearest contender Levon Aronian of Armenia.

It's a closely matched field as almost everyone except the lowest seed Dmitry Andreikin of Russia seems to be in the race for the challenger of the next world championship match against Magnus Carlsen to be played later in 2014.

The eight-player double round-robin tournament has seen a lot of excitement and there are no clear favourites as yet but surely Anand has an edge thanks to his half point cushion.

The stakes are high as apart from a match against Carlsen, the winner will take home 1,35,000 Euros (a little over Rs one crore) as cash prize. The Russian duo of Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan follow Aronian a half point behind on three points apiece and they all have reasons to fancy their chances as the tournament nears the completion of the first half.

Not far behind is Sergey Karjakin on 2.5 points who can not only play the spoiler but also has it in him to pull a few victories to match leaders.

Anand has been in lead from day one. It was the day when Anand showed to the world that he is not finished yet. No one could have asked for a better start than a victory over Aronian. Next followed a draw with Topalov with the Indian ace in absolute control and in the third round was an inspiring performance when Mamedyarov was crushed in all departments of the game.

However, since then it has been a cautious approach by Anand. In the fourth round Kramnik played the Vienna variation wherein the Indian would fancy his chances on another day. The Russian showed better preparation and got an easy draw.

Andreikin struggled a little in the fifth round but did not face many difficulties before drawing with the Indian and then in the previous round, Sergey Karjakin again suffered just momentarily before steering himself to safety.

If the first three games showed Anand in great spirits, the last three have dampened them a little. And the next two games will be most crucial as Anand first meets Svidler with black and then has another black game lined up against Aronian in the eighth round. Should he come out unscathed in the next two, Anand will become a huge favourite for title in Khanty Mansiysk.

After an insipid start that involved four draws and a loss, Topalov came back with a bang scoring over Kramnik in the previous round. The result changed many equations and Kramnik who had looked almost invincible thus far suddenly turns vulnerable.

It was a similar story for Svidler who had come up with some sterling chess till the fifth round. Had Svidler been on track in each round, he would have had at least one point more till the fifth round itself. And the way he lost the sixth round game against Mamedyarov goes to prove that nerves play a major role in big games.

Kramnik crushed Karjakin in round two, missed a winning continuation against Aronian and got the easiest of draws as black against Anand. Things were shaping out well till he met Topalov. The Russian will have to do the hard work over again.

Mamedyarov was written off in the first three rounds that resulted in two losses and just one draw. Thereafter the Azeri has seen a reversal in fortunes complementing his uncompromising style. He will surely want to carry on with the momentum. -- PTI

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chess Candidates 2014: Anand begins with Win Over Top Seed Aronian

Levon Aronian crumbles versus Viswanathan Anand in Round 1 at the Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidates 2014. Photo: FIDE

Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand displayed top form to beat top seed and rating-favourite Levon Aronian of Armenia in the first game of the first round of the Candidates chess tournament in Khanty Mansiysk (Russia) on Thursday.

Anand made most of the offered opportunities and came on top as Aronian proved no match in the complexities that ensued. The Indian ace was seen at the top of his game for the major part of the high intensity game. 

After attaining equality, Anand obtained and edge. The Queens were exchanged on the 22nd move. Eventually, Anand pulled off a nice trap for his opponent's Knight and took home a most valuable point.

The other games were all drawn: GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS, GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Svidler Peter RUS and GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Topalov Veselin BUL.

Earlier, the opening ceremony of one of the most important chess tournaments of the year took place on Wednesday. Eight top Grandmasters of the world are competing over three weeks for a 600,000 Euro prize fund and the chance to challenge World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway).

The line-up consists of the former World Champion Vishy Anand (India), who lost his title only a year ago, 2013 World Cup winner Vladimir Kramnik, 2013 World Cup runner-up Dmitry Andreikin (both Russia), 2012-13 FIDE Grand Prix winners Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), two players qualified by rating Levon Aronian (Armenia) and Sergey Karjakin (Russia), and the player nominated by the organizers – Peter Svidler (Russia).
 
The opening ceremony took place at the concert hall Ugra-Classic and was attended by Natalia Komarova, Ukra Governor and Vice-President of Russian Chess Federation, and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President.

“We are just as nervous as the candidates, – said Natalia Vladimirovna. – A chess board has 64 squares. The candidates tournaments are also played for 64 years. Each square of the board saw thousands of combinations, but we nevertheless expect more brilliance and ingenious games from our players. Chess teaches honesty, fairness and respect to the opponent. I’d very much like to see these rules universally accepted,” concluded the Governor.Kirsan Ilyumzhinov noted that Khanty-Mansiysk continues to bring pleasant surprises: “This tournament and its opening ceremony is a great gift to the players. Since 2005 Ugra is recognized as Chess Mecca. Three great champions gathered here today, and together with five other outstanding players they will have to determine a new title contender”.

He also drew attention to the fact that chess in Ugra is not only a professional sport, but a mass sport, and sport in Ugra is highly developed. Ugra representatives recently won four Olympic medals in Sochi, including two gold medals.

The opening ceremony continued with a concert show peformed by Ugra-Classic creative team. The unique 8 ton pipe organ with mammoth bone keys was the center of attention – and chess, of course!

“Life is like chess, it’s just a clever arrangement of pieces on the black and white board”. This quote by writer Oleg Roy was a theme of the show. Enchanted by mysterious sound of organ, the spectators watched a historical show with elements of dance and theater, filled with quotes about the most intelligent game in the world. -- Report via PTI and Official website



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Viswanathan Anand all set for World Chess Candidates in Khanty Mansiysk

Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia: With odds stacked against him, five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand will look forward to making a grand comeback in the Candidates chess tournament that starts in Khanty-Mansiysk with the first round on Thursday.  
With the weather slated to hit -14 degrees during the week, the heated battles are likely to compensate for them as eight of the world elite compete here to find the next challenger for World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

It may be recalled that Carlsen defeated Anand in the last world chess championship match at Chennai by 6.5-3.5 margin to become the undisputed king of the 64-squares late last year.

The eight-player super tournament will be played under double round robin basis and there will be 14-grueling rounds in all before the winner is determined. After a recent decline in form and rating, Anand starts only as the fourth seed in the tournament.

Levon Aronian of Armenia starts as the rating favourite with his ELO touching 2830 points. Russian Vladimir Kramnik who missed winning the candidates by a whisker last year, is ranked second ahead of former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia is behind Anand and is seeded fifth ahead of seven times Russian Champion Peter Svidler. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Dmitry Andreikin of Russia complete the line-up.

With his remarkable current form Levon Aronian is a live threat to all participants and Kramnik will hope to give the Armenian a run for his money. The stakes are high as apart from a match against Carlsen, the tournament has a total prize pool of 600,000 Euros (About Rs. 5 crore) out of which 135,000 Euros is reserved for the winner.

The tournament will be played under Classical Chess rules with 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 for the next 20 and then 15 minutes each with a 30 seconds increment from move 61.

How they got here: 

V Anand: Losing finalist of last world championship The World champion is here as the losing finalist of World championship. If Anand does not win it, he will either have to go through a long cycle or take is rating up significantly to be back in hunt next time.

Levon Aronian: By virtue of his high rating. Aronian did not come good in the last world chess cup but otherwise has been in exemplary form. His victory at the Tata Steel tournament earlier this year was a just indication of his great form. Many Chess buffs are rooting for a match between Aronian and Carlsen.
Sergey Karjakin: High rating. Karjakin qualifies as the second player on rating. He holds the record for the youngest ever Grandmaster in history at 12 years and seven months and has won some of the strongest events. His most recent success was in Norway when he came first ahead of Carlsen himself.

Vladimir Kramnik: Winner of the last World Chess Cup. Having never played in the knock-out world cup before, not many believed Kramnik would last the distance in the seven rounds format. However he made it all look too easy. He might have been around even without the world cup victory but this was certainly the way he wanted to come in. The Russian has been out of competitive chess for some time, as he opted out of Tata Steel as well as the Zurich Classic this year.

Dmitry Andreikin: Runners up in World Chess Cup Andreikin?s second place finish in the world cup was no less intriguing. Slowly but steadily, this 2010 world junior champion is making his presence felt in elite chess. The hallmark is solid play, complemented with deep opening preparation. On his day, a real threat to the best in business.

Veselin Topalov: Winner of FIDE Grand Prix. One has not been hearing much about Topalov since he lost the 2010 world championship match against Anand. Yet, if his performance in the Grand prix is anything to go by, Topalov can belittle everyone else with his uncompromising variety of chess that very few possess. It was not long ago when he was the world champion and this tournament gives him another chance.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: Runners up in Grand Prix. Mamedyarov is the most unpredictable player in this field and can serve as the spoiler of the tournament as well win it by sheer power-play. Grit, determination and fearlessness are words that best describe this Azerbaijani.

Peter Svidler: Organisers wild card. It is not without reasons that the wild card is given to Svidler - the seven times Russian champion. Svidler has won it all in the past including the World chess cup and remains a feared opponent. It was he who jolted Calrsen in the last round of Candidates last year and the Norwegian is world champion because Kramnik also lost his game on the same day against Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk. A draw by Kramnik would have resulted in a match between him and Anand and recent history would not be the same. -- PTI


(For special features and other reports also visit our partner site www.worldchesschampionship2013.com)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I have Hunger to Play Good Chess: Anand

Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand on his preparation for the Candidates 2014 in an interview to Ashok Venugopal for Sunday Standard - The New Indian Express
How are you preparing for the Candidates tournament? A lot of strong players will be in action. Who do you think is a tough opponent?
The Candidates will be a tough event — strong players and a grueling format. I think there is no one particular favourite. It depends on who is in top form. I have been preparing for the event since January.

Have you made any change in the style of preparation?

Again, can’t say much.

Have you changed your seconds from the World Championship?

I can’t really talk about it right now.

Have you overcome the World Chess Championship defeat?

That is over. I don’t think about it anymore. It seems like it happened ages ago. As a sportsperson you have to learn to let go and move on.

In the London Chess Classic you began to win again, but managed to reach only till quarterfinals. When you won the first match (after the World Championship loss) in the tournament did you get over a psychological barrier? How do you rate your performance?

At this level of the game, there are no barriers. You have good games and bad ones. I would say moderately happy. I was very proud of my games in the qualifying. I could feel myself like a six-year-old again, just playing very fast and confidently. That is the way I would really love to play.

At Zurich, in perhaps the strongest field in the history of the game, you came fifth overall. How do you rate this performance? You are known for your rapid skills, but lost three games?

Well, I am going through a phase of changing my game. So there will be some hits on the way before you reach your optimum form. So, Zurich was a good learning experience.

Is there a mental block when playing Carlsen? You are yet to beat him in the classical format in the last two years or so.

This is something I hope to correct. It is his (Carlsen) style, which is very different to what many players have grown up with.

How do you recollect the match against Carlsen at Zurich Chess 2014?

It was a normal game. You can’t base each encounter on the match. That is over. You have to just look forward and play a normal game.

How eager are you to go through the grind, win the Candidates and take on Carlsen again in the World Championship in November?

I am looking to do well in Khanty right now. If that leads to a match in November I would definitely try and do things differently.

Despite having nothing left to prove do you still have the hunger to be the world champion?

I would say I have hunger to play good chess.

What motivates you now to give your best? Is it pride, reputation or just simple love for the game?

I would just say that I love the game. If something gives you a lot of pain, it also gives you a lot of enjoyment. That is why you love it and is passionate about excelling in it.

How do you handle pressure, not just expectations of fans from the country, but also that from the Western media, players and officials who cannot digest an Indian ruling the world of chess?

You do have some amount of pressure being the outsider. But I have always tried to keep a small circle of friends and just enjoy the chess. I don’t really read much chess news. But there are also many people who show their support especially since you had to work doubly harder to reach the top.

Does the attitude (running down Anand) of some former Russian greats like Garry Kasparov motivate you to prove them wrong?

I don’t waste my time on petty chess politics. Chess was clearly Kasparov’s strongest point.

-- Team Chess Magazine Black and White would not have asked the last two questions in there. Ah well. More on that later ;)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Candidates 2014 R1 Anand vs Aronian

Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand of India will face World No. 2 Levon Aronian of Armenia in the first round of the Candidates in Khanty Mansisysk this March. The winner of the Candidates will earn the right to challenge World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in November, 2014 for the world title. 

There were conflicting reports earlier this year whether Viswanathan Anand would take part in the Candidates in a bid to meet Carlsen again and regain the world title. At least his fans hoped so. But, before the deadline for confirmation, Anand asserted that he would go for it and said aye for Khanty Mansiysk.

The World Chess Championship 2014 Khanty Mansiysk Candidates will begin with the arrival of players on March 11. The opening ceremony will be a day later. There will be one round a day from 13-15, 17-19, 21-23, 25-27 and 29-30. Intervening days would be utilised as rest days. March 31 would be utilised for tiebreaks / Closing ceremony.
Here are the complete pairings as released by FIDE:


Round 1 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 4
2 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Svidler Peter RUS 3
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Topalov Veselin BUL 8
6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND - GM Aronian Levon ARM 7

Round 2
SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
4 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2
3 GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 1
8 GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Anand Viswanathan IND 67 GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 5

Round 3 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2
3 GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 4
8 GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Aronian Levon ARM 7
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Anand Viswanathan IND 6

Round 4
SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 1
2 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Topalov Veselin BUL 8
7 GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Svidler Peter RUS 3
6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 4

Round 5
SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Anand Viswanathan IND 62 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 5
3 GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Topalov Veselin BUL 8
4 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS - GM Aronian Levon ARM 7

Round 6 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
7 GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 1
6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 25 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Svidler Peter RUS 3
8 GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 4

Round 7 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
2 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Aronian Levon ARM 7
3 GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Anand Viswanathan IND 64 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 5
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Topalov Veselin BUL 8

Round 8 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
4 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 1
3 GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2
8 GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 5
7 GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Anand Viswanathan IND 6

Round 9
SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
2 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 4
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Svidler Peter RUS 3
6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND - GM Topalov Veselin BUL 85 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Aronian Levon ARM 7

Round 10 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
2 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 1
4 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS - GM Svidler Peter RUS 3
7 GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Topalov Veselin BUL 8
6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 5

Round 11
SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 5
8 GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2
3 GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Aronian Levon ARM 7
4 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS - GM Anand Viswanathan IND 6

Round 12
SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 15 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2
8 GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Svidler Peter RUS 3
7 GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 4

Round 13 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM Aronian Levon ARM 7
2 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS - GM Anand Viswanathan IND 63 GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 5
4 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS - GM Topalov Veselin BUL 8

Round 14 SNo. Name FED Res. Name FED SNo.
7 GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2
6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND - GM Svidler Peter RUS 35 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE - GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 4
8 GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 1

Meanwhile, FIDE has already initiated the bidding procedure for the World Chess Championship 2014. FIDE and its commercial partner AGON are looking for potential venues for the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship match to host Magnus Carlsen and his challenger. 


The World Chess Championship Match 2014 shall take place from 6 November (game 1) to 25 November 2014 (possible tiebreaks/closing ceremony). 

If Viswanathan Anand makes it... 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Anand vs Carlsen at Zurich Chess Jan 29-Strongest Tournament in History

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 – The strongest tournament in chess history to date

On Wednesday, 29 of January 2014, the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014» will commence at the Hotel Savoy. With six participants it is the first tournament in the history of chess to reach category 23 with an amazing average rating of 2801!

The star of the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014» will be the newly crowned world-championMagnus Carlsen. During his first tournament appearance since winning the world title last November, the 23-year old Norwegian will compete against his predecessor and former world-champion, Viswanathan Anand of India (number 9 in the world-ranking), the Armenian Levon Aronian (2), the American Hikura Nakamura (3), the US-Italian Fabiano Caruana (6), as well as the Israeli Boris Gelfand (8).



This brilliant event, which will take place in the extraordinary familial environment of the ballroom of the Hotel Savoy, has already caught the attention and led to the registration of many journalists and top-players from throughout the world, including Peter Leko,Jan Timman and Gennadi Sosonko. Further, the Chinese women's world-championHou Yifan will attend this unique occasion and will be playing a simultaneous exhibition with clocks against 6 top Swiss juniors on 1 February at 1 p.m. at the Zurich «Zunfthaus zur Saffran».

For the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014», a blitz tournament will determine the color distribution on the first day. Five rounds of classical chess will then be played from Thursday to Monday (30 January to 3 February), followed by a rapid tournament with reversed colors on the last day (4 February). A won game in the classical tournament counts two points, draws one point. Wins in the rapid tournament count one point and draws half a point. All games will be commented live by GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug and broadcast world-wide live via Internet on www.zurich-cc.com. Admission to the classical and rapid games of this formidable event is free and no previous registration of spectators is required!

The «Zurich Chess Club» was founded in 1809 and is the oldest active chess club of the world. With the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014» it will continue its long-standing tradition of hosting top-level tournaments, which have included such memorable events as the «Candidate's Tournament 1953», the simul and rapid tournament of all living world-champions at at the Zurich main train station 2009, the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2012» with Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik as well as the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2013» with the four grand masters Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand.

The «Zurich Chess Club» is very proud to be the organizer and host of this unique event. Further, it would like to thank the main tournament sponsor and chess-enthusiast Oleg Skvortsov from the «International Gemological Laboratories» of Moscow, Russia, whose generous contribution has allowed for this extraordinary happening! We look forward to welcoming all our friends from throughout the chess world either at the Hotel Savoy or live via the Internet!

Participants (Elo rating according to FRL of January 2014)

Magnus Carlsen (Norway, Elo 2872, Nr 1)
Levon Aronian (Armenia, Elo 2812, Nr 2)
Hikaru Nakamura (USA, Elo 2789, Nr 3)
Fabiano Caruana (Italy, Elo 2782, Nr 6)
Boris Gelfand (Israel, Elo 2777, Nr 8)
Vishwanathan Anand (India, Elo 2773, Nr 9)

Schedule

Daily from 30 January to 4 February 2014.
The rounds start at 15.00 local time (CET), except for the last round, which begins at 13.00 CET.
Spectators are welcome, entrance free.

Main sponsor

«IGC International Gemological Laboratories» is a Russian institute providing gemological services, such as diamond grading reports, enhanced diamonds identification, man-made/synthetic diamonds and imitation detection, as well as certification of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry in the Russian Federation. IGC is the Russian branch of «GCI» a group of gemological laboratories located worldwide.

Co-sponsors


Aspeco, SurJewel, Savoy Chess Corner, Zurich Chess Club (founded in 1809, the oldest chess club of the world)

Partners

Hotels Savoy Baur en Ville, Rössli and Seehof in Zurich

Organization

Zurich Chess Club

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 and Indian Chess Memories

The Year 2013 for Indian Chess: New Delhi - It started with a great deal of chess excitement and anticipation but year 2013 turned out to be a disappointing one for Indian chess as the legendary Viswanathan Anand got outplayed in his own backyard to surrender the World Chess Championship crown.

It was a chess story of missed opportunities, expected draws and some unexpected losses for Anand as the veteran lost to Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship match held in his home town of Chennai.

There was a sense of enthusiasm in the beginning of the year as India begun its preparation to host the World Chess Championship in Chennai, where the Indian great was scheduled to defend his title, which he had won five times in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012.

Anand started the year with a joint third finish after suffering a shocking last-round defeat against Wang Hao of China at the 75th Tata Steel Chess tournament.

The Indian came back strongly, notching up his first title of the year when he scored an emphatic victory over German Arkadij Naiditsch to lift the Grenke Chess Classic trophy.

Anand then competed in a tough field at the Zurich Chess Challenge and finished second after beating Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the final round.
However, the year went from good to bad for Anand from here on as he finished third in the Alekhine memorial chess tournament after playing out a draw with Boris Gelfand of Israel in the ninth and final round at St. Petersburg, Russia in May.

In Norway Super tournament, Anand faced off with his world championship challenger Magnus Carlsen and the Indian held him to an easy draw.

He crushed Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria but suffered a shocking defeat to Hikaru Nakamura of US next. Despite a couple of draws, he stayed in contention for the title but a heart-breaking loss to Wang Hao of China meant he finished fourth.

Next month, Anand participated in Tal memorial and finished second in blitz tournament but in the main event, he lost to Fabiano Caruana of Italy, drew with Dmitry Andreikin of Russia, won against Russian Alexander Morozevich, and was held to a draw by Gelfand.

However, it was the shock defeat to Carlsen in the fifth round pushed him down the points table to seventh spot. He also lost to American Nakamura before drawing the next three games to finish ninth.

With four months to go for the much-awaited World Chess Championship, Anand started his preparation for the tournament with his seconds at an undisclosed location even as the hype surrounding the match touched a crescendo.

However, the 12-game tournament turned out to be a disappointing affair for Anand as the 22-year-old Carlsen broke the Indian brick by brick and dethroned him of his World Chess title with a draw in the 10th game.

The 44-year-old Indian, who was the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2007 to 2013, lost the title to the world number one with a scoreline of 6.5-3.5 after 10 of the 12 scheduled games.

Anand drew the first four games but then suffered two successive losses. The Indian drew the next two games but in the ninth round, Anand succumbed to another loss to push to the corner. Carlsen then drew the 10th game to complete his coronation as the new king of chess.

Anand took the heart-breaking defeat to Carlsen in his stride and participated in the London Chess Classic. He was in joint lead on seven points at the half-way stage of the preliminaries.

A victory over Luke McShane of England and an easy draw against tailender Andrei Istratescu of France helped him reached the quarters but a loss to Vladimir Kramnik of Russia saw him bows out of London Chess Classic.

While Anand tumbled, the young brigade, including Parimarjan Negi, notched up a few wins in the year to bring some smiles for the Indian fans. -- Amit Kumar Das/PTI

Sunday, December 15, 2013

London Chess Classic 2013 Quarters: Kramnik Knocks out Anand

London: Former World Chess champion Viswanathan Anand bowed out of the London Chess Classic 2013 after losing the quarter-finals to Vladimir Kramnik of Russia 0.5-1.5 here at the Olympia.

Anand, who had shown fine form coming in to the quarters, ran out of steam in the second game with white pieces and found himself in a lost position in almost no time in the 1,50,000 Euro prize money tournament.

Watch Live at the London Chess Classic 2013 official website.

Michael Adams of England kept the local hopes alive by defeating Russian Peter Svidler in the tiebreaker while Boris Gelfand of Israel stole the limelight ousting Fabiano Caruana of Italy. In the other quarter-final, Hikaru Nakamura of United States defeated Nigel Short to cement his place in the semis.
 

It turned out to be a disappointing second game for Anand from the white side of a queen pawn opening. Kramnik opted for the age-old Tarrasch defense and Anand avoided routine theory that allowed the Russian to equalise without batting an eye.

Anand made a positional error on the 15th turn that gave Kramnik the initiative to look for more and the latter came up with some sterling manoeuvres to seize the advantage. Anand was already fighting a lost position after 20 moves and a final blunder cost him a piece and the game soon after.

While the second game was almost a no-show by Anand, the first game was a clear indication of his good form displayed thus far. Playing black Anand went for the Semi-Slav defense and looked a little worse out of the opening when Kramnik moved his queen over to the sixth rank.

However, Anand's response - a brilliant retreat ? left the spectators in no doubt that they were in for a spectacular treat in the mental boxing between two modern greats. The game ended in a draw in the ensuing endgame and it was a rather abrupt end to the contest when Anand failed to find his rhythm in the return game.

Nakamura, like Kramnik, cruised in to the semifinal defeating Short 1.5-0.5. The American won the first game with black and then drew with white making things look easy.

Michael Adams' early lead against Peter Svidler was squared off by the Russian in the return game but in the tiebreaker the English was spot on and won both his games in the ten-minute chess.

Boris Gelfand had a similar tale to tell in the tiebreaker against fancied Fabiano Caruana after both games under rapid time control ended in draws. In the open section, former world junior champion and Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta put it across Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan to emerge in a three-way lead.

With one round still to come, the Indian shares the top honours on 6.5 points out of a possible eight along with Jon Ludvig Hammer of England and Vladislav Nevednichy of Romania. -- PTI

Saturday, December 14, 2013

London Chess Classic 2013: Anand tops Group, Enters Quarter Finals

London: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand found his way to the knockout stage in the London Chess Classic with an easy draw against tailender Andrei Istratescu of France in the fifth round of the preliminaries that concluded here at the Olympia on Friday.
After scoring three wins in the first four games itself, Anand was destined to move to the quarter-final stage in this 16-players event split into four groups. With one round still to come in the prelims, Anand is likely to head his 'A' group with 11 points in his kitty under the Soccer scoring system in place here. (Photo: Ray Morris-Hill Read a fascinating interview with Ray Morris-Hill at our world chess championship 2013 website)

Michael Adams of England trounced compatriot Luke McShane and joined Anand on 11 points and the two meet in the next round to determine the group winner.


Traditionally a super tournament, the London Classic this time became a Rapid tournament as the world championship was held just two weeks before its commencement.

Anand will play as black against Adams in the decider for the first place in the last round having promoted himself to the knockout quarterfinals in the 16-players event split in to four groups.

Among other groups, Russians Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler looked poised to qualify from the 'B' group while in the 'C' group Boris Gelfand of Israel and Hikaru Nakamura of United States already made the cut like Anand and Adams.

The situation in the 'D' group is also clear with Nigel short of England hitting form and the two qualifiers from here are Fabiano Caruana of Italy along with the English Grandmaster who holds a high repute.


Group A: Michael Adams 12, Vishy Anand 12, Luke McShane 4, Andrei Istratescu 4
Group B: Peter Svidler 11, Vladimir Kramnik 9, Matthew Sadler 7, Jonathan Rowson 4
Group C: Hikaru Nakamura 10, Boris Gelfand 9, Gawain Jones 7, Judit Polgar 5
Group D: Fabiano Caruana 16, Nigel Short 10, David Howell 5, Emil Sutovsky 0

Friday, December 13, 2013

London Chess Classic 2013: Anand Extends Lead in Prelims

London: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand continued with his winning ways and scored a second victory against Luke McShane of England to secure a commanding lead in the preliminary round of the London Chess Classic 2013, on Thursday, at the Olympia Centre.

On what turned out to be another fine day, Anand came up with some brilliant planning to score two back-to-back victories after earlier crushing Andrei Istratescu of France in the third round game and sealed his place in the knockout stage of the Classic this year reserved for the top two finishers.

With two games still to come in the preliminaries, the Indian ace is sitting pretty on ten points in the 'A' group, two ahead of Michael Adams under the Soccer-like scoring system in place here. McShane on four points is a distant third while Istratescu is yet to open his account.
 

Anand showed his class to beat McShane out of an Irregular Queen pawn opening. The middle game appeared even till Anand launched a king side attack and followed it up with a knight sacrifice that left McShane gasping. A few moves later, McShane had to part with his queen and it was all over in 38 moves. (Photo by Ray Morris-Hill)

Earlier in the third round, Anand crushed Istratescu from the black side of a Sicilian Alapin. Anand controlled the centre and came up with a well judged exchange sacrifice to march his way to victory after 50 moves.

Meanwhile in the 'B' group, Russian Vladimir Kramnik was joined by compatriot Peter Svidler on seven points after a tough day for the former.

Drawing with Sadler in round three, Kramnik lost to Svidler who is scripting a fine comeback after getting just one point from the first two games. The group is closely matched with Matthew Sadler in third place on five points and Jonathan Rowson not too far behind on four.

Boris Gelfand of Israel was joined by Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the lead in 'C' group on eight points and these two seem poised to make it to the knockout stage from here.

World's strongest woman player ever, Judit Polgar of Hungary, won her first game in the event defeating Gawain Jones of England but that took her to only four points for a joint third spot.

What Anand is doing in the 'A' group, Fabiano Caruana seems to be replicating in the 'D' group. The Italian made sure of his qualification in the next stage taking his tally to 10 points and he is now followed by highly regarded and former world championship challenger Nigel Short of England who is on seven points.

English David Howell still has some catching up to do here on five points while Emil Sutovsky is at the bottom having lost all four games so far. --PTI

Complete results round 3:
Group A: Andrei Istratescu (Fra) lost to V Anand (Ind); Michael Adams (Eng) drew with Luke McShane (Eng).

Group B: Jonathan Rowson (Eng) lost to Peter Svidler (Rus); Matthew Sadler (Eng) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus).

Group C: Gawain Jones (Eng) lost to Judit Polgar (Hun); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr)

Group D: Fabiano Caruana (Ita) drew with David Howell (Eng); Emil Sutovsky (Isr) lost to Nigel Short (Eng).

Round 4:
Group A: Anand beat McShane; Adams beat Istratescu.

Group B: Svidler beat Kramnik; Sadler beat Rowson

Group C: Polgar drew with Gelfand; Nakamura beat Jones

Group D: Howell lost to Short; Sutovsky lost to Caruana

Standings after four rounds:

Group A: 1. Anand (10); 2. Adams (8); 3. McShane (4); 4. Istratescu (0).

Group B: 1-2. Kramnik, Svidler (7 each); 3. Sadler (5); 4. Rowson (4).

Group C: 1-2. Gelfand, Nakamura (8 each); 3. Polgar (4); 4. Jones (1).

Group D: 1. Caruana (10); 2. Short (7); 3. Howell (5); 4. Sutovsky (0).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Viswanathan Anand starts off in style at London Chess Classic 2013

London: Indian ace Viswanathan Anand put the disappointing loss in the World Championship behind him and started his campaign in style by beating local Luke McShane in the first 'A' group game of the London Chess Classic that got underway here.

Anand's victory came after some precise calculation and deft manoeuvres on his 44th birthday, leaving McShane gasping from a point where he thought he had a chance.

The five-time world champion Indian thus started with three points under the Soccer scoring system in place here that gives a three points for a win and one for a draw.





Viswanathan Anand put the disappointing loss in the World Championship behind him and started his campaign in style by beating Luke McShane.

Anand was not the only one to start with full points as Michael Adams of England matched him on points at the expense of Andrei Istratescu of France in the same group.

With 16 players taking part this year, the Classic is divided in to four groups and the top two from each group will reach the knockout stage after a double round robin.

Anand heads the 'A' group on three points after the first round sharing the lead with Adams while McShane and Istratescu are yet to open their account.

Russian Vladimir Kramnik was lucky to score over compatriot Peter Svidler from a seemingly drawn endgame while wild card entrant Jonathan Rowson of England scored over country-mate Matthew Sadler from a similar situation in the 'B' group.

The 'C' group saw local hopeful Gawain Jones holding Hikaru Nakamura of United States to a draw while former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel got the better of highest rated woman Judit Polgar of Hungary.

In the 'D' group, English duo of Nigel Short and his former protege David Howell played out a draw while rating favourite Fabiano Caruana of Italy shot in to lead defeating Emil Sutovsky of Israel.

Anand played Michael Adams of England in the second round of his group and drew. -- PTI


McShane, L. (2684) - Anand, V. (2773)

Result: 0-1
Site: London ENG
Date: 2013.12.11

[...] 1.e4 c6 2.♘f3 d5 3.♘c3 ♗g4 4.h3 ♗xf3 5.♕xf3 e6 6.♗e2 ♘f6 7.O-O ♗b4 8.e5 ♘fd7 9.♕g4 ♗f8 10.d4 c5 11.♗g5 ♕b6 12.dxc5 ♕xc5 13.♗e3 h5 14.♕g3 d4 15.♘e4 h4 16.♕f3 ♕d5 17.c4 ♕xe5 18.♗f4 ♕f5 19.♗d3 ♕h5 20.♘f6+ gxf6 21.♕xb7 ♘e5 22.♕xa8 ♗d6 23.c5 ♘f3+ 24.♕xf3 ♕xf3 25.gxf3 ♗xf4 26.b4 ♘c6 27.♗b5 ♔d7 28.♖fd1 e5 29.a3 f5 30.♔f1 ♔c7 31.♔e2 e4 32.fxe4 fxe4 33.♗xc6 d3+ 34.♔f1 ♔xc6 35.♔g2 ♔d5 36.♖g1 ♗e5 37.♖ad1 ♖g8+ 38.♔f1 ♖xg1+ 39.♔xg1 f5 40.♔g2 ♔d4 41.c6 f4 42.b5 ♗c7 43.♖b1 d2 44.♔f1 ♔d3 45.a4 e3 46.fxe3 fxe3

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