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Showing posts with label world chess candidates 2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label world chess candidates 2014. Show all posts

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chess Candidates 2014 R2: Anand Keeps Joint Lead with Kramnik, Svidler

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with black against former World Chess Champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the second round of the Candidates Chess 2014 in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, on Friday.

Not missing anything after his fantastic opening round victory against top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia, Anand came up with another emphatic display of positional chess.

The Indian ace moved to 1.5 points out of a possible two, a tally now matched by the Russian duo of Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler.

While the opening day saw only Anand winning and rest of the games ending in draws, the second round was in contrast, as only Anand drew. Vladimir Kramnik cut through the defences of compatriot Sergey Karjakin in great style while Peter Svidler made his 'wild card' look worthy with a crushing victory over Dmitry Andreikin.
Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidates 2014: Anand draws with Topalov, stays in joint lead with Kramnik and Svidler. Photo: FIDE/official website

Making sure he won't be far behind after the first round defeat, Levon Aronian struck back with vengeance as he made mince meat of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.

With Anand, Kramnik and Svidler in front, Aronian holds the fourth spot on one point along with Topalov and these two have Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Andreikin right behind them with a half point each.

On what turned out to be an easy day as black, Anand opted for a set-up akin to the Slav defense and had apparently done a lot of home-work in the variation. Topalov sank in to a long thought early in the opening while he went about capturing a pawn in the center and Anand was simply on top in preparation as he played much faster.

After winning the pawn, Topalov could not think of anything better than converting to a endgame with Rooks and Bishops still on board but Anand had worked out that this ploy will also lead to a draw only.

Further liquidations led to a drawn rook and pawns endgame and the peace was finally signed with only Kings left on the board. The game lasted 54 moves.

Kramnik showed he is in fine fettle with a brilliant attacking victory over Karjakin, known as the youngest ever Grandmaster in the world. The Queen's gambit accepted by Karjakin as black resulted in a lively position and Kramnik went about his execution with an exchange sacrifice. It was all over in just 39 moves.

If Aronian felt the pressure after losing to Anand, he did not show it and squeezed out a nice victory against Mamedyarov. It was a Ragozin variation wherein Aronian came up with a fine new idea and Mamedyarov's early blunder led to loss of his queen for two pieces. The rest was easy as Aronian won in 44 moves.

Peter Svidler came up with an inspired performance in a Sicilian Accelerated Sveshnikov against Andreikin. Winning a pawn with precise technique, Svidler had little troubles in converting the ensuing rook endgame in to a full point.

Results Round 2: V Topalov (Bul, 1) drew with V Anand (Ind, 1.5); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1.5) beat Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 0.5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 1.5) beat Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 0.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 1) beat Shakhriayar Mamedyarov (Aze, 0.5). -- 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



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 ;)

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