India's first chess features print magazine published quarterly from Lucknow since 2004 by Aspire Welfare Society.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Zurich Chess R5: Anand - Carlsen Draw

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 Classical Games round 5: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand mantained his composure and played out an easy draw against reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the fifth and final round of classical section at the Zurich Chess Challenge on Monday. 
Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand: It's Zurich and a draw. Photo: Maria Emelianova

Anand finished the classical section on four points with one win, two draws and two losses and the Indian will have to do some recovery act in the rapid section that follows.

Carlsen continued to lead the tables handsomely as his nearest rival Levon Aronian suffered a defeat at the hands of Fabiano Caruana of Italy. Carlsen, on eight points, enjoys a two-point lead over Aronian who remained on six points.

Carauana moved to sole third spot on five points under the unique scoring system in place that gives two points for a win and one for a draw. Anand and Hikaru Nakamura of the United States share the fourth spot on four points each.

In the other game of the day, Boris Gelfand of Israel played out a draw against Nakamura to take his tally to three points in the six-player round-robin tournament.

The rapid leg of the event will now begin with five games to be played with reverse colours on the final day. For each win here, however, only one point will be awarded and this makes Carlsen a huge favourite for the title.

Anand played it very safe against Carlsen. Up against the Berlin defense, the Indian went for a quite anti-system that led to exchange of pieces at regular intervals. The pawn structure was symmetrical, giving no hopes to either player and the exchanges led to a opposite colour Bishops endgame in fairly quick time.

The game went on for 40 moves before the duo signed peace. Aronian was subdued by Caruana out of the Marshall Gambit. Caruana gave his extra pawn in the middle game to reach a slightly better ending and then forcibly won a pawn.

The technicalities remained for a long time and Aronian crumbled under pressure in the end, making a blunder when he could have still posed resistance. The game lasted 66 moves.

Gelfand and Nakamura played a quite draw in a closed Sicilian. Nakamura with white did not get any complications favouring him and the two decided to repeat moves early in the middle game. The game was drawn in 21 moves and the two played a compensatory rapid game that was won by the Israeli.

In the five rapid games to follow, Anand will have the advantage of playing three whites and while, chasing Carlsen may be out of question, the Indian ace can surely back himself to be in top bracket of this highest category tournament. -- PTI

Results after Round 5: Vishwanathan Anand (IND, 4) drew with Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 8); Fabiano Caruana (ITA, 5) beat Levon Aronian (ARM, 6); Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 4) drew with Boris Gelfand (ISR, 3).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Zurich Chess R4: Anand beats Gelfand

Zurich, Feb 2: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand tasted his first success in Classical Chess this year after defeating his former challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel in the fourth round of the Zurich Chess Challenge here today.

With his first win in four games, Anand jumped to joint third spot on three points. This victory also served as a morale-booster after an indifferent start that involved two losses and a draw in the first three rounds.

Boris Gelfand heading for a meltdown against Viswanathan Anand in Round 4 at the Zurich Chess Challenge 2014. Photo: Maria Emelianova

All three games in the highest category event ended decisively.

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen avenged his pairings chess blitz loss against Fabiano Caruana of Italy with a comprehensive win, while Levon Aronian of Armenia played like a machine to beat Hikaru Nakamura of the United States.

Carlsen scored his third victory in four games to take his personal tally to seven points in all under the unique scoring system that gives two points for a win and one for a draw in the Classical games.

The recently-crowned World Chess Champion is making most of the opportunities here and was seen at his technical best against Caruana.

Aronian remains on the heels of Carlsen a full point behind and he enjoys a huge three points lead over his nearest rivals Anand, Caruana and Nakamura -- who all are on three points.

Gelfand is on the last spot with two points in his kitty.

One game in Classical and five rounds in rapid still remain in the tournament. -- PTI

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Zurich Chess: Carlsen wins Lost Game

ZURICH, Feb 1: Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand opened his account after signing the peace treaty with Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the third round of Zurich chess challenge now underway here at the Savoy. 

Anand - Caruana set for a draw and (below) Peter Leko, Viswanathan Anand and Fabiano Caruana witness the Drama that's going on on the board of the game Hikaru Nakamura - Magnus Carlsen and is mirrored in Hikaru Nakamura's desperate expression. Photos: Maria Emelianova

After two uncharacteristic defeats coming against Levon Aronian of Armenia and Hikaru Nakamura of United States, Anand put an end to his losses with a solid draw wherein he had to defend for a while in the early stages. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway was the lucky one in the third round as he not only escaped from a certain defeat at the hands of Nakamura, but also turned the tables upside down to score a victory.

The second win in his third game gave Carlsen a full point lead over nearest rivals as the Norwegian took his tally to five points. Under the unique scoring system that gives two points for a win and one for a draw in Classical games, Aronian slipped to second spot on four points and he is now followed by Nakamura and Caruana on three points each.

Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan giving a simul as a special guest at the Zurich Chess Challenge 2014. Photo: Maria Emelianova

Israeli Boris Gelfand stands sole fifth in the six-player tournament on two points while Anand with a sole draw is at the bottom of the tables with two rounds in Classical and five rounds in Rapid chess still to come in the tournament. It may be recalled that in rapid, the usual point scoring system with one point for a win and half for a draw will be used and the winner will be the one who scores maximum points based under both scoring systems.

Anand went for the Slav defense as black and the game went in to uncharted territories early. Caruana was looking for some advantage with his pair of bishops in the ensuing middle game but Anand came up with a pawn sacrifice to neutralise white's initiative.

The Italian himself came under pressure after returning the pawn and many experts believed that Anand could have played for more. However, after an indifferent start, the Indian played it safe and settled for his first point in the highest category tournament.

Nakamura chose the Saemisch variation in the Nimzo Indian defense against Carlsen. The opening is known for its uncompromising play and Carlsen did not disappoint in going for something which is not very common at top level chess. Nakamura, however, proved his point by getting a dangerous attack on the king side and Carlsen had to keep pace with a piece sacrifice in the middle game.

However, when it looked all over for Carlsen, the American came up with an inexplicable blunder that sealed the fate of the game. Gelfand held on to his own to get a draw with Aronian.

The two later played a rapid game to enthrall the audience wherein Aronian came out victorious. This victory in rapid, however, will not be counted for overall standings. -- PTI

Results round 3: Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 3) lost to Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 5); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 3) drew with V Anand (Ind, 1); Levon Aronian (Arm, 4) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr, 2).

Hikaru Nakamura - Magnus Carlsen 0-1: Python Explodes after Eating Alligator at Zurich Chess 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Zurich Chess R2: Anand - Nakamura 0-1

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 Round 2: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand struggled with his form for the second consecutive day as he suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura of the United States in the second round of Zurich Chess Challenge on Friday.
Viswanathan Anand - Hikaru Nakamura in Round 2 at the Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 and (below) Main Sponsor Oleg Skvortsov playing Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan in a friendly game. Photos: Maria Emelianova

Having lost to Levon Aronian of Armenia in the first round, this turned out to be a double blow for Anand who now finds himself at the last spot in the highest category event.

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway played out a draw with Aronian while Fabiano Caruana of Italy hung on to get his draw with Boris Gelfand of Israel in the other games of this six-player round-robin tournament.

With three rounds in Classical and five rounds in rapid chess still remaining, Carlsen, Aronian and Nakamura share the lead on three points under the special scoring system that gives two points for a win in Classical and one in the rapid format.

With two draws in two games, Caruana is in fourth spot on two points while Gelfand now has one point. Anand is yet to open his account.

Nakamura opted for the Berlin defense as black, a choice of Carlsen in the last World Chess Championship match against Anand last year, and got a complicated middle game that favoured Anand.

However, just while it looked Anand was pressing, Nakamura spotted a tactical resource with a piece sacrifice that was hard to meet over the board.

Not playing the best defense that he is known for, Anand succumbed to the pressure on the king side as Nakamura launched his attack and Anand's two pieces against rook did not prove sufficient. The game lasted 36 moves.

Carlsen went for the English opening against Aronian who chose the reverse Sicilian structure with black pieces. The game did not involve many fireworks as Aronian kept pace with Carlsen throughout and matched him move for move.

A few pieces changed hands in the middle game and the players reached a queen and knights endgame in quick time. Carlsen gave up his knight to force a draw through perpetual checks.

Caruana was pushed to the wall by Gelfand. It was a Dutch defense game where the Israeli played white and won a pawn in the endgame. Caruana had to find some difficult defense but in the end succeeded in keeping his position together. The draw was agreed to in 56 moves. -- PTI

Results Round 2: Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 3) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 3); V Anand (Ind, 0) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 3); Boris Gelfand (Isr, 1) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 2).


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