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    1948 World Chess Championship 1962 Candidates 2.c3 Sicilian 2.f4 Sicilian 2011 European Team Championship 2011 Russian Championship 2012 Capablanca Memorial 2012 Chess Olympiad 2012 European Women's Championship 2012 London Chess Classic 2012 U.S. Junior Championship 2012 U.S. Women's Championship 2012 US Championship 2012 Women's World Chess Championship 2012 World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2013 Alekhine Memorial 2013 Beijing Grand Prix 2013 European Club Cup 2013 European Team Championship 2013 FIDE World Cup 2013 Kings Tournament 2013 London Chess Classic 2013 Russian Championship 2013 Tal Memorial 2013 U.S. Championship 2013 Women's World Championship 2013 World Blitz Championship 2013 World Championship 2013 World Rapid Championship 2013 World Team Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. 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    Entries in Anand (39)

    Thursday
    Dec082011

    London 2011, Round 5: Nakamura, Kramnik and Anand Win

    The London Chess Classic is shaping up very differently from some recent tournament I'm remembering to forget - there are wins in every round, and the overall percentage of draws is very low: just 35%. This is partially but not completely due to the abysmal form of 3/4 of the British contingent: Nigel Short, Michael Adams and David Howell have already lost three games apiece, while no other player has lost more than once. And so it was today.

    Hikaru Nakamura defeated David Howell in a way characteristic of both players. Nakamura applied constant pressure on the white side of an English, and Howell played pretty well until his time trouble got too severe, and then collapsed.

    Vladimir Kramnik has gone back to playing more solidly in this event; wisely, I think, as he needs to maintain a rating lead of more than seven points over Sergey Karjakin to assure himself of a spot in the next Candidates' cycle. Against Michael Adams today he didn't get anything from the opening or the early middlegame, for that matter, but Kramnik gradually wore him down. His successful use of the minority attack (culminating in 28.b5 cxb5 29.Rxb5) left Kramnik with plenty of targets to aim at with no risk at all, and eventually some of them fell. Kramnik went to +2, Adams to a startling -3.

    Viswanathan Anand has been on a terrible run: absolutely uninspired play in the Tal Memorial, and a winless -1 here through four rounds. Today, at last, he took a step back to health, defeating Nigel Short with the black pieces. Short got nothing from his 3.Bb5+ Anti-Sicilian, but wasn't in any trouble either until he sent his knight out of play with 34.Na6. Its extraction cost him a pawn, and Anand had no trouble converting his advantage in the technical phase.

    Finally, heirs apparent to the chess throne Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen played the round's only draw. Aronian had an edge, and perhaps 20.Nd6 or 27.b3 (among other possible improvements) would have given Carlsen more challenging problems to solve before he could save the point.

    Standings After Round 5 (totals are based on the tournament's 3-1-0 scoring; the second number indicates the number of rounds played):

    1. Nakamura 10 (5)
    2. Carlsen 9 (5)
    3-4. Kramnik, McShane 8 (4)
    5-6. Aronian, Anand 5 (4)
    7. Short 3 (4)
    8. Adams, Howell 2 (5)

    Round 6 Pairings:

    • Adams - Aronian
    • Anand - Kramnik
    • Howell - Short
    • McShane - Nakamura
    • Carlsen - bye

    Today's games, with my comments, are here.

    Monday
    Oct312011

    Anand Beats Mamedyarov 2-0, Wins Corsica Masters

    There's a reason Viswanathan Anand is the world champion! He showed off his skills today in all phases of the game. In the first game, with White, he ground Shakhriyar Mamedyarov down in an ending; in game two, it was his defensive and counter-attacking skills that were on display. Nicely done, and it's good to see that even past 40 the speedy Anand can still dominate in rapid/speed chess.

    Tournament site here, games here (you'll find the Anand-Mamedyarov games at the bottom of the board's drop-down menu).

    Sunday
    Oct302011

    Corsica Final Tomorrow

    We referred to the Corsica Masters a few days ago in the context of a scandal and also the fascinating Cheparinov-Pesotskyi game. Now it's time to briefly discuss the event as a whole.

    The tournament has gone in two stages. The first was an open event, won by Krishnan Sasikiran with 7.5/9, half a point better than Gawain Jones and a point ahead of 13 other players. Sasikiran, Jones and twelve of the thirteen 6.5 pointers qualified for the next stage, a knockout series at a rapid time control. Viswanathan Anand and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov were invited as direct seeds in the knockout stage, and they have made it into tomorrow's final after defeated Sasikiran and Ivan Cheparinov, respectively, in the semi-finals.

    The qualifying event was played with a "classical" time control and will be rated, but the rapid games won't be. However, FIDE decided this past week to introduce rapid and blitz ratings, effective January 1, 2012. (HT: Chess Today)

    Monday
    Oct102011

    "Chairman of the Board": A Profile of Anand

    Sunday
    Sep042011

    Anand Wins Botvinnik Memorial

    Viswanathan Anand continued his winning ways on the second day of the elite rapid event of the Botvinnik Memorial, following up a draw with Vladimir Kramnik by defeating Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen. He wound up with an undefeated 4.5/6 score, a full point and a half more than Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian. Kramnik beat Carlsen in round 5 while Aronian beat Carlsen in round 4; finally, Aronian beat Kramnik in the last round to catch him. As you'll have gathered, Carlsen "castled queenside"; that is, he lost all three of his games (0-0-0) and finished in last overall with just a point and a half.

    The concurrent women's event was won by Viktoria Cmilyte, who lost her first game (on Friday) and the last game (on Saturday) but won all four intervening contests. Elina Danielan took second with 3.5, Tatiana Kosintseva third with 2.5 and Humpy Koneru was last with 2 points.

    After those events finished, they played a round of tandem chess, with the following generally nationally-based teams: Anand & Koneru, Kramnik & Kosintseva, Aronian & Danielan and Carlsen & Cmilyte. Anand & Koneru had White (in all games, the women moved first for both sides) in their first two rounds and won with it against first Kramnik's team and then Aronian's before drawing with Black against Carlsen & Cmilyte. Aronian & Danielan won with White against Carlsen's team in round 1 and Kramnik's in round 3; finally, Kramnik & Kosintseva drew with White against Carlsen & Cmilyte in round 2.

    You can watch all the proceedings here. The games in all three events were quite lively and interesting, and contrary to at least one opinion I've seen about the men's event, reasonably well played, too, and I hope to present one or two of the event games either on here or in one of my upcoming video shows.

    Friday
    Sep022011

    Kramnik on Chess, Anand, Topalov and His Future: Part 1

    This interview is very much worth reading. Non-Russians may not be terribly interested in the conversation about the persistent failures of the Russian teams in recent years to win events like the Olympiad and the World Team Championship, but there are some interesting new bits about the match with Topalov. Most interesting of all are his remarks about Anand, which are enough by themselves to justify your taking the time to read it. Of course, he has some noteworthy and surprising things to say about his own chess, too, so have a look.

    HT: Thomas

    Friday
    Sep022011

    Anand Leads Botvinnik Memorial Rapid Event After Day 1

    The battle between the fearsome foursome of Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian is half over, and so far it's the world champion, Anand, who is in the lead. The play was full of fight, but five of the six games were drawn. The only decisive game came in the second round when Anand defeated Aronian with the black pieces. Tomorrow, we'll have the second cycle: the same pairings with colors reversed.

    The event website is here, and as with the World Cup there's live coverage (in Russian only, except when they interview non-Russian speaking players like Anand) that can be replayed afterwards as well - just use the scroll bar. (Right now, there are post-game interviews with both the men's and women's players - there's an accompanying women's event with Humpy Koneru, Viktorija Cmilyte, Tatiana Kosintseva and Elina Danielian. On Sunday and Monday, the men and women will join up for a tandem event, with those from the same country teaming up [in the three relevant cases; the other team is Carlsen + Cmilyte].)

    Friday
    Sep022011

    Super-Elite Botvinnik Memorial Rapid Event Starts Friday

    Which is today for most of us. It's a double round-robin rapid event in Moscow Friday and Saturday featuring just four players, but when the quartet comprises Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik, it's enough! An interesting feature is that the players will sometimes come out when it isn't their move and offer commentary to the audience on the game they're playing.

    Official event site here.

    Wednesday
    Jul132011

    Anand-Gelfand Match To Be Held in Chennai, India

    World champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger, Boris Gelfand, are scheduled to play a 12-game match for the title next year. Now some details have been set: it will take place across April and May in Chennai, India, and the match budget (a figure which includes the prize fund but presumably more besides) will be 4.5 million dollars (200 million rupees).

    Playing in his home country ought to be an advantage for Anand, but Gelfand can take some solace in memories of the Candidates in Sanghi Nagar in 1994. Anand blew a big lead against Gata Kamsky to lose a heart-breaking match, while Gelfand upset Vladimir Kramnik before losing to Anatoly Karpov in the Candidates' final.

    Anyway, the important thing is that there was a successful bid, and it's nice that it's not in Elista or Siberia.

    More info here, here and here.

    HT: Daniel Parmet

    Friday
    Jun102011

    Anand Interview: Part 1

    Part 1 of a long, light-hearted video interview (with an ad break in the middle that hopefully won't start a trend) with world champ Viswanathan Anand can be found here.