Reports | February 17, 2013 20:07

Anand beats Naiditsch, clinches victory at Grenke Chess Classic

Anand beats Naiditsch, clinches victory at Grenke Chess Classic

On Sunday Vishy Anand finished sole first at the Grenke Chess Classic in Baden-Baden. The World Champion won a good game with Black against Arkadij Naiditsch (although he did criticize his move 24....a5) while Fabiano Caruana probably missed a win against Daniel Fridman (65...f4!?) and had to settle for a draw after seven hours of play. Adams-Meier was a relatively quick draw.

This win must be a huge relief for Anand, whose last tournament win was Morelia/Linares 2008 (although his plus 4 at Tata 2011 was excellent as well). And indeed, he's not using Twitter often, but tonight Anand sent out two tweets to the world:

Finally! Won my game and then 3 nerve wracking hours watching Fridman-Caruana wondering about the tiebreak. What drama!

wonderful to win the tournament outright

Round 10: Anand wins the GRENKE Chess Classic

The World Champion has won his first classical tournament in almost five years after an enthralling final day’s play in Baden-Baden. It started fast with Anand and Naiditsch blitzing out a rook ending that might have been drawn but ended in the German’s resignation on move 49. That left Caruana needing to beat Fridman to force a play-off, but he missed a gilt-edged chance in what fittingly became the longest game of the tournament.

Report: Colin McGourty | Photos: Georgios Souleidis | Videos: Macauley Peterson

Final rounds are sometimes dull, but there was every reason to hope for action at the GRENKE Chess Classic. No round had yet finished in three draws, and that was largely due to Arkadij Naiditsch’s seven decisive games in only nine rounds. He had the white pieces against Anand, and the players didn’t disappoint. Anand went for the Sicilian and followed the remarkable 1999 Kasparov vs. the World internet game, where the World played the Sicilian novelty 10…Qe6. Anand said he’d looked at the line and that particular game just before this tournament. Naiditsch deviated from Kasparov’s line with 14.Nc3, and after 14…Rxa8 15.Bg5 e6 16.Re1 he played 16…Nd5:

PGN string

Anand: “16...Nd5 is a pretty ugly move to make, but I simply didn’t want to keep calculating with the queens on the board”. After exchanging with 17.Nxd5 Qxd5 18.Qxd5 exd5 19.Rad1 h6 20.Bc1 d4 Black had doubled pawns, but they control the position, with the d4-pawn taking the c3- and e3-squares away from the white rook and preventing the bishop dropping back to e3. Vishy thought his position was very good, but heaped condemnation on his later 24…a5?!, calling it a “terrible”, “horrible”, “embarrassing” and even “insane” move.

PGN string  

He preferred simply 24…Rc7. Although the move in the game is actually Houdini’s first choice it allowed Naiditsch to bail out into a rook ending with 25.b4! Rc2 26.bxa5 bxa5 27.Rxa5 Nd3 28.Ra7+ Kc6 29.Rxf7 Nxe1 30.Kxe1 Rxc1+ 31.Kd2 Rg1 32.Rxg7 Rxg2:

PGN string

It seemed, at least from the speed with which Naiditsch was playing, that he had a draw worked out, but Anand thought his opponent, “really underestimated the position”, later commenting that “these rook endings are very, very tricky. You have to play them incredibly precisely”. Here Naiditsch quickly played 33. Ke1? and once again Anand didn’t mince his words, describing it as “a lemon” and “wrong on so many levels”. He thought his opponent had panicked about d3+ after the correct 33.Ke2!, but saw nothing to worry White in that line. In contrast to the game Naiditsch might have been in time to queen his a-pawn.

33.Ke1? instead allowed Vishy to gain tempi by giving check – 33…Rxh2 34. Rxg6 Rh1+ 35. Kd2 – and he said he had the winning plan worked out around here. The moves continued to come at almost blitz pace until a shell-shocked Naiditsch resigned: 35…h5 36. Rh6 h4 37. a4 h3 38. a5 h2 39. a6 Kc7 40. Rh7+ Kb8 41. Ke2 d3+ 42. Kd2 Ka8 43. Rh5 Ka7 44. Rh6 d5 45. Rh8 Kxa6 46.Rh6+ Kb5 47. Rh8 Kc4 48. Rc8+ Kd4 49. Rh8 Ke4 0-1

PGN string

Afterwards Anand reflected on his improved form this year, remarking that his last reasonably successful tournament before 2013 was Wijk aan Zee 2011, where he finished clear second behind Nakamura on +4. “After that basically I went over a cliff and the next five tournaments were pretty awful”. Wijk aan Zee this year also went well until the last round, with the champion commenting, “I was hoping I wouldn’t do a Wang Hao today!”

Anand added later in the press centre: “Since 2011 my big problem had been getting interesting positions where I had chances. This year the new problem has been exploiting those chances – against Fridman here, Hou Yifan in Wijk aan Zee or last year against Nakamura and Adams at the London Chess Classic I’ve been gifting people half points. If it wasn’t for that my results would be much better. Still, it’s a hundred times better to have the second problem! I need to work on my technique.”

 Replay the post-game press conference with Viswanathan Anand

The second game to finish was Adams-Meier. The players came into the final round level and with mathematical chances of winning the GRENKE Chess Classic, but they ended up playing a somewhat disjointed game. Meier’s openings have been impressive here in Baden-Baden, and although Adams noted “it’s not easy to play creatively in the final round” he tried to sidestep any preparation with 1.e4 e6 2.d3!?. Instead Meier relished the chance to sharpen play, with Adams summing things up: “I just wanted to get a kind of position where we both needed to think, but it didn’t really work as I was the only one thinking!”

After a confusing middlegame where Adams chose 13.Ne4?! instead of the natural 13.Nd5! and Meier then spent 40 minutes convincing himself not to play the obvious 13…Bf5!? the crisis came on move 19, when Adams blundered an exchange with 19.Nd2? His pieces apparently had plenty of room, and he half-joked afterwards, “how could my rooks possibly get trapped?”

PGN string

Georg Meier was so happy that his opponent had blundered that he overlooked he could play 19…Nc2! and only then 20…Bd3. Instead his 19…Bd3? allowed 20.Be4!, which discouraged his opponent to the extent that Meier didn’t take the exchange and played 20…Bxe4, after which the game soon fizzled out to a draw. Meier explained his thought processes: “I thought Mickey blundered and instead of winning I blundered straight back. I realised immediately what I’d just done so I tried to be solid.”

Adams described today’s game as his worst of the tournament, but ultimately didn’t feel he’d played badly in Baden-Baden: “I had very few opportunities when I had the advantage. When you play good players and they play well it’s not easy to win.” Meier joked that the spectators probably thought a new player had entered the tournament for the second half, in which he said he could have scored 4.5/5. He noted he’d perhaps made three mistakes in five games in the latter stages, while he was averaging ten a game at the beginning.

Replay the post-game press conference with Michael Adams and Georg Meier

That left only Fridman-Caruana, which kept the audience on tenterhooks for over seven hours. Fridman played the Exchange Slav, which doesn’t have the most combative of reputations, even if Jan Gustafsson in the commentary box noted that its “street cred” has improved since Alexander Morozevich and Vladimir Kramnik adopted the “weapon”, with the latter using it to beat Levon Aronian in one of the games of the 2012 Olympiad. On this occasion, however, the opening lived up to its reputation, with Fridman nursing a small edge deep into the middlegame. It was only in the run-up to the time control that the ice began to shift. Caruana now knew he needed a win, and his 32…Bg5 provoked his opponent into pushing his pawn to h4. Under normal circumstances that would have changed little, but Fridman was coming off a run of three losses in four games, and short of time he overlooked a simple pawn-winning tactic:

PGN string

36.Bxd6? Qxd6+ 37.f4 Bxh4 An ending soon arose where Black was the clear favourite, but with both players exhausted and a play-off place up for grabs anything could still happen. Fridman had had a disappointing tournament overall, but he at least managed to demonstrate some endgame wizardry at the close: 54.f5+!

PGN string

After 54…exf5 (54…Kf7!? was another try) 55.Ne2 Kf7 56.Nf4 g5 57.Nxd5 Ke6 58.Nc7+ Kf7 59.Nd5 Bb4 60.Nxb6 pawns were suddenly level, although the Italian still had chances of disturbing Vishy Anand’s evening. The final opportunity came after 65.Ke2:

PGN string

The 65…f4! break (or 65…g2 and then 66…f4) would have allowed the black king to rush towards the white pawns on b3 and a4. Caruana still had almost twenty minutes to think at this point, but his slow 65…Ke4? allowed 66.d5!. He had a long time to contemplate the ruins of his position, but there was no longer any way to avoid an inevitable draw.

Caruana cut a disconsolate figure after the game, but retained his objectivity. Although his result couldn’t be called bad – he actually gained rating points – he was unhappy with his overall play and felt that his form had finally come back to haunt him in the last two games.

Fabiano Caruana

So World Champion Viswanathan Anand remained undefeated and took clear first at the inaugural GRENKE Chess Classic. 

A final word from Tournament Director Sven Noppes:

We're delighted with how the GRENKE Chess Classic has gone. The grandmaster tournament was well-received both in Germany and abroad, and the accompanying tournaments were well-attended, especially considering the short advance notice. We believe this was just the beginning, and are already planning the second edition for next year. This is the start of a new tradition.

Tournament Director Sven Noppes: "This is the start of a new tradition."

Games round 10

PGN file

Grenke Chess Classic 2013 | Pairings & results

Round 1 07.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 6 13.02.13 15:00 CET
Naiditsch ½-½ Fridman   Fridman 0-1 Naiditsch
Adams ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Adams
Caruana 1-0 Meier   Meier ½-½ Caruana
Round 2 08.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 7 14.02.13 15:00 CET
Fridman ½-½ Meier   Meier 1-0 Fridman
Anand ½-½ Caruana   Caruana ½-½ Anand
Naiditsch 1-0 Adams   Adams ½-½ Naiditsch
Round 3 09.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 8 15.02.13 15:00 CET
Adams ½-½ Fridman   Fridman ½-½ Adams
Caruana 1-0 Naiditsch   Naiditsch 0-1 Caruana
Meier ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Meier
Round 4 10.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 9 16.02.13 15:00 CET
Fridman ½-½ Anand   Anand 1-0 Fridman
Naiditsch 1-0 Meier   Meier 1-0 Naiditsch
Adams ½-½ Caruana   Caruana 0-1 Adams
Round 5 11.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 10 17.02.13 13:00 CET
Caruana ½-½ Fridman   Fridman ½-½ Caruana
Meier ½-½ Adams   Adams ½-½ Meier
Anand 1-0 Naiditsch   Naiditsch 0-1 Anand

Grenke Classic 2013 | Round 10 standings

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

RG13's picture

ANAND IS BACK IN THE SADDLE!!

RRPrice's picture

... with a performance rating that would have been fifth place-ish had he earned it at the recent Tata Steel.

Anonymous's picture

@RRPrice Go away dyck less . This is probably Visy's 40th classical tournament win.

RRPrice's picture

And his first in years (and only in a relatively minor event).

RRPrice's picture

... with a performance rating that would have been 5th place level at the recent Tata Steel.

Thomas Oliver's picture

If you present facts they should at least be correct: TPR 2809 or 2810 meant shared third place in Wijk aan Zee, shared between Anand and Karjakin.

Foo's picture

Correct.

RRPrice's picture

I was going by this table at chess.com that shows Anand would have placed him between Karjakin and Leko in (I guess you could call it) 4.5th place.

http://www.chess.com/news/magnus-carlsen-wins-tata-steel-2013-1412

brad's picture

that's a different tournament, in which he actually ended up +3. so what's your point, other than exposing yourself as logically challenged?

RRPrice's picture
RRPrice's picture

My point, dear sir, is Anand barely managed to squeak by with a win in a second string tournament (where his closest competitor is currently only ranked #11 in the world) with a performance rating that would only have placed him (for example) between 3rd & 4th or 4th & 5th in the most recent major tournament and many here are trying to trump it up into some major accomplishment.

brad's picture

it's a +3 performance with a great performance rating in a strong field tournament. god forbid people give praise for that? your comparison to wijk simply makes no sense, especially since your basis of comparison is one where the player had a great performance. your logic is flawed, dear sir. a poor attempt to spread negativity where its not warranted.

Anonymous's picture

true, but his hair looked better!

RRPrice's picture

Excuse me. I bungled that post badly and the website also did not post it correctly under Thomas Oliver's comment. Should have read:

I was going by this table at chess.com that shows Anand would have placed between Karjakin and Leko in (I guess you could call it 4.5th place).

http://www.chess.com/news/magnus-carlsen-wins-tata-steel-2013-1412

Thomas Oliver's picture

You are probably right and the final Chessvibes report on Tata Steel which I checked is slightly wrong - it has Giri with Elo 2720 rather than 2726 which affects all TPRs (apparently the six points Giri gained at the World Cities Championship were added to the January 2013 rating list a few days after it was initially published!?).

But it's meaningless number-crunching: for Anand, a 2809 TPR in Wijk aan Zee would correspond to something like 7.9/13 or 7.95/13 - obviously mission impossible.
The Baden-Baden field is what it is or was: the world champion, a former and quite possibly future top10 player (Caruana), three nominally weaker players who are solid and hard to beat (Adams, Meier, Fridman) and one erratic player (Naiditsch). Noone had a result as bad as l'Ami (4/13) and especially Sokolov (3/13) in Wijk aan Zee.

RRPrice's picture

My general point, and I think it's a valid one, is that TPR is probably the statistic that can most easily be used to compare Anand's performance in this tournament with what would be a winning performance in other tournaments, and that a TPR of 2809 would almost never result in a first place finish in a top level event.

A quick check shows a TPR of 2809 would have put him:

between 4th and 5th in London 2012
between 3rd and 4th in Tal 2012
between 4th and 5th in Tata 2012
between 2nd and 3rd Bilbao 2012

I would dig up more but I don't suspect it would do much to alter the conclusion that Anands performance in Baden-Baden was only mediocre by top level event standards.

S3's picture

RRPrice, if you want to argue that Anand played mediocre you'll have to examine his games. As long as tournaments are decided by regular score it makes no sense to weigh a winning performance on tpr.

RRPrice's picture

I'm not arguing (necessarily) that Anand's play was mediocre. I'm arguing that his performance (result) was mediocre.

It makes perfect sense for me to say that Anand's performance in winning a tournament has to be evaluated in the context of the tournament in which the win was achieved, and what better way to measure performance than performance rating? His performance of 6.5 out of 10 may have been sufficient for a win in this case, but a win with that score against competition the strength of which he faced in Baden-Baden generates a performance rating that would only qualify as a mediocre when compared to the kind of performance ratings usually generated by those who finish first in top flight events.

meshrath's picture

The final TPR may not be fully indicative of the quality of the play. Hypothesize a tourney in which the top half with high ratings draws each other and bashes the bottom half. Their final TPR will be high, but their quality of play might not be absolutely awesome, especially if the bottom half commits serious blunders in each game. Not pointing fingers here, just for arguments sake.

Thomas Oliver's picture

A TPR is just a number - obviously 2900 is better than 2800 but differences of just a few points are statistically irrelevant: In Tal Memorial 2012, Caruana (TPR 2816) and Radjabov (TPR 2814) shared second place with 5/9, Anand's TPR 2809 might mean an impossible 4.95/9 score - so it would rather correspond to shared second place. In Bilbao 2012, a 2809 TPR would have put him slightly ahead of Aronian and Karjakin, which is hardly mediocre.

Comparing different events is comparing apples and oranges: In the very strongest events (e.g. Tal Memorial) a +1 score is enough for a 2800+ TPR but generally not for winning the event. In weaker or "mixed" events, a lot depends on the form of the lower-rated players: I already mentioned that l'Ami and Sokolov 'donated' many points (score points and Elo) to the rest of the field. In Baden-Baden, Fridman and Meier did a comparatively better job - note that Fridman is tailender because he "lost the German championship", not due to his 2.5/6 score against the foreign players.

But I agree that this wasn't the ultimate test for Anand, there's more to come: Zurich in just one week, the Norwegian event in May, and apparently another supertournament that hasn't yet been announced - mentioned by Macauley in the live transmission yesterday. Not every event does things London- or Stavanger-style: a series of press releases starting many months before the event!?

RRPrice's picture

I wouldn't argue about the statistical irrelevance of a difference as small as a few points, but, as you can see from my previous post, my primary concern was where the TPR from Anand's winning performance in the mostly second string Baden-Baden tournament stands in relation to a typical TPR for the win of a supertournament. And, like I said, a TPR in the 2809 ballpark would almost never be good enough for first place in any of the highest level events these days. Using the same tournaments I already mentioned, Anand's performance was
185 points below the TPR of the first place finisher in London 2012
39 points below the TPR of the first place finisher in Tal 2012
82 points below the TPR of the first place finisher in Tata 2012
84 points below the TPR of the first place finishers in Bilbao 2012 (average of their scores)
124 points below the TPR of the first place finishers in Tata 2013

to this lets add:
123 points below the TPR of the first place finisher in London 2011
40 points below the TPR of the first place finisher in Tal 2011
70 points below the TPR of the first place finisher in Tata 2011
34 points below the TPR of the first place finisher in Bilbao 2011 (I'm not including Ivanchuk in this as he was only at +1 by traditional scoring)

If we take an average then Anand came in 87 points below the average supertournament 1st place TPR

You might argue that Anand was close to the winners of Tal 2012 or Bilbao 2011, but in neither case did Anand actually meet or exceed the TPR of any of the tournament winners, and also he was well off the average top finisher TPR (as we can see).

Thomas Oliver's picture

OK, Anand's TPR wouldn't be enough to win some or even any of the stronger events you mention - half a point more would have done the job in some cases (e.g. converting his advantage in the first game against Fridman - yes, there's room for improvement for Vishy).

But it's misleading to suggest - as you implicitly did - that it would only be good enough for middle of the field. For Tata Steel, excluding a couple of players who have no a priori chances for first place, and can be perfectly happy with a 50% score or even less.

So your "primary concern" seems to be diminishing Anand's result?

RRPrice's picture

I wouldn't say my concern is to diminish Anand's result but more to put it in perspective. I actually like Anand. I'm not a fan of him as a player, but he seems to be a genuinely good and nice person.

I just want to give some counterbalance to those who are crowing about his tournament win by adding a bit of statistical perspective and show how his first place in Baden-Baden is really more in line with something like an average second or third place finish in an event like Tal, London, Tata or Bilbao.

I don't think this is unfair or mean spirited. All tournaments are not created equal, and this kind of analysis just fleshes out what seems fairly obvious to begin with: that Baden-Baden was not a top of the line supertournament and a win there with the score Anand achieved was not a fantastic result for a player of the highest caliber (although a perfectly credible and decent result to be sure).

It isn't my intention to be misleading and push him further down the the field that his performance would warrant, And you're right in pointing out that (eg) his 2809 would really have been more in line with 2nd rather than 3rd or 4th at Tal 2012.

RRPrice's picture

@Thomas Oliver

Just to cap things off, a little more research shows that Anand's performance put him closest to the average 3rd place finish for the tournaments mentioned.

The average 2nd place finish had a TPR of 2839 or 2837 (depending on whether one weighs TPRs for all 2nd place finishers as equal across tournaments or if one take the the average of all 2nd place finishers within a single tournament first and then uses that as a single number along with the TPR averages from the other tournaments to create a grand average)

And the average 3rd place finish had a TPR of 2798 or 2803

I guess if you want to go through and determine what point score 2809 would have given Anand in each of these events you can have at it.

I maybe overstated my case to begin with in calling Anand's result “mediocre”. But he is the World Champion after all and we expect more from him to even rank his performance as acceptable than we do from other players.

Chess Fan's picture

Brilliant Thomas.
I am amazed at how smart some of the comments are here - I should not be.
Some commentators are seemingly smarter, logical, and more mathematical than I could be, which is a compliment if you know me and my background.

Foo's picture

Nonsense. If not for the disaster against WH..A wd have finished 2nd

AngeloPardi's picture

At long last !!!!!

Foo's picture

Good work vishy. More power in zurich this coming saturday!

bronkenstein's picture

Hip hip hooray for the King! =)

ssd's picture

+3 at tata

Foo's picture

Look the man had a child and had to defend his wcc title 3 times in 4 years.2008 to 2012 not to mentio he had just won in 2007. So give him a break. How many times did gary defend his title ..i mean frequency..once every freaking 4 years? How come no one ever speaks about that? If kasparov had to defend every 1.5 years perhaps his tournament wins would have gone down?

sadiq's picture

I fully agree. there should be a minimum of 2 yrs gap between world chess title clashes. Otherwise it will be just another tournament. But who cares. Each championship match means tonnes of money for FIDE.

sadiq's picture

I fully agree. there should be a minimum of 2 yrs gap between world chess title clashes. Otherwise it will be just another tournament. But who cares. Each championship match means tonnes of money for FIDE.

AK's picture

That's certainly a valid point. Especially if we talk about Garry in the 90s.

I think the gap between championship matches should be at least two full years. Possibly even three like in the old days. Otherwise we have a champion who at first recovers after a tough match and then hides his prep for the next one. That's not right.

Anyway... good win for Anand. Didn't have big problems in any of the games and actually could have scored a bit more.

Foo's picture

Agree in spirit but more like 4 or 5 years in the old days. Gary played anand in 1995 and then vlad in 2000. Otherwise more or less 4 years and dont forget kramnik...he did the same. He beat gary and then leko in 2003 or 2004 and then toilet gate in 2006 i think. All these guys are full of it.

Something else how many people have played in the challengers jome ground in recent times? Anand played topalov in bulgaria...lets forget about the 5 day bust ip to get there etc. Fischer cried about ligting, his chair, shape, size and color of pieces. Anand ..has anybody heard him complaining ever? Ever about anything? Think before u idiots respond.

Foo's picture

Oh yes one more thing about vlad. After toilet gate he negotiated with fide to get himself a auto rematch with winner of morelia. If he won then he remains wcc. All these guys kasparov, karpov, fischee, kramnik....nuf eaid.

mdamien's picture

I have quite a different take on Kramnik's negotiations in the match with Topalov. Kramnik was the sitting world champion and was in a position to unify the title with the tin-cup FIDE champion. Whatever his motivations for the unification (good for chess or good for himself), Kramnik held to the principle that his crown had to be wrested from him in a match, not a tournament. His concession that the tournament victor in Mexico would be champion was just a technicality (one to be forgotten, hopefully) since he ensured a match afterward.

redivivo's picture

"Kramnik held to the principle that his crown had to be wrested from him in a match, not a tournament"

No, he agreed that Mexico tournament was the undisputed World Championship. This was agreed already when the unification match against Topalov was played. It was first after he won that match that he negotiated with FIDE so he would also get a match against the winner in Mexico.

mdamien's picture

I believe that is incorrect. The stipulation that Kramnik would get a "return" match if he lost was part of the agreement for treating the tournament as a world championship.

mdamien's picture

As a followup, I looked for a reference to Kramnik agreeing to the world championship that doesn't also note the "rematch" condition, and I cannot find one. On the contrary, the rematch was part and parcel of it, e.g., http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3899.

Give me a credible reference to the contrary and I will concede the point, but I think I would have remembered something so distasteful had it occurred.

Thomas Oliver's picture

I obviously don't know what exactly happened behind the scenes (how many people do?) but it may well have been ideas by team Topalov:
- excluding the loser of the Kramnik-Topalov match from the Mexico WCh tournament (not considering the possibility that Topalov could lose that match?)
- then insisting that the Mexico winner has to defend his title in a match. If Kramnik had won in Mexico, there would have been a rematch against Topalov! So maybe Kramnik didn't even mind losing his title to Anand, as he preferred a relatively friendly match against Vishy to another ugly one against Topalov?

Of course Kramnik could have waived his right to another WCh match, can we expect such a thing from a professional chess player? Else it looks like he is - paradoxically - blamed for things done by Topalov? And the same people who blame Kramnik here would have wanted him to give a rematch to Kasparov, and might nowadays want an automatic WCh match or even an automatic WCh title for Carlsen?!

AK's picture

I personally meant by "in the old days" 50s - 80s when cycle was 3 years long. But everything above 3 years is too long in my opinion. So two or three years is great. I prefer three years myself. So the champion can play one full year without thinking about the match.

Anonymous's picture

Well, Kasparov played title matches in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987,1990,1993 and 1995 to begin with, and those title matches were much longer than the matches today, so I don't think Kasparov should be too criticized, his tournament results were quite good in those years.

Ghost of Petrosian's picture

Very good that someone brought this up at last. Also, it appears to be currently fashionable to belittle him saying that he wins only because of his opening prep. Give Anand credit, his very tough win against Gelfand who brilliantly sidetracked his opening prep. has been very insufficiently appreciated. Kasparov himself self destructed when faced with a similar situation against Kramnik. And if Anand was off form during the Gelfand match, his win is all the more creditable. Getting back to the opening prep criticisms, every top player wins several games right out of their superior opening prep, the most famous ones being Kasparov and Fischer. Why, Paul Morphy himself was said to have been far ahead of his contemporaries in this. This does not in any way diminish their stature. Let us celebrate these great players for the joy they provide (and will continue to provide) chess lovers everywhere.

Anonymous's picture

Very well said.

Chess Fan's picture

Very good point. At this level all these things matter.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Loved the ending in both the critical games today. Its amazing how a classic rook endgame idea Ra1-a2 skewer is used as a tactical resource to combine with zugzwang (the reason why white cannot move his f pawn). I am awaiting the full analysis of both the endgames. Vishy's game with Ke2 for white and the so many possible continuations in the Caruana game. It should be worth studying them.

Chess Fan's picture

Appreciate your informed comment.
Yes, I am studying this and Anand's previous anti-Berlin game for my own benefit. We can always learn from the World Champion whatever our level is. For me the two games are amazing and instructional.

Morley's picture

Nice closing rounds by Vishy. He really seemed to up his precision in converting advantageous positions, something that had been lacking for a while. Nice win, looking forward to seeing him again at Zurich, where hopefully Caruana will be in better form.

Anonymous's picture

Congrats to Vishy nice to see a win and 2800+ performance that is what champions are supposed to do. His game in the previous round looked like vintage Anand with activiy on the whole board. Nobody would like to see the old Anand more than me. He showed signs in Tata with a fantastic win over Aronian perhaps he will have a good year we will see.

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