Monday, October 01, 2007

ChessMexico 07, The End : Well, I am glad this tournament is finally over. I am already looking forward to a World Championship reMATCH in 2008 between Kramnik and Anand. I predicted that Kramnik and Aronian will emerged as the top two, and so I was mistaken on Aronian. Aronian lost to Gelfand in both games, and that made Gelfand the only player to win both games against the same opponent. Aronian's two other losses occurred against Anand and Kramnik. Levon, maybe next time.

Nevertheless, congratulations to Anand for winning this tournament, for finishing without a loss, and for having the most wins in the group. Anand scored 9 / 14 points ( 4 wins and 10 draws ) while second placer Kramnik scored 8 / 14 ( 3 wins, 1 loss, 10 draws ). Gelfand has the same stats as Kramnik, but he took third place. The Israeli's armor sports a new luster, and no doubt numerous invitations to compete will be coming.

I remember watching the Kasparov-Anand Match at the World Trade Center in New York in 1995 where Kasparov proved too much for Anand. It has taken Anand 12 years since then to become unified world champion. He stayed the course, kept hacking away at the dream, eyes on the prize, and finally attained the highest honor in all of chessdom. I reckon this victory will make him a greater national hero in India.

Anand's game against Grischuk ( Round 13 ) represents the only time when he could have been beaten at the board. Had he lost that game, Anand would have created a 3-way tie between himself, Kramnik, and Gelfand ( assuming the last two performed as they did ). Those favoring match play would have seen some of that after all. Here is one of the critical positions in that game:

Anand had just played 51...Ra2-h2. From here, the game went into a pawn race that looked hopeless for Anand especially with the white king helping out in the promotion of the white A pawn. Ultimately, Anand sacrificed his rook for the Queen on a8. Anand's H pawn, however, started advancing by then and his king shepherded the H pawn home. Ironically, Grischuk's king performed the same task for his A pawn, but this placed the white king too far afield of the H pawn. For the record, here is the continuation: 52. Rd4 Rh4 53. Ra4 Rh1 54. Rb4 Ra1 55. a4 Kg6 56. Kd5 Ra3 57. Kc6 Rf3 58. a5 f5 59. a6 Ra3 60. gf5+ Kf5 61. Kb6 h5 62. Rb5+ Kg4 63. Ra5 Rf3 64. a7 Rf8 65. a8(q) Ra8 66. Ra8 h4 67. Kc5 h3 68. Kd4 h2 69. Rh8 Kg3 70. Ke3 Kg2 71. Rg8+ Kf1 72. Rh8 Kg1 73. Rh2 Kh2 Draw.


Blogger Ryan said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your congratulations to Anand seem rather, well, grudging. Would you have preferred Aronian or Kramnik to win?

Personally, I'm pleased that the No.1 ranked player is now also again the official world champion, but I will rest easier if Anand can beat Kramnik next year.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok...I see

4:25 AM  

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