Friday, March 14, 2014

Plenty of fight left for the old Tiger from Madras

Anand starts with a bang, shows there is much fight left in him
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 14, 2014

This one is for all those who had written Viswanathan Anand off in the Candidates Tournament, the eight-player round-robin event in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, from which the challenger to world champion Magnus Carlsen will emerge.

Anand on Thursday proved that writing him off on the basis of his insipid performance in the World Championship final against Carlsen and subsequent events would be foolhardy.

Don't write him off
The former world champion started the 2014 Candidates Tournament with a scintillating victory, beating Levon Aronian of Armenia, the favourite on form and rating, in the first game of the 14-round tournament.

Playing with white pieces, Anand opted for the Ruy Lopez Opening to which Aronian replied with Closed Defence, the main line in this case, and came out victorious in 47 moves.

Anand played attacking and precise chess and did not commit mistakes. From the game it seems Aronian may have underestimated Anand following his recent travails and paid the penalty. Anand did get a minor advantage in the middle game and then squeezed out a win, capitalising on inaccurate moves by his opponent.

Aronian resigned on the 47th move in a situation impossible to defend.

Though it is only the first round and a lot many games are to be played, what would make Anand and his camp happier is that the Indian Grandmaster was the lone winner in this round as the other games ended in tame draws.

Russian former world champion Vladimir Kramnik drew with young compatriot Dmitry Andreikin in 32 moves with black pieces, Sergey Karjakin with Peter Svidler in 23 moves in another all-Russian clash while another former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria held Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in 36 moves with black pieces.

Kramnik and Topalov would not rue their draw much as it came with black pieces. However, a winning start is a sure-shot morale booster and only Anand can enjoy that.



Anonymous said...

Anand is the greatest ever.

Anonymous said...

Just because he wins his opening game, against the great Aranion who isn't a robot but a human - like the greatest there ever lived (Kasparov, Fischer and the new King Carlsen, they also lost/lose a game by occasion) - and therefore can and will have his weak moments, it doesn't mean Anand is King again. But the whole world treats this win as if he's World Champion again. How can we shout "he's back" or "this is the World Champion" after winning one game? It's utter naivity!

Winning that game was marvelous and obviously will give Anand a boost, but remember this: it's a long road ahead and Anand too will suffer weaknesses. It's all about frequence, being punished for them and the ability to recover. He will have a real hard time doing so.

This Candidates Tournament is technically more difficult then playing 12 games against Carlsen, because now he has to face different players with different styles and he'll be mentally tortured on different levels.

Anand will not win this Candidates Tournaments for the simple fact that there are other players dealing better with these facts. Considering the whole picture he comes short.

Nevertheless, a fine moment, a very fine win for the Madras Tiger!

But, beware of Kramnik and learn from Aronians recovery!