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Grenke Round 5: Anand Wins!

  • SonofPearl
  • on 11/02/13 22:48.

Baden-Baden%20tournament%20logo.jpgPRESS RELEASE: Round 5

The GRENKE Chess Classic reached the mid-way point on Rosenmontag, the highlight of the German Carnival season, and a day when paupers can traditionally trade places with kings. It seemed the same might happen on the stage, as tournament underdogs Georg Meier and Daniel Fridman had Mickey Adams and Fabiano Caruana on the ropes, while Arkadij Naiditsch had a full-blooded game against Vishy Anand. In the end, however, the aristocrats of world chess drew, while the king upheld the social order with a win that saw him move into outright second place.

The win felt long overdue, though the criticism the World Champion had received in some quarters for his previous four draws (with White only once) was absurdly overblown. It clearly wasn’t for the lack of trying, and in round 5 the dam finally burst. Of course that also had a lot to do with his opponent – Arkadij Naiditsch continued his record of providing the day’s only decisive game.

Vishy Anand defeated Arkadij Naiditsch

Baden Baden 2013 Round 5 Vishy Anand Arkadij Naiditsch.jpg

The game wasn’t, at least on the surface, about the opening. Anand rejected the Berlin Defence and went for a complex Ruy Lopez that looked playable for both players. He noted afterwards that Naiditsch’s pieces were somewhat tied up on the queenside, but the whole game essentially revolved around Naiditsch’s strange neglect of his kingside cavalry. 25…h5?! was welcomed by Anand as it already left the f4-knight with no squares to which it could retreat. When the World Champion played 27.Nf1 his plans were crystal clear – as he told IM Lawrence Trent afterwards in the post-game interview, he had other options, but “if you see a piece then you want to get it!” Naiditsch attempted to solve his problems with the pseudo-aggressive 27…Bh6?, which may objectively have been the losing move.

Anand responded with the quiet but deadly 28.Re1!, when not only does the knight have no squares, it’s pinned to the h6-bishop. It was somewhat astonishing, therefore, that Naiditsch almost blitzed out 28…Kh7?. He could have put up more resistance by solving the key problem with his counterplay – that 28…Qc8 immediately runs into the 29.Nxd6! fork – and sure enough the computer recommends three moves that defend d6: 28…Bf8, 28…Ne8, 28…Rd8 (in that order).

The game saw 29.g3 Qc8 30.f3 (Vishy: “a cold-blooded move. I did it with some trepidation, but I couldn’t see a way for him.”) 30…Qh3 31.gxf4 Qxf3

Here Anand had the luxury of a choice and a comfortable 40 minutes on his clock. His first intention was to play the nice 32.b4! to allow the distant a3-rook to control matters on the kingside, but he didn’t like the idea of Black getting some decent squares for his pieces. In the end he ruled out any counterplay based on the g4-square with 32.Qd1! and after 32…Qh3 33.fxe5 Naiditsch’s Rxb3 was little more than desperation, and he resigned on move 38. It was a puzzling sequence of play from the German no. 1, but today was all about the World Champion. You could feel what it meant to him: “I was trying very hard not to screw this one up. I’ve been tossing away too many of these.”

For much of the round it had seemed more likely we’d see decisive action elsewhere. Georg Meier has been struggling in Baden-Baden and remains in bottom place, but he pulled off the rare feat of leaving Mickey Adams in dire straits by move 12. Adams explained, “I think I was a bit casual in the opening and Black was on the edge for a long time”. He also credited his opponent, however, noting the direct plan with 6.Nc3 is rarer than the quieter 6.Qc2, while Meier said his 7.Bg5 was a novelty. Adams said “I saw it coming” of White’s expansion with e4, but he couldn’t devise a way to stop it, and the return of the bishop with 12.Bd2 provoked the Englishman into desperate measures with 12…e5!? Adams: “What else could I play? I had to try something.” Suddenly the computers were proclaiming Meier had a close to winning edge, but the chances of an upset were all but extinguished a couple of moves later.

Georg Meier (left) and Mickey Adams

Baden Baden 2013 Round 5 Georg Meier Mickey Adams.jpg

13.a3! Bxc3 14.Bxc3 Qa6 15.Nxe5? After the game both players agreed that 15.0-0! was the move, with the problem for Black being that his queen is in real danger of getting stuck after the move Adams was planning to play 15…Qxc4, then 16.dxe5 Nd5 17.Bd4! with Rac1 to follow. Instead they soon reached an ending via 15…Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qxc4 17.Qd4 Qxd4 18.Bxd4 and after the single accurate move 18…Rd8! (Meier was relishing his small edge after 18…Nd5 19.Bxd5 cxd5 with White planting a rook on c7) they were left with a position which Adams quietly noted was drawish after every single alternative proposed. They shook hands after a repetition on move 35.

At the end of the press conference Adams and Meier were asked about the almost empty board in the latter stages of Caruana – Fridman, and Adams joked: “All three results possible, but one seems more likely than the other two. Under 18 minutes to make 1 move, so it’s in the balance!” What went before, however, was a fascinating struggle that threatened to explode into tactical fireworks. Daniel Fridman played the Petroff, but that opening has by now almost lost its drawish reputation, largely due to the variation we saw today where White castles queenside. Sergey Karjakin memorably once crushed Vladimir Kramnik with the white pieces, but on this occasion the German grandmaster knew exactly what he was doing.

Fabiano Caruana (left) and Daniel Fridman

Baden Baden 2013 Round 5 Fabiano Caruana Daniel Fridman.jpg

Caruana regretted his 17.a4 (instead of 17.a3), but he played it because he hadn’t seen the cunning trap Fridman and his second Konstantin Landa had cooked up on the morning before the game. After 17…Rb8 the natural 18.axb5 was met by a pawn sacrifice: 18…a4! Actually sacrifice is perhaps the wrong word, as the pawn could hardly be more poisoned – 19.Bxa4 Qa7! and the bishop is lost after 20.b3 cxb5, while 20.Bb3 Ra8! leads to a quick mate. Caruana was on the back foot, but once again the real tension didn’t last long. After the sequence 19.Bc4 cxb5 20.Ba2 b4 21.cxb4 Rxb4 22.Qd6 Black was left with a choice.

Fridman played the perfectly good 22…Qxd6, but ultimately Caruana’s defence of the ending was painless. Instead the other option was 22…Qxb7!? and the board is on fire – a possible line begins 23.Qxe5 (not Houdini’s top move, but the move the players had considered during the game) 23…a3! 24.h5 Bf5! (the queen can’t take the bishop as it’s stopping mate on b2) and it’s hard to fathom what might happen next. The best recommendation is to watch the post-game press conference and marvel at the amount of tactics the players, and especially Caruana, saw throughout the whole game. And some would call it a quiet draw.

It’s impossible to end this Carnival report without mentioning the 6-round GRENKE Chess Classic Carnival (“Fasching” in German) Tournament that was played over the last three days here in the same venue in Baden-Baden. This time there was a minor overturning of the status quo as WGM Vera Nebolsina beat her male colleagues to the trophy, though admittedly the young Russian was the second seed in the capacity 79-player event. She started with 5 wins then drew her final game against GM Mikhail Ivanov, who took silver. Jonas Reimold took bronze. You can find full details on the Chess-Results website (http://www.chess-results.com/tnr87513.aspx).

So at the half-way stage of the GRENKE Chess Classic Fabiano Caruana continues to lead on 3.5/5, though Viswanathan Anand is back in the running only half a point behind.

The full standings are:

Caruana, Fabiano  ITA  2757 3½ 
Anand, Viswanathan  IND  2780 3
Fridman, Daniel  GER  2667 2½ 
Naiditsch, Arkadij  GER  2716 2½ 
Adams, Michael  ENG  2725 2
Meier, Georg  GER  2640 1½ 

Tuesday 12 February is the tournament’s only rest day.

Round 1 on 07/02/2013 at 15:00
Naiditsch Arkadij - Fridman Daniel
Adams Michael - Anand Viswanathan
Caruana Fabiano - Meier Georg
Round 2 on 08/02/2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel - Meier Georg
Anand Viswanathan - Caruana Fabiano
Naiditsch Arkadij - Adams Michael
Round 3 on 09/02/2013 at 15:00
Adams Michael - Fridman Daniel
Caruana Fabiano - Naiditsch Arkadij
Meier Georg - Anand Viswanathan
Round 4 on 10/02/2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel - Anand Viswanathan
Naiditsch Arkadij - Meier Georg
Adams Michael - Caruana Fabiano
Round 5 on 11/02/2013 at 15:00
Caruana Fabiano - Fridman Daniel
Meier Georg - Adams Michael
Anand Viswanathan - Naiditsch Arkadij
Round 6 on 13/02/2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel - Naiditsch Arkadij
Anand Viswanathan - Adams Michael
Meier Georg - Caruana Fabiano
Round 7 on 14/02/2013 at 15:00
Meier Georg - Fridman Daniel
Caruana Fabiano - Anand Viswanathan
Adams Michael - Naiditsch Arkadij
Round 8 on 15/02/2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel - Adams Michael
Naiditsch Arkadij - Caruana Fabiano
Anand Viswanathan - Meier Georg
Round 9 on 16/02/2013 at 15:00
Anand Viswanathan - Fridman Daniel
Meier Georg - Naiditsch Arkadij
Caruana Fabiano - Adams Michael
Round 10 on 17/02/2013 at 13:00
Fridman Daniel - Caruana Fabiano
Adams Michael - Meier Georg
Naiditsch Arkadij - Anand Viswanathan

Follow the live coverage on the GRENKE Chess Classic website from 15:00 CET: http://live.grenkechessclassic.com

Report: Colin McGourty  Photos: Georgios Souleidis

Letto 6563 volte 29 commenti
3 voti


  • 2 anni fa


    Caruana wins the tournament

  • 3 anni fa


    Kasparov is the chmpion

  • 3 anni fa


    I am happy people have finally started referring to the WC as Anand and not Vishy which is actually his father's name (Mr. Viswanathan Iyer).  The family name or the second name is not very relevant in South India which is where Anand comes from.  So the WC's name is Anand Viswanathan, at last!

  • 3 anni fa


    Method used to determine chess world championship is faulty. All top players must be paired to play rounds to determine the world champion each time. But now it llooks  Russia, India and Isrel decide two players - one Anando and another weak payer- s to pay draws and let Anando win the title as planned by the trio. Anado's wold championship is an international shame on sport and game. Even much worse then the WC in joint cricketism exercises practiced today..

  • 3 anni fa


    Even in Olympics fixings are common. for instance,  this time English Murray was made the champion and  gold medlaist s by top players because the olympics  were held in London and obviously a lot of pressure fro big guys in UK> . This has exactly been happinngin keeping Anado the bogus world champion without proper contest. 

  • 3 anni fa


    Match fixings have been prevalent in chess. 

  • 3 anni fa


    True, without Carlsen chess would be dead now the players possbily udner pressrue and black money supply frorm India and its colonial allies like Russia ans USA, UK, promote spaniard Anando. 

  • 3 anni fa


    You must be an idiot then!

  • 3 anni fa


    Who is better overall Anand or Kasparov?...lol...When you take things into considerations...let say how Anand chess career begins and compare that to that of Kasparov with the advantage to that of Russian system help and with vs rival Karpov help...I must take the truth and justice for Anand...Anand is like a lonewolf fighting all alone as the battle a chess world that has dominate by Caucasian players...and this only in the end make ANAND stand out above all...and YOU KNOW IT TOO!!...just be humble and accept the truth and learn something God is trying to teach you!

  • 3 anni fa


    Today is not ten years ago in chess...because computers has help so many GM in many ways...take Kasparov back today and I bet you he has similiar results like Anand or even worse...Carlsen and Aronian has a littile more wins "This Year" because they still young and have more fighting spirit in them...Yes it's hard and annoying to see one keep on drawing...but this is what test one virtues...Let's take the regular 120 mins/40 moves and cut in half and you will Surely see who skill is better than who!...I truly wish one day chess has this kind of tournament...might need a new name for this..."Classical Rapid"?

  • 3 anni fa


    @shibin123 - The report was written by Colin McGourty at the official website. Thanks Colin!

  • 3 anni fa


    nice comment son of pearl and ttukhun....


    @ son of pearl: hope soon chess.com will have options like youtube, where we can like or dislike any video(in this case comment )

  • 3 anni fa


    This headline was just as surprising as the Pope's resignation.

  • 3 anni fa



    thanks for those very nice and elaborate description of the game...

  • 3 anni fa


    Anand is still DRAWING A LOT OF GAMES and noone can deny it!!

  • 3 anni fa


    If it would be only the healthy fan debate, you know, "I love Carlsen", "Well, he's not bad, but still has to prove bla, bla...", "Anand draws too many games ..." But many users feel that the anonimity provided by Internet gives them the right to be disrespectful with whomever they see fit: in the few months I've followed this website I've seen in these pages comments like "Giri=rubbish", "Anand sucks", "Leko should quite chess", denigratory observations about Judit Polgar, etc. I guess the ratio of assholes in the chess world is about the same as anywhere else.

  • 3 anni fa


    a WORLD CHAMPION is a WORLD CHAMPION!! If anyone to be a WORLD CHAMPION then he must prove it first....

  • 3 anni fa


    indeed, no one can deny that Anand is the world champion. But the real question is what does World Champion mean. I could beat my friend in chess and because no one else participated, I could be declared the World Champion (its an exagerated comparison, but I hope you get my point). I also don't say Carlsen is the best, I just say that the World Championship system is bad.

  • 3 anni fa


    "This Carlsen vs Non Carlsen debate is turning into a Team Edward vs Team Jacob kind of thing"

    "You never hear these fanboys talk about chess either. They mention the players, but never the game."

    Yes. Super sad. So much noise.

  • 3 anni fa


    Here's hoping that Magnus Carlsen wins the Candidates Tournament in London in March, so we get to see a Carlsen v Anand match for the world championship title! Cool

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