Chess Classic: Anand and Aronian win Mainz

8/21/2006 – Both Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian won both games on the last day of the Chess Classic. Anand took the rapid chess title for the ninth time, and the seventh time in a row. Aronian had won the Chess960 Open twice before and now defeated Peter Svidler in the title match. Rustam Kasimdzhanov won the Ordix Open. Illustrated report.

Chess Classic Mainz 2006

The event took place from August 15 to 20 in the Rheingoldhalle of the Congress Centre, Hilton Hotel in Mainz, Germany. It included matches and Opens in traditional and Random Chess, with stars like Anand, Aronian, Svidler, Radjabov, Kosteniuk and Pähtz participating.

A full report on the Ordix Open, which was won by Rustam Kasimdzhanov, on tiebreak points ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, will follow soon. Results and games can be found here.

Anand and Aronian win in Mainz

By Johannes Fischer

Sunday was the final day of the GrenkeLeasing Rapid World Chess Championship between Vishy Anand and Tejmour Radjabov and the Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championship between Peter Svidler and Levon Aronian. The tension was high and several hundred spectators were waiting for an exciting fight. They were not disappointed.


Preparing to do battle: Teimour Radjabov and Vishy Anand on the final day

Especially Anand and Radjabov fully lived up to expectations. In the seventh game Radjabov with white again went for the Slav Defense, even though he had not achieved much with it in the previous games of the match. He even repeated the line, which had brought him a painful defeat in the fifth game, possibly waiting to spring a prepared improvement on Anand. However, things didn’t go to plan and after a strong piece sacrifice by Anand Radjabov suddenly had difficulties to defend against an armada of black pawns threatening to paralyze White.


Put up a brave fight to the end: Teimour Radjabov

And even though Radjabov managed to develop pressure, the permanent threat the pawns emanated finally proved to be too much for the Azerbaijani. He decided to give up material to get rid of the pawns and liquidated into an endgame an exchange down, in which he could hope for a draw. But as he later explained “it’s very hard to defend this position with less time on the clock”. Anand eventually won, thus taking the lead with 4:3 and now only needed a draw in the last game to win the match. It turned out to be a nervous affair.


Winning his ninth title, the seventh in a row: Vishy Anand

This time Anand avoided the Sveshnikov and he later humoursly said he was “surprised to see how difficult it was for White to equalize in this opening”. Instead, after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Sc6 he opted for a Rossolimo with 3.Bb5. Radjabov reacted aggressively and soon sacrificed a pawn. Possibly not entirely satisfied with the compensation he got, he decided to continue in this mood of generous aggression and sacrificed a second pawn.


Anand and Radjabov with the main organiser Hans-Walter Schmitt, at the prize giving

Anand accepted these gifts and calmly consolidated his position, which provoked further outrage and sacrifices. Now Anand wanted to show that he is also a generous man and gave up a knight for three pawns giving Black, however, also chances to come back into the game.


Anand talking about his games at the press conference after the match


Is it is an advantage to have black in chess? Taimour Radjabov

But Radjabov failed to find a way to create sustained threats, and when he exchanged the queens (“Terrible”, said the kibitzing Garry Kasparov on Playchess.com) Anand’s pawns soon proved to be too much for Black, who was forced to resign. With this the Indian former world champion won his seventh match in Mainz in a row, and his ninth title altogether. Asked, which games of the match he liked best, he replied: “I liked my games with Black best, even the one I lost. At any rate, it is striking how much Black dominated the match.”

Click to replay and download the two final games of the Rapid Chess match


Man in Black: Peter Svidler waiting for his final game in the Chess960 match

In the Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championship things went a bit smoother for Levon Aronian. Which, however, was due in large part to Peter Svidler. After a quiet opening in the seventh game he decided “to destabilize the position as much as I could. Which I did until it was too late”. In his efforts to stir up a fight he gave Aronian’s queen access to the white position and was soon forced to concede a pawn. And though Aronian had some technical problems and could have converted his advantage quicker, he finally won.


What is going on here? Levon Aronian in game two against Peter Svidler

The last game also took an unlucky course for Svidler. By chance Aronian and Svidler had to play a Chess960 position in which Black had to be careful from the very first move not to drift into a real bad position. But as Svidler explained in the press conference: “In classical chess you do not really expect to lose the game after the first two moves – but this can happen in Chess960. So when I blundered in the first move, after two moves the game was practically over.”


Lost after two move: Peter Svidler in the second Chess960 game

Svidler tried to shake off the pressure by giving up a piece for dubious compensation, but possibly shaken by the unfortunate turn of events he immediately blundered a piece afterwards and resigned. Thus, Levon Aronian could add the title of Chess960 World Champion to his already impressive list of successes.


Levon Aronian winning the final game and the Chess 960 title

Svidler showed his sportsmanship by avoiding all excuses: “Levon is a worthy winner and a deserving champion”, he declared. “Winning the incredibly competitive open twice in a row is possibly more of an achievement than winning the matches.” Praise which Aronian instantly returned: “The match was very close and I am not sure that I am any better than Peter.” Maybe they will have more opportunities to find out who really is the best in Chess960. Due to the huge success of this year’s tournament the sponsors guaranteed their support at least until 2013. Chess fans can already look forward to the Chess Classic Mainz in August 2007.


Svidler, Aronian with his prize trophy


The winner at the press conference after the match


Peter Svidler, whose final day games migh have been influenced by the disturbing news that the Pakistan cricket team had just been disqualified for ball tampering. Seriously.

All pictures by Frederic Friedel

Standings

GrenkeLeasing Rapid
R1
R2
R3
R4
R5
R6
R7
R8
Total
Vishy Anand
½
0
1
½
0
1
1
1
5.0
Teimour Radjabov
½
1
0
½
1
0
0
0
3.0
Clerical Medical Chess960
R1
R2
R3
R4
R5
R6
R7
R8
Total
Peter Svidler
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
3.0
Levon Aronian
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
5.0

Schedule, live coverage and downloads

Programme overview
Date from until live games Round Time View Download
Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championships
15.08.2006 15:00 15:40 3 1. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
15.08.2006 16:15 16:55 3 2. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
15.08.2006 17:30 18:10 3 3. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
15.08.2006 18:45 19:25 3 4. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 15:00 15:40 3 5. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 16:15 16:55 3 6. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 17:30 18:10 3 7. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 18:45 19:25 3 8. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 ? Tiebreak 5min+5sec ONLINE PGN
Livingston Duelle Mensch-Maschine
16.08.2006 11:00 12:00 2 1. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 12:30 13:30 2 2. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
Livingston Chess960 Computer-WM
17.08.2006 10:00 11:00 8 1. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 12:00 13:00 8 2. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 14:00 15:00 8 3. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 16:00 17:00 8 4. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 18:00 19:00 8 5. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 10:30 11:30 8 6. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 12:30 13:30 8 7. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 14:30 15:30 8 8. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 16:30 17:30 8 9. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
FiNet Open Chess960 WM-Qualifikation
17.08.2006 12:30 13:10 10 1. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 13:40 14:20 10 2. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 14:50 15:30 10 3. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 16:00 16:40 10 4. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 17:10 17:50 10 5. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 10:00 10:40 10 6. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 11:10 11:50 10 7. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 12:20 13:00 10 8. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 14:00 14:40 10 9. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 15:10 15:50 10 10. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 16:20 17:00 10 11. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
GRENKELEASING Rapid World Championship
Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championship
17.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 1. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 2. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 3. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 4. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 5. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 6. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 7. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 8. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 ? Tiebreak 5min+5sec ONLINE PGN
ORDIX Open
19.08.2006 12:30 13:10 10 1. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 13:40 14:20 10 2. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 14:50 15:30 10 3. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 16:00 16:40 10 4. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 17:10 17:50 10 5. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 10:00 10:40 10 6. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 11:10 11:50 10 7. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 12:20 13:00 10 8. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 14:00 14:40 10 9. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 15:10 15:50 10 10. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 16:20 17:00 10 11. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN

 

Links

Feedback and mail to our news service Please use this account if you want to contribute to or comment on our news page service



Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register