Mainz Rapid: Anand marches on

8/13/2005 – On the second day he was a bit lucky. After overcoming losing chances in both rapid chess games against Alexander Grischuk, Indian chess superstar Vishy Anand came out of the hall with 1½:½ points. Levon Aronian won the Chess960 section and the amateur program Spike the Chess960 computer tournament. Illustrated report.

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Chess Classic: “I don't deserve to win
with the level of my play”

Day two report by Eric van Reem
with pictures by Carsten Straub

Friday in Mainz: the day started off with sunshine but in the afternoon and evening thunder and lightning brought some extra energy to the Rheingoldhalle. What happened today during the Chess Classic Mainz? Spike won the Chess960 computer chess championship, Levon Aronian won his second Chess960 Open tournament with an incredible score, Anand and Svidler maintained the lead in their matches, although their opponents Grischuk and Almasi played much better than yesterday.

Grenke Leasing match Anand-Grischuk: Grischuk fights back, but fails to win

Vishy Anand extended the lead in his match against Sasha Grischuk. Anand added another 1,5 point to his score and is now leading 3,5-0,5. The match is decided, although the Indian does not want to celebrate too early: “It is a great cushion, but it is better not to think about that”. In the first game of the day Anand blundered but found some resources to escape.

Anand,V (2788) - Grischuk,A (2720) [B90]
CCM5 Rapid Match Mainz GER (3), 12.08.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 Qb6 7.Nb3 e6 8.Bf4 Qc7 9.Qd2 Nc6 10.0-0-0 Ne5 11.Nd4 Be7 12.g4 0-0 13.h4 b5 14.h5 b4 15.Nb1

15...Nexg4 16.Bg3 Qc5 (16...e5 looks more promising) 17.h6 g6 18.Nb3 Qe3 19.Bxd6 Rd8 20.Bxe7 Rxd2 21.N1xd2 Nf2 22.Bc5 Nxd1 23.Bxe3 Nxe3 24.Na5 Kf8 ½-½. [Replay game]

In the second game he was completely lost, but Grischuk had not enough time to find the winning combination.

Grischuk,A (2720) - Anand,V (2788) [E12]
CCM5 Rapid Match Mainz GER (4), 12.08.2005'
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.a3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.e3 g6 8.Bd3 Bg7 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.b4 Nd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.a4 c6 13.a5 b5 14.a6 Bc8 15.Qc2 Qb6 16.e4 Bxa6 17.e5 Bb7 18.h4 Rfe8 19.h5 Nf8 20.Ra5 Ne6 21.Be3 a6 22.Qd2 Rf8 23.Bb1 Qd8 24.g3 f5 25.Ng5 Re8 26.Kg2 Bc8 27.Rh1 Ra7 28.f3 Bf8 29.hxg6 hxg6 30.Ra1 Qe7 31.Rh7 Bg7 32.Bc2 a5 33.bxa5 c5 34.dxc5 d4 35.Bf4 Nxg5 36.Bxg5 Qxc5 37.Rah1 Qxe5 38.Bd3 Bb7 39.Bf4.

White was better for much of the game, but lost the thread around move 34. Now Anand delivers the death blow: 39...Qd5 40.Be2 Rxa5 41.Rxg7+ Kxg7 42.Bh6+ Kf7 0-1. [Replay game]

Anand: “He conducted the attack quite well and I had an unpleasant position, despite the extra pawn. You can say, that Alexander just played better than me today.” Grischuk was still in shock at the press conference: “The press will write that Vishy was lucky, but that is bullsh*t. I don't deserve any better with the level of my play”.

Finet Chess960 World Championship match Almasi-Svidler: Happy but not satisfied

“I am much happier than yesterday, but I am not completely satisfied. In the first game I probably had a winning position, but Peter defended very well. In the second game I invested a lot of time, but decided to take the draw by repeating the moves, ” Almasi said at the press conference.

Zoltan Almasi (left, with his Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20) and tournament organiser Hans-Walter Schmitt

Peter Svidler agreed that Almasi had the better positions today. His remark about the openings in Chess960 was remarkable: “You know, I think that I am quite a reasonable player, but I can not play the openings in Chess960. I had problems in my matches against Leko and Aronian, and in this match I still have the same problems. However, when I finished the second game of the day, a friend of mine said that I had just played a perfect Chess960 opening. I don't know if that is right, but the games were much clearer than yesterday.” After these two draws, Svidler maintains the lead: 2,5-1,5

FiNet Chess960 Open: It's Aronian again!

The winner of the FiNet Chess960 Open, Levon Aronian (left), with Ivan Sokolov and Klaus Bischoff

Levon Aronian won the FiNet Chess960 Open for he second time. This year he scored an amazing 10 points out of 11 games! “I particularly liked the game against Bacrot, because I had a winning position after only four moves! In the game against Graf I had a difficult position, but in the end I outplayed him. I really like to play Chess960. It is not important to play good moves, you must have a good plan”. Next year the 22-year old Armenian can look forward to play a match against the winner of the Svidler-Almasi match. Ivan Sokolov from The Netherlands and Klaus Bischoff from Germany scored 9 points and shared 2/3 place. Four players scored 8,5 points: Alexei Shirov, Etienne Bacrot, Alexey Dreev and Zigurds Lanka.

Rat. + =
1. Aronian,Levon 2724 9 2 0 10,0 62,0
2. Sokolov,Ivan 2717 9 0 2 9,0 60,0
3. Bischoff,Klaus 2560 8 2 1 9,0 50,5
4. Shirov,Alexey 2705 8 1 2 8,5 56,0
5. Bacrot,Etienne 2729 8 1 2 8,5 55,0
6. Lanka,Zigurds 2531 7 3 1 8,5 52,0
7. Dreev,Alexey 2698 6 5 0 8,5 51,0
8. Jussupow,Artur 2595 8 0 3 8,0 54,0
9. Vaganjan,Rafael A 2645 7 2 2 8,0 52,5
10. Ruck,Robert 2546 8 0 3 8,0 52,0
11. Sargissian,Gabrie 2620 6 4 1 8,0 50,5
12. Morozevich,Alexan 2728 7 2 2 8,0 49,5
13. Gyimesi,Zoltan 2628 8 0 3 8,0 49,0
14. Dautov,Rustem 2595 7 2 2 8,0 48,0
15. Zvaginsev,Vadim 2659 6 4 1 8,0 46,0
16. Naiditsch,Arkadij 2644 7 1 3 7,5 50,5
17. Lalic,Bogdan 2543 6 3 2 7,5 49,0
18. Stefanova,Antoaneta 2501 6 3 2 7,5 48,5
19. Döttling,Fabian 2542 7 1 3 7,5 48,0
20. Kolev,Atanas 2523 6 3 2 7,5 48,0
21. Nisipeanu,Liviu-D 2681 6 3 2 7,5 46,0
22. Agrest,Evgenij 2592 7 1 3 7,5 45,5
23. Beikert,Günther,D 2428 6 3 2 7,5 44,5

With or without glasses, he's the best: GM Levon Aronian

Alexey Shirov contemplating an unusual starting position

GM Rafael Vaganian, trying his hand at Chess960

Do I like this game? Veteran GM Vlastimil Hort

The hair grew back on: GM Artur Jussupow

A great 960 player: German GM Klaus Bischoff

Great Indian talent: GM Pentala Harikrishna

The best female player was world champion Antoaneta Stefanova. She scored 7.5 points, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Elisabeth Pähtz also played a good tournament and gathered 7 points. Kosteniuk's husband and manager, Diego Garces, said that Alexandra loves Chess960. “We plan to put a Chess960 viewer on our website soon. My wife spends hours and hours preparing openings, which is the main part of her preparation. If she plays Chess960, she can concentrate on other things.”

The world champion vs the European champion: Antoaneta Stefanova vs Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu

GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria

Former Junior World Champion Elisabeth Pähtz of Germany

WIM Sofya Zigangirova of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan (or Kazakhstan or Kazakstan) stretches over a vast expanse of Asia. It has borders with Russia, the People's Republic of China, and the Central Asian countries Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and has a coastline on the Caspian Sea. The population in 2005 was 15 million. Originally the native Kazakhs were a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century. Since the 18th century an influx of immigrants, mostly Russians, skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives.

Friends on the stage: Antoaneta Stefanova, world champion,
Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian champion

The Jussupow siblings Alexander und Ekatarina won prizes in the junior section

Livingston Computer Chess960 World Championship: Vampire Spike shows his teeth

The German program Spike by Volker Böhm and Ralf Schäfer won the first Livingston Chess960 World Computer Chess Championship. After the first day the local heroes from Mainz and Wiesbaden scored four points, and today they could add another 1.5 points which was enough to win the first price. Another German program, Jonny, programmed by the strong chessplayer Johannes Zwanzger landed on the second place, also with 5.5 points, but Spike had better Buchholz points and grabbed the trophy. The Norwegian program Glaurung by Tord Romsted came in third.

The amateur programmers of Spike

A spiky participant at the Chess960 tournament

The Spike programmers Volker Böhm and Ralf Schäfer started developing their chess program about 2.5 years ago. Both friends are 38 years, went to school and studied together in Kaiserslautern. Both authors like a TV series called „Buffy the vampire slayer“. One character of this series is Spike, a very cool vampire. “We like to build a chess engine that plays a rather agressive style „spiking“ other engines. We discussed longer about its name than developing it!”, Ralf Schäfer laughed. (more info can be found on “We could make much progress because we share the work: I do the search, and Ralf does the evaluation”, Volker Böhm said, and continues: “This Spike version 1.0 will probably be ready in a few weeks. Our older engine version 0.9 can be downloaded from our website”.

Let's not forget Jonny. Johannes Zwanzger spent about a month preparing his engine for this tourney and the “normal” world championship in Reykjavik, which will start on Sunday. “My engine played some very good games and only lost one game, against Shredder. I am so happy with the result, I never expected it. I want to say that the event was extremely well organised, I had a lot of fun and will most definitely come back next year”.

Final standings

Rg. Program                               + = –  Pts  Buch  PktS
1. Spike Volker Böhm & Ralf Schäfer 5 1 1 5.5 31.5 25.5
2. Jonny Johannes Zwanzger 5 1 1 5.5 28.0 20.5
3. Glaurung Tord Romstad 4 2 1 5.0 29.5 18.5
4. Shredder Stefan Meyer-Kahlen 5 0 2 5.0 29.0 21.0
5. Ikarus Muntsinn & Munjong Kolss 4 1 2 4.5 26.0 18.0
6. List Fritz Reul 4 1 2 4.5 26.0 16.0
7. Pharaon Franck Zibi 4 0 3 4.0 29.5 19.0
8. Deep Sjeng Gian-Carlo Pascutto 3 2 2 4.0 27.5 16.0
9. TheBaron Richard Pijl 4 0 3 4.0 27.0 17.0
10. Quark Thomas Mayer 3 1 3 3.5 25.0 13.5
11. XiniX Tony van Roon-Werten 3 1 3 3.5 18.5 9.0
12. parSOS Rudolf Huber 3 0 4 3.0 28.5 16.0
13. Ant960 Hans Secelle 2 2 3 3.0 24.5 12.5
14. Nexus Ralf Dörr 2 2 3 3.0 22.5 10.5
15. AICE Anastasios Milikas 3 0 4 3.0 21.0 13.0
16. Hermann Volker Annuss 3 0 4 3.0 21.0 11.0
17. Patzer Roland Pfister 3 0 4 3.0 19.0 10.0
18. Homer Daniel Mehrmann 2 0 5 2.0 19.0 7.0
19. Ayito Jaime Benito 1 0 6 1.0 18.5 6.0

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