Vishy Anand repeats in Corsica

11/5/2004 – You didn't need to be Nostradamus to see this one coming. Indian star Viswanathan Anand demolished Sergei Rublevsky in the final match of the Corsica Masters. That makes five Corsica titles in five years for Anand. One more and they should just rename the event the "Anand Masters" and get it over with. Is Anand unstoppable?

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Anand: untouchable

When Anand began his rapid rise to the top 15 years ago it looked like the game was almost too easy for him. His current dominance of the chess scene is bringing back that sort of talk. Let us not discuss world champions and world championships. Anand simply wins all the events in which he plays. Keeping him out of a match or tournament is probably the only way to stop him from winning it.

He cut through the field in Corsica with disturbing ease to take his fifth consecutive title. He gave up a courtesy draw in his first match and then went 2-0 against Gurevich, Bacrot, and Rublevsky. Has he acquired the sort of intimidating aura that Fischer and Kasparov are famous for? It's hard to explain the utter collapse of his opponents in purely chess terms. Some of the games look more like master versus amateur.

Rublevsky had white in the first game of the final and resigned in a mere 23 moves. Just like Gurevich and Bacrot before him, that left Rublevsky facing a must-win situation with black in the second game against Anand. On the list of hopeless tasks, that has to be right up there with finding a good dosa in Nebraska. Rublevsky was duly demolished.

All of this praise shouldn't be seen as denigrating all of Anand's hard work. It's not his fault he makes it look easy. We can only wait eagerly to see him in action again to catch another glimpse of his devastating form. Maybe the organizers of this year's Russian championship super-final could give him an invitation? Kasparov, Kramnik, and Co. might complain, but after all, Anand won the last Soviet championship, so why not? (Reggio Emilia 91-92 was jokingly called the last USSR championship. Anand won ahead of Kasparov, Karpov, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Khalifman, Polugaevsky, Salov, Gurevich, and Beliavsky.)

Corsica Masters Final – Nov. 4

Anand, Viswanathan – Rublevsky, Sergei 2-0

Replay and download PGN of all available games

Rublevsky – Anand after 11.hxg5

Rublevsky sacrificed a bishop to open up the h-file. Anand gives the piece back to turn the tables and take the initiative.

11...Ng4! 12.fxg4 Qxg5 13.Qf3 Bxg4 14.Qg3 Ne5 and Black dominates the board. Rublevsky later sacrificed another piece but Anand had no trouble navigating to a win on move 23.
 

8th Corsica Masters Rapid Tournament - Oct. 29 - Nov. 4, 2004

Qualifying matches
1/8 Finals
Quarterfinals
Cebalo - Jussupow 0.5-1.5
Greenfeld - Shchekachev 2-0
Krivoshey - Milov 0-2
Zhang - Rustemov 2.5-1.5
Drazic - Rublevsky 0-2
Medvegy - Gurevich 0.5-1.5
Strikovich - Bagheri 2-4
Ivanisevic - Bauer 1.5-3.5
Kazhgaleyev - Sulava 0.5-1.5
Bokros - Balogh 0-2
Glek - Motylev 0.5-1.5
Malakhatko - Naiditsch 0-2
Anand - Sulava 1.5-0.5
Bauer - Gurevich 0-2
Milov - Greenfeld 0.5-1.5
Balogh - Bacrot 0-2
Shirov - Zhang 2.5-1.5
Jussupow - Motylev 0.5-1.5
Rublevsky - Naiditsch 2-0
Bagheri - Topalov 0-2
Gurevich - Anand 0-2
Greenfeld - Bacrot 0.5.1.5
Motylev - Shirov 2.5-1.5
Rublevsky - Topalov 2-0
Semifinals
Bacrot - Anand 0-2
Rublevsky - Motylev 1.5-0.5
Replay and download PGN of all available games
Official sites: www.echecs.asso.frwww.opencorsica.com

Anand photo by Paul Truong


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