World Chess Championship – Game three reactions

4/28/2010 – While the amount of attention this world championship is receiving in the international broadsheets – usually just an inch or two at the bottom in the sports section – is very limited, this is not the case in India, where all large newspapers are reporting on each game. We bring you quotes and links, with special attention to the draw offer and handshake situation.

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World Chess Championship – Game three reactions

World Championship Chess: Sofia erupts as the games begin – by GM Ian Rogers

[On game one]: "World Championship games are expected to last four, perhaps even six hours. This one was over in little more than two. The Indian World Champion was destroyed; nay, humiliated. On Bulgarian television that night, Topalov explained that the entire game had been prepared by him and his team at home; he didn’t need to find a single original move to score a simple first game victory." [On game two]: "The next day Anand bounced back with a hard-fought win but the effects of the first game were still being felt; Anand admitted that he was feeling so pessimistic that he felt he was out of danger in the second game only at the point when the game was almost decided in his favour." Full article...


Initially, Topalov developed his pieces effectively and had some space advantage. Anand's position was a bit cramped and, after the queens were exchanged, the Indian had to make some effort to bring his two bishops into play. On the 20th move, Topalov offered a pawn to free up the position and create complications, but Anand chose a safer continuation and the position remained equal. The players are now level on 1.5 points each. Topalov won the first game and Anand the second. Anand's strategy to play risk-free chess was right as the Indian GM will have white pieces in the fourth game on Wednesday and he can then opt for some special preparation to put pressure on his Bulgarian rival. Full article...


Unorthodox move by V Anand leaves experts curious

When Viswanathan Anand was scoring against Vladimir Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008 at Bonn, former World Champion and the highest ever rated player on this planet, Garry Kasparov, was watching the moves over the internet and applauding good play by Anand. However, when Anand played the 15th move (Qa3) against Veselin Topalov in the second game of the World Chess Championship 2010 at Sofia yesterday, "Garry left the room in shock." He also sent a message to Vishy afterwards saying "you can just give up a pawn in every game!" posted Mig Greencard [sic!], one of the most read and admired chess bloggers.

Kasparov was not the only one who raised an eyebrow! This move was the most discussed and debated among enthusiasts to top players and commenting Grandmasters to analysts on various chess websites. Was it a home prepared idea, a blunder, a mediocre move, a stroke of genius or Anand simply playing bluff? The internet seems to be buzzing with interpretations and explanations and there is no clear consensus on this one! Interestingly both players made no mention of this move in the mandatory press conference after the game. However Anand did spend considerable amount of time thinking before this move. Full article...

V Anand draws a line: Doesn't offer to play draw

Just before the start of this World Chess Championship Match in Sofia, Bulgaria, Topalov and his Manager had tried to provoke Anand with statements saying that Topalov won't offer or accept draw offers from Viswanathan Anand in accordance to the Sofia rule. All draw offers should be through the arbiter. Anand in the Opening press conference had reminded them "A world Championship should be played with world Championship rules."

However yesterday it was Topalov, who in all probability, was in a dilemma when it was obvious to one and all that the game was heading for a draw from the very early stages. Topalov playing Whites tried his best but was unable to find any chinks in Anand's armour. The Indian on his part was sitting comfortably and made no effort to propose a draw. By the 40th turn, the position was as dry as it could be and Topalov went to the arbiter to procure peace and completely ignored Anand. The arbiter came to the table but Anand continued to look at the board and made his move, indicating his refusal for a draw. Topalov had to sit down and resume playing. Anand continued to make a few moves and forced a technical draw (by threefold repetition of moves) after 46 moves. The game may have ended in a draw with the point shared but it was a psychological victory for Anand as he strongly showed that if he wants a draw, he knows how to get it! Sofia rules or not! Full article...


Anand holds Topalov with black in third game of World Championship

Interestingly, the observers were a bit surprised to see a lengthy 46 moves game when the outcome was clear to the naked eye many moves before. The reason for that was the fact that Topalov was following 'Sofia rules' according to which the draw can be agreed only through repetition or in consultation with the arbiter. To sum it up, the players are not allowed to offer draws. Anand apparently, did not agree to this proposal and Topalov and his manager Silvio Danailov had gone on record saying that Topalov will neither offer nor agree to draws during the match. Full article...


Vishwanathan Anand forces draw

Topalov had proclaimed that he would neither offer draw nor accept an offer from his opponentin accordance with the Sofia rule while Anand had refused to play with this rule, citing “A World Championship should be played with World Championship rules.” Anand should be satisfied with his draw result, especially with the black pieces. Most top level players prefer to strike with Whites and stay content with draw while playing with black pieces. The 12-game match series is tied 1.5-1.5. Full article...


Anand holds Topalov – by GM Ian Rogers

Topalov had declared before the match that he would not talk to his opponent and as a result the players repeated three different positions three times before, after 46 moves and almost four hours of play, Topalov approached the chief arbiter, Panagiotis Nikolopoulos, and asked him to offer a draw on his behalf to Anand. Anand accepted the proposal but, in a sign that relations between the two players may be deteriorating, neither player made a move to shake hands, the traditional way to finish a game. “I just forgot,” was Topalov's explanation at the post-game press conference while Anand joked “Maybe the arbiter (is the one who) has to shake hands!” Full article...


The draw and the handshake

The ominous draw offer and the missing final handshake is described by Peter Doggers of Chess Vibes in the following video report from Sofia.


If the player does not work on your computer you can view the report here.

Aroung 3 min 20 sec into the video Doggers presses the players on the draw offer. Topalov confirms that in this match he will stick to the Sofia rules and only offer a draw through the arbiter. "It was decided before the match," he says. "I don't know why you ask." Press speaker Antoaneta Stefanova elucidates: "According to the rules the two players cannot speak with each other. They have to speak through the arbiter."

GM Ian Rogers then asks if this was the first game between the two that ended without a handshake. The players appear to be confused whether that had actually happened, which is when Anand say, a little toungue-in-cheek: "I wasn't sure, maybe the arbiter has to shake hands."


Proof: there was a handshake – at the beginning of the game


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