Anand leads Desafio in Brazil

by ChessBase
8/22/2004 – Advertised as the first time Anand, Kasparov, and Karpov have appeared together in Latin America. Anand and Karpov are playing in a rapid tournament with Brazil's best. Kasparov is there giving a simul and launching the Brazilian edition of his latest Predecessor book. Results and analysis.

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Perhaps the most famous chess event in Brazilian history wasn't performed by a Brazilian. Henrique Mecking's 1973 Interzonal win at Petropolis was the greatest achievement by a native son on home soil. The 21-year-old finished a half-point ahead of Geller, Polugaevsky, and Portisch. And yet it is the 45-board blindfold simultaneous exhibition by Argentine Miguel Najdorf in 1947 that comes to mind when you think of chess in Brazil and chess in Sao Paulo.

This year Brazil's largest city has organized an impressive chess festival as part of the city's 450th anniversary celebrations. A giant simul started things off, with ten titled players taking on the public. Then the main event, the Desafio (challenge), started. It's a double round-robin rapid tournament with Anand and Anatoly Karpov taking on top Brazilians Milos, Vescovi, and Leitao, plus the Chilean Morovic. On Saturday there was a 24-board simul by Garry Kasparov, who is also presenting the Brazilian edition of his Predecessors book (translated by Vescovi) and giving several speeches at a business management seminar while in Brazil.

Desafio de Xadrez – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Aug 20-23 Official site
Standings after round fourView all games online

After four of ten rounds India's Vishy Anand has a half-point lead and is looking as invincible as ever. He's hot off big wins in Dortmund and Mainz and has been very efficient in Sao Paulo so far. He drew both his blacks and won both his whites. Karpov has specialized in rapid chess in recent years but is clearly out of form. He started with a loss to Vescovi in just 22 moves and is the only player yet to win a game.

Vescovi - Karpov after 21...Be5

The 12th world champion has just grabbed the h2 pawn and retreated his bishop to e5 to protect against Nd5+ by blocking the pin on the e-pawn. Unfortunately for him there is a nifty triple-action discovery+fork+pin that wins immediately for White.

22.Nd5+! anyway and Karpov resigned. After 22...exd5 23.Qxc7+ winning the queen because now the bishop is pinned by the rook. Quite unusual.

Leitao - Karpov after 40...Qe7

Things didn't get any better for Karpov in the second round. He was subjected to a long squeeze by Leitao before being finished off with a pretty, if faulty, final combination.

41.Rxf6 Kxf6? (As many readers (and their Fritzs) have pointed out, 41...Rd8! would have left Black up the exchange, refuting White's sacrifice. Another blow to art.) 42.Qh8+ Kg5 43.g4+ Kf4 44.Qxh6+ g5 45.hxg5 1-0

The black king is trapped and it's mate after 45...Qxg5 46.Qh2#.


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