Baden Baden R10: Anand wins Grenke Chess Classic

2/18/2013 – With a last-round black-pieces win over the flamboyant Arkadij Naiditsch the World Champion Viswanathan Anand secured sole victory in this tournament, with 6.5/10 points and a 2808 performance. This was confirmed when Anand's main rival, the Italian GM Fabiano Caruana, failed to convert a very promising position against Daniel Fridman. Final report with commentary and videos.

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Baden-Baden GRENKE Chess Classic

Round ten: Anand wins Grenke Chess Classic

10th round on 17 February 2013 at 13:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Meier Georg 2640
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
0-1
Anand Vishy 2780

Final rounds are sometimes dull, but there was every reason to hope for action at the GRENKE Chess Classic. No round had yet finished in three draws, and that was largely due to Arkadij Naiditsch’s seven decisive games in only nine rounds. He had the white pieces against Anand, and the players didn’t disappoint. Anand went for the Sicilian and followed the remarkable 1999 Kasparov vs. the World Internet game, where "the world" played the Sicilian novelty 10…Qe6. Anand said he’d looked at the line and that particular game just before this tournament. Naiditsch deviated from Kasparov's play on move 14.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.07"] [Round "?"] [White "Naiditsch, A."] [Black "Anand, V."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2716"] [BlackElo "2780"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 g6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bg7 9. O-O Nc6 10. Nde2 Qe6 11. Nd5 Qxe4 12. Nc7+ Kd7 13. Nxa8 Qxc4 14. Nc3 (14. Nb6+ axb6 15. Nc3 Ra8 16. a4 Ne4 17. Nxe4 Qxe4 18. Qb3 f5 19. Bg5 Qb4 20. Qf7 Be5 21. h3 Rxa4 22. Rxa4 Qxa4 23. Qxh7 Bxb2 24. Qxg6 Qe4 25. Qf7 Bd4 26. Qb3 f4 27. Qf7 Be5 28. h4 b5 29. h5 Qc4 30. Qf5+ Qe6 31. Qxe6+ Kxe6 32. g3 fxg3 33. fxg3 b4 34. Bf4 Bd4+ 35. Kh1 b3 36. g4 Kd5 37. g5 e6 38. h6 Ne7 39. Rd1 e5 40. Be3 Kc4 41. Bxd4 exd4 42. Kg2 b2 43. Kf3 Kc3 44. h7 Ng6 45. Ke4 Kc2 46. Rh1 d3 47. Kf5 b1=Q 48. Rxb1 Kxb1 49. Kxg6 d2 50. h8=Q d1=Q 51. Qh7 b5 52. Kf6+ Kb2 53. Qh2+ Ka1 54. Qf4 b4 55. Qxb4 Qf3+ 56. Kg7 d5 57. Qd4+ Kb1 58. g6 Qe4 59. Qg1+ Kb2 60. Qf2+ Kc1 61. Kf6 d4 62. g7 {1-0 (62) Kasparov,G (2851) -The World Internet MSN 1999}) 14... Rxa8 15. Bg5 e6 $146 16. Re1 Nd5 {Anand: "This is a pretty ugly move to make, but I simply didn't want to keep calculating with the queens on the board."} 17. Nxd5 Qxd5 18. Qxd5 exd5 19. Rad1 h6 20. Bc1 d4 {Black had doubled pawns, but they controlled the position, with the d4-pawn taking the c3- and e3-squares away from white rook and preventing the bishop dropping back to e3. Vishy thought his position was very good...} 21. Rd3 Rc8 22. Rb3 b6 23. Kf1 Ne5 24. Ra3 {...but heaped condemnation on} a5 $6 {calling it a "terrible", "horrible", "embarrassing" and even "insane" move!} ({He preferred} 24... Rc7) {Although the move played in the game is actually Houdini's first choice it allowed Naiditsch to bail out into a rook ending with} 25. b4 Rc2 26. bxa5 bxa5 27. Rxa5 Nd3 28. Ra7+ Kc6 29. Rxf7 Nxe1 30. Kxe1 Rxc1+ 31. Kd2 Rg1 32. Rxg7 Rxg2 {It seemed, at least from the speed with which Naiditsch was playing, that he had a draw worked out, but Anand thought his opponent, "really underestimated the position," later commenting that "these rook endings are very, very tricky. You have to play them incredibly precisely." Here Naiditsch quickly played} 33. Ke1 $2 {and once again Anand didn't mince his words, describing it as "a lemon" and "wrong on so many levels." It allowed Black to gain tempi for the pawn race by giving check...} ({After the correct} 33. Ke2 {Anand thought his opponent had panicked about d3+, but saw nothing to worry White in that line. In contrast to the game Naiditsch might have managed to queen his a-pawn.}) 33... Rxh2 34. Rxg6 Rh1+ 35. Kd2 {and Anand said he had the winning plan worked out around here. The moves continued to come at almost blitz pace until a shell-shocked Naiditsch resigned:} h5 36. Rh6 h4 37. a4 h3 38. a5 h2 39. a6 Kc7 40. Rh7+ Kb8 41. Ke2 d3+ 42. Kd2 Ka8 43. Rh5 Ka7 44. Rh6 d5 45. Rh8 Kxa6 46. Rh6+ Kb5 47. Rh8 Kc4 48. Rc8+ Kd4 49. Rh8 Ke4 0-1

Afterwards Anand reflected on his improved form this year, remarking that his last reasonably successful tournament before 2013 was Wijk aan Zee 2011, where he finished clear second behind Nakamura on +4. “After that basically I went over a cliff and the next five tournaments were pretty awful”. Wijk aan Zee this year also went well until the last round, with the champion commenting, “I was hoping I wouldn’t do a Wang Hao today!”

Anand added later in the press centre: “After Bilbao 2011 my big problem was getting interesting positions where I had chances. This year the new problem has been exploiting those chances – against Fridman here, Hou Yifan in Wijk aan Zee or last year against Nakamura and Adams at the London Chess Classic I’ve been gifting people half points. If it wasn’t for that my results would be much better. Still, it’s a hundred times better to have the second problem! I need to work on my technique.”


The second game of the day to finish was Adams-Meier. The players came into the final round level and with mathematical chances of winning the GRENKE Chess Classic, but they ended up playing a somewhat disjointed game. Meier’s openings have been impressive here in Baden-Baden, and although Adams noted “it’s not easy to play creatively in the final round” he tried to sidestep any preparation with 1.e4 e6 2.d3!?. Instead Meier relished the chance to sharpen play, with Adams summing things up: “I just wanted to get a kind of position where we both needed to think, but it didn’t really work as I was the only one thinking!”

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.07"] [Round "?"] [White "Adams, Mi"] [Black "Meier, Geo"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C00"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2640"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Qe2 Nf6 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. e5 Nd7 6. g3 f6 7. exf6 Qxf6 8. Bg2 Bd6 9. O-O O-O 10. c4 Nc5 11. Nc3 dxc4 12. dxc4 e5 {Adams chose} 13. Ne4 $6 ({ instead of the natural} 13. Nd5) 13... Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Kh8 ({Meier spent 40 minutes convincing himself not to play the obvious} 14... Bf5 $5) 15. Bg5 Qf7 16. Be3 Bf5 17. Qd5 Qxd5 18. cxd5 Nb4 {Now Adams blundered an exchange with} 19. Nd2 $2 {His pieces apparently had plenty of room, and he half-joked afterwards, "how could my rooks possibly get trapped?"} Bd3 $6 ({Georg Meier was so happy that his opponent had blundered that he overlooked he could play} 19... Nc2 $1 {and only then 20...Bd3.}) 20. Be4 $1 {this discouraged Meier to the extent that he didn't take the exchange and played} Bxe4 {after which the game soon fizzled out to a draw. Meier explained his thought processes: "I thought Mickey blundered and instead of winning I blundered straight back. I realised immediately what I'd just done so I tried to be solid."} 21. Nxe4 Nxd5 22. Nxd6 cxd6 23. Rad1 Nxe3 24. fxe3 Rxf1+ 25. Kxf1 Rd8 26. Rc1 Kg8 27. Rc7 Rf8+ 28. Ke2 Rf7 29. Rc8+ Rf8 30. Rc7 Rf7 31. Rc8+ Rf8 32. Rc7 1/2-1/2

Adams described today’s game as his worst of the tournament, but ultimately didn’t feel he’d played badly in Baden-Baden: “I had very few opportunities when I had the advantage. When you play good players and they play well it’s not easy to win.” Meier joked that the spectators probably thought a new player had entered the tournament for the second half, in which he said he could have scored 4.5/5. He noted he’d perhaps made three mistakes in five games in the latter stages, while he was averaging ten a game at the beginning.


That left only Fridman-Caruana, which kept the audience on tenterhooks for over seven hours. Fridman played the Exchange Slav, which doesn’t have the most combative of reputations, even if Jan Gustafsson in the commentary box noted that its “street cred” has improved since Alexander Morozevich and Vladimir Kramnik adopted the “weapon”, with the latter using it to beat Levon Aronian in one of the games of the 2012 Olympiad. On this occasion, however, the opening lived up to its reputation, with Fridman nursing a small edge deep into the middlegame. It was only in the run-up to the time control that the ice began to shift.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.07"] [Round "?"] [White "Fridman, D."] [Black "Caruana, F."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D10"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2757"] [PlyCount "172"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 a6 7. Bd3 Bg4 8. Nge2 e6 9. O-O Be7 10. Rc1 O-O 11. f3 Bh5 12. Bg3 Rc8 13. Nf4 Bg6 14. Na4 Nd7 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Nd3 Na5 $146 17. Rxc8 Qxc8 18. Qe1 Nc4 19. b3 Nd6 20. Qd2 Nb5 21. Rc1 Qa8 22. Rc2 b6 23. Ne5 Nxe5 24. Bxe5 Qb7 25. Bg3 Re8 26. Qc1 Ba3 27. Qd2 Rd8 28. Qd3 Rc8 29. h3 Rc6 30. Kh2 Be7 31. Nb2 a5 32. Qd2 {Caruana now knew he needed a win, and his} Bg5 {provoked his opponent into pushing his pawn to h4.} 33. Rxc6 Qxc6 34. h4 Be7 35. Nd3 Nd6 {Under normal circumstances all this would have changed little, but Fridman was coming off a run of three losses in four games, and short of time he overlooked a simple pawn-winning tactic:} 36. Bxd6 $2 Qxd6+ 37. f4 Bxh4 38. Qc1 Bd8 39. Qc8 g5 40. g3 gxf4 41. gxf4 Qc7 42. Qxc7 Bxc7 43. Kh3 Kh7 44. Kg4 Kg6 45. Ne1 Bd6 46. Nf3 f6 47. Ne1 Bb4 48. Nf3 Ba3 49. Ng1 Bc1 50. Kf3 Bd2 51. Ne2 Bb4 52. a4 Bd2 53. Ng3 Be1 {In this ending Black was the clear favourite, but with both players exhausted and a play-off place up for grabs anything could still happen. Fridman had had a disappointing tournament overall, but he at least managed to demonstrate some endgame wizardry at the close with} 54. f5+ $1 {and after} exf5 (54... Kf7 $5 { was another try.}) 55. Ne2 Kf7 56. Nf4 g5 57. Nxd5 Ke6 58. Nc7+ Kf7 59. Nd5 Bb4 60. Nxb6 {pawns were suddenly level, although the Italian still had chances of disturbing Vishy Anand's evening.} g4+ 61. Kf2 Ke6 62. Ke2 Kd6 63. Nc4+ Kd5 64. Kd3 g3 {The final chance came after} 65. Ke2 Ke4 $2 {Caruana still had almost twenty minutes to think at this point.} ({The} 65... f4 $1 {break would have allowed the black king to rush towards the white pawns on b3 and a4.}) ({or} 65... g2 66. Kf2 f4) 66. d5 $1 {Now Black still had a long time to contemplate the ruins of his position, but there was no longer any way to avoid an inevitable draw.} Kxd5 67. Kf3 Be1 68. Nb2 g2 69. Kxg2 Ke4 70. Nc4 Bc3 71. Kf2 f4 72. exf4 Kxf4 73. Ke2 f5 74. Kd3 Bb4 75. Ne3 Bc5 76. Nc4 Bb4 77. Ne3 Bd6 78. Nc4 Bc7 79. Ne3 Bd8 80. b4 axb4 81. Nd5+ Kg3 82. Nxb4 f4 83. Ke2 Kg2 84. Nd3 f3+ 85. Ke3 Kg3 86. Ke4 Bb6 1/2-1/2

Caruana cut a disconsolate figure after the game, but retained his objectivity. Although his result couldn’t be called bad – he actually gained rating points – he was unhappy with his overall play and felt that his form had finally come back to haunt him in the last two games.

So World Champion Viswanathan Anand remained undefeated and took clear first place at the 2013 GRENKE Chess Classic. Final standings (after ten rounds of play):

Report by Colin McGourty, photos Georgios Souleidis, videos Macauley Peterson

Video reports of the round

Schedule and results

1st round on 07 February 2013 at 15:00
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Caruana Fabiano 2757
1-0
Meier Georg 2640
2nd round on 08 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Meier Georg 2640
Anand Vishy 2780
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
1-0
Adams Michael 2725
3rd round on 09 February 2013 at 15:00
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757
1-0
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
4th round on 10 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
1-0
Meier Georg 2640
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
5th round on 11 February 2013 at 15:00
Caruana Fabiano 2757
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Adams Michael 2725
Anand Vishy 2780
1-0
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
6th round on 13 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
0-1
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Anand Vishy 2780
½-½
Adams Michael 2725
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
7th round on 14 February 2013 at 15:00
Meier Georg 2640
1-0
Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
8th round on 15 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Adams Michael 2725
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
0-1
Caruana Fabiano 2757
Anand Vishy 2780
½-½
Meier Georg 2640
9th round on 16 February 2013 at 15:00
Anand Vishy 2780
1-0
Fridman Daniel 2667
Meier Georg 2640
1-0
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Caruana Fabiano 2757
0-1
Adams Michael 2725
10th round on 17 February 2013 at 13:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Meier Georg 2640
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
0-1
Anand Vishy 2780

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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