Chess Classic: Anand and Svidler bounce back

8/19/2006 – After losing on day one, both Vishy Anand and Peter Svidler came back strongly on day two, equalising the score with one and two wins over Radjabov and Aronian repectively. Etienne Bacrot won the FiNet Chess960 Open, undefated, and Shredder took the Chess960 world computer chess championship title. Big illustrated report.

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Chess Classic Mainz 2006

The event takes place from August 15 to 20 in the Rheingoldhalle of the Congress Centre, Hilton Hotel in Mainz, Germany. It includes matches and Opens in traditional and Random Chess, with stars like Anand, Aronian, Svidler, Radjabov, Kosteniuk and Pähtz participating.

Anand and Svidler bounce back on day two

By Johannes Fischer

When Anand sat down behind the black pieces to play the third game of the GrenkeLeasing World Rapid Championship, which is one of the highlights of the Chess Classic Mainz, his whole body language signaled determination. He seemed to be all focused on taking revenge for yesterday’s defeat in the second game of his eight-game match against Tejmour Radjabov. And by running straight into a prepared line the 19-year Azerbaijani gave Anand all the chances he needed.


Vishy Anand vs Teimour Radjabov in the Chess Classic in Mainz

The lightning speed with which Anand confidently played the first 20 moves, not even using a minute of his thinking time, already indicated that things were going his way. Radjabov, on the other hand, seemed to be uncomfortable trying to chart his way through unknown opening territory. He fell behind on the clock and exuded none of his usual confidence, even though he was an exchange up. Obviously this was a prepared line and Anand had ample compensation for his material disadvantage.

Surprise, a difficult defense and much less time on the clock proved to be too much for Radjabov. He decided to sacrifice a piece to relieve some of the pressure but even that did not ease his task. Anand skillfully combined defensive with aggressive moves and exploited the weaknesses Radjabov’s attempt for counter-play had created around his king by finishing the game with an elegant mating attack. “I was quite pleased with this game”, he later said in the press conference. His opponent agreed and said that this game was “great chess by Anand”. Thus, Anand managed to equalize the score to 1.5:1.5.

However, the Indian was not so happy about the fourth game, a Sicilian Sveshnikov. As Anand later commented, Black had “typical Sveshnikov play” and judging from the way the game developed this is nothing short of a recommendation to try this opening. Even though Anand seemed to develop pressure against Black’s weaknesses, it was Radjabov who initiated the more powerful counter-play. Soon Anand was on the defensive but managed to escape into an endgame in which he was a pawn down but drew quite easily. As Radjabov later said in the press conference: “Nothing special. Fighting chess.”

Clerical Medical Chess960 Svidler-Aronian

In the other match, the Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championship, between Peter Svidler and Levon Aronian, Svidler, who was trailing 0:2 after the first day of the match, also bounced back. Despite losing the first two games he didn’t lose his confidence, which helped him to overcome some critical moments in both games. Thus, even though he had the white pieces he did not manage to get anything out of the opening in the third game, and Aronian later said “I was much better after …Qd6. But I blundered and got an endgame, which was probably drawn. But I was upset and blundered again.” Svidler saw things similarly: “I wasn’t very happy with my position. In the endgame initially I had no winning chances whatsoever. But Levon made some bad choices and I could win.” To reduce the score to 1:2 for Aronian.


Peter Svidler vs Levon Aronian in their Chess960 match

Maybe the course of the third game influenced the outcome of the fourth. At any rate, it developed in a similar way. Svidler, who had the black pieces, later explained that he had already lost such a Chess960 position against Galdunts. And whereas he tried to play “funny” in the previous game, this time he decided to imitate his opponent, which, however, did not work. As in the game before, Svidler had the worse of it after the opening. However, Aronian wanted too much. “I spent too much time. I wanted to play for a win and later I missed the …Re3, Rc3 moves and ran out of time.” Again, Peter couldn’t agree more: “Positionally I was worse and all I could hope for were some bad endgames. But Levon went wrong and in the end his position collapsed because he had less time.”

The spectators, however, were delighted and seeing Aronian letting his clock repeatedly run down to ten seconds or less added considerable excitement to the pure chess entertainment. And these four games promise more exciting chess for tomorrow and for Sunday. Not to mention the fact that with an equal score of 2:2 both matches are open again and it is increasingly to name a favorite.

Other events: Shredder wins, Bacrot remains undefeated

By Eric van Reem

What happened in Mainz on Friday? The last six, tough rounds in the FiNet Chess960 Open were played. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov won three more games, dominated the rest of the field, but then he blundered in his games against Bacrot and Grischuk. The French number one won the FiNet Open with 9.5 points out of 11 games, followed by Mamedyarov and Grishuk with 9 points. Alexandra Kosteniuk won the ladies prize, scoring 7 points, Vlastimil Hort won the senior prize (6.5 points), Andrej Volokitin (8.5) the junior prize. The new computer Chess960 world champion is the German program Shredder, developed by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen

Livingston Chess960 world championship – another world title for Shredder

Since 1996, Stefan Meyer-Kahlen's Shredder chess program has won ten titles as World Computer Chess Champion. This year, the 38-year old won another title, he clinched home the second Chess960 Computer World Championship, sponsored by IT rental company Livingston. He only lost one game, in the fifth round against Jonny, drew in the last round against Naum, and won all its other games.


Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, the author of Shredder, the Chess960 world champion

“The game against Jonny was a very bad game by Shredder, it played silly moves with the h-and a-pawns. I haven´t seen such a bad game by Shredder since at least eight years. But I am very pleased with the other games, my program played some good games in this tournament, I particularly liked the game against Pharaon. I did not have to prepare for this tournament. Normally you have to prepare an openings book and between the rounds you always have to adjust the book. I played with my latest program Shredder 10, which is particularly good in dynamic positions, and that seems to be important in Chess960. This version played much better than last year. Now I will concentrate on my new product, Shredder mobile, a chess program for mobile phones. It will become available in the next two weeks.”

Last years's winner Spike played a disappointing tournament, it only landed on the 13th place! The German programs Jonny and Ikarus played a good tournament and landed on 2nd and 3rd place.

Etienne Bacrot wins FiNet Open


Etienne Bacrot, who won the Chess960 event undefeated

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov did not mind that the sixth round of the FiNet Open started at 10 a.m. He easily won the first three games of the day in great style, against Mchedlishvili, Kasimdhanov and Naiditsch. Etienne Bacrot, who always has a very good start in the Open tournaments in Mainz, changed gear and played two draws in a row. After the 45-minute break however, he faced the 21-year old leader from Baku. And once again, Mamedyarov had a winning position on the board, an win would probably have decided the tournament. But an incredible blunder (allowing mate in 2) spoilt the game... and the tournament. Poor Mamedyarov even lost another game, against Grishuk, in round 10. He resigned after only 7 moves! What went wrong? The referee told us that Mamedyarov wanted to move his bishop, but forgot that he would lose a piece on a3 without compensation. He resigned immediately.


Equal second: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

There is a saying that goes: the more haste, the less speed. It is not the first time in the Chess Classic history that a player wins his first seven or more games, but it often happens that the players can not keep the pace until the finish. However, Mamedyarov was not complaining after the games. “Listen, I am happy that I am still alive, earlier this week I had a severe car accident in Baku and I am lucky that nothing serious happened. So, why should I complain about two blunders? Occasionaly I blunder, like in the game against Bacrot. A similar thing happened to me in Reykjavik the other day, when I found a self-mate in a good position against Anand. The game against Grishuk was a different story. I wanted to play Qd1-c1, to protect my Bishop on a3, but I realised too late that there was no Queen on d1! So I had to play with the piece that was placed on d1, a Bishop, and because I would have lost a piece, I resigned. Off course, I will win the Ordix Open now!“

This unsatifactory game catapulted Grishuk in a splendid position for the “grand finale” in round eleven against the French hope Etienne Bacrot, who had won a fine game in the penultimate round against Evgeny Bareev. In the final round, the Russian played with the white pieces and very soon an unclear position was reached. Good for Grishuk, who needed a win and pushed hard, not only to win the game, but also the FiNet Open and an invitation for a match next year. But Bacrot kept his cool, reached a good position and ended the game with a nice move, forcing stalemate. With 9.5 out of 11 games (three draws, no losses) he was the sole winner of the FiNet Open. Mamedyarov, who recovered and won his game in the last round against Sergey Erenburg, came in second, Grishuk landed on the third spot.

Top ten scorers

  Player Rating
wins
draws
losses
points
TB1 TB2
1. GM Bacrot,Etienne 2708
8
3
0
9.5
60.0 69.0
2. GM Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2722
9
0
2
9.0
61.0 70.5
3. GM Grischuk,Alexander 2719
8
2
1
9.0
54.0 64.0
4. GM Naiditsch,Arkadij 2669
7
3
1
8.5
56.0 65.5
5. GM Morozevich,Alexander 2730
7
3
1
8.5
54.0 67.0
6. GM Volokitin,Andrej 2677
8
1
2
8.5
52.5 61.5
7. GM Sargissian,Gabriel 2680
7
3
1
8.5
52.0 62.5
8. GM Golod,Vitali 2585
8
1
2
8.5
51.0 62.5
9. GM Bischoff,Klaus 2528
7
3
1
8.5
50.5 61.5
10. GM Harikrishna,Pentela 2682
8
1
2
8.5
48.5 61.0

More results: ladies, senior and juniors.

In the ladies competition Chess960 Alexandra Kosteniuk showed that she is a really good Chess960 player, after the match against Pähtz, she also won this competition. She will have to defend her title in a match next year against the runner-up Natalia Zhukova, who was a member of the succesfull ladies team from the Ukraine, that won the Chess Olympiad in Turin this year.


Natalia Zhukova, next year's challenger in the Chess960 women's section

We will see another Chess960 match next year between the “Altmeister” Vlastimil Hort and Lajos Portisch. They both scored 6.5 points in the senior category. The best junior this year is Andrej Volokitin, with 8.5 points, also from the Ukraine. He will play next year against Pentala Harikrishna, who scored 8.5 points as well.


Andrej Volokitin, who will play Harikrishna for the Juniors title next year

We will see most above mentioned players again in the Ordix Open. It is expected that more than 600 players will come to play the Ordix Open this year, crushing another Chess Classic record.

Schedule, live coverage and downloads

Programme overview
Date from until live games Round Time View Download
Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championships
15.08.2006 15:00 15:40 3 1. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
15.08.2006 16:15 16:55 3 2. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
15.08.2006 17:30 18:10 3 3. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
15.08.2006 18:45 19:25 3 4. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 15:00 15:40 3 5. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 16:15 16:55 3 6. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 17:30 18:10 3 7. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 18:45 19:25 3 8. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 ? Tiebreak 5min+5sec ONLINE PGN
Livingston Duelle Mensch-Maschine
16.08.2006 11:00 12:00 2 1. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
16.08.2006 12:30 13:30 2 2. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
Livingston Chess960 Computer-WM
17.08.2006 10:00 11:00 8 1. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 12:00 13:00 8 2. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 14:00 15:00 8 3. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 16:00 17:00 8 4. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 18:00 19:00 8 5. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 10:30 11:30 8 6. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 12:30 13:30 8 7. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 14:30 15:30 8 8. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 16:30 17:30 8 9. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
FiNet Open Chess960 WM-Qualifikation
17.08.2006 12:30 13:10 10 1. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 13:40 14:20 10 2. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 14:50 15:30 10 3. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 16:00 16:40 10 4. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 17:10 17:50 10 5. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 10:00 10:40 10 6. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 11:10 11:50 10 7. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 12:20 13:00 10 8. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 14:00 14:40 10 9. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 15:10 15:50 10 10. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 16:20 17:00 10 11. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
GRENKELEASING Rapid World Championship
Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championship
17.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 1. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
17.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 2. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 3. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
18.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 4. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 5. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 6. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 18:30 19:30 2 7. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 20:00 21:00 2 8. 25min+10sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 ? Tiebreak 5min+5sec ONLINE PGN
ORDIX Open
19.08.2006 12:30 13:10 10 1. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 13:40 14:20 10 2. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 14:50 15:30 10 3. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 16:00 16:40 10 4. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
19.08.2006 17:10 17:50 10 5. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 10:00 10:40 10 6. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 11:10 11:50 10 7. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 12:20 13:00 10 8. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 14:00 14:40 10 9. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 15:10 15:50 10 10. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN
20.08.2006 16:20 17:00 10 11. 20min+5sec ONLINE PGN

 

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