Chess Classic: Anand and Svidler falter

8/18/2006 – Vishy Anand, the world's strongest rapid chess player, got off to a shaky start at the Chess Classic in Mainz, drawing one and losing the second game to challenger Teimour Radjabov. In Chess960 the reigning champion Peter Svidler lost both his games to Levon Aronian, albeit somewhat unluckily. Full report on day three of the Classic.

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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.

Great start for challengers Radjabov and Aronian

By Eric van Reem

Another busy day in Mainz. Not just that the big matches Anand-Radjabov and Svidler-Aronian kicked off, but also the FiNet Chess960 Open, with 248 players, among them no less than 111 men and women with an international FIDE title. In addition the second Livingston Chess960 Computer Chess World Championship started today with 20 programs. In the evening matches, Radjabov was able to win one game against Anand, and Aronian even scored two points. In the FiNet Open we have three leaders with a 100% score, and in the Computer Chess event German program Jonny took the lead. Here is an overview of the events on Thursday.

Grenke Leasing Rapid World Championship Anand-Radjabov


Teimour Radjabov and Vishy Anand at the opening ceremony

The first game in the Grenke Leasing Rapid Chess World Championship ended in a draw – nothing spectacular for the audience. But the second game was a different story. Although he had a difficult position in the middlegame, Teimour Radjabov won it. Certainly a shock for Vishy Anand and his fans. Anand: “I misplayed it in the first game and lost a pawn, but after exchanging some pieces I could hold the draw. In the second game I certainly had a very promising or even winning position. When I get to my room, I will check the game with the computer, which will probably show some promising lines.”

Clerical Medical Chess960 Rapid World Championship Svidler-Aronian

In the second match on the stage of the Rheingoldhalle, Levon Aronian had an fantastic start, winning two games against Peter Svidler on Thursday. The Russian seemed the have the upper hand in both games, but Aronian won in the end. Afterward Svidler said: “Well, if all the games will be like today, we will provide a lot of entertainment for everybody. I the first game I reached a decent Hedgehog position which suddenly became rather tricky. I was probably much better and tried to find a forced win. I even found a way to win by force, but thought it was not good enough. Then I wanted to chase the rook with my knights, could not catch it, misplaced the knights and even lost the game. I the second game I chose a creative set-up, which reminded me on the Bird Opening. We reached a very tactical position, in which I blundered and lost again.” Aronian said at the press conference that he was lucky today. “I was practically lost in the first game and in the second game I had a difficult position as well. I liked Bf8, which was a good plan to protect my king, but then Peter blundered again. Big luck today.”

FiNet Open

Three freshly crowned Chess960 world champions played in the fifth FiNet Open: Alexandra Kosteniuk, Pentala Harikrishna and Vlastimil Hort. But their challengers from the title matches were also eager to play in one of the strongest chess tournaments in the world, if you look at the average rating and the number of players holding an international title: 63 GMs (56 men, 7 women) , 34 IMs (26 men, 8 women) and 14 FMs (13 men, 1 woman). Yes, if you add them all, the result is 111! And with about 20% more players than last year, 248, another Chess Classic record has been broken.

Five rounds were be played on Thursday, six games will be played on Friday. The winner will get a match against the winner of the Clerical Medical Chess960 World Championship next year. There are several extra prices in various categories.

Five players in this exquisite field have a 2700+ rating: Alexander Morozevich, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Grishuk, Etienne Bacrot and Evgeny Bareev. But there are many other very strong grandmasters in this field, and we also see some new faces in Mainz. For the first time we could spot the Dutch champion GM Zhaoqin Peng, who already played some Chess960 games with the inventor of this chess variant himself in Budapest! “I never played Chess960 in a tournament before, but I love it. And it is very nice to play in this beautiful playing hall. I am impressed.” Another Chess960 newbie is Evgeny Bareev from Russia, who contacted Hans-Walter Schmitt just a week ago: he wanted to play in Mainz, and try Chess960!

After the first day, only three players still have a perfect score: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Mikhail Mchedlishvili and Etienne Bacrot. Woman Chess960 world Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk has an excellent 4 out of 5 and, just like senior Vlastimil Hort. Pentala Harikrishna, maybe still a bit tired from his fabulous performance yesterday, could only score three points.

Livingston Chess960 World Championship

The second Livingston Chess960 World Championship started on Thursday with 20 programs – two more than in the ICGA world championship, which was held in Turin in May. That shows the acceptance for Chess960 in general and Chess960 computer chess in particular. Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, the Shredder programmer and ten times world champion, loves to play in this tournament: “I do not need an opening book for this tourney, I just grab my laptop and play chess.” The programmers also love to play in Mainz because many players who are interested in computer chess step by and take a look at the computer chess games. Alexandra Kosteniuk was happy to open the second round by playing the first move in the game Loop-Spike. One of the prominent computer chess fans is Levon Aronian, who enjoys a chat with the programmers. He laughs out loud when a computer plays a bad move and jokes with the operators: ”Did you teach him to play like this? That move is crap”, and then he moves on to the next board, laughing and joking.

After the first day, on which five rounds were played, Jonny leads the field with 4.5 points, followed by two other German programs, Shredder and Ikarus. Shredder won an important game in the third round against the winner of last years championship, Spike. But the most spectacular game of the day was played by Jonny in the third round. Its creator, Johannes Zwanzger, a good chess player with an 2300+ rating, had no idea what happened on the board. Very tactical, very sharp, very nice! And Jonny could even beat Shredder in the last game of the day, rounding of a perfect day in Mainz!

Chess960 Man vs Machine exhibitions

In two exhibition matches Peter Svidler and Teimour Radjabov played two rapid chess games with shuffled pieces against computer programs. Spike defeated Svidler 1.5:0.5, while Shredder won both its games against Radjabov,

Spike vs Peter Svidler (above). In the first game Svidler could have forced a draw, but pressed for a win and lost. In the second game he made a fairly easy draw.

In his first Chess 960 game, against the program Shredder, Teimour Radjabov, who experienced difficulties with the castling rules, was mated in 16 moves. In the second game he had a better position, but missed the moment where he could have played for a win. Then came an error and he had lost the second game as well.

Champions Dinner

One of the most important events during the Chess Classic is the traditional Champions Dinner, for special guests, sponsors and players. The dinner was sponsored by Clerical Medical this year. One of the highlights was the performance by German singer Vaile, who sang two of her owns songs: “By my side” and “Might be better”. In the afternoon she sat together with Burton, keyboard player from the band HIM, for a special number.


Vaile and Burton performing the HIM classic "Join me"

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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