Chess on a high-speed express

by ChessBase
2/2/2011 – Reigning World Champion Viswanathan Anand played two games against former World Champion Anatoly Karpov on Tuesday. Then the two took on eleven players each in simultaneous matches. The unusual part was the venue: it was on a high-speed Spanish train en route from Madrid to Valencia. Our report includes a 45-minute video interview with Anatoly Karpov.

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These trains, which run at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) on dedicated tracks, are called AVE, which stands for Alta Velocidad Española. The name is literally translated from Spanish as "High Speed Spanish", but also a play on the word ave, meaning "bird". Marginally cleverer than the French version, which was christened "Train with the Great Speed" ("Train à Grande Vitesse"). How unimaginative can you get?

The first game was played in the arrival hall of Madrid's Puerta de Atocha station.

The two then boarded the AVE and travelled to Valencia, playing a simultaneous
exhibition against nine opponents on the train

At the Joaquin Sorolla station in Valencia each picked a player from the simul for a game they played against each other. The two amateurs, César Estrada and Emilio Cuevas, were allowed to ask their mentors for advice during the game.Then Anand and Karpov played a second game, which also ended in a draw. Anand said that the 95-minute journey from Madrid to Valencia was perfect for a game of chess.

The games

At first, after seeing the score of two draws between Anand, at the top of his game, and Karpov, in frank decadence (in chess) for some time now, the initial reaction was that the reigning world champion had played a couple of diplomatic draws against his predecessor. However, the games show that this was not the case at all, and that the 12th world champion was having a good day, as his game play was precise and unerring.

In the first game, Anand was white and played an Open Catalan. Karpov had no trouble equalizing after which he never lost control of the position.

Anand - Karpov [E05]: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.Qc2 dxc4 7.Nbd2 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Nxc4 Nc6 10.0-0 Qe7 11.a3 a5 12.Bf4 Nd5 13.Bg5 f6 14.Bd2 b5 15.Ne3 Bxe3 16.Qxc6 Bd7 17.Qc2 Rac8 18.Qd3 Bxd2 19.Qxd2 b4 20.e4 Nb6 21.axb4 Qxb4 22.Rfd1 Qxd2 23.Rxd2 a4 24.Rd6 Rc6 25.Rad1 Rxd6 26.Rxd6 Rb8 27.Rd4 e5 28.Rb4 Bc6 29.Nd2 Nd7 30.Rxb8+ Nxb8 31.Bf1 Nd7 32.f3 Kf8 33.Kf2 Ke7 34.Ke3 Kd6 35.b3 axb3 36.Nxb3 Ba4 37.Nd2 Nb6 38.Nc4+ Nxc4+ 39.Bxc4 ½-½.

The second game was actually very much in Anatoly’s favor. Anand innovated with a slightly dubious opening novelty in a Queen’s Indian and Karpov seemed to have all the moves to illustrate just why it was no good. He created enormous pressure and his advantage seemed almost winning as he penetrated into Anand’s position with his pieces. Eventually he was unable to build upon this, and they drew after 41 moves, but there is no question as to who was trying to save the game.

Karpov - Anand [E15]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb7 6.Bg2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 c5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bc3 a5 10.a3 Bxc3 11.Nxc3 cxd4 12.Qxd4 Nc6 13.Qe3 Ne7 14.Rfd1 Rb8 15.Qf4 Bc6 16.Nd4 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qc8 18.e4 d5 19.exd5 exd5 20.Nxd5 Nexd5 21.cxd5 Nxd5 22.Qf3 Nf6 23.Rac1 Qb7 24.Qxb7 Rxb7 25.Nb5 Ne4 26.Rc6 Nc5 27.b4 axb4 28.axb4 Na6 29.Rd4 Rbb8 30.Nd6 g6 31.h4 Rfd8 32.Rf4 Rd7 33.Ne4 Rc7 34.Rd6 Kg7 35.Nf6 Re7 36.Rfd4 Nc7 37.Nd5 Nxd5 38.R4xd5 b5 39.Rd7 Rxd7 40.Rxd7 h5 41.Rd5 ½-½.

Interview with Karpov

45-minute interview with Anatoly Karpov (in English, with Spanish simul translation)

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