Ivanchuk wins World Blitz Championship, Anand second

11/22/2007 – It was drama of the highest degree: on the second day of the event World Champion Vishy Anand fought his way to the top to join the leader of the Blitz Championship, Vassily Ivanchuk, in round 29. After 37 of 38 grueling rounds the two were still neck-on-neck and clear of the field. In the last round they played each other – and Anand was two pawns up. Then fate struck.

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Ivanchuk wins World Blitz Championship, Moscow 2007

The first half of the Blitz Final had seen Vassily Ivanchuk in the lead, with Vishy Anand trailing two points behind in sixth place. The reigning World Champion, who said he had had a "bad day", came to the second half with new spirits, winning his first four games (against Carlsen, Morozevich, Shirov and Leko – the last as a revenge for a first-round loss). By round 29 Anand had caught Ivanchuk, and one round before the end both were still leading the field, each with 24.5 points, a point and a half adhead of the others. Everything was to be decided on the final game, in which the world's highest ranked player had white, against the world's second highest player (how much more exciting can it get?). Here is what transpired:

Anand,V (2801) - Ivanchuk,V (2787) [B42]
World Blitz Moscow RUS (38), 22.11.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Ba7 7.Qe2 Nc6 8.Be3 d6 9.N1d2 Nf6 10.f4 0-0 11.Bxa7 Rxa7 12.g4 b5 13.0-0-0 Rc7 14.Rhg1 Qe7 15.Kb1 Nd7 16.g5 Bb7 17.Rg3 Nb4 18.Rh3 g6 19.Qg4 Rfc8 20.Qh4 Nf8 21.a3 Nxd3 22.cxd3 h5 23.gxh6 Qxh4 24.Rxh4 Nh7 25.Nd4 Nf6 26.N2f3 Re8 27.Ng5 e5 28.fxe5 dxe5

Anand was at this point sensationally winning the world blitz championship. He was two pawns up and only needed to push the h-pawn to clinch it. Unfortunately he played: 29.Ndf3? Nh5 30.Rg1 Kh8 31.Nh3 Bc8 32.Nf2 Nf4 33.Nxe5 Ne2 34.Re1 Nd4

35.Neg4?? This is going to haunt Anand's dreams for a while.35...Nf3 36.Nf6 Rd8 37.Nd5 Rb7 0-1.


Here is the drama of the final game ©Europe Echecs

In the above video you see the start of the game, then the move 17...Nb4, then the section after the queen exchange: from 23...Qxh4 until 29...Nh5. The final section shows Anand resigning after 36...Rd8 37.Nd5 Rb7.


Impressions from day two ©Europe Echecs


The World Blitz Champion: Vassily Ivanchuk, Ukraine

Final Standings (38 rounds)

Place SNo. Name Fed. FIDE Total S.B. Wins
1 16 Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR 2787 25.5 480 19
2 4 Anand, Viswanathan IND 2801 24.5 437 18
3 3 Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2715 23.5 430.5 14
4 7 Kamsky, Gata USA 2714 23.5 429 16
5 8 Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2785 21.5 393.75 13
6 1 Leko, Peter HUN 2755 21.5 392.5 13
7 9 Rublevsky, Sergei RUS 2676 21.5 385.75 16
8 18 Morozevich, Alexander RUS 2755 21 378.5 16
9 17 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2714 20.5 352 15
10 13 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2752 18.5 344.75 13
11 20 Adams, Michael ENG 2729 18.5 337.25 13
12 11 Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2705 18 339.5 15
13 5 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam UZB 2690 17.5 319.75 11
14 2 Dreev, Alexey RUS 2607 17 313.5 12
15 14 Gelfand, Boris ISR 2736 17 310.75 10
16 6 Savchenko, Boris RUS 2583 17 291.5 13
17 19 Shirov, Alexei ESP 2739 16 298.75 11
18 12 Karpov, Anatoly RUS 2670 14 252 8
19 10 Bacrot, Etienne FRA 2695 12 235 9
20 15 Korotylev, Alexey RUS 2600 11.5 205.25 7

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