Just in case: Anand vs Kamsky in 2009

by ChessBase
7/22/2008 – This year Anand defends his title against Vladimir Kramnik, while Gata Kamsky plays a special Challenger's Match against Veselin Topalov. So it is conceivable that we will see an Anand-Kamsky world championship match in 2009. In his Wednesday night Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos looks with feverish anticipation at this possibility. Tune in and enjoy.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

With world champion Viswanathan Anand set to defend his title against Vladimir Kramnik, and Gata Kamsky to do battle with Veselin Topalov for the right to play for the title next year, it's conceivable that 2009 will see an Anand-Kamsky championship match. If so, it will be their third tilt, with their two previous contests taking place in candidates matches in the mid-1990s.

Anand under pressure – from his nemesis Gata Kamsky

In the first, an eight-game match in Sanghi Nagar, Anand led by two games with three to go. All would seem to be well, but he lost games six and seven, and after a draw in round eight, continued his collapse in the rapid tiebreak, losing both games (the last in just 17 moves). That was the semi-final match in the FIDE cycle. Kamsky ultimately made it to the world championship match against Karpov in 1996, where he was defeated. He retired shortly thereafter.

Gata Kamsky after his win over Anand in the Candidates Match in 1994

Meanwhile, they met again in a 12-game match, the final of the PCA Candidates, and here too they were tied after eight games. While Anand had generally enjoyed the better positions in their games, Kamsky had shown himself the better pressure player – up to this point. But now, in game nine, Anand rose to the occasion and played a beautiful game, winning convincingly and destroying Kamsky's main black opening for the match. Game ten was drawn, and Kamsky's backup opening was beaten soundly in the finale. This gave Anand the right to face Kasparov the next year, and like Kamsky against Karpov, Anand too was ultimately unsuccessful in his first shot at the title.

Gata Kamsky, who might face Anand in a World Championship match in 2009

Still, the match was a big success for Anand, as he overcame a difficult opponent and proved that he could handle a big pressure situation – and with style. In our show this week, we'll look at his majestic win in game nine of the 1995 match. The game demonstrated practically everything: a nice, new opening idea, a sustained attack that involved play on all three parts of the board in beautiful harmony, nice variations, the interplay of strategic goals and tactical play, a few ingenious maneuvers – this game had it all, aside from an endgame.

Will we see more of this in 2009? Anand vs Kamsky in Wijk aan Zee 2006

Now that I've whetted your appetite, all you need to do is tune in to the playchess.com server tonight – Wednesday night – at 9 p.m. ET. Log on to the server, go into the broadcast room, and double-click on my nickname there (Initiative) and you're good to go. (Further directions here, especially for those who would like to watch archived shows.) Hope to see you there!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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