Mexico World Championship: Anand or Kramnik?

by ChessBase
5/16/2007 – If we ignore you-know-who, the two best chess players in the last ten years have consistently been Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik. They are the co-favourites in the Mexico City World Championship this September. Our Playchess trainer Dennis Monokroussos evaluates their chances.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Aside from a certain well-known figure in Russian politics, the two best players in the world over for the past ten years are Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik (not necessarily in that order). These two are probably co-favorites going into the Mexico City World Championships later this year, and so it’s interesting by way of preview to have a look at their recent battles – especially when the games are like the one we’ll take a look at in this week’s show.

The main event this week features their most recent game, the rapid game from March’s Amber tournament in Monaco. The game was drawn, but what a draw it was! Anand sacrificed a rook and then a piece for a massive kingside attack, and it was all Kramnik could do to defend, his extra swag notwithstanding. Kramnik returned the material a bit at a time, and when Anand missed his one and only shot at a win, Kramnik was able to escape and even seize some winning chances of his own. The lack of time inherent in rapid chess may have cost Anand the opportunity to find the win, and near the end it might have prevented Kramnik from making the most of his opportunities, and the game concluded peacefully. All in all, the inaccuracies notwithstanding, it was a well-played and occasionally brilliant effort by the two players, thoroughly deserving a closer look from chess fans everywhere.

I hope you’ll accept the invitation to join our Thursday night chess family; remember, the show starts at 9 pm ET. See you then!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 01:00h GMT, 02:00 Paris/Berlin, 12:00h Sydney (on Friday). 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).

Dennis Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven 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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