Morovic wins tournament, Anand wins exhibition

8/27/2004 – For his third tournament victory in a month Vishy Anand closed out the Desafio de Xadrez in Sao Paulo, Brazil in impressive fashion. By winning his last five games he ran his score to a tremendous 8.5/10, three points ahead of Morovic. No one else could manage a plus score. We have games, report, and photos from Brazil.

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Desafio de Xadrez

August 20-24, 2004 – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Official siteView all games online

All photos by Luiz Doro/@dorofotos at the official site

India's Viswanathan Anand had locked up victory a few rounds in advance so he could relax on the last day. Unfortunately for Rafael Leitao and Giovanni Vescovi, what Anand does for relaxation is play chess. Very good chess.

Anand beat both of the Brazilians for the second time to stretch his final margin of victory to an amazing three points. Only one other player managed a plus score! Anand won every minimatch and didn't lose a game.

This is the most top-heavy crosstable we've seen since Kasparov humiliated an impressive Linares 2001 field with another three-point winning margin. (The other common denominator? Karpov played in both events.)

With Anand cruising to victory in the exhibition (perhaps he should have played a simul against the rest of the field?), Chile's Ivan Morovic rubbed more salt in Brazilian wounds by taking second place. He was rewarded for a very conservative performance in which all of his seven draws came in 26 moves or fewer. He lost only to Anand.


Chile's Morovic saved his energy for laughter and second place

Of the local contingent, Rafael Leitao had a minus score but got some satisfaction from beating Karpov and finishing ahead of his compatriots. The 24-year-old had a very uneven event and played short draws with his final two whites.

Former world champion Anatoly Karpov had another poor result. A few years ago it looked as though the living legend had done a good job of revamping his game to specialize in rapid chess. He wasn't doing much preparation anymore and he tired in classical events, but his sheer talent and hierarchy shone through against weaker competition in fast games.

In the last year Karpov has had one terrible result after another in rapid tournaments, the low point coming with a 1.5/7 score in last year's Cap D'Agde, where he usually did very well. In Sao Paulo, where Karpov visited for exhibitions last year, Karpov started out being kind to the hosts with two losses. He clawed back to -1 but Anand slammed the door shut in the eighth round.

Karpov is still a giant and there is little doubt that Anand particularly enjoys increasing his score against his old foe. Their long history goes back to a tight 1991 Candidates quarterfinal match won by Karpov. And who could forget their controversial FIDE title match in 1998?


Living legends. Karpov-Anand, the center of attention in round three


Meeting the Brazilian fans


The Desafio players and organizers assembled

Milos-Anand after 29...g5

It's the last round and you're tied for last place. You have white against the tournament winner, so why not go for the gusto and try to redeem your tournament with a beautiful win? That must have been Milos's thought process when he played 30.Kh1?!? against Anand here.

Anand took the knight despite having a few safer options like 30...Nd4. 30...gxh4 31.gxh4+ Kf8 32.Bg7+ Ke7 33.e5. At this point Anand decided maybe this wasn't the best idea in the world after all and he gave back the piece with 33...Kd7.

White had decent drawing chances after that, but Milos was soundly outplayed in the endgame and Anand wrapped up the event with five consecutive wins. An original position could have been reached had Anand kept the knight with 33...Nf5!? 34.Bf6+ Kf8 35.Rg1 Nce7.
 

Analysis diagram after 35...Nce7

This is what Anand decided to avoid. Fritz, brave to the point of foolhardiness as always, sees nothing to dislike here. 36.Bg7+, no problem! 36...Kg8 37.Bxh6+ Kh7 and the black king is safe, at least if you're made out of silicon.


Topics 04 Desafio
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