Chess World Championship 2014: What is to be expected of Visvanathan Anand?

Viswanathan Anand‘Vishy’ Anand is the one who prevailed at this year’s Candidates’ Tournament and has now the honor to be the challenger of Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship duel. Anand is exactly that World Champion who was able to defend his title from 2007 until 2013. Last year, Carlsen literally made his predecessor look old. After being dethroned, Visvanathan Anand honestly talked about his drop in performance and admitted to his shortcomings. In interviews he told us that he had been suffering from sleepless nights and difficulties to concentrate during the period of the tournament and referred to his opponent Carlsen as “almost the worst thing that could have happened to him”.

Anand’s self-confidence had been dented before the World Championship duel, as he had to comply with several bitter defeats in previous tournaments. His stable playing style was set off balance. Ironically, Anand’s weaknesses were Carlsen’s strengths. Anand made mistakes in harmless positioning and ruined all his chances with one fatal move. Mistakes that he would have never made in his early years. After Anand began talking about altered priorities and stated that his life wasn’t evolving only around chess anymore, most expected a silent withdrawal after the lost World Championship duel.

At the Candidates’ Tournament followed the great surprise: Anand stood out with a remarkable performance. Shortly before, the public had even doubted his attendance and, out of the blue, in the first duel against Aronian he showed the world what the ‘Tiger of Madras’ was still capable of. Not only did he appear well prepared, but also physically fitter than a few months before. The tournament became one of his best in years, and more than deserved he secured the victory as the only undefeated player at the event. Respect and recognition were expressed to him after his victory. On the other hand, he earned skepticism and amazement, as the merciless defeat in his home town Chennai is still a matter of discussion in the world of chess.

This November, we can look forward to a new edition of this duel. When Anand fought over the World Championship title for the first time in 1995 in the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, Carlsen was only four years old and had never held a chess piece in his hands. Twenty-one years of training and experience separate the two chess legends. However, this also means twenty-one years of physical and mental age.

One thing is clear: This year’s World Championship will be nerve wrecking. Anand is currently in perfect shape and has made a promising appearance since his last performance. Whether the defeat in 2013 will motivate him to peak in performance or leaves him in paralyzing anxiety when facing Carlsen again remains to be seen.

Even though Magnus Carlsen is in worldwide hype at the moment – many fans wish the sympathetic Indian, who is fluent in numerous languages (including German) and engaged in several social projects, the victory from the bottom of their hearts.

Picture: Spiegel.de

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

 

 

Chess Junior World Championship 2013 in Al Ain

Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates is currently stage for the Chess Junior World Championship 2013. The title duels of the Under 8 to Under 18 years old are scheduled until December 29th and will therefore take place over the holidays.

 

Record number of participants at championship

Offizielle Eröffnungsfeier Schach Jugendweltmeisterschaft 2013

The 1,800 boys and girls from 120 nations are divided into six age groups. This very large number of participants is a new record. Matches are fought in Swiss Tournament System in which 11 rounds will be played. The competitors have 90 minutes for the first 40 moves; the time for the remaining duel is set at 30 minutes with an additional 30 seconds per move. 119 girls and 184 boys will be competing in the group of Under 8 year-olds and 141 girls and 211 boys in the group of Under 10 year-olds. Another 147 girls and 218 boys will be competing in the category Under 12, while 127 girls and 201 boys have registered to compete in the category Under 14. 118 girls and 186 boys have signed up for the under 16 competition and lastly 101 girls and 137 boys

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will play in the Under 18 category.

German Chess Association with 40 participants

One of the participating nations is Germany. The country sent 40 chess players to the Emirates to compete at the Chess Junior World Championship 2013. Some of these players even made it to the top of the seeding lists. First of all, Hanna-Marie Klek is one of the German top-favorized players among the Under 18 year-olds. With an ELO-rating of 2283 she is seeded 4th, while her teammate Filiz Osmandoja (2247) is ranked 8th. Both players were able to win their opening duels in the United Arab Emirates so far. In the boys’ division, Germany’s hopes are on Matthias Bluebaum (2510) and Dennis Wagner (2481) who are numbers 3 and 3 of the seeding list of Under 16 year old boys and have already managed to win their very first game at the championship.

Picture: Fide.com

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Russia is Team Chess World Champion 2013

The Russian national team secured the World Championship title 2013 at the Turkish city Antalya. With seven victories, one draw, and one defeat the Russians won the gold medal and prevailed over nine other participating teams.

 

Russia defeats Ukraine in preliminary decisive duel

Ian Nepomniachtchi

Even before the final 9th round, the Russians took the overall lead at the tournament. In the ending stage of the event, the Russians achieved the expected victory against the Egyptian team which hadn’t won a single duel throughout the championship. Still, the team from Russia had a hard time winning; former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, and Nikita Vitiugov were not able to triumph over their much lower-rated opponents and ended the duels in draws. The decisive point to the final score of 2.5:1.5 was secured by Ian Nepomniachtchi (ELO 2721) who won against Sam Shoker (ELO 2500). Therefore, Russia had an overall ending score of 15.0 match points and secured the gold medal, while Egypt ended up on 10th place with zero points. The preliminary decision, though, was already made in 8th round, when Russia defeated the Ukraine at 2.5:1.5 points. Again, Ian Nepomniachtchi scored the decisive point against Yuriy Kryvoruchko. The Ukraine finally prevailed over Armenia at 2.5:1.5 points and with an overall score of 14.0 points and secured the bronze medal of the Team Chess World Championship 2013 in Antalya.

 

China obtains silver medal, European Champion Azerbaijan is far off

The silver medal was obtained by the Chinese team, which in the end had a score account of 14.0 match points. China first prevailed over Germany in round 8 at 2.5:1.5 points; Yu Yangyi became the match-winner, as he decided the match against German player David Baramidze (ELO 2614) to his favor. In the following round, the Asian team scored an easy 3:1 victory against the home team from Turkey. The Turkish came off 9th at the Team Chess Championship 2013 with a final score of only 3.0 points. Germany, on the other hand, ranked 7th in overall standings, after a victory (3:1) against European Champion Azerbaijan in the final round. Daniel Fridman (ELO 2600) defeated Nidjat Mamedov (ELO 2616) and Germany’s top-rated player Arkadij Naiditsch (ELO 2727) prevailed over Vasif Durarbayli (ELO 2559). The European Team Champion from Eastern-Europe ended up in 8th place with disappointing 7.0 points, while the Netherlands became 4th (9.0), followed by Armenia and the United States at each 10.0 points.

 

Picture: wikipedia/Bzmarko

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

 

Team Chess World Championship 2013 in Turkey

After Magnus Carlsen recently dethroned the previous Chess World Champion Visvanathan Anand and Azerbaijan was announced new European Team Chess Champion, the world is preparing for the next highlight in matters of chess: The Team World Championship 2013 in the Turkish city Antalya.

 

Russia and Armenia are top-favorites

Alexander-Grischuk-225x300

Ten teams will be competing in the 2013 edition of the World Team Championship of Men. Among the evenly strong participants, Russia and Armenia are the favorite teams. The Russian formation, consisting of Vladimir Kramnik (Elo 2793), Sergey Karjakin (Elo 2756), Alexander Grischuk (Elo 2785), Ian Nepomniachtchi (Elo 2721), and Nikita Vitiugov (Elo 2741), should not be underestimated, even if they had to comply with a 2:2 draw against Armenia on the first day. However, the Armenian team is also cast well with players such as Sergei Movsesian (Elo 2700), Vladimit Akopian (Elo 2681), Gabriel Sargissian (Elo 2676), and Tigran Petrosian (Elo 2660) under the lead of top-rated player Levon Aronian (Elo 2801) who currently ranks 2nd in worldwide standings.

 

Four Victories in other duels of the first rounds

Four other pairings of the first round of the Team World Championship 2013 in Antalya ended with victories. The German team was able to prevail over Egypt with 2.5:1.5 points. The only defeat the Germans had to admit to was surprisingly the team’s top player Arkadij Naiditsch (Elo 2727) against Samy Shoker (ELO 2500), while Georg Meier (Elo 2623) won over Abdel Razik Khaled (Elo 2450) and David Baramidze (Elo 2614) over Armin Bassem (Elo 2652). The home team from Turkey was not successful against Azerbaijan in the opening stage of the tournament and finished the first duel at 1.5:2.5 to Azerbaijan’s favor, whose top-player Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Elo 2757) was not present. The decisive point for 2013’s European Champion secured Nidjat Mamedov (Elo 2616) with a victory against Mustafa Yilmaz (Elo 2577) on the 3rd board.

 

Ukraine beats USA in opening stage of World Championship 2013

The Ukraine and Germany faced each other in the second top-rated match of the day. The Eastern Europeans were able to prevail at 2.5:1.5 points. The decisive point was contributed by Anton Korobov (Elo 2713) who won over Gata Kamsky (Elo 2721). Also, there were three draws between Vassily Ivanchuk (Elo 2731) and Hikaru Nakamura (Elo 2786), Alexander Moissenko (Elo 2709) and Alexander Onischuk (Elo 2672), and Yuriy Kryvoruchko (Elo 2701) and Varuzhan Akobian (Elo 2625). In the fifth duel of the first round, China was able to defeat the Netherlands at 2.5:1.5 points.

 

Picture: Przemysław Jahr

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

First Chess World Championship for handicapped chess players

Dresden is now hosting the first Chess World Championship for players, who are physically handicapped. Until October 29th, participants will compete in the categories “Physically Handicapped”, “Blind Players”, and “Deaf Players”.

 

72 participants from three continents

Schach

For this special event, 72 players from Europe, Asia, and Africa have travelled to Germany. Most of these originate from Europe, of which many players are German. The winner is expected to be from Russia, as the largest country of the world has, by far, the most competitors in the tournament. Over and above that, the seeding list is led by no less than seven Russian players. The greatest chance on the victory has Andrei Obodchuk (Elo 2414), followed by Alexey Pakhomov (Elo 2377) and Dmitrij Scerbin (Elo 2369). Germany hopes for a strong performance of Artur Kevorkov (Elo 2212), who is seeded 11th, while previously advertised Thomas Kuther will not be present at all.

 

Top-favorites begin tournament with victories

In the first of seven rounds, mostly the top-favorite players prevailed. Andrei Obodchuk defeated Georges Vasquez and the number 33 of the seeding list from France (Elo 2013) in short duels. Dmitrij Scerbin also achieved a victory over fellow countryman Yury Alchindi (35th / Elo 1997), whereas Pakhomov only played a draw against the German Michael Gründer (34th / Elo 2009). Artur Kevorkov was able to beat Ilja Markov (43rd / Elo 1917) from Russia.

 

Dresden with experience in tournaments for handicapped players

For the Chess World Championship of Handicapped to be carried out in Dresden is not coincidence. The Eastern German city has hosted several events for disabled chess players, such as the World Games for Disabled, which were first set up in 2011 and have quickly become the official World Championship for people with disabilities. The longest journey travelled chess players from India: Nine players from the country of the Chess World Champion Anand have lined up in Dresden.

 

Picture: flickr.com/ Jack Pearce

written by Michael, translated by Birthe