Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Coronation Day (Tiebreaks, Shmybreaks)

| Permalink | 72 comments

This is it! A few hours from now Peter Leko will be the first person to congratulate Vishy Anand on winning the 2007 world championship. On, oh, move 19 they'll shake hands and agree on the draw that will lock up the win for Anand on a very impressive +4 undefeated score. Then Anand will be mobbed by the Indian press and hold court for a while with a smiling Aruna as the other players continue fighting for filthy lucre.

Round 14: Anand-Leko, Morozevich-Gelfand, Svidler-Grischuk, Kramnik-Aronian. LIVE

Oh sure, technically speaking it's not over yet. If Anand loses with white to Leko (impossible because he won't be trying to win) and Gelfand beats Morozevich with black (quite possible) we'll all have to break out our calculators. There are three tiebreak formulas in effect before the top two finishers play tiebreak games and Gelfand and Anand would be tied on the first two of them -- head to head play and number of losses (wins). The third tiebreak is Sonneborn-Berger, which adds the scores of everyone you beat to half the scores of everyone you drew. Right now this would seem to give a slight edge to Gelfand because he beat Aronian twice. These scores will change after the final round but are irrelevant because Peter Leko is not, to the best of anyone's knowledge, barking mad. It doesn't have to be an arranged draw, don't get me wrong. But going into the tournament if you asked Leko if he'd be happy with a draw with black against Anand he'd have said yes and he'll say yes now. If it were Leko needing a win to catch Anand that's a different matter. Two, after 20 moves Vishy will still have the normal white plus in an Anti-Marshall [Close! Was a Marshall] and he will offer a draw. A draw Leko would accept automatically in any other round. As long as such draws are legal (and if they aren't then we'll have to lock up the lot of them after this) it makes little sense for Leko to play to the death and risk his own even score and around $50,000. As much as we'd like him to.

It almost wasn't so easy. Anand came perilously close to losing to Grischuk in round 13. It was the first time in a long while we'd seen Vishy in any danger. He rushed through yet another Semi-Slav anti-Moscow gambit line before tossing in the twist 11..Rg8 and 13..b4 to throw Grischuk off his preparation. This had been seen before (van Wely-Vallejo 2005) but it put Grischuk into yet another ridiculously deep think. Instead of allowing the queen trade with 15.Nxc5 he played 15.d5, leading to a good endgame for White. Anand continued to play quickly either due to preparation or nerves, or both. It certainly doesn't look like a position you'd rush into. Black has very real problems saving his pawns and he eventually lost one. Anand's drawing plan of pushing his a-pawn and planting a rook on b3 was refuted when he blundered with 40..Kc8, allowing 41.Rc2! and the a3 pawn is immune. Oops. Grischuk had excellent winning chances and would have come close to sealing the deal with 52.h5, as suggested by various ICC kibitzers and as analyzed by GM Ian Rogers at here at CLO. I think 58.Rb5 is a good late try to win as well. I haven't seen anyone else look at this, but I haven't had much time to look either, so fill in if you've got some lines. Preventing ..f5 gains time for White and I haven't been able to hold the draw against it. By then Grischuk was in time trouble for the second time thanks to Anand's fast play and it was clearly drawn after 58..f5! Good practical defense from Vishy after his blunder but poor execution from Grischuk, who already tried to play the spoiler once in this event by beating Gelfand. Whew! A close call for Anand, adding a touch of balance to what was looking like a runaway affair.

Gelfand didn't give Kramnik any chance to play for a win with black but nor did he give himself many chances to catch Anand. The relatively tame line of the Semi-Slav, instead of the wild Bg5 lines we've been seeing, is one Kramnik knows very well from his match against Topalov. Black had a new idea with ..a5 and ..Bb4 and Gelfand couldn't make any headway against Kramnik's - again - superior preparation. Aronian and Svidler tangled in a slow-developing game. Black broke free tactically with the pretty 25..d5! The game settled into a tricky queen-king chase scene that was accurately played by both with a logical draw.

That left it up to Leko-Morozevich to provide the excitement. Moro mixed things up by playing the Richter-Rauzer, a rare bird at this level. It may just go extinct entirely if games like this one keep happening. Morozevich likes to get unusual positions that aren't prone to theoretical swamps. Here he was the only one who looked like he was in the quicksand. Leko got just the sort of bind he enjoys and after 17.f5 it looked like only a matter of time before he rounded up the black h-pawn and pushed his own to victory. And so it was. Kasparov summarily declared Black lost with barely a glance around move 17 before going to back to see if Anand could save himself from losing a pawn. About Anand's imminent victory, Garry said that Anand deserved it not only for playing the best chess but for also showing ambition throughout.

Huzzahs for Anand and eulogies for Kramnik to come. There is still a final round to play and you never know when a great game might occur. Surely someone in the Russian trio will try to break out of the -2 pack.


Twenty moves and I'm thinking that a local must have given Svidler some peyote last night.

Hello Mig,

Some said it before, but congrats also from me of having done a fine job covering the tournament. Most posts for each round were very well written, with nice insights on the players, openings and chess politics.

Kind regards, Beryllo

Mig, you've got it wrong: it was draw on move 20 :)


Not bad, you missed Anand's draw by the slightest margin.

Congratulations, new champ!

Congratulations Vishy Anand!!
Everything formalised now :)
Kudos to Mig for getting this post correct..a refreshing contrast from his "Kramnik still lurks in striking distance a point off the pace -- remember he has white against Anand coming up on Monday", etc. Of course my prediction about Anand beating Kramnik by +2 or more may not happen. But that is as improbable as the sun not rising tomorrow. So, go celebrate Anand fans. I have a party in NYC and the dessert will be ordered depending on what FIDE decides about including this on the Oct1 list!

Hopefully, Al Gore will do his bit to console the bears and monkeys of the north..but maybe it will be too little too late...the climate change is here to stay. We better get used to living without them, which of course we will. Like we did with the dinosaurs.

Long live the new king!!!!

Anand Nair,

You lived with dinosaurs! =;-)

Anand is the new world champion. If he wins against Kramnik next year, I would not be surprised if he says he will only defend his title in the truly democratic knock out tournament type of format which gives all the players a shot at the world championship and is good for chess as a sport. Who wants to watch a match drawn everyday waiting for that rare decisive game! This tournament was so much fun to watch! Every day we had one nice game worth watching! I hope the next tournament brings a new champion...

Anand will be regarded WCh mainly because chess people are tired of scandals and nobody doubts he is a good challanger for the 2008 match.


I suppose you meant 'Kramnik' will be a worthy challenger in 2008!

we as in, the human race..but who cares...Kramnik is history..ok, he gets to be challenger once again without having to qualify. But I simply cannot foresee Anand making the same mistakes as Garry did..the next time I'm going to worry about the result is when Carlsen plays Radjabov in 201x when Anand chooses to make way for the next gen..

Despite all your protestations to the contrary, Kramnik is the challenger and Anand is the the title holder/champion in Anand-Kramnik 2008. Should be a great show.

CONGRATULATIONS VISHY ANAND, the new and ONLY world chess champion NOW :)

Today, Anand introduced a novelty apparently (18.Bc2) and Leko's reaction (18. ... Qg6) was necessary since otherwise Anand retained a bishop pair and thus a slight plus. Leko's correct reaction led to opposite pair bishops and a dead drawn position. In other words, it was not a played-out draw, not just a faracial draw.

So...all Russian supporters...sorry but please show the grace to accept a non-Russian is NOW the world champ, stop your sore-loser songs about anyone having to beat Kramnik in a match later, to become a WC NOW. :)

That Kramnik is divested of the title is the BEST NEWS for world chess, for me even better than Anand being the new world chess champion !! Good Riddance !! Kramnik TARNISHED the title by playing dirty politics and going out of the way to ensure that Kasparov did not get a shot at the world title except by going through a qualifying cycle (which Kasparaov was of course not going to do). So it is good that Kramnik is OUT.

MIG (with his usual eurocentric bias) didnt miss the chance to mention something about "eulogies to Kramnik" (otherwise his write-up today is quite good). But really, Kramnik didnt even have the basic grace to eulogize Kasparaov with even one word after he won of his 1-off match that he got by Kasparov's grace. Of course, two mistakes make not one right, but thought I would mention that.

Let all Russians and non-Russians alike celebrate the new and ONLY world champion in Chess :) Among this generation of players, Anand is doubtless the most worthy to hold the title in this generation of players right now. Let us hope Anand goes from strength to strength and reigns as long as possible, before he gives way to the next generation.

Will Anand get draw-odds in the match with Kramnik? That could be the crucial element.

>So it is good that Kramnik is OUT..

Kramnik isn't out, and it never was such a scenario debated, only that after Mexico/2007 it is Anand, instead of Topalov, who is 'in' for the 2008 match. That was at stake in this tournament.

Congratulations to Anand since he gets to play again for the WCh title. 1995 and now again 2008, not bad, not bad.

>Will Anand get draw-odds in the match with Kramnik? That could be the crucial element.>

There will be rapids/blitz to decide, I guess

"we as in, the human race..but who cares...Kramnik is history..ok"

Amazing, I know what you meant, it was just a little levity. As I've already stated ad nauseam, I PICKED ANAND TO WIN THIS TOURNAMENT. HELLO!

>Despite all your protestations to the contrary, Kramnik is the challenger and Anand is the the title holder/champion in Anand-Kramnik 2008.>

Sure, I recall Topalov saying the same..oh well, some things never change.

Ovidiu, are you normally this dumb or being deliberately being obtuse? Why on earth will Kramnick play in a tournament to choose his challenger?

>Ovidiu, are you normally this dumb or being deliberately being obtuse? Why on earth will Kramnick play in a tournament to choose his challenger?>

You may have been lived on another planet in the last year. The subject has been debated here at Mig-blog to exhaustion since the beginning of the Kirsan-Kramnik negociations in dec-2006/jan-2007.

Draw odds are the inarguable right of the champion. So if Anand does get them, then he is the champion and Kramnik is the challenger.

Gelfand just lost a pawn to a cute combo from Moro. Petroff not so solid today. Kramnik has a python like crush on poor old Aronian. This could put Anand and Kramnik 1st and 2nd in th tournament which would be nice as they play for the title next year. Sorry of course Anand already has the title (sort of)

>Draw odds are the inarguable right of the champion. So if Anand does get them, then he is the champion and Kramnik is the challenger.>

The champion will be who defeats Kramnik in a match for the title, as simple as that.

Oops sorry Gelfand will not lose a pawn to Moro he will get the pawn back with a likley drawish looking position


I find it hilarious that you recently accused someone else of living on another planet. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Aronian has been completely taken apart by Kramnik a truly effortless frightening display with the white pieces from the Kram machine.

>Ovidiu, I find it hilarious that you...

you force yourself to laugh for the implied effect

Hearty congratulations to the New Unified Chess Champion, V Anand! Long reign the Tiger!

Anand vs Kramnik will be great, as Anand is less experienced in World Championship match format compared to Kramnik.

But I personally dont like the match format, too many draws between the same players kill the spirit.

So far so good. Now please full reverse thrust on format change back to matches. Don't want to see 1 Petroff every second day for months. WCh tournament is the most fair format and Anand and the majority of leading players prefer it. Makes it impossible for one person to hijack the title or handpick comfortable opponents as it has happened over and over. Let the most versatile player be champion not the one who can after months of preperation against a specific opponent wear him down with some sort of anti-chess. Last but not least: no more toilets and yogurts. Supertournaments should invite also up-and-coming young players and players with an enterprising style not just the top #8. Topa/Kramnik can be seeded directly into the next one as compensation for their matches.

When it involves you it can't be helped. Then again, that's alright, laughing is good for a person.

Aronian was crushed this one, poor guy, it wasn't his best tournament.

World #1, a rare 2800+ rating, clear winner of the world championship after chess world united, all at the same time. Is there any other sport in which one such person will not be considered a world champion?

Congratulations World Chess Champion Anand! Forget off board, play on board. Best wishes for many more successes!!

Alas Moro missd the win of a pawn after all (and the game)with the ingenious 24 Ne6!!

Kudos to all players today. Anand-Leko draw was of course ok and everyone else really plays a last round game, rarely seen in other top tournaments.

Especially what I've been witnessing in Svidler-Grischuk.

>Is there any other sport in which one such person will not be considered a world champion?>

well, do they check for cheating using computers in football ?

Truthfully, I have no idea what Svidler ingested last night? Whatever it was, he should have tired it earlier and I wouldn't mind having some.


I tire of Ovidiu. He knows not that the time arriveth to live and let live.

Is the Anand & Leko press conference video up somewhere?

Let's put aside the squabble about title legitimacy for just a moment.

Congratulations to Anand and all his numerous fans! Congratulations to India!

A convincing win by a worthy champion indeed!

I agree!

Mig: What does Kasparov say? Is Anand #15 in his eyes?

Please ask fast since Kasparov life may be in danger according to kaidanov

I'm tired of ovidiu too.

Congratulations to the undisputed World Champion! It could not have happened to a better person.

#1 playerw with 2800+ rating
World Chess Champion
World rapid chess champion
Tal Memeorial blitz winner with a huge margin

i'm sure that ovidiu will disappear as soon as this argument is over. i hope that's soon.

The game Svidler-Grischuk apart from being Svidler's first and last victory is notable as an elegant bridge between San Luis and Morelia - Svidler prepared for this after his loss to Topalov in the same variation in that event. Grischuk wandered into it clueless. Did he do any preparation at all??

Yes, Grischuk did prepare, and hopefully should do quite well in the nest Texas Hold'Em tournament.

Veni, Vidi, Vishy!

Congratulations to the new World Champion! I am reminded at this time that some years ago (when he was still playing) Kasparov stated that while there are many talented players only he, Kramnik, and Anand had a certain higher level of understanding. One has left the stage and (hopefully) the other two will do battle for Anand's title next year. What a match that will be and I'd be happy to have either as World Champion.


It's nice to know that there are some people out there that can look at this objectively with no particular bias. It almost qualifies as an anomaly.

I think even Ivanchuck has such a higher level of understanding. He's such a monster in opening theory, he can play any openings with ease.

If it were not for his "erratic" nature, he'd have been World Champion long time ago!

Even Kasparov once said, on a good day, Ivanchuck could play at an ELO level of 2900! That's some compliment coming from the Guru.

It matters not that the old king lost his crown thru death, abdication, fair battle or a game of dice. The fact is that we have a new undisputed king.

May the new king glorify his reign with valiant battles with qualified challengers and impress fans old and new alike.

Congratulations, Anand. Well done. You do not now belong only to India but also to Asia and the whole world. Wear your crown well and do it justice.

I'm sure there'll be complaints that the top players drew each other and picked on the people who did poorly to strike.

Congrats to Anand! I am also happy about Gelfand's super performance. I missed Ivanchuk, Shirov and Kamsky at this event. That would have been like a super tournament from the early nineties.
I am still not impressed by the new crop, Aronian, Grischuk, Morozevich, Svidler et al ..

Superfreaky the only problem with that is that these are all top players... Poor Aronian. He could have done so well in this tournament and instead got a bad head cold.

So, now Anand is the World Champion;
The WCh match in 2008 will be between Anand and Kramnik;
The Challenger will be decided between a match between the 2007 World Cup winner and Topalov;
The Challenger will then play against the 2008 World Champion for the title in 2008? or is it 2009?;
From then on the Challenger will be determined by the World Cup cycles and the World Champion decided by a match between the Challenger and the reigning World Champ.

Is this right?

I am happy that Anand finally became World Champion. If he had not, he would have joined Korchnoi, Rubinstein, Keres, and Pillsbury as the best players never to have reached the top. Anand is just too good to deserve such a bad fate. It is just that he wins the title. Let's hope he defends it well against Kramnik. Kramnik is strong but his reign was controversial and unconvincing. Anand plays like a champion.

The top players drew each other and picked on the people who did poorly to strike.


You little instigator you.

Congratulations for Anand for winning this World chess championship tournament. in the end it proved to be quite close. Actually the probelm with deciding these things with tournaments has never been about tradition for me - it is that with a bit of luck Gelfand for example could have won this tournament and we would have declared him World Champion but would have little practical chance in a match against Kramnik! Tournaments can give a different champion each year like the FIDE knockouts did. We have ended up with a fair match up between Anand and Kramnik. Incidnetally this win by Anand gives a relatively modest financial return when compared to what he will get in the WCC match (won or lose). The financial rewards are all in WCC matchs - not tournaments. (Anand got USD 450,000 for losing to Kasparov more than his lifetime tournament earnings up to that point)It is a sobering thought to realise that up to this point in his career Anand (along with every top player other than Kasparov, Kramnik Karpov and short) could have had greater lifetime earnings for example by being a qualified doctor. This point was made by Judit Polgar

greg, the real champion had MOST wins and NO defeats. the only unbeaten guy..no questions left answered. dominating performance.

Congrats to Anand! --Raxeq

Andy 00:29 --

+2 result is not so close. The last four world championship matches have been that close, or closer.

I don't agree that tournament results are any more based on luck than match results. Imagine if Leko had beaten Kramnik in 2004 (as he easily could have). Could he really have proved himself a worthy world champion? And look at the Kramnik-Shirov match in 1998 (+2 for Shirov). It gave such a blatantly "wrong" result that Kasparov was forced to circumvent it and select Kramnik as the challenger for the title.

So, if you want the "morally right" result, I'm not sure if you are more likely to get it from a World Championship Tournament (Botvinnik, Topalov, Anand) or a World Championship Match (the other world champions).

"It is a sobering thought to realise that up to this point in his career Anand (along with every top player other than Kasparov, Kramnik Karpov and short) could have had greater lifetime earnings for example by being a qualified doctor"

Why is it "sobering"? Is it so lamentable that most societies tend to value the practitioners of the healing arts more than the players of a Board Game? Of course, in the US, the Doctors' interests are represented by the AMA. Grandmasters have FIDE. I don't think that GMs should be surprised that they aren't rolling in money.

Consider how few Olympic Athletes will ever make big money from their sports pursuits....

It is amazing that Grischuk, with 2680, was the only one playing with a TPR below 2700. I wonder if this was the strongest tournament ever held with a field of 8 or more players, in terms of the ratings going into the tournament and the TPR at the end.
Perhaps some stats expert would care to enlighten?

bs "I wonder if this was the strongest tournament ever"

ratingwise, it is close. 5 points away from the strongest tournament ever which was Las Palmas 1996. Kasparov won it when rating inflation was little less than it is now.

Also, if this tournament is not rated for October, would this tournament be rated with the current ratings (July) or with the October ratings of these players?
Either way, Anand is probably just going to eke past 2800. With the current rating list he has an expected change of +11.6 - 1.6 = 10, hence an expected rating of 2802. With October's rating list (assuming the expected rating adjustments at the FIDE site are accurate), his initial rating would be 2790, and his opponents have a cumulative delta of +10 (which means an Rc change of +1.4) keeping his expected change at +11.6 and hence an expected rating of 2801, assuming he doesn't play any other rated games before the next rating list.
Kramnik has an expected change of 5.8 from this tourney added to an already pending 10 points, getting him up to about 2785. Ivanchuk is expected to be at either 2786 or 2787, so I guess he moves up to no. 2, Kramnik remains at No. 3 and Topalov is pushed down to No. 4.
Is Ivanchuk scheduled to play at the World Cup? If so, and if he wins, a Anand-Kramnik winner v/s Topalov-Ivanchuk winner showdown would mean matches played by the top 4 players in the world to determine the World Champion. Now, despite all arguments against seeding Kramnik and Topalov directly, that sounds like a mouthwatering prospect, and fair in a way that nothing else in the chess world has been for a very long time!
Nobody since Kasparov until the 90s (actually, even in the beginning of this decade according to Elo, but since people argue about his inactivity, we can let that pass), has dominated the rating list. This has also been reflected over the board - no single player has been consistently definitively better than his peers (at least his top 3 peers), so a showdown between the top 4 seems immensely fair. It looks like FIDE accidentally hit upon a masterstroke. Of course, all this is incumbent on Ivanchuk playing, and then winning the World Cup. Sigh.

I've been waiting for an Anand-Kramnik match for years!

Doug says:
"Of course, in the US, the Doctors' interests are represented by the AMA. Grandmasters have FIDE. I don't think that GMs should be surprised that they aren't rolling in money."

Doesn't smell right. FIDE represents the interests of national chess federations. FIDE take care of Grandmasters only to the extent of serving FIDE's main objectives to promote chess on a wider scale.

The Association of Chess Professional (ACP) or some other body equivalent to the US PGA for golf players or ATP for tennis players, should represent Grandmasters. The lucrative worldwide tennis tour is run by the Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) and not the World Tennis Federation (WTF). Similarly the lucrative US Golf Tour is run by the US Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and not the US Golf Association (USGA).

The Grandmasters should not blame FIDE when the opportunities were always there for the GMs to come together for their own benefit outside of FIDE. The failure to do this surely cannot be on FIDE's tab.

I know this is a bit out of topic on this thread and at this time. Sorry but I couldn't help it.

Toledo Paul - this is the second time Anand won the WC title!

gg, You can't count the first time as a real championship. Let's be real. Then you have to say that Khalifman and Ponomariov were world champions as well. It's a joke! The real world champion was Kasparov and then Kramnik. All the rest won it under reduced situations without facing the top player.

Congrats to Anand, and good luck against Kramnik next year.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 29, 2007 1:39 PM.

    Boris Doesn't Bore Us was the previous entry in this blog.

    Anand World Champion! is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.