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Another Match on His Mind

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Vishy Anand is touring India right now and is all over the chess-avid Indian press. This bit caught my eye.

It would be great to play Kasparov again: Anand

Wednesday, 19 December , 2007, 14:47

Kolkata: World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand would love to have another match with former champion Garry Kasparov if the Russian legend decides to come out of retirement.

Arriving at the city late Tuesday night, Anand interacted with the media after felicitating the NIIT MCA East Zone title winners. "I would welcome it, if Kasparov changes his mind about retirement. We can have a great match then. We did not have an opportunity to play after 1995 and that is a real pity," Anand said when asked if he was keen on playing Kasparov.

The last time they met was in the World Championship clash in the World Trade Centre where Garry crushed Anand. On his goals next year, Anand said: "Anything I attain in chess is a great motivation for me. I will be playing in Corus next month. I am a five-time winner there, but there is no lack of motivation."

"Crushed" is a little unfair for -3, if only because it leaves us begging for adjectives for what Garry did to Nigel Short in 1993. (Although Short had more winning chances in his match.) I've always been more interested in Kasparov's post-match dominance over Anand. Vishy had his share of wins against him before 1995 but after that he couldn't beat Garry for love or money. Considering how strong and successful Anand has continued to be otherwise it's hard not to delve into the hackneyed realms of nemesis and psychology when looking for a reason.


Anand was unable to try to beat Kasparov after the New York. He generally accepted short draws where possible - i dont recall him pressing for a win in any game v Kasparov since the famous game 10 New York. The danger for Anand is that he "over" respects Kramnik who is the man who beat the man...... Anand did have an opportunity to play Kasparov in 2000 but turned it down leaving the door open for Vlad.

People tell me chess is a drawish game.
Then what is the explanation for what Hydra did ?

How deep is chess ?

With his presidential ambitions now officially over, I hope that Garry will feel the tug of the chessboard once again.

Anand vs Kramnik, Anand - Kasparov, Kasparov vs Kramnik - oh boy

What have you done FIDE?? Depriving us of these... oh well..

"I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye.."

I hate Savage Garden...

I mean -> Anand - Kasparov - part2 (without the Dragon) and Kasparov - Kramnik - part 2 (without the Berlin)

To Brian, yes right, from what i have been able to find, Shirov refused to play Garry, then they(Ray Keene and co.) went down the list, and Anand was next. He then refused, and Vlad stepped up too the plate. Maybe Anand refused cause he didn't want to play a match for all the marbles under someone other than FIDE?.....this is the questioned I'd LOVE to have Anand comment on. Anyway, he needs to just worry about Vlad, cause that's who is opponent will be.

I looked up the numbers for Anand v Kasparov in long time-control.
Before 1995 match: 3/9 (0.33) -5+2=2 (approx)
After 1995 match: 7.5/22 (0.34) -7+0=15 (approx)

As Brian noted, after the match, a lot more draws and no Anand wins.

For almost all of his his career, Gary was the undisputed #1 player but there was a period of about a couple of years when Gary was virtually only playing Linares and on one occasion in Linares he won only a single game at Linares (which was Vishy's only loss... enroute to win the title?).. around that time Gary wasn't so convincing as the undisputed #1 player in the world..... even lesser GM's (in early 2600s) made comments which suggested that they felt that Garry was just an ordinary super GM (please excuse the oxymoron) ifffffffffff you could out of the opening alive... or steal his laptop maybe....

I believe he had just started on part 1 of his 'My Great Predecessors' series also around the same time... and Vishy commented then that Gary does whatever catches his fancy..... (and that he might read that series for the stories not for the analysis)

That I think sums up the circumstances under which Vishy refused to play a breakaway match with Kasparov.... and I have to say that it did seem logical at that time...

If Kasparov does come back now, he is likely to be around 2790-2810 probably after dusting off the rust.
Some may say that he plays great internet chess, but over the board games are another kettle of fish. So 2790-2810 is what he will probably be. Also, consider his age. Third wind ?
Whatever, but I really wonder what this means ;-)
"Considering how strong and successful Anand has continued to be otherwise it's hard not to delve into the hackneyed realms of nemesis and psychology when looking for a reason."

How many total losses for Garry in classical after 1995, say?
Against whom all ?

And the inability to say if anand's issue is psychological is because we still dont have means to form a quantitative measure of a given chess game's quality.

Well I do not think that Kasparov will be playing any more against no one even Fischer, or Kramnik and Anand.
At least that is what he said, two years ago.

I found this on chessgames.com Not sure if was at classical time control

Game Result Moves Year Event/Locale Opening
1. Kasparov vs Anand 0-1 44 1996 4.2 E97 King's Indian
2. Anand vs Kasparov 1-0 54 1996 4.4 B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
3. Anand vs Kasparov 1-0 39 1998 Chess Classics Giants B90 Sicilian, Najdorf


Never say never, but Garry has stated that his chess career is finished. Besides, coming back this soon after "losing" (to the all powerful OZ) would imo be a bitter pill to those who supported him in what they "believed" was recognition for a cause and a run for the Presidency of the USSR.

I would think that Garry would want to continue on with his political aspirations so that, once again, it wouldn't look like he started something and then lost interest. To return to chess would be detrimental to to any future political ambitions.

Yes, he said that. Kamsky said such things as well a dozen years ago.

It's interesting to me that Anand has the same desire as Kasparov to play those who he find most challenging. When asked who Kasparov would like to have a dream match with, he said Deep Blue and Kramnik--the two that "got away". It seems that most class players are more eager to play against people that know they can beat then to publicly go against those they have the hardest time beating. That is a true fighting spirit!

"To Brian, yes right, from what i have been able to find, Shirov refused to play Garry, then they(Ray Keene and co.) went down the list, and Anand was next. He then refused, and Vlad stepped up too the plate."

I think that Shirov will have another narrative about what transpired. Garry was nominally "willing" to play a Match against Shirov, but, as a practical matter, he did everything he could to scuttle the match. It is clear that he was not enthusiastic about having to play against the "Chess Tourist" Shirov.
[Obviously, Garry would not admit to fear of Shirov. Rather Garry was probably upset that Shirov failed to play his "role" well; his upset victory over Kramnik scuttled the match with Kramnik that he really wanted]

The terms that Garry offered for a WC title Match were substancially changed from what had been promised to the winner of the Kramnik--Shirov Match. Most importantly, Garry had unilaterally lowered the Prize Fund to something less than half of what had been promised--just a few hundreds of thousands of $$.

Worse yet, while Kramnik was paid by Rentero for LOSING the Candidate's Match, Shirov never received any money. Shirov was promised that the Prize Fund for the Championship Match would be large enough so as to fully compensate Shirov BOTH for his victory over Kramnik, and his result in the WC match. Kasparov failed to raise the money (this was "his" Championship cycle now, since he had alienated nearly all sponsors). THEN he had the gall to blame the difficulties in getting sponsorship on Shirov, whom Garry claimed was too weak to attract any interest. Talk about blaming the victim!

Only in this context can we talk about Shirov "rejecting" a match with Kasparov. Indeed, Shirov claimed that the Prize Fund that Garry ultimately offered was scarcely sufficient to cover his expenses (paying for a team of seconds, etc.) for the 2 matches.

Even now, Garry could do the right thing, and pay Shirov the $100,000 or so that Shirov was supposed to have earned by defeating Kramnik. It would be pin money for Garry, really.

If I'm wrong about any of these details, maybe GM Shirov can post his account of what happened 10 years ago.

"....then they(Ray Keene and co.) went down the list, and Anand was next. He then refused, and Vlad stepped up too the plate."

Actually, Kasparov intended Linares 1998 to be the Qualifier for a World Champioship Match against him. As it transpired, Anand scored +3 to finish in clear 1st Place, Shirov scored a surprising +2 to finish in Clear 2nd, while Kramnik finished =3rd (along with Kasparov!) at +1.

Anand WAS offered a Match vs. Kasparov, but he refused. This might have been due to an exclusivity clause that he had signed with FIDE in order to compete in their KO cycle. Or, it may simply be that the terms were not satisfactory. [As Shirov found out to his dismay, none of the promised sums of money which had been bandied about had actually been placed in escrow, nor had (apparently) Rentero, Keene, or Kasparov signed any documents which would commit them to furnish the Prize Fund, etc. One might say that Anand's lawyers were more vigilant, or perhaps Anand's financial situation was so comfortable (based on the Prize Money that he received for the 1995 Match with Kasparov), that he did not feel the need or inclination to get involved in a situation based on verbal promises, or where the financial situation was insecure.

For whatever the reasons, Anand opted out. Garry ought then have simply designated Shirov as the challenger, since he was the one who had finished in 2nd Place.

Yet, Kasparov preferred to have a different Challenger: Kramnik. So rather than go straight down the list of standings, he revised the rules, and invited Shirov to play a Candidate's match with Kramnik (fully expecting Kramnik to win handily). Shirov confounded Kasparov's plans by defeating Kramnik, after which it can be claims that Kasparov systematically sabotagued the prospects for a match with Shirov in 1998-99.

Ultimately, Garry did get his way, and was able to play the challenger whom HE anointed: Kramnik.

The rest is history.

Here is a link with a lot of history relating to the failed Shirov - Kasparov match. Over the years, I've read many accounts of these events. While Brian's summary is absurd, DOug's is extremely biased.


"Yes, he said that. Kamsky said such things as well a dozen years ago."

Yes, but I don't remember Gata having political suppoters, world wide attention and running for the Presidency of the United States. Apples and oranges my friend.

Ritch, those games are all rapids.

I find it weird that Anand fantasizes about hypothetical matches with someone who left chess and not coming back while he is about to face clearly the strongest adversary available in a match for his (Anand's) place in history. Looks like Anand is in constant denial about the significance of his upcoming match with Kramnik. That can't be good for his chances.

Any mention of Kasparov-Anand always reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqcT66Fkzw

It's hard to believe that there are people who say "Kasparov was just another super-GM."

Kasparov's top rating was 2851, and he didn't earn it by accident. Kasparov at Linares, 1999: +7. Not a misprint. +7. Wins over Ivanchuk (twice), Adams (twice), Topalov, Svidler, and lastly Anand, in a game that Mig described at the time as "da bomb".

Kasparov's chess career has been second-to-none.

I don't see it that way at all, osbender. Why should Anand not want to play a match against GK? He has every reason to want to correct the impression he left in 1995.
And I think it is unconceivable that he underestimates Kramnik. I am certain we will be seeing remarkable preparation on both sides.
If only the match were a bit longer!

Presumably Anand doesen't think that the match with Kramnik challenges him sufficiently, in the sense that it will be very difficult, but doesen't personally excite him the way a match with Kasparov would. And to talk about "chances" nearly a year ahead is silly.


Anger, allcaps and poor grammar/spelling - the triad that always indicates god shortchanged someone in the trouser department...

AMEN, Aband is shoeing his true shollowness, proablbly becuase he still has GK's knckle marks on his cheek from the biach slap he got in their match. He shoule be concerned with who he has to play, Kramnik'ds match record is a lot better than his, and he has wonmatches for the worls title which Anand knows he will lose against him, so this pathetic sidelight.

peters and darius - you guys are hilarious. Go back to English classes though.

Ok, take it easy all. This is not really news. Anand is not saying these things on his own accord... its the stupid Indian media people who barely anything about chess ( and have heard the names of just a couple of GMs in their entire life ) who have to show of their great chess knowledge and interest by asking something about Garry (his match in '95, etc)... at every opportunity they get to interview Vishy....

So what do you expect Anand should say if asked whether he would like to play a match with Garry??

Well what else is Anand supposed to say when he is asked "how about a match with Kasparov" rather than "yeah, its a great idea". Its only natural to have a desire to make up for what went wrong in the past, though everyone knows that Garry has quit chess and has found other things to do.

What we read in print is often altered from what the person says, perhaps because we lose the context of the statement. It will be an altogether different scenario if Anand calls a press conference and makes such statement on his own and challenges Garry. But as I understand, this statement was in response to a hypothetical question from the journalists about the possibility of playing Kasparov again.

I would rather appreciate a player who would like to fight the one that he/she lost to.

Guys what are we kicking Anand for here? And this not about Anand, but about just any player who would like to have a shot at perhaps the best player ever?

What do you think any other player, say Ivanchuk, or Moro would say when you thrust the question of a match with Garry in their face?

I would like to second stringTheory's comment on Indian media. I believe it was the FIDE matches in Sanghinagar, India, around 95, there were the first televised chess events in India and they broadcasted the highlights of the games.

Tony Miles was present for the event and was asked a question by the person anchoring the coverage. The question was about whether the win percentage of a particular player was higher with white than with black.

I remember that Miles burst out laughing on hearing that question. Incidentally, they used the same anchor to primarily comment on Cricket, which is as popular in India as American Football in the US, or chess in the former Soviet region. Seems they just makeshifted him to comment on chess whereas he had no knowledge about chess as such.

As far as I can tell, it was just an offhand comment by Anand. I doubt that he seriously expects Garry to make a comeback.

The fact is, Kasparov still holds a grip on the imagination. He retired as the World #1, something that few players (in any sport) have ever been able to do. I presume that he would still be a force to be reckoned with.

I'd say "crushed" is a fair evaluation of Kasparov's +3 victory over Anand. Kasparov "destroyed" Short +5. No other word for it at that level of play (Short should NOT have lost +5, that's WHY one would say "destroyed"). It's too bad, but Short just proved mentally less capable compared to Anand. Short may have as much or more chess "sense", but he is less able to execute in competition.

GK's results against Anand and Short impressively show how extremely strong Karpov was even in his last match in 1990 (which he lost 12.5-11.5). Karpov never went down without a very tight fight.


I don't think Anand underestimates Kramnik. If that were the case he would either trashtalk as Topalov did before the Elista match, or sing praises to Kramnik to make his upcoming victory look even more impressive. It looks to me (granted just a random bloke, not some psychology doctor) as if he simply doesn't fancy his chances.

Since his victory in Mexico Anand gave several interviews and every time he was asked about his match with Kramnik his answer was along the lines "Mexico was the competition I wanted to win, I don't care about anything else". Now somebody asks about a match with Kaspy and he gushes how he would like to play it.

Suppose I were in Anand's place, just signed papers for that match in Bonn and somebody asks me about the match with Kaspy. I don't know about you, but my reaction would be "yeah, that would be great to play with Kaspy, but I have this another match coming soon and that is what I'm thinking about. Once I've dealt with Kramnik we can discuss the future."

Few people point out that had Kasparov's first championship match taken place under the same rules as Short and Anand's, he would have ended up with an even worse drubbing. Facing a titan of Kasparov and Karpov's experience and skill for the first time in a championship match can be a crushing experience. It's hard to explain Karpov's extremely good results against Kasparov in their last match as an indication of his relative skill or advantage of his playing style, since Karpov got beaten by Short just two years later.


Perhaps one could attribute Karpov's loss to
Short as lack of form or perhaps overconfidence at the time. After all, Kasparov lost to Kramnik when the majority thought it wouldn't happen. Karpov was still extermely strong then, in fact it was at Linares in 94 (two years after the match with Short) that he had arguably his best performance ever. I believe he finished at 11/13 with something like a 2930 performance rating and 2.5 points ahead of his closest rivals, Kasparov and Shirov.

I know that you're aware of this but I just wanted to make a point for Anatoly. From my perspective he's like the forgotten man. He isn't spoken of that much these days, yet for approximately a 10 year period he was unbeatable, and imo one of the greatest players of all time.


I don't know if you're aware of this but Karpov is probably my favorite world champion of all time play style-wise. I love his games and commentary and easily would rank him in top five players of all time. It's just that when people point at Karpov's results in 1990 against Garry and then at Short and Anand's results a few years later they tend to explain it as: "Well, Anatoly was so much better than those guys in early 90's." Karpov's loss to Short suggests otherwise. If you can evaluate level of one GM's play on the basis of one match, you can do it for that same or a different GM on the basis of another single match.

My guess is that in the early 90's Karpov's level of play was roughly equal to that of Short and Anand. His experience in WCM and against Kasparov helped him maintain the high results against Garry through late in his career and Vishy and Nigel's lack of experience in WCM caused them to crack after the first loss in their matches. That seems to me a much more likely explanation.

Nah, in early 90 Karpov was clearly the second player in the world. His loss to Short was a shocker, but then he recovered with this fantastic result in Linares and beating Timman (expectedly) and Kamsky very convincingly in the Fide WC matches. It was hard to distinguish anyone else from the pack since Anand, Ivanchuk, Kamsky, even young Kramnik all had some loud wins and losses, ultimately lacking consistency. Just look at PCA World Cup at that time, where Karpov was the only credible opposition to Kaspy.

Karpov is undoubtedly the second best player of all time. His only misfortune is that Kasparov happened along during Karpov's peak. Jeff Sonas did some excellent statistical analysis showing that Karpov would have easily been the greatest player of all time if it hadn't been for Kasparov. Karpov was number one or two in the world from about 1974 until 1996. That's pretty incredible. Only Lasker (also vastly underated) would have been #1 longer and that only because he didn't play strong opponents towards the end of his reign until Capablanca.

I like Karpov's style of play and games very much also. Very neat, clean and economical. Too bad he's trailed off in strength in later years; I think if he applied himself, he could get back to within the top 10-20 players.

Of course Osbender is right - the normal/professional answer by Anand would be right now focussed on Kramnik match. It should be a close match with Krmanik a slight favourite becauseof 1) bit stronger character/will to win 2) opening repertoire/style slightly more suitable for match environment. Still match is 10 months away and maintenance of form and strength of team/preperation critical factors. again Kramnik a bit more experienced and a bit younger. It should be said in Anands favour he has the greater ability to win with black and is the slightly better rapid/blitz player. This discussion will be more relevant in June as I think they have no more tournament commitments after that

Yuriy IMO makes a good point about Karpov's experience with Kasparov. Similarly, Kamsky had some upset wins against Anand, whom he knew, when he was still shaking off the rust and didn't play as well vs. opponents he didn't know.

Linares 1994, Linares 1994. Undoubtedly an outstanding achievement by Karpov (and in fact he would have a few similar flashes of brilliance later, didn't he get to finals in some tournament in this century?) But the overview of the rest of his results at chessmetrics shows consistent rating underperformances and few wins at tournaments where other Super-GMs were present (even without Kasparov)--unlikely result for a clear second. 1990-1991 is roughly the last era where he is clear second, after that it depends on the event.

OK, so I looked up chessmetrics ratings from 1991 to 1996. As I expected Karpov is a clear second, only once overtaken for this spot (just for 3 months) by Ivanchuk. Ivanchuk and Anand trade places 3 and 4. Here is the graph:

If Kasparov does come back now, he is likely to be around 2790-2810 probably after dusting off the rust.
Some may say that he plays great internet chess, but over the board games are another kettle of fish. So 2790-2810 is what he will probably be. Also, consider his age. Third wind ?
Whatever, but I really wonder what this means ;-)
"Considering how strong and successful Anand has continued to be otherwise it's hard not to delve into the hackneyed realms of nemesis and psychology when looking for a reason."


That was my initial impression too, but it's misleading--first because he starts with a high rating and second because in true Super-GM tournaments he doesn't really finish above others.

Supertournaments 92 to 95, involving Karpov

Linares 92, Alekhine Memorial 92, Linares 93, Linares 94, Dos Hermanas 95...aside from Linares 94 I don't see any "clear second best in the world" level results.

Chessbase has an update about a video on Anand :http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4341

This is ajoke, Anand had his chances to play the best there ever was and ran like a frightened little girl (as his whoopings attest to it was probably wise). But to now challenge a man who has been retired for years??? No Vishy you were and always will be his B@@@@. And you were a coward as well.

ps Maybe he should challenge Fischer next?

Wow, again Kramnik is considered as having strictly no chance by his match opponent...

It's a kind of illness, or blindness. All chess players who are planned to play a match against him make big plans for their future.

So did Kasparov in his match in 2000.
So did Leko before Brissago.
So did Topalov before Elista, with his match planned against Radjabov.
So does Anand today, thinking of a rematch against Kasparov.

They all just forget that they needed (or need) to defeat Kramnik first.

Of course, I don't think that Anand will go as low as Topalov (Remember the 60 points story ?). But it seems that getting closer to the world champion crown most often interacts quite badly either with your ego, or with your neurons, if not with both.

Wearing the world crown and still keeping cool is something that Kramnik achieved quite decently during his 7 years reign. I expected that Anand would be able to do as well, but till now he's been quite disapointing on this field.

Anyway Anand has very few chances against Kramnik. Not to mention his 100% unsuccessfull match record, Kramnik is simply the best chess player alive.

What Mr Greengard? What have you said? Kasparov? Well they did play a match together, didn't they? And when you play 15 games against a guy and don't get a single dangerous position, lose two games and are clearly lost in two other ones, I guess that any claim of superiority only shows your overinflated ego...

Kasparov's only superior achievement was his rating record. Would Kramnik be as agressive as Kasparov, he'd have good chances to do better than Kasparov did. But Kramnik's temper is more placid.

Oh... yes, Kasparov's 15 years reign. Well only future will tell if Kramnik is able to seize the crown in 2008 and keep it till 2016, but I think he can.

"Karpov is undoubtedly the second best player of all time."

Well Mr Noyb, not really. First Karpov got his crown from nobody. Second, he defended his title twice against a guy having his wife and son's lives threatened. Then in 84 he proved nothing against Kasparov, and in 85 he did loose. That means that Karpov hasn't a single honnest victory in a world championship match.

You should also keep in mind that either in his confrontations against Korchnoi, or against Kasparov, Karpov had the huge advantage to receive almost all the novelties produced by the best russians GMs.

As soon as USSR collapsed, Karpov's playing level collapsed as well...

The second best chess player of all time is Kasparov. He was dominated by a player who slaughtered him in a match. He was dominated by a player who has a positive head-to-head record against him.

Four player have broken the 2800 bareer : Topalov, Anand, Kasparov and Kramnik. Kramnik has positive head-to-head records against the three other ones, has defeated two of them in matches and will defeat the third one as well within a few months.

Why do people so frequently underestimate Kramnik?

Many comments can be heard worldwide about many chess players who all have claims over the chess world champion title.

In order to solve this problem, the site www.veselinetopalov.net has introduced the following proposition :

It all begins with a football match.

Team one, Fischer, Karpov, Korchnoi, Kasparov, Topalov, Kramnik and Judit Polgar as goalkeeper.

Team two : Buffon as gk, then Cannavaro, Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Pepe as defenders, then a nice midfield with Ronaldinho, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, and about the forwards let's say Henry and Drogba.

If the first team wins (good luck !!), we'll organize a formula 1 grand prix including all those magnificent seven and Michael Schumacher, Alonzo and Raikkonen.

If a chess player manages to reach the podium of the race, he'll have to defeat Tiger woods on a par 18, then play a tennis match against Federer (on clay), then he'll have to enter the ring to defeat Jerome Le Banner (K1 rules).

Then he'll get a chance to play a chess match against Topalov. The rules are :
Four games match.
Topalov's challenger plays blind chess,
Topalov's challenger has 2 minutes for the game,
Topalov's challenger has black in all four games,
Topalov's challenger moves the pieces with his mouth,
Topalov's challenger listens to heavy metal, 130 db directly in his headphone,
Draws count as victories for Topalov,
Topalov has 4 hours to play his game, has computer assistance, Cheparinov assistance and Danailov has the right to play darts aiming on Topalov's opponent.

In the case the challenger manages to win the match with a +5 score, he's declared temporary world title holder and will have to confirm his result in an upcoming event with alligators, muslip terrorists and ex-KGB hitmans organized in Sofia.

Hmmm ... the more I read the text above, the more I find it similar to FIDE rules.

Whoever has stolen Ruslan's pills: would you kindly return them? You've made your point.

You people are idiots, Morhpy was the best of all time, even Fischer said so, before he went mad. Fischer was the second best or maybe Kasparov, then comes Alekine and Capablanca. History has a short memory but it does laps around the english speaking intelligence of this crowd.

Bet the farm on Kramnik, I already have at even money, its a steal. He will destroy Anand in a match. It's like stealing, I cant believe the odds.

Where, Jack?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 21, 2007 6:30 AM.

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