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Linares 2009: Anand and His (Other) Challengers

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The next challenger for Vishy Anand's world championship title is currently playing in Sofia, Bulgaria. But most of the next crop of challengers is with him in Linares, which starts tomorrow. Anand is looking to defend the title he won in 2007 and 2008 and he'll be doing it against much the same field as last year. The players who finished last in 2008, Shirov and Leko, have been swapped out for Wang Yue and Leinier Dominguez. Topalov, busy with Kamsky in Sofia, is replaced by Grischuk. Then come the heavyweights: Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Aronian, Radjabov. There have been some interesting interviews, particularly one with Grischuk, who arrived in Spain early to give a blindfold simul.

With three months of rest and a stockpile of preparation from his match with Kramnik, Linares could be considered Anand's to lose. He's at the age now, 39, that he's going to hear rumbles about his inevitable decline with every outing. Kasparov got the same treatment and had little trouble holding on to the top spot until his retirement at 41. With such a talented younger generation it's really less about Anand holding on than about their reaching a new level. If Aronian settles down and if Carlsen, well, just keeps on being Carlsen, they have quite a few Linares trophies in their futures.

It's the same usual late local start time of 1600, 10am EST. ICC Chess.FM has full coverage and we're pulling double-header duty on the days when Kamsky-Topalov starts at 8am on the same days. The commentator line-up over the next few weeks includes de Firmian, Jan Gustafsson, Speelman, Benjamin, Christiansen, Kaidanov, Har-Zvi, and, I was just told, celebrated chess author and NIC columnist Jonathan Rowson. Every day we're giving away New In Chess subscriptions and primo chess sets from House of Staunton in our trivia contests.

Anand beats Radjabov, Wang Yue-Ivanchuk, Aronian-Carlsen, Dominguez-Grischuk drawn.


Ok, so what did Grishuck have to say?

You just can't leave us hanging there!


What happenend in Aronian Carlsen?

The only thing that happenend was an error.

Never mind! I won't try posting any more links for a while. I was planning on going to Salamanca in a month or two but may have to reconsider now seeing as Topalov seems to live there :)

Yes.. it is beautiful mate..wonderful mate. Shock and awe at Linares with unbelievable Rybka precision!

Anand's setting up a blockade, then the g4 push, making black to focus on holding onto the e-pawn instead of giving it up and make activity for bishop, his knight manuvor without compromising king safety, plus general problem creating/solving ability to setup mate threats by playing Qd7, g5+ etc all contributing in small amounts when added up was what made the difference in the end I would think.

Hey guys, where are you? Do you agree now Anand is the best ever!!!!! :)

Definitely a nice game. But, it's only 1 game. Can't read too much into it. He might lose tomorrow, and then everyone will be saying how Anand is old and in decline.

As Kasparov himself said, it will not be so easy for the younger generation to push Vishy aside.

Did Kasparov say that? Thats my opinion too! :)

The young crowd would mostly do good in the first half of the game. The second half continuation is what is going to make the difference. Anand plays effortlessly. Instead of sitting in cramped positions, he has tuned his preparations to get more dynamic positions nowadays. So he will just go on and on and on like Energizer battery!!

Anand is probably still substantially stronger than everyone else other than Topalov, especially in a tournament context. The ability to win bad positions, rather than just drawing them, by taking active operations and generating counterplay both on the board and on the clock, makes him different from most of the younger players, who are raised on the Rybka Recipe of drawing anything under +.5.

Anand's games against Carlsen are marvelous.

Is this what top-level chess must come to? Anand and Radj knock out 25+ moves from some previous game, and then the chess starts? Where is Ovidio, saying that chess is all played out?!

Has anyone commented that draws offers are not allowed until move 30? At least that's the word according to Magnus' dad on his blog.

I still believe todays players, especially young players, are better than old day players. Todays chess game requires you to understand the subtilties of the positions/moves. That means, you should be able to map the positions with the numerous middle and end game positions you would have analyzed with computers in addition to applying your chess basics like activating bishop, fixing pawns etc. You just can't win with end game techniques like before. Or it is not going to be a walk in the park once you achieve some advantage out of openings. Opposition quality has improved in overall so should your quality, and so, very accurate play right through the end has become the norm of todays chess, I would say.

yeah right. Somebody like Tal or Fischer would have torn 99.99% of today's players to shreds.

C'mon D Tal, it's painful to move on, but you're only fooling yourself. Queens off within 10 moves in Kamsky-Topa, Topa testing K's knowledge of all sidelines?

Treat the above as two separate comments and all will become clear :)

d_tal MAY be right if he refers to those "99.99% of today's players" rated 2300 or below ...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 18, 2009 10:27 PM.

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