Friday, October 24, 2008

Anand, the virtual world champion

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

AFTER fighting draws in the first two games, Anand went to town with magnificent victories in the third, fifth and sixth games to lead 4.5-1.5 and crown himself virtual 2008 world chess champion. Unless Kramnik pulls out a rabbit or two in the succeeding games, this is probably the most one-sided championship ever in the history of the game reminiscent of the Fischer vs. Spassky match in 1972.

It will be recalled that Spassky played his best chess after trailing Fischer but can Kramnik do the same? He is performing at a rating of 2590 while Anand is going berserk with a 2960 performance.

Here is the rundown so far: Game 1 draw, 32 moves, Exchanged Slav; Game 2, draw 32 moves, Nimzo Indian Saemisch; Game 3, Anand wins with black, 41 moves, Queen’s Gambit Meran; Game 4, draw, 29 moves Queen’s Gambit Decline; Game 5, Anand wins again with black, 35 moves Queen’s Gambit Meran; Game 6, Anand wins with white, 47 moves, Nimzo Indian 4. Qc2.

The World championship is played in Bonn, Germany from Oct.14 to Nov.2 and is Best of 12 games. Prize pot is 1.5 million Euros to be split equally between the players. It means that the Indian needs only two points in the next six games to be crowned World Champion for the moment, and with the way he is playing, it is like duck thrown to water.

It will not be for long though as he has yet to meet the winner of the Veselin Topalov vs. Gata Kamsky match next year, under the rules promulgated by Fide (Read my previous article in my blog, “Understanding the messy world championship.”)

It seems that Anand is better prepared as he has introduced several novelties in the games. This is most surprising as according to experts, the Russian has a better
team of seconds, led by Peter Leko.

Wake up Kramnik! It is sad to watch but the Russian is a proud man and I’m sure he will go down fighting

The World Youth championship is currently on-going in Vung Tau, Vietnam and the Philippines has sent a big delegation.

After four rounds, we have mixed results. Patrick de leon Haince and Kyle Ochoa snared three and two points, respectively, in the 8-Under; Paulo Bersamina has two points in the 10-Under; Angelo Vince Medina has three points in the 12-Under,better than Jerad Docena’s 2 and John Ray Batucan’s 1.5.

Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Prince Mark Aquino have three and one point, respectively, in the 14-Under. John Alcon Datu and Haridas Pascua scored 2.5 and 2 in the 16-Under and Carl Victor Ochoa snared 2.5 in the 18-Under.

For the Girls, Revita Samantha Glo managed only a single point in the 10 Under; Rowelyn Acedo has two in the 12-Under; while Chardine Cheradee Camacho, Jan Jodylin Fronda and Cherry Ann Mejia managed three, 2.5 and two, respectively, in the 14-Under.

Christy Lamiel Bernales has the best performance with 3.5 and Jedara Docena scored 2.5 in the 16-Under.

More than 800 players from 70 federations are playing in this Fide event.

The Shell Grand Finals will be held next month from Nov 8 to 9 at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong and the Cebuano representatives are Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano, 9 years old of SWU, and Venancio Loyola of USJR, 19.

Kyle is champion of the Shell Youth Active Chess Championship (2008) SM City, Cebu; Six-time champion of Cepca Kiddies Monthly Tournaments in 2007 and 2008;1st runnerup, Manila Age Group Tournament for 8-Under category. He is a nephew of IM Econg Sevillano.

Loyola is first runnerup of Junior Division, Shell Active Chess Championship (2008), SM Iloilo City; first runnerup, Junior Division, Shell Active Chess Championship (2006); Champion, Kiddies Division, Shell Active Chess Championship (2003); Milo Gold medalist (2005).

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