Friday, May 21, 2010

Anand still world champion

Thursday, May 13, 2010
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By Frank 'Boy' Pestaño

THE past week, I have slept late not because of the elections but because of the just concluded World Championship which was played in Sofia, Bulgaria from April 24 to May 11.

I followed the live broadcast of the match on the Internet, usually at with occasional peeks at and

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Viswanathan Anand of India won the 12th and final game despite playing black to retain his
crown over the challenger Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, 6.5-5.5.

Prior to the last game, black never had a winning chance and all the wins were with the white pieces.

The match was delayed by a day due to the incredible eruption of a volcano in Iceland, which caused all air travel to be cancelled in most countries in Europe.

Anand was in Frankfurt, Germany with his team: GMs Peter Heine Nielsen, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Surya Shekhar Ganguly and wife Aruna.

Anand was lucky to hire a limo in Holland, a Mercedes Sprinter (equipped with all kinds of amenities like a fridge, two TV screens and a DVD player) to drive him all the way from Frankfurt to Sofia.

The trip, which took 40 hours, took them to five countries—about 2,000 kilometers and a “million potholes.”

Here is a brief rundown of the match.

Game 1.Topalov won in 29 moves of a Gruenfeld Indian with white. Anand resigned in a hopeless position. A great start by Topalov.

Game 2. Anand equalized with his pet, the Catalan. He obtained a decisive advantage and it was just a matter of time before Topalov resigned. Black gave up on move 43, in a lost Rook endgame.

Game 3. Draw. Topalov played the Gruenfeld Indian again but this time, Anand played a solid Slav.

Game 4. Another Catalan game and another win by Anand in white in 32 moves. He took the lead, 2.5-1.5.

Game 5. Draw. Anand again played a solid Slav and a peace treaty was agreed after a triple repetition in move 44.

Game 6. Draw. Anand had the white pieces and for the third time played the Catalan. Another repetition of moves in 58.

Game 7. Draw. Anand again had the white pieces as per regulations. A lot of maneuvering by both players as Anand again played his pet, the Catalan. They split the point in move 58.

Game 8. Topalov won with white in 56 moves and the match is tied, 4-4. The eighth game of the match featured the Slav defense, which was seen in Games 3 and 5.

Game 9. Draw. The game saw a different opening as Anand and Topalov entered the Nimzo-Indian defense, Rubinstein variation, avoiding the previous dispute in Catalan. The complicated struggle lasted until the 83rd move.

Game 10. Draw. Another Gruenfeld by Topalov and another intense struggle until move 60.

Game 11. Draw. The 11th game saw an opening entirely different from the earlier games.

Anand played with the English opening, allowing Topalov to play his favorite reversed Sicilian. The game ended in a draw on the 65th move when repetition of moves became imminent.

Game 12. Anand won the game and with it retained his title as undisputed champion of the world. He played the Lasker Variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Not a great win by Anand but I think Topalov lost it as I believe Anand would have been contented with a draw.

Anand earned 1.2 million out of a prize fund of 2 million Euros.

RP CHESS. The national age group 2010 will be held in Davao City at the Gaisano Mall starting tomorrow up to May 18. Cebuano Kiddies participating are Kyle Sevillano in the 12-Under, Vic Glysen Derotas in the Girls 10-Under and Jeremy Pepito in the Boys 8-Under.

Good luck from Chessmoso!

There will be twin tournaments in Talisay City: the Barangay Cup on May 15 and the SK Youth Chessfest on May 18.

For details, you may contact Manny Manzanares at 09058386310.


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