Sunday, May 30, 2010

Top 10 Greatest Chess Players

For Birthdays of the above Masters, Click Here

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The most Brilliant Chess Game ever played

White: Richard Reti
Black: Alexander Alekhine

Baden Baden, 1925

1. g3 e5 2. Nf3 e4 3. Nd4 d5 4. d3 exd3 5. Qxd3 Nf6 6. Bg2 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Bxd2+ 8. Nxd2 O-O 9. c4 Na6 10. cxd5 Nb4 11. Qc4 Nbxd5 12. N2b3 c6 13. O-O Re8 14. Rfd1 Bg4 15. Rd2 Qc8 16. Nc5 Bh3 17. Bf3 Bg4 18. Bg2 Bh3 19. Bf3 Bg4 20. Bh1 h5 21. b4 a6 22. Rc1 h4 23. a4 hxg3 24. hxg3 Qc7 25. b5 axb5 26. axb5 Re3 27. Nf3 cxb5 28. Qxb5 Nc3 29. Qxb7 Qxb7 30. Nxb7 Nxe2+ 31. Kh2 Ne4 32. Rc4 Nxf2 33. Bg2 Be6 34. Rcc2 Ng4+ 35. Kh3 Ne5+ 36. Kh2 Rxf3 37. Rxe2 Ng4+ 38. Kh3 Ne3+ 39. Kh2 Nxc2 40. Bxf3 Nd4

The most Instructive Chess Games of Capablanca

White: J.R.Capablanca
Black: F.D.Yates

Hastings 1919
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 Na5 9. Bc2 c5 10. d4 Qc7 11. Nbd2 Bg4 12. d5 g5 13. Nf1 h6 14. Ng3 Rd8 15. a4 b4 16. cxb4 cxb4 17. Bd3 Bc8 18. Be3 Ng4 19. Rc1 Qb8 20. Bd2 Qb6 21. Qe2 Nb3 22. Rc6 Qa5 23. Bxa6 Bd7 24. Bb5 Bxc6 25. Bxc6+ Kf8 26. Qc4 Nxd2 27. Nxd2 Qa7 28. Qe2 h5 29. Nf5 Bf6 30. Nc4 Qc5 31. b3 Nh6 32. Nxh6 Rxh6 33. Qe3 Rc8 34. Rc1 Bd8 35. Qxc5 dxc5 36. Nxe5 Ke7 37. Rxc5 f5 38. Rc4 Ba5 39. Bb5 Rxc4 40. Nxc4 Bc7 41. e5 Bb8 42. Ne3 Rh7 43. Nxf5+ Kf7 44. e6+ Kf6 45. e7 Rxe7 46. Nxe7 Kxe7 47. g3 Bc7 48. Kg2 Kd6 49. Be8 h4 50. Bf7 Ke5 51. Kh3 Bd8 52. Kg4 hxg3 53. fxg3 Kf6 54. Be6 Kg6 55. d6 Kf6 56. Bf5 Bb6 57. d7 Bd8 58. h4 gxh4 59. gxh4 Bc7 60. h5 Kg7 61. Be4 1-0

White: J.R.Capablanca
Black: S.Tartakower

New York 1924
1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. c4 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3 O-O 6. e3 b6 7. Bd3 Bb7 8. O-O Qe8 9. Qe2 Ne4 10. Bxe7 Nxc3 11. bxc3 Qxe7 12. a4 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Nc6 14. Rfb1 Rae8 15. Qh3 Rf6 16. f4 Na5 17. Qf3 d6 18. Re1 Qd7 19. e4 fxe4 20. Qxe4 g6 21. g3 Kf8 22. Kg2 Rf7 23. h4 d5 24. cxd5 exd5 25. Qxe8+ Qxe8 26. Rxe8+ Kxe8 27. h5! Rf6 28. hxg6 hxg6 29. Rh1 Kf8 30. Rh7 Rc6 31. g4 Nc4 32. g5 Ne3+ 33. Kf3 Nf5 34. Bxf5 gxf5 35. Kg3! Rxc3+ 36. Kh4 Rf3 37. g6 Rxf4+ 38. Kg5 Re4 39. Kf6 Kg8 40. Rg7+ Kh8 41. Rxc7 Re8 42. Kxf5 Re4 43. Kf6 Rf4+ 44. Ke5 Rg4 45. g7+ Kg8 46. Rxa7 Rg1 47. Kxd5 Rc1 48. Kd6 Rc2 49. d5 Rc1 50. Rc7 Ra1 51. Kc6 Rxa4 52. d6 1-0

White: J.R.Capablanca
Black: H.Steiner

Budapest 1928
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 Be7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Rc1 c6 8. Bd3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nd5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. O-O Nxc3 12. Rxc3 b6 13. Qc2 c5 14. dxc5 Nxc5 15. b4 Na6 16. a3 Bb7 17. Bd3 g6 18. Rc1 Rad8 19. Ne5 Qd6 20. f4 Nb8 21. Rc7 Ba8 22. Rxa7 Nc6 23. Rxa8 Nxe5 24. Rxd8 Rxd8 25. Be2 Qd2 26. Qxd2 Rxd2 27. Rc8+ Kg7 28. Kf1 Nd7 29. Rd8 Kf6 30. Bb5 Rd5 31. a4 Rxb5 32. axb5 Ke7 33. Rc8 e5 34. Rc6 e4 35. Ke2 f5 36. Kd2 Kf7 37. Kc3 1-0

White: P.Johner
Black: J.R.Capablanca

Karlsbad 1929
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 c5 6.Ne2 Nc6 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 b6 9.O-O Ba6 10.e4 Ne8 11.Be3 d6 12.Qa4 Na5 13.Rfd1 Qc7 14.Rac1 Qc6 15.Qxc6 Nxc6 16.e5 cxd4 17.cxd4 dxe5 18.d5 exd5 19.cxd5 Bxd3 20.Rxd3 e4 21.Rdd1 Ne5 22.Rd4 f5 23.Bf4 Nd3 24.Rc6 Rd8 25.f3 Nf6 26.fxe4 fxe4 27.Bg5 Nc5 28.Nc3 Rde8 29.Bxf6 Rxf6 30.Rxf6 gxf6 31.Kf2 f5 32.Nb5 Kg7 33.g3 Kf6 34.Ke3 a6 35.Nd6 Rd8 36.Nc4 Nb3 37.Rd1 b5 38.Nb6 Ke5 39.d6 Rxd6 40.Nd7+ Ke6 41.Nf8+ Ke7 42.Rxd6 Kxd6 43.g4 fxg4 44.Kxe4 Nd2+ 45.Kd3 Nf3 46.Nxh7 Nxh2 47.Nf6 Ke5 48.Nh5 a5 0-1

White: S.Flohr
Black: J.R.Capablanca

Moscow 1935
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 O-O 7.Qc2 c5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nxd5 exd5 11.Bd3 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Qb4+ 13.Qd2 Nc5 14.Bb5 Qxd2+ 15.Kxd2 a6 16.Bd3 Be6 17.Rac1 Rfc8 18.Rc2 Nxd3 19.Kxd3 Rxc2 20.Kxc2 Kf8 21.Kd2 Rc8 22.Rc1 Rxc1 23.Kxc1 Ke7 24.Kd2 Kd6 25.Kc3 b6 26.f4 Bd7 27.Nf3 f6 28.Kd4 a5 29.Nd2 Bc8 30.Nb1 Be6 31.Nc3 Kc6 32.a3 h6 33.g3 h5 34.b4 axb4 35.axb4 Kd6 36.b5 g6 37.Na4 Kc7 38.Nc3 Kd6 39.f5 gxf5 40.Ne2 Bd7 41.Nf4 Be8 42.Nxd5 Bxb5 43.Nxb6 Bc6 44.Nc4+ Ke6 45.Nb2 Bb5 46.Nd1 Be2 47.Nf2 Bf1 48.Nd3 Bxd3 49.Kxd3 Ke5 50.Ke2 Ke4 51.h3 Kd5 52.Kf3 Ke5 1/2-1/2

White: J.R.Capablanca
Black: Znosko-Borovsky

Paris 1938
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Na4 Be7 11.Be3 Ne4 12.Nd4 Ne5 13.Rc1 Qa5 14.Bf4 Ng6 15.Bc7 Qa6 16 a3 Bd7 17.Nc3 Nxc3 18.Rxc3 Be6 19.b4 b6 20.e4 dxe4 21.Bxe4 Rae8 22.Nxe6 fxe6 23.Bc6 Bf6 24.b5 Qc8 25.Rc2 Re7 26.Bd6 Rd8 27.f4 Kh8 28.Rff2 Rf7 29.Rfd2 Rg8 30.Qh5 Qd8 31.Be4 Nf8 32.Qxf7 1-0

Friday, May 21, 2010

Anand - Topalov, Sofia WCC 2010

Anand and Topalov with their respective trophies after the post-match presentation.

Psychology in Chess

Psychology plays a very important role in Chess. Especially at the higher levels, when the technical strength of the players is about equal, this can sometimes make the difference between victory and defeat.

Consider the recently concluded World Championship match between Anand and Topalov. The 12th and final game which Anand won to clinch the match was not just exciting from what happened over the board, but also interesting from the Psychology point of view.

Before this game, both players were tied at 5.5 points each. The last 3 games had all been draws and if this 12 game also ended in a draw, then the scores would be level. To decide the winner, both players would then have to play a tiebreak of 4 games of rapid chess (25 minutes each with 10 seconds increment).

Everyone knows that Anand is one of the best players in the World, if not the best player, in Rapid chess. He had also won the World championship in this format earlier. So, we can safely assume that Topalov had good reason to avoid going into the tie-break. On the other hand, Anand would look forward to the tie-break rapid games, and therefore, a draw in the last game would be a very desirable result.

Also, it is speculated that Topalov was worried about playing the tie-break on the date 13th. Earlier, in his previous match with Kramnik, which had gone to the tie-break, he had lost the crucial game on 13th. It is a known fact that many sports-people are superstitious, and the date 13th would have been preying on Topalov's mind.

Topalov had the White pieces (considered an advantage, at this level) and it was expected that he would make a serious effort to win. Therefore the choice of opening by Anand was crucial; it had to be solid and yet not too defensive. So, when Anand played the Lasker variation of the Queen's Gambit, it was clear that the World Champion had come well prepared. The first few moves of the game followed known theory and after White's 24th move, the position (see diagram) was reached.

Though Black's c5 pawn is very weak, he has sufficient counterplay in the centre. Here Anand played 24....Bd3. Topalov played 25.Qc1 continuing the pressure on the c5 pawn. Anand replied 25....Ba6, defending c5 tactically because if Rxc5, Black plays Rxd2 and wins. The position is dynamically balanced and it is very difficult to find any winning plan for White.

But, Topalov, striving to win, here played 26.Ra3, which is a bit risky because it may put the Rook out of play. Anand moved the Bishop away to b7, and after a few moves, Topalov succeeded in blockading the c5 weakness with his Knight (see second diagram).

White's pieces are somewhat disorganized and Anand seized the opportunity and played the aggressive 29....e5 which directly threatened e4 with a strong position. Topalov played the natural 30.e4 stopping this plan and also had the idea of Nc4-e3-f5. But before all this, Anand broke through 30....f5.

Even an amateur would recognize that without the centre pawns, the Bishop on a8 would become a monster. Very surprising to all those who were following the match, Topalov blundered in this position (click here) and Anand got a terrific attack. He finished the game in style, thereby retaining the World Championship.

Monday, May 17, 2010

David Janowsky

David Janowsky was a leading Polish chess master who was one of the strong players in the world during early 20th century. He was born on 25th May 1868 to a Jewish family in Belarus that was part of the Russian empire.
He settled in Paris around 1890 where he began his professional chess career. It took about 6 to 8 years by the time he won his first major tournament in Monte Carlo in 1901. He followed by winning the Hanover 1902, tied for first at Vienna 1902, Barmen 1905 and during this time was in the world's top five players.

He had a plus score against Steinitz, Chigorin and Blackburne who were from the older generation. But he could not dominate newer masters like Tarrasch, Marshall, Rubinstein, Maroczy and Schlechter. And Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine who were also contemporaries were in a higher class. Still Janowski managed to create an impression for being a sharp tactician who was devastating, especially with the Bishop pair.

He played a World championship match against Emanuel Lasker in 1909 but lost with a score of =3-8. After the war, his notable successes were sharing first place in the New York 1916 tournament (ahead of Capa), winning the American Chess Congress at Atlantic City in 1921 and Third place at the Ninth ACC at Lake Hopatcong in 1923.

He was ranked world #1 during 1904 and his highest rating was computed at 2776 in the July 1904 list. The best individual performance is considered to be at 2811 in London 1899 tournament where he scored 15.5/22 (70%) against strong opposition.

In 1914 while playing the International chess tournament at Mannheim, the First World War broke out and he along with Alekhine was interned. After a few days he was released to Switzerland, from where he moved to the United States.

He was renowned for his original talent and extraordinary intuition. Many of his opponents feared his energetic attacking chess. Only about 20% of his tournament games were drawn, which speak of the fighting nature of his games.
Janowski's greatest weakness was in the Endgame. Also sometimes the lack of flexibility in his methods led to unfortunate results. Many a time he squandered his chess winnings at the roulette wheel while gambling. Also, he was fond of giving alibis when he lost, because of which he was not very popular with his colleagues. With his high hat and gold rimmed spectacles, his arrogance and stubbornness were few negative traits he could have done without.

His favourite openings with white were the Queen pawn game and Ruy Lopez. With Black he usually chose orthodox defenses and Ruy Lopez closed. The Janowski Indian opening is named after him (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Bf5). He was also famous for first using the positional exchange sacrifice in his games.

He died, penniless, in France on 15 January 1927 of Tuberculosis. Below i give one of his games where he used the positional exchange sacrifice to defeat his great opponent.

White: David Janowsky
Black: Alexander Alekhine
Mannheim 1914
Result: 1-0
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bg5 h6 4. Bh4 b6 5. e3 Bb7 6. Bd3 c5 7. O-O Be7 8. Nbd2 d6 9. Qe2 Nbd7 10. Rad1 O-O 11. c3 Qc7 12. Rfe1 Rfe8 13. h3 e5 14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Bg3 Bf8 16. Bh2 a6 17. Nh4 b5 18. c4 b4 19. Nf1 Rad8 20. e4 Nb8 21. f3 Nh5 22. Ne3 Nf4 23. Qc2 Nc6 24. Nd5 Qa5 25. Nf5 Nxd3 26. Qxd3 Nd4 27. Nxd4 cxd4 28. Ra1 Rc8 29. b3 f5 30. Re2 Qd8 31. Rae1 f4 32. g3 fxg3 33. Bxg3 Bd6 34. Rg2 Rf8 35. Kh2 Qg5 36. Bf4 Qh5 37. Reg1 Bxd5 38. Rxg7+ Kh8 39. exd5 e4 40. Rg8+ Rxg8 41. Qxd4+ Kh7 42. Qxe4+ Rg6 43. Bxd6 Re8 44. Be7 Kg7 45. Rxg6+ Qxg6 46. Qxg6+ Kxg6 47. d6 1-0

Cecil Purdy

Cecil Purdy (born 27 March 1906; died 6 November 1979) was the first World Correspondence Chess champion.

He began his chess rather late at the age of 16. He was the eldest of 3 children and his education was at Cranbrook school and the University of Sydney (BA). He played in several OTB tournaments in Australia and won the Australian Chess Championship in 1935.
He went on to win this championship 3 more times and also won the Australian Correspondence Chess championships twice (in 1938 and 1945). He gained the IM title in 1951 and the title of Grandmaster of Correspondence Chess in 1953. In 1976, he was awarded the 'Order of Australia' for his excellent services to Australian Chess.

He married Anne Crakanthorp in 1934 and had 2 children, Diana and John, both who became good chess players. Slender and of middle height, Purdy possessed energy and determination that was remarkable. This reflected not only in his competitive chess play but also in his work for the advancement of chess.

Purdy was also a noted chess magazine writer, editor and publisher. He founded the 'Australasian chess review' which later became 'Check' and finally 'Chessworld'. His game-analysis was considered by top players as highly instructive. His greatest skills in chess was in his fantastic grasp of the strategic principles of the game. Especially in Correspondence, he was invincible having lost only very few games in his career.

Financially he struggled almost all his life. The magazine he founded did not generate any great revenue. His writings in newspaper columns, book royalties and prize-money were a good source of his income. He also did some chess coaching.

He died of a heart attack while playing OTB chess. It is said his last words were "I have a win, but it will take some time".

Below i give one of his games from the 1st World Correspondence Chess Championship Preliminary Tournament, 1947.
White: Nielsen
Black: Purdy
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.e3 b6 6.Bd3 c5 7.Nge2 cxd4 8.exd4 d5 9.O-O dxc4 10.Bxh7+ Nxh7 11.Qe4 Qd7 0-1

World Women's Chess Championship, Manila 1991

The 1991 World Women's Chess Championship was a historic event. Xie Jun defeated Maya Chiburdanidze becoming the first Asian to win the Title. For a very long time, the Soviets had dominated the Women's title and the advent of Xie triggered an awakening of Chess in China.

Xie had won the Candidates Tournament by defeating Alisa Maric in a tie-break 4.5 to 2.5 (the tie-break was required since Xie had tied with Alisa). The Manila match was held from Sep 25th to Oct 28th as the best of 16 games.

It was organized by the Philippine Sports Committee in collaboration with the City of Manila. It had been a long time since any non-soviet player had challenged the World champion and the Ladies match had anmost never been played outside the Soviet Union. So, this match was very important for Asian chess. The organizers had made good arrangements with identical facilities for the two players. The hotel rooms were identical in size and positioned at two ends of the same floor. Bodyguards were allocated to the players.

Before the match Xie was worried about preparation because Maya was well versed with modern opening theory. So Xie decided to turn her lack of understand in openings into a practical weapon. By playing boldly and originally, Xie hoped to upset her opponent.
Her delegation to the match consisted of 6 members (team-leader, his assistant, medical doctor, 2 seconds and Xie herself).

Xie got good support from her team who stayed in the playing hall throughout the duration of the game. After 10 games the score was tied 5-5. Xie started playing with more energy but Maya began to get tired. Both players became more nervous and the games were riddled with more mistakes than expected. The 14th game was the decisive which ended in a draw and left Xie with a 2 point lead with just 2 more games to go.

Xie won the match 8.5 to 6.5 (4 wins, 2 losses and 9 draws) without needing to play the last game of the match. Xie won Games 3, 8, 11 and 13. She lost Games 4 and 5.

One incident that could have proved fatal for Xie happened after Game Four. On a rest day, Xie wanted to relax in the swimming pool. She did not know how to swim, so she stayed in the shallow side of the pool. Due to the strong current in the pool, her legs got dragged to the deep end and luckily, her seconds and doctor who were with her rescued her. She had a lucky escape but was frightened badly.

After winning the match Xie found herself in the centre of popularity and media attention. Several parties were arranged and there seemed to be no end to the celebrations for bringing the title to Asia. Xie's delegation was invited to the Presidential palace to meet President Corazon Aquino. Xie was awarded the Medal of Honour from the President.

Back in China also, Xie received an incredible reception. She was invited to the City Hall to give a series of interviews and press conferences.
Xie has been primarily responsible for popularising Chess in China. The Media started considering it as a true sport and players got more publicity than before.

Below i give the 15th Game of this match.

White: Xie Jun
Black: Maya Chiburdanidze
15th game of Womens World Championship, Manila 1991

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 [going into this game, Xie had a lead of 8-6 and needed only a draw to win the title] 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 b6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Nd7 8.h3 Bb7 9.Be3 Ne7 10.Qd2 h6 11.Nh2 Nf6 12.Bd3 Qd7 13.Rad1 d5 14.f3 Nh5 15.Qf2 f5 16.g4 dxe4 17.fxe4 Nf6 18.Nf3 0-0-0 19.Ne5 Qe8 20.Qe2 Nxe4 21.Nxe4 fxe4 22.Bxa6 Bxe5 23.dxe5 Qxa4 24.Bxb7+ Kxb7 25.Ra1 Qc6 26.Qa6+ Kb8 27.Rf6? Qb7 28.Qxb7+ Kxb7 29.Rxe6 Nd5 30.Re1 Nxe3 31.Rxe3 Rd2 32.Rxe4 Rxc2 33.Rxg6 Rd8 34.Re1 Rdd2 35.Rxh6 Rg2+ 36.Kh1 Rh2+ 37.Kg1 Rcg2+ 38.Kf1 Rxb2 39.Kg1 Rhg2+ 40.Kh1 b5 41.e6 Rge2 42.Rxe2 Rxe2 43.Rf6 b4 44.g5 b3 45.Rf1 c5 46.g6 Rxe6 47.g7 Re8 48.h4 Rg8?? 49.Rg1 Kc6 50.h5 b2 51.Rb1?? Rxg7 52.Rxb2 c4 53.h6 Rh7 54.Rh2 Kd5 55.Kg2 Ke4 56.Kf2 Kd3 57.Ke1 Kc3 58.Ke2 Kb3 59.Ke3 c3 60.Kf4 c2 61.Rxc2 Kxc2 62.Kg5 ½-½

Return of Bobby Fischer

Twenty years after Fischer won the famous "1972 Match of the Century", Fischer played active chess again in a match with his old rival Boris Spassky. This match held in former Yugoslavia in 1992 was one of the most exciting events awaited by chess fans throughout the world. Fischer has been an inspiration to a whole generation of chess players and news that this mercurial genius will play in public again created headlines around the world. The prize money sponsored by Jezdimir Vasiljevic, proprietor of Jugoskandik, a Belgrade bank was a record 5 million USD in total and the winner of the match would be the first player to win 10 games. The schedule was to be four games per week, every game played to a finish with no possibility of adjourning. Further, the match would use the Fisher-clock wherein at the start of the game, both players have a reserve of 90 minutes and on every move, 2 additional minutes is incremented.

The most important and disturbing element was that the UN had imposed international sanctions on Yugoslavia to stop the fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This match was seen as a violation of the sanctions and the international community came down heavily on Fischer. The US senate also got involved and after the match, issued an arrest warrant against him. He was on the run until 2004 when he was arrested at a Japanese airport and detained for 8 months.

Fischer won this return match in a mixture of brilliance and blunders. The score was 17.5 - 12.5 to Fischer. Fischer won the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 21st, 25th and 30th games. Spassky won the 4th, 5th, 12th, 20th and 26th games. Other games were drawn. I give below the most brilliant game of this match, the 11th game which is one of the most brilliant games ever played.

White: Bobby Fischer
Black: Boris Spassky
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 e5 7. b4!! cxb4 8. a3 c5 9. axb4 cxb4 10. d4 exd4 11. Bb2 d6 12. Nxd4 Qd7 13. Nd2 Bb7 14. Nc4 Nh6 15. Nf5!! Bxb2 16. Ncxd6 Kf8 17. Nxh6 f6 18. Ndf7 Qxd1 19. Raxd1 Ke7 20. Nxh8 Rxh8 21. Nf5!! gxf5 22. exf5 Be5 23. f4 Rc8 24. fxe5 Rxc2 25. e6 Bc6 26. Rc1 Rxc1 27. Rxc1 Kd6 28. Rd1 Ke5 29. e7 a5 30. Rc1 Bd7 31. Rc5 Kd4 32. Rxa5 b3 33. Ra7 Be8 34. Rb7 Kc3 35. Kf2 b2 36. Ke3 Bf7 37. g4 Kc2 38. Kd4 b1Q 39. Rxb1 Kxb1 40. Kc5 Kc2 41. Kd6 1-0

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Turning Point

Viswanathan Anand successfully retained the World Championship at Sofia, Bulgaria. He defeated the challenger Veselin Topalov with a score of 6.5-5.5 (3 wins, 7 draws and 2 losses).

Before the 12th and final round, the scores were tied at 5.5 each. In the last game, Anand, playing with the Black pieces sought for a solid defence in which White (Topalov) would have only minimal chances to score a victory.

Though Anand had a pawn weakness on c5, he generated enough counter-play to keep the position in balance. On the crucial 30th move however, Topalov carelessly opened up the centre, as a result of which, Anand’s Queen, Rook and Bishop pursued the white King to its unfortunate fate.

Though Topalov managed to prolong the game for several moves, Anand was able to finish the victory with a series of precise moves.

In this mailer, I present the critical turning point of the game.

After Black’s 30th move (see first diagram), White played 31. exf5 which was a mistake. Instead, Nd2 would have been the correct move holding the e4 pawn.

In response to exf5, Anand played 31…..e4!

Topalov thought for a few minutes before playing the blunder 32. fxe4. Anand followed up with Qxe4 and found the brilliant 34th move Qe8 (see second diagram) after which Topalov had a lost position.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anand wins !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anand won the 12th and final game against Topalov to retain the World Chess Championship!!!!

Click here to download all the games

Monday, May 10, 2010

Andor Lilienthal (1911 - 2010)

Andor Lilienthal, one of the oldest original grandmasters, passed away early this month at the age of 99. He was born in Moscow in 1911 and played a majority of his competitive chess for USSR. The world has lost a brilliant and popular grandmaster. I present, in tribute, his wins over some greatest chess players (and world champions).

White: Andor Lilienthal
Black: Jose Capablanca

Hastings 1934
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 b6 6.f3 d5 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 Ba6 9.e4 Bxc4 10.Bxc4 dxc4 11.Qa4+ Qd7 12.Qxc4 Qc6 13.Qd3 Nbd7 14.Ne2 Rd8 15.0-0 a5 16.Qc2 Qc4 17.f4 Rc8 18.f5 e5 19.dxe5 Qxe4? 20.exf6!! Qxc2 21.fxg7 Rg8 22.Nd4 Qe4 23.Rae1 Nc5 24.Rxe4+ Nxe4 25.Re1 Rxg7 26.Rxe4+ 1-0

White: Emanuel Lasker
Black: Andor Lilienthal

Moscow 1936
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Nb5 Nb6 8.c3 a6 9.Na3 c5 10.Nc2 Nc6 11.f4 Na4 12.Rb1 b5 13.Nf3 Bd7 14.Qd2 Rc8 15.Bd3 Nb6 16.0-0 Nc4 17.Qe1 Nb6 18.Qg3 g6 19.Qe1 h5 20.a3 c4 21.Be2 a5 22.h3 Rb8 23.Ne3 Kd8 24.Bd1 Kc7 25.Qd2 Rb7 26.Ng5 Kb8 27.Be2 Bc8 28.b3 Qxa3 29.bxc4 Nxc4 30.Nxc4 bxc4 31.Nxf7 Rh7 32.Rxb7+ Bxb7 33.Nd6 Na7 34.Rb1 Nc8 35.Nxc8 Kxc8 36.Bd1 Bc6 37.Bc2 Rb7 38.Bxg6 Rxb1+ 39.Bxb1 Qa1 40.Qe1 a4 41.Kf2 a3 42.f5 Qb2+ 43.Kf3 exf5 44.Bxf5+ Kc7 45.Bb1 a2 46.Bxa2 Qxa2 47.e6 Qc2 48.Qe5+ Kb7 49.Kf4 Qxg2 50.Qxh5 Qe4+ 51.Kg5 Qxe6 52.Qh7+ Kb6 53.h4 Qe3+ 54.Kf6 Qxc3 55.h5 Qxd4+ 56.Ke6 Qe3+ 57.Kf6 c3 0-1

White: Andor Lilienthal
Black: Mikhail Botvinnik

Moscow 1940
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Qc2 Nxc3 9.Qxc3 d6 10.Qc2 f5 11.Ne1 Nc6 12.d5 exd5 13.cxd5 Nb4 14.Qd2 a5 15.a3 Na6 16.b4 Bf6 17.Bb2 Qd7 18.Bxf6 Rxf6 19.Nd3 a4 20.Rac1 Qf7 21.Nf4 Bc8 22.Rc3 Bd7 23.Rfc1 h6 24.h4 Ra7 25.h5 Ra8 26.Re3 Kh7 27.Rcc3 Rb8 28.Qd3 Ra8 29.Ng6 Rxg6 30.hxg6+ Kxg6 31.Re6+ Kh7 32.g4 c5 33.b5 Nc7 34.gxf5 Nxb5 35.f6+ Kg8 36.Rc4 Re8 37.Rg4 g5 38.Rxe8+ Bxe8 39.Re4 Kf8 40.Re7 Qg6 41.Be4 Qh5 42.Bf3 Qg6 43.Rxe8+ 1-0

White: Vassily Smyslov
Black: Andor Lilienthal

Moscow, 1944
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bg5 h6 5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.Rc1 0-0 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Rxc3 d6 9.Nf3 e5 10.d5 a5 11.Rg1 e4 12.Nd4 Re8 13.Qd2 Na6 14.g4 Nc5 15.e3 a4 16.Rg3 Bd7 17.Be2 c6 18.dxc6 bxc6 19.Kf1 Rab8 20.Kg1 Rb6 21.Bf1 Reb8 22.Rc2 Nb3 23.Nxb3 Rxb3 24.h4 Rxb2 25.g5 hxg5 26.hxg5 Qe5 27.g6 fxg6 28.Rxg6 Rxc2 29.Qxc2 Kf7 30.Rg3 Rb3 31.f4 exf3 32.Rxf3+ Ke7 33.Qf2 Kd8 34.Rf8+ Kc7 35.Ra8 Qxe3 36.Ra7+ Kc8 37.Qxe3 Rxe3 38.Rxa4 Kb7 39.Ra5 c5 40.Bg2+ Kb6 41.Ra8 Re8 42.Rxe8 Bxe8 0-1

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Anand - Kasparov - PCA World Championship - 1995

White: Viswanathan Anand (2725)
Black: Garry Kasparov (2795)
Game 9; PCA World Championship, New York
25 Sep 1995

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a4 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.f4 Qc7 11.Kh1 Re8 12.Bf3 Bd7 13.Nb3 Na5 14.Nxa5 Qxa5 15.Qd3 Rad8 16.Rfd1 Bc6 17.b4 Qc7 18.b5 Bd7 19.Rab1 axb5 20.Nxb5 Bxb5 21.Qxb5 Ra8 22.c4 e5 23.Bb6 Qc8 24.fxe5 dxe5 25.a5 Bf8 26.h3 Qe6 27.Rd5!! Nxd5 28.exd5 Qg6 29.c5 e4 30.Be2 Re5 31.Qd7 Rg5 32.Rg1 e3 33.d6 Rg3 34.Qxb7 Qe6 35.Kh2 1-0

Fischer - Spassky - Match of the Century - 1972

White: Robert James Fischer (2785)
Black: Boris Spassky (2660)
Game 6; World Championship, Reykjavik
23rd July 1972

1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 b6 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nxd5 exd5 11.Rc1 Be6 12.Qa4 c5 13.Qa3 Rc8 14.Bb5 a6 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.0-0 Ra7 17.Be2 Nd7 18.Nd4 Qf8 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.e4 d4 21.f4 Qe7 22.e5 Rb8 23.Bc4 Kh8 24.Qh3 Nf8 25.b3 a5 26.f5! exf5 27.Rxf5 Nh7 28.Rcf1 Qd8 29.Qg3 Re7 30.h4 Rbb7 31.e6 Rbc7 32.Qe5 Qe8 33.a4 Qd8 34.R1f2 Qe8 35.R2f3 Qd8 36.Bd3 Qe8 37.Qe4 Nf6 38.Rxf6! gxf6 39.Rxf6 Kg8 40.Bc4 Kh8 41.Qf4 1-0

Friday, May 7, 2010

ELO Rating

The International Rating in Chess is calculated using the ELO Rating system created by Professor Arpad Elo.

Prior to this, the USCF (United States Chess Federation) was using the ranking system devised by Kenneth Harkness to allow members to track their individual progress. Arpad Elo devised a new system with a more accurate statistical basis which was used by the USCF first in 1960; and later adopted by FIDE in 1970.

The basic assumption in this system was that the chess performance of each player in a game is a normally distributed random variable. And the mean value of the performance of a player changes only slowly over time. If a player wins, he is assumed to have performed at a higher level than his opponent for that game. Conversely if he loses, he is assumed to have performed at a lower level and if the game is a draw, the two players are assumed to have performed at nearly the same level.

For top players, the most important rating is their FIDE rating. FIDE issues the ratings list once every two months. The highest ever FIDE rating was 2851, which Garry Kasparov had on the July 1999 and January 2000 lists.

There are three main mathematical concerns relating to the original work of Professor Elo, namely the correct curve, the correct K-factor, and the provisional period crude calculations. However, this discussion is beyond the scope of this blog.

More Details on Wiki

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