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Round 10: Anand - Carlsen
Today's game was very interesting, Carlsen boldly challenged Anand even when in the match situation draw was good enough. Anand went for a very unpleasant new idea 12. Bg5 but Carlsen was again well prepared. With very tough defensive moves he neutralized white's initiative and went on to draw comfortably. With only two more games left, he can feel his task almost completed and I don't believe Anand will be able to equalize in the last games... See more
Round 8: Anand - Carlsen
In yesterday's game Anand survived in an endgame with four pawns and a rook against rook, knight and two pawns. His defence was not at all easy having in mind that the swap of the rooks was in not in his favour. Finally he managed to save it after more than 120 moves which means that he must be a bit tired today. I hope he has enough resources to get back on track and show some fighting spirit. Yesterday's game witnessed a high theoretical clash between analytical teams and in my opinion Carlsen's team prevailed in this competition. For the first 25 moves they repeated an already well known game and only a couple of moves later Anand experienced problems. Then he decided to sac his bishop for white connected pawns hoping to save the resulting endgame. ... See more
Round 7: Carlsen - Anand
Second part of the match. Anand has black pieces again and he had only one rest day to recover from his painful loss in game 6. Would he repeat Sicilian Kan, or will he opt for something more solid? Anand repeats Berlin - he played it in the second game of the match where he was very close to complete equality. Carlsen agrees to get the Main line - an extremely complicated endgame - where black has damaged pawn structure and his king is stuck in the centre, but having a strong bishop pair in open position... See more
SAINT LOUIS (November 4, 2014) From the same venue that hosts such high-quality events as the U.S. Championships and the global super-tournament Sinquefield Cup, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis now presents a high-stakes slugfest between two of the world’s heavyweights.
The United States’ super Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura will square off with GM Levon Aronian, the pride of Armenia, in the Showdown in Saint Louis from Nov. 21-25. The special head-to-head exhibition will go five rounds, including four classical games of chess and a final round featuring 16 games of Blitz. The two kings will fight for the lion’s share of a $100,000 purse.
Nakamura, the top American player ranked No. 9 in the world, is in the hunt for his first Candidates Tournament appearance and currently sits in second place halfway through the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix cycle. Aronian, a veteran to the world ranks currently at No. 4, has long-been regarded as the main rival to World Champion Magnus Carlsen and reached his career-peak rating of 2830 earlier this year. The Showdown in Saint Louis will settle the score from the players’ last meeting, drawing twice at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup in the U.S. Capital of Chess last September.
Friday, November 21 Classical Round 1
Saturday, November 22 Classical Round 2
Sunday, November 23 Classical Round 3
Monday, November 24 Classical Round 4
Tuesday, November 25 Blitz Round (16 games)
As a special feature to the Showdown in Saint Louis, 20 high-tiered chess players will look to prove – and earn – their stripes at the CCSCSL. Surrounding the heavyweight fight will be two 10-player, round robin tournaments designed for players to earn International Master and Grandmaster title norms. The GM norm event features Grandmasters Ben Finegold, Denes Boros and Samy Shoker setting the standard against such players as IM Sam Sevian and IM Priyadharshan Kannappan, both dangerously close to earning their new titles.
The Showdown in Saint Louis and surrounding GM/IM norm tournaments will be streamed live on www.uschesschamps.com and once again feature live play-by-play and analysis from the renowned commentary team of GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade. Live spectators may take in all the action as it unfolds in the upstairs tournament hall of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, with admission free-of-charge for annual, monthly and day members.
For more information as it unfolds, visit www.uschesschamps.com.
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.
Round 4: Carlsen - Anand (½-½)
The match came to its first critical point for Carlsen after he lost yesterday's game and the result was levelled again. How he will play after defeat, I think this is a difficult moment for him as he is losing rather seldom. 1. e4 For the second time in the match Magnus chooses this move. For me it is a signal that he is in attacking mood today... See more
Both the players were under tremendous pressure coming into this game. The championship was precariously balanced with only a point's difference between Anand and Carlsen. A small error on the part of either of them had the power to change the course of the championship dramatically.
Before the match, chess Grandmaster and commentator Susan Polgar tweeted "99.99% of the fans at home can't understand the amount of pressure Carlsen and Anand are going through right now. Very intense! I can tell you from experience playing in WC match. So much pressure at this stage, no matter if you're leading/trailing by 1."
Berlin defence was played in game 11. Learn about Ruy Lopez-Berlin defence here.
As usual Carlsen forced a queen trade-off as early as move 8 in the game. This is the sixth time in this championship that Carlsen has pulled off this manouvre, and he did it in style. As he only needed a draw he was intent on taking the queen off the board to minimise danger.
In move 15, Carlsen placed his Knight in 'D5' which was a powerful move as he gained control at the center. But even uptil this point, the game was open.
From move 18 to 23, Anand managed to place his bishops in better squares and for some time the chess engines showed a slight advantage for Anand. It looked like he had created a comfortable position for black and was all set for a long fight.
Carlsen recounted this in the post-match press conference, "Perhaps I didn't move accurately from 18 to 23 moves. It was tight."
.... all the chess experts gave Anand a clear advantage. Many chess observers felt that if Anand moves 'Be7' then it would be very difficult for Carlsen to take advantage.
At this point, Indian Chess Grand Master Ramesh tweeted, "Anand in driver seat!"
Polgar tweeted, "3 reasonable choices: Be7, Bg7 or Rab8. Strongest is Be7."
Anand went with 'Rab8'. What came next surprised everyone.
We calculate: he does this then I do that. And Tal, through all the thick layers of variants, saw that around the 8th move, it will be so and so. Some people can see the mathematical formulae, they can imagine the whole picture instantly. An ordinary man has to calculate, to think this through, but they just see it all. It occurs in great musicians, great scientists. Tal was absolutely unique. His playing style was of course unrepeatable. I calculated the variants quickly enough, but these Tal insights were unique. He was a man in whose presence others sensed their mediocrity.
He led a very unusual life. He didn't think of anything. He lived here and now, and this enormous energy was always around him. The positive energy. Tal was one of the few completely positive people I knew, he wasn't contentious. Chess is very contentious game by its nature, and he wasn't.
Round 1: Anand - Carlsen
In the last match the intentions of both players were quite clear. Carlsen was trying to avoid the heavy theoretical debacle, opting for a more middlegame oriented openings like 1. Nf3 2. g3 with white and with black he defended against e4 with ultrasolid Berlin. On the other side, Anand was desperately trying to catch Carlsen on an early clash in sharp lines or at least deeply worked lines with unclear consequences. That's why the opening chosen by Carlsen came as a little surprise. Grunfeld was the main choice of previous contender for the throne - Gelfand, so it was for sure thoroughly studied by Anand's team. On the other side, Gelfand was quite successful with it, which probably is the main reason for choosing this dynamic and always fresh with ideas opening system... See more
Round 2: Gelfand - Grischuk
Original play by black. The main goal is to execute e5 break as soon as possible - to use slight delay in development of white kingside pieces. Would this be the second win in a row for Grischuk?... See more