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Oct 25, 2007, 2:35 PM |

Anand wins world championship

By Jack Peters, International Master
October 7, 2007
Position No. 5971: White to play and win. From the game Levon Aronian-Alexander Grischuk, Mexico City 2007.

Solution to Position No. 5970: Black wins with 1. . . a3 (threatening 2. . . a2) 2 b4 Rxb4! 3 cxb4 Qb2+! 4 Kd1 Qxb1+ 5 Rc1 Qxc1 mate.

October 7, 2007
October 7, 2007
Viswanathan Anand of India convincingly won the world championship in Mexico City. His undefeated score of 9-5 in the double round robin made him the 15th world champion in the series that began in 1886.

Anand, 37, has been ranked among the top three in the world for more than a decade. He ascended to the top spot on the ratings list in April and now has the title to confirm his superiority.

Boris Gelfand of Israel and former champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia tied for second place at 8-6. Kramnik never seemed close to catching Anand, but two late wins moved him ahead of the pack.

Others: Peter Leko (Hungary), 7-7; Peter Svidler (Russia), 6 1/2 -7 1/2 ; Levon Aronian (Armenia) and Alexander Morozevich (Russia), 6-8; and Alexander Grischuk (Russia), 5 1/2 -8 1/2 .

The tournament produced a fair number of exciting games, although most players seemed content to draw with Black. In fact, Black won only two games (Anand and Gelfand each defeated Aronian) while White won 18. Grischuk, who began 3 1/2 -2 1/2 , lost his last five games as Black.

Farewell, Kramnik

Kramnik's reign as champion ends after seven years of mostly disappointing results. His historic upset of Garry Kasparov in 2000 stands as his greatest achievement. He avoided a rematch, which some view negatively and others consider a mark of good judgment.

Poor health and his confounding affinity for lifeless draws hurt his record, but Kramnik deserves much credit for putting his title at stake in a round robin. By cooperating in negotiations that led to the unprecedented format, he helped repair 14 years of strained relations with the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and convinced FIDE to return to the traditional system of matches in 2008. His oft-criticized privilege of challenging Anand in that match seems a just reward. At 32, he should have many years to contend for the title.

World Senior Championship

Another global competition, the 17th World Senior Championship, finished Sept. 28 in Gmunden, Austria. Any player older than 60 was eligible. The field of 232 players included 15 grandmasters, but IM Algimantas Butnorius of Lithuania took first prize, scoring 9-2 and earning a GM title. Next at 8 1/2 -2 1/2 were GMs Evgeni Vasiukov (Russia), Vlastimil Jansa (Czech Republic) and Yuri Shabanov (Russia).

The top American, at 7-4, was Jude Acers, the colorful master who challenges all comers daily outside a restaurant in New Orleans. Acers achieved a 2289 performance in his first international event. Carl Wagner of San Diego scored a respectable 5 1/2 -5 1/2 .

Local news

The October Octos take place Saturday in the Odd Fellows/Rebekah Hall, 2476 Newport Blvd. in Costa Mesa. Every entrant will play three games within his eight-player group. For more information, call Takashi Iwamoto at (949) 689-3511 or visit

Chess Palace, 12872 Valley View St. in Garden Grove, will celebrate its 17th anniversary next weekend with an open tournament Saturday and a scholastic tournament Sunday, plus free food and prizes. Call (714) 899-3421 for information.

Craig Faber and W. Leigh Hunt tied for first place in "Chess One of Those Things," the latest tournament at the La Palma Chess Club. Carmen Marie Childress led the under-1630 section. The club will continue its club championship, which began Friday, through Nov. 30. See for photos, games and more.

Today's games

GM Vladimir Kramnik (Russia)-GM Peter Leko (Hungary), World Championship, Mexico City 2007: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 The Catalan Opening. Be7 5 Nf3 0-0 6 0-0 dxc4 7 Qc2 a6 8 Qxc4 b5 9 Qc2 Bb7 This system solves Black's perennial problem of how to develop his QB. If he manages to trade his backward c-pawn by . . . c7-c5xd4, he should attain equality. 10 Bd2 Be4 11 Qc1 Qc8 12 Bg5 Nbd7 Not bad is 12. . . c5. 13 Qf4 New but harmless. As Black four rounds earlier against Aronian, Kramnik met the natural 13 Nbd2 with 13. . . Bb7 14 Nb3 a5 15 Bxf6 Bxf6 16 Nc5 Bd5 17 e4 Bc4 and quickly drew. Bb7 14 Rc1 Bd6 15 Qh4 h6 16 Bxf6 After 16 Bf4 g5 17 Bxg5 hxg5 18 Qxg5+ Kh8 19 Qh6+, Black should avoid 19. . . Nh7? 20 Ng5 Ndf6 21 e4 and accept repetition with 19. . . Kg8. Nxf6 17 Nbd2 Re8 18 e4 Nd7 19 Nb3 a5 Now White should keep an edge with 20 a4. 20 Nc5? Probably Kramnik overlooked the reply. Be7! 21 Qf4 e5! 22 Nxe5!? Making the best of it. Instead, 22 Qf5 Nxc5 23 dxc5 Qxf5 24 exf5 Bf6 25 Nd2 Bxg2 26 Kxg2 e4 27 Rc2 is uncomfortably passive. Nxe5 23 dxe5 Forced. White would drop material with 23 Qxe5? Bg5 24 Qf5 Qxf5 25 exf5 Bxc1 26 Bxb7 Bxb2, as 27 Rb1 Bxd4 28 Bxa8 Rxa8 29 Rxb5? runs into 29. . . c6. Bg5 24 Qf3 Bxc1 25 Rxc1 Rxe5?! Natural, but Black's advantage vanishes. Correct is 25. . . Bc6. 26 Qc3 f6?! Leko does not adjust to the changed situation. He should settle for equality with 26. . . Re7 27 Nxb7 Qxb7 28 e5 Qa7 29 Bxa8 Qxa8 30 Rd1 Qe4. 27 Qb3+ Kh8? The third inaccuracy proves fatal. 28 Qf7! Suddenly White has a deadly initiative. Bc6 29 Nd3 Re6 If Black had played 27. . . Kh7, he could hold with 29. . . Be8! 30 Qf8 Rh5. 30 Nf4 Rd6 Or 30. . . Bd7? 31 Nh5! Qg8 32 Qxd7. 31 Ng6+ Kh7 32 e5! fxe5 White refutes 32. . . Be8 by 33 Nf8+ Kh8 34 Qe7 fxe5 35 Bxa8! (not 35 Rxc7?? Rd1+ 36 Bf1 Qg4) Qxa8 36 Ne6 Rxe6 37 Qxe6. 33 Bxc6 Inviting 33. . . Rxg6 34 Be4 Raa6 35 Rxc7 Qg8 36 Qd7, threatening h2-h4-h5. Rf6 34 Qd5 Qf5 Also hopeless is 34. . . Rb8 35 Nxe5. 35 Bxa8 Qxf2+ 36 Kh1 Qxb2 37 Qc5 Kxg6 Against 37. . . Rf2, quickest is 38 Nf4!, setting up 39 Be4+. 38 Be4+ Kh5 39 Rb1, Black resigns.

GM Peter Leko (Hungary)–GM Alexander Morozevich (Russia), World Championship, Mexico City 2007: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Bg5 The Richter-Rauzer Attack against the Sicilian Defense. e6 7 Qd2 a6 8 0-0-0 Bd7 9 f3 A recently fashionable alternative to the customary 9 f4. Be7 10 Be3 Making way for g2-g4-g5. h5!? Thwarting White's attacking idea, but almost giving up on castling. 11 Kb1 Qc7 12 Nxc6!? New. White has tried 12 Bd3 and 12 h3 h4 13 Bd3. bxc6 If 12…Bxc6, White probably intended 13 Ne2 and 14 Nd4. 13 Bf4 e5 14 Bg5 Be6?! Tougher is 14…Rb8. 15 Bxf6 gxf6 Black gets negligible compensation from 15…Bxf6?! 16 Qxd6 Qb7 17 Be2. 16 f4! a5 After 16…exf4, either 17 Qxf4 or 17 Ne2 favors White. And 16…f5 is risky because 17 fxe5 dxe5 18 exf5 Bxf5 19 Bc4 leaves Black's King without shelter. 17 f5 Bd7 18 a4 Black's central pawns look impressive, but White will restrain …d6-d5 while stifling Black on the Queenside. Rb8 19 Bc4 Rb4 20 Bb3 Qb6 21 Rhe1 Rd4 Alternatives are equally ineffective. Morozevich, one of the most aggressive GMs, has been quietly throttled. 22 Qe2 Rxd1+ 23 Rxd1 Qc5 24 Rd3! Inviting 24…Qg1+ 25 Ka2 Qxh2, as 26 Rh3 Qg1 27 Rxh5 takes aim at h7. For example, 27…Rxh5 28 Qxh5 Qxg2 loses to 29 Bxf7+ Kd8 30 Qh8+ Kc7 31 Qa8. h4 25 Rh3 Bd8 White meets 25…d5 strongly with 26 Qg4 Qf2 28 Qg7 Rf8 29 exd5 Bxf5 30 Rf3. 26 Ka2 Kf8 27 Qe1 Conquering h4 begins the invasion. Be8 28 Rxh4 Rxh4 29 Qxh4 Qg1 The illusion of counterplay. 30 Qh8+ Ke7 31 h4! The bottled-up Bishops cannot deal with the h-pawn. d5 32 exd5 Qxg2 33 h5, Black Resigns. White will obtain a second queen after 33…e4 34 h6 e3 35 Qg7.