28 Feb 2013

Chess Tactics

Black to move. How should black proceed?

Anand shocked by Caruana

Viswanathan Anand shocked by Fabiano Caruana 
Other Sports
Posted on Feb 28, 2013 at 07:40pm IST 

Zurich: World champion Viswanathan Anand suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of young Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the fourth round of Zurich Chess Challenge here on Thursday. The loss, coming after a spate of three draws from the first three games, cost Anand quite dearly as from his joint lead, the Indian was pushed to the last spot. 

The other game of the four-player double round-robin tournament between Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Boris Gelfand of Israel ended in a draw in spite of a tough fight. With just two rounds remaining, Caruana emerged as the sole leader with 2.5 points, a half point ahead of Kramnik and Gelfand while Anand on 1.5 point is currently at the bottom of the tables. 

Anand's main chances now depend upon his final white game against Kramnik in the last round. The tide seems to have turned heavily in favour of Caruana, who finished second behind Anand in the just concluded Grenke Chess Classic. Playing white, Anand faced the Moller variation in the Ruy Lopez and yet again Caruana came up with another opening idea and equalised successfully. 

The Italian is fast turning into a player to follow when it comes to creating new ideas in a chess opening, every now and then coming out with some exemplary new ideas. The middle game remained complicated but, understandably, Anand was playing for a win and went on pushing for an advantage that was not forthcoming. 

As it happened, the world champion sacrificed a rook for a minor piece and apparently had decent compensation but his position worsened as the game progressed. Caruana was in his element in successfully going for an exchange spree resulting in a winning endgame in very quick time. After six draws in the first three rounds, Caruana's victory also turns out to be the first decisive game of the tournament and although it looked both games might be decisive in the fourth round, Gelfand survived by the skin of his teeth. 

Kramnik turned out to be the better judge of his position against Gelfand from a Catalan opening. The Russian came up with a piece sacrifice resulting in a tactical melee but soon both players started to make serious mistakes. The drawn result was justified in the end.

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com

Caruana beats Anand

Fabiano Caruana has taken the sole lead after getting the first win of the tournament at the 4th round of the Zurich Chess Challenge 2013.

Replay/follow the games live / Information

Caruana played with black against the World Champion Viswanathan Anand and defeated him in 45 moves. The Italian did not shy away from going into the main lines of the Spanish against the Indian, who is known for his exceptional preparation. On move 17, Fabiano took the decision to go forward with his kingside pawns and the game became sharper. Anand eventually decided to exchange a rook for a knight and a pawn. Caruana handled the position masterfully and proved the strength of his rooks on the open files. Anand resigned when it is clear that the black rook will start capturing pawns, getting a winning endgame position.

Boris Gelfand played with white against the rating favorite Vladimir Kramnik. The Russian chose to use the Queen’s Gambit Accepted as his defensive weapon. After some exchanges, both players had isolated pawns and the position was open for tactics. The computer shows that there were missed chances for both sides, although Kramnik was the one that had some more opportunities to get an important advantage. When the complications finished, the position was equalized and the draw was agreed on move 46.

Round 5 pairings:

Boris Gelfand – Viswanathan Anand
Vladimir Kramnik – Fabiano Caruana

26 Feb 2013

Chess Puzzle - 91

White to move and win.

Solution : 1.Ng5 h5 2.Qxh5 gxh5 3.Bh7#

All games drawn in Zurich again in spite of fighting chess

Round 3 results

Viswanathan Anand - Boris Gelfand: ½ : ½
Fabiano Caruana - Vladimir Kramnik: ½ : ½

Standings after 3 rounds
1Kramnik, Vladimir2810 ***½ ½½
2Anand, Viswanathan2780½ *** ½½
3Caruana, Fabiano2757½½ ***½
4Gelfand, Boris2740½ ½½ ***

Official website: http://www.zurich-cc.com/ 

Anand holds Kramnik

ZURICH ( SWITZERLAND): World champion Viswanathan Anand played out his second draw in the Zurich Chess Challenge, easily holding world number two Vladimir Kramnik of Russiato an easy draw in the second round on Monday.

Viswnathan Anand draws with Vladimir Kramnik
After playing out a draw with Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the opener also as black, Anand faced even less difficulties against Kramnik whose attempts to get advantage were thwarted.

The other game of the four-players double round-robin tournament between Boris Gelfand of Israel and Caruana also ended in a draw but only after the young Italian gave a real scare to the last world championship challenger.

With all four games in the tournament ending in draws so far, the hunt for the leader continues with four rounds still to come in the super tournament. All the four players are tied on one point each.

For Anand the tournament has started well as both the draws have come with black pieces. In the remaining four games now the Indian ace gets to play with three white games and his chances of striking are much higher.

In the first round against Caruana, Anand was stretched a little in the opening and enjoyed slightly better prospects towards the end. However against Kramnik it was a pretty listless draw.

Reaching a Catalan opening via transposition, Anand accepted the early trade-of-queens offer by Kramnik and reached the endgame pretty soon. Kramnik could not stop Anand from exchanging pieces at will and the pure rook endgames arose on the board that offered little chances for either player.

In the commentary room, the experts agreed that Kramnik can beat almost 90 per cent Grandmasters playing similar position. However, they said: "Vishy (Anand) just falls in the other 10 percent." The game was drawn in 41 moves.

Caruana came up with an improvement on his own game against Levon Aronian of Armenia and had Gelfand on the ropes. Playing the black side of a Grunfeld defense, the Italian yet again proved superior in preparation and got the advantage in the middle game as Gelfand's king ran for cover.

After the trading of rooks, Caruana got a huge advantage but made a critical error that allowed Gelfand to claw back in the game. The Israeli did not give the second chance and the draw was agreed to after 40 moves.

Results round 2: Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1) drew with V Anand (Ind, 1); Boris Gelfand (Isr, 1) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 1).

The Game: V Kramnik - V Anand 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O Nc6 5. d4 e6 6. c4 dxc4 7. dxc5 Qxd1 8. Rxd1 Bxc5 9. Nbd2 c3 10. bxc3 O-O 11. Nb3 Be7 12. c4 Bd7 13. Bb2 Rfd8 14. Nfd4 Rac8 15. c5 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bc6 17. Rab1 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 h6 19. e3 Nd7 20. Na5 Nxc5 21. Nxb7 Nxb7 22. Rxb7 Bf6 23. Rdb1 Bxd4 24. exd4 a5 25. Ra7 Rd5 26. Rbb7 Rf5 27. Rc7 Rd8 28. Rc5 Rxd4 29. Rxf5 exf5 30. Rxa5 f4 31. a4 g5 32. Ra8+ Kg7 33. a5 fxg3 34. hxg3 Ra4 35. a6 h5 36. Kf3 Ra3+ 37. Kg2 h4 38. gxh4 gxh4 39. a7 Kf6 40. Rh8 h3+ 41. Rxh3 game drawn.

Source : www.timesofindia.com

21 Feb 2013

What should you do when you are ahead?


Think Defense First!! – Pretend you were the other person and see what you would do (what they are threatening). Stop that before you do anything offensively. This does not mean play passively or defensively. It is simply an ordering of priorities where you should first check to make sure the other person cannot get "back in the game" before continuing offensive play.

Play Simple! Avoid Complications. Don’t be fancy or clever. For example, if someone attacks something, don’t counterattack! – Instead, just move the piece to safety, if possible, or guard it. Complications increase the chance of mistakes, and you don’t want to make it easy to make mistakes when you are ahead.

Make fair trade pieces (but not necessarily pawns) to increase your advantage (it is better to be ahead 20 pawns to 10 than 30 to 20) This gets rid of the enemy pieces that might be used to catch up with you!

Make sure all your pieces are Active! What good is having more pieces if you are not Using more pieces? It's like a hockey team on a power play - use your extra force!

Have Less Concern about Minor Guidelines that are important when the game is even, such as avoiding weak pawns.
Avoid the Seeds of Tactical Destruction!

Bonus: Avoid unnecessary time trouble. You want to use almost all your time, as usual, but you want to aim for ~5-7 minutes left instead of almost none. Severe time trouble can cause the type of big errors which cost games.

The more you are ahead, the more you should follow these guidelines. So if you are ahead 20 pawns, it might be a great idea to trade a queen for a rook. Or, if your opponent has only one piece left and you have several, trade any piece for that piece, even if it is worth much more.

By GM Dan Heisman

Chess Puzzle - 90

White to move and win!

19 Feb 2013

Anand Ends 5 Year Title Drought

Anand ends five-year title drought
Rakesh Rao
Baden Baden (Germany), February 18, 2013

“I need to work on my technique.” These words, coming from five-time World chess champion Viswanathan Anand, reflect his rediscovered hunger for success. 

On Sunday, the 43-year-old squeezed out an exciting 49-move win with black pieces against Arkadij Naidistch to claim the Grenke Chess Classic for his first all-play-all tournament-title in almost five years. 

Anand last won in March 2008, at Linares, by topping an eight-player field with 8.5 points, ahead of the current World number one Magnus Calrsen, Levon Aronian and Veselin Topalov. 

In fact, the year so far has been a good one for Anand. In January, he finished third in the prestigious Tata Steel at Wijk aan Zee despite losing the final round to China’s Wang Hao. More importantly, the fortnight saw Anand defeat Aronian and young Italian Fabiano Caruana, both rated higher in world rankings. 

Much to be desired 

Though Anand has been the undisputed World champion since 2008, his results in tournaments have left much to be desired. If one looks at Anand’s performances, particularly in classical time format the past 15 months, one is compelled to think whether age has finally slowed down the champion. 

As Anand admitted on Sunday, “after Bilbao 2011 (in Grand Slam Masters Final) my big problem was getting interesting positions where I had chances. This year the new problem has been exploiting those chances — against (Daniel) Fridman here, Hou Yifan in Wijk aan Zee or last year against Nakamura and (Michael) Adams at the London Chess Classic — and I’ve been gifting people half points. If it wasn’t for that my results would be much better. Still, it’s a hundred times better to have the second problem.” 

Anand started the year at a rating of 2772 — his lowest since April 2004 when he was touched 2774. Following his latest success, Anand has improved it to 2784 but stays at sixth in world rankings. 

Looking back, Anand picks his second-place performance in the 2011 Tata Steel as a fairly successful one. “After that basically I went over a cliff and the next five tournaments were pretty awful,” admitted Anand. 

Keen to arrest slide
Anand, among the top-10 list of world rankings since July 1991, had said in December last year, that he was keen to arrest his slide in world rankings. In the two events since then, he seems well on track. 

What makes Anand’s success title-win special is the manner in which he signed off with two victories to take his unbeaten run past Caruana who led till the final round. Anand was obviously helped by the ninth-round loss of Caruna who missed a win in the 10th. 

Standings (with points): 1. Viswanathan Anand (6.5/10); 2. Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 6); 3-4. Michael Adams (Eng, 5), Georg Meier (Ger, 5); 5. Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 4), 6. Daniel Fridman (Ger, 3.5).

Source:  http://www.thehindu.com

Chess Puzzle - 88

Solution : 1.Qh5 h6 2.Qxh6+ gxh6 3.Nxf7+ Rxf7 4.Rg8#

Checkmate in 7

White to move and checkmate in 7

8 Feb 2013

Chess Puzzle #3

White to move. How should white proceed?

Solution for Chess Puzzle #2
1...Ra8 2.Rxb2 Rxa1+ 3.Rb1 Rxb1+


Amazing BRAIN CHALLENGE! White to move and checkmate in 4.

Solution : 1.Bc2 bxc2 2.b3 cxb3 3.Ba3 b2+ 4.Bxb2#