Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Anand retains title!

Congratulations to Vishy Anand on retaining his World Championship title against challenger Boris Gelfand.

The fourth game of the rapid was drawn resulting in Anand winning 2.5-1.5 in the rapid tie-breaks.

Gelfand overlooks win

Game two was won by Anand to take a one game lead. In Game 3, Gelfand had Anand on the ropes. At one point he could have won a piece with an in-between move. But he missed that though he still had an extra pawn with major pieces on the board. I expected Gelfand to win but Gelfand inexplicably played a series of defensive moves in time pressure. This gave Anand the chance to re-group his pieces and created threats against Gelfand's king.

Gelfand had no choice but to exchange further pieces into a rook ending. Even with two pawns up, the ending was a theoretical draw. Anand now leads 1.5-0.5.

In the remaining game four about to start, Gelfand has to go all out to win with the black pieces to tie the tie-breaker :)

A draw for Anand will give retain the title for  him.

Second rapid game in progress

There seems to be around five minutes of rest between games. An interesting fact is that the players can have two of their seconds and one accompanying person backstage. I guess this is to facilitate them to formulate strategy and choose the opening for the next game. Anand opted for Peter Heine Nielsen and Rustam Kasimdzhanov and his wife Aruna as the accompanying person.I'm not sure who Gelfand has.

The second game repeated the opening from Game 10 where Anand played the Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian Defence.

On the official web site, Svidler is commenting which I like very much. His English is excellent and his comments very helpful to understand the games.

Thrilling first rapid game

The first rapid game in the tie-breaker between Anand and Gelfand ended in a draw . Both players were really fighting here unlike their twelve standard games where they were very cautious.

Anand played white  black in the first game. It was a pretty thrilling game with a very sharp position where it is not easily clear who was better in the late middle-game. Both white and black king-sides seem exposed and this is not the kind of position you want to play in this type of time control. At this point - five minutes for Gelfand and three for Anand.

But within a space of two minutes, both players exchanged off all the pieces except for a rook each to reach a drawn rook ending.

World Championship tie-breaks today

The World Championship match between Anand and Gelfand ended in 6-6 draw with one win each and 10 draws. Thus they go into tie-breakers and whatever happens we can be sure the match will end with a champion today.

The first tie-breaker is a four game rapid match. If that too is tied, they will play a mini blitz match of two games, champion is whoever scores 1.5 points (or two points). If it is tied at 1-1 then they will play a further four such mini matches.

If all five mini blitz are still tied, then we go into Armageddon. They will draw lots and the winner decides if he wants to take four or five minutes. The player with four minutes gets draw odds - means he wins if the game is drawn. So whoever has five minutes must win.

Frankly, I hope they reach Armageddon stage. That's their punishment for giving everyone  mostly boring games in the standard stage. It is a yawn fest. Anand even offered a draw in the final game when up a pawn and Gelfand having 16 minutes for the last 18 moves. For sure, the position is likely drawn but at least make an attempt. Or even show us spectators why it is drawn.

The tie-breaks starts at 4:00 PM , Malaysian time. I just hope it is not all over before I get home :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Istanbul Olympiad registration

The Istanbul Olympiad will run from 27th of August to the 10th of September. To date, 127 countries have registered for the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad. However, Malaysia is not one of them.

You can see the full list here. The closing date for registration is June 10th 2012 which is just two weeks away. MCF have not even started the selection process yet though it is possible to register without submitting a team list.

However it will be nice for once that the selected players are NOT informed at the last minute (like in 2010). Those who are working need time to process their leave and even for those selected who are still studying, they need to arrange for leave from their school/college/university.

My guess is that MCF will hold a round-robin tournament as in the last SEA Games selection. This is already difficult to arrange given the remaining time frame. It is entirely possible that MCF will follow the 2010 selection process whereby the National Champion plus those who are the highest rated on the FIDE ELO list will be offered the remaining places.

My suggestion is that MCF allow everyone to register their interest to represent the country. These players should submit their past tournament performances within the last (say) two years for consideration. The selection should then be based on FIDE rating plus these performances. This way, players not within the top of the rating list still have a chance for consideration if they have done well in their recent tournaments. This is the method that Australia used to form their current olympiad team.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May Insofar Weekend

The eventual winner is Zaidan Zulkipli who scored six wins and one draw. Many web sites have the full results, for example here so I will present a critical position from the final round instead.

Zaidan continues to improve with every tournament. Here, he has one of his best performance. The last round was a nerve wrecking affair against the Filipino, Efren Bagamas. This game decided the winner of the tournament.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anand scores!

It took less than 2 hours and 17 moves when Boris Gelfand had to stop the clock and extend his hand in defeat to Anand.

Gelfand had miscalculated and over-looked Anand's queen move on the  17th move. Gelfand's queen was trapped.

Post seventh game press conference

After each game in the world championship match, there is a press conference with both players.

You can watch the latest press conference here.

The mood from Gelfand was definitely more upbeat than in previous conferences , for obvious reasons. Anand looked grim and gave short answers to questions. Very obviously, Anand is quite upset over his loss, judging from the way he answers the questions posed to him. You can imagine he would rather be back in his hotel room rather than facing the reporters.

Another thing to note is that both players are quite guarded about their responses throughout all the press conferences. Neither wants to reveal too much information that might benefit the opponent. For example, in this one, a reporter asked Anand if he would be playing more aggressively or change his match strategy after this loss. Anand refused to comment.

Anand quickly left the room after the conference and gave reporters no chance to take his picture.

Gelfand scores against Anand

Gelfand has just won the first decisive in his match against World Champion Anand, last night. I only just managed to catch the last three moves in the game when Anand about to lose a piece. Briefly going through the game, I thought Anand played rather listlessly and played rather strangely.

Actually I was following the video on the official web site. During most of the games, Anand looked rather nervous in every game. This is not the same Anand that took the title from Kramnik and defended it against Topalov.

There is only five more games to go and Anand needs to win one back, most likely he need to do it tonight. I am just wondering what opening line he has in his bag of tricks. He really has to show how good his prep is.

With this scenario, the match becomes so much more interesting. Really cannot wait to follow the game tonight.

The seventh game can be played through at Gilachess here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Famous actors chess doubles

Its another Friday. The week-end beckons, World Championship match between Anand and Gelfand is yawn inducing. So lets have some fun to spice up your Friday night. No offence is intended to anyone I mentioned below.

Some chess players just reminds me of characters or actors from movies I have watched. Sometimes when I see the actor it reminds me of the corresponding chess player.

Below are just some examples to show what I mean. Do you see the resemblance?

Left: HK Movie star Lo Lieh, Right: GM Megaranto Susanto

Left: "Prince Dustan", Prince of Persia , Right: Malaysia's own Abdullah

Left: Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan , Right: Sumant Subramaniam

Left: "Bran Stark", Game of Thrones, Right: GM Teimour Radjabov

Left: IM Lim Yee Weng, Right: Matt Damon

Have a great night!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who are "YOU"?

I have a big problem hopefully some reader can help me out. I always read He-who-we-will-not-name making references to "you". He keeps saying "you" this and "you" that. What I can never figure out is who is this "you". And this bugs me no end.

It is not me, Peter or Greg because at one stage he writes 

"You have Jimmy Liew, Peter Long, Greg etc.etc.etc.etc."

So it is not any one of the three. But then who is it????

Lately, He-who-we-will-not-name  has a new target, Mamak Chess. I do not know why , but he keeps challenging Mamak Chess to this and that. All Mamak Chess wanted was to give his opinion , his perspective. He-who-we-will-not-name is very big on giving his personal opinions (some might call it attacks or libel), when others  give theirs, he gets all frothy at the mouth. When others give their opinion , He-who-we-will-not-name labels it an attack and writes multiple posts to "refute" and challenge. He even issues an ultimatium, "give me your name or I will not engage with you anymore". Such arrogance, assuming that everyone wants to "engage" with you. All of us  rather than "engage" with you actually prefer you go away and leave us alone.

I also notice that he has achieved a first. His last three paragraphs in his lastest posts consists only of questions. He must be reading my old post here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

VIdeo after Game 2, World Championship Match

Great video here and I love GM Nigel Short's in his interviews. Always interesting and entertaining comments from the English grandmaster.

"It seems computers dont have anything to do with their lives" - Anand at 2:17

"Objectively chess is a draw from move one why bother to continue" - Nigel Short at 5:06

Friday, May 11, 2012

Anand - Gelfand, World Championship Match

Yes, the long wait is over. The 2012 match between World Champion Anand and Challenger Gelfand will start tonight at 7:00 PM Malaysian time.

I think it is great that the venue is a museum , the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Chess and art goes well together, me thinks.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Unexpected tactic

GM John Paul Gomez - GM Yu Yang Yi, Asian Continental Open 2011

The position was reached at the on-going Asian Continental Open in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Of blowing smoke screens

I got a laugh reading He-who-we-shall-not-name "response" to a post in Mamak Chess. This post asked why He-who-we-shall-not-name hates many local chess players and officials.

And this is the reply as a "refutation".

Brace yourself

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lim Chong Memorial Chess Championship

The second edition of this tournament in memory of the late chess journalist will be held on Sunday 3rd June 2011. As in the first edition, the tournament will be held in Arthur Tan Chess Centre in Wilayah Kompleks.

This year, a separate tournament open to National Union of Journalists members will be held in conjunction with the open event. The  prize fund is RM500 with RM250 going to the winner and RM150 and RM100 going to 2nd/3rd placing.

As usual, entry is limited due to space constraints. To book your place contact the following persons:

Hamid: Tel : 019 3158098 – Fax : 03 40244337 - Email: / Jan Lim 012 2678738

For more details on the prize fund and to download the entry form, go here