Magazine article The Spectator

Indian Summer

Magazine article The Spectator

Indian Summer

Article excerpt

The Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand is probably playing the best chess of his life. The irony is that he is not involved in any of the World Championship cycles now in progress. For this he really only has himself to blame since he could have entered the Fidé (World Chess Federation) cycle and gone for a qualifying match with Kasparov or he could have played in the Dortmund Candidates and endeavoured to bring about a direct challenge to Kramnik. As it was, he did neither. We are now faced with one of those curious situations, such as occurred with Tarrasch in the early 1890s, with Rubinstein around 1911 and Reshevsky in 1955 when possibly the world's best player failed to become involved in a challenge match.

Anand's recent triumphs include a match victory against his regular victim Shirov, a win at Dortmund, where he dispatched world champion Kramnik in the final and, as reported this week, an overwhelming triumph in the rapidplay tournament in São Paulo, Brazil. Another irony of the type that seems to dog Anand is that his latest efflorescence of laurels has come largely in speed chess events, or speed play-offs which do not register on the seismic scale of the chess rating list. So Anand's results, although hardly born to blush unseen, are certainly doomed to remain unrated.

This week a sharp game from Dortmund and an energetic finish from São Paulo. It seems that with the white pieces Anand is virtually unstoppable.

Anand-Rublevsky; Dortmund 2004; Sicilian 1 e4 c5 2 NB e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Bd3 Nf6 7 0-0 BcS 8 Nb3 Be7 9 Be3 d6 10 a4 b6 11 a5 b5 12 Bb6 Qc6 13 14 Nbd7 14 Nd4 Anand launches a fierce attack with a pawn sacrifice. …

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