Chess: Anand faces Shirov in duel of world champions

Newindpress, India
Aug 5 2004

Anand faces Shirov in duel of world champions
Thursday August 5 2004 00:00 IST

MAINZ (GERMANY): Fresh from his triumph at the Dortmund Sparkassen
chess meet, Viswanathan Anand will battle it out against Grandmaster
Alexei Shirov of Spain in the duel of the world champions at the main
event of the Chess Classic at Rhinegoldhalle here.

A winner here in the last three events, Anand yet again starts as the
favourite to clinch the title.

There will be eight games under rapid chess time control with 25
minutes to both players at the start of the game and an addition of
10 seconds after every move is made. In the event of a 4-4 tied score
tiebreak games will come into effect to determine the winner.

The Mainz organisers have been known to rope in exciting challengers
for Anand and this time Shirov is a natural choice given his ability
to play high quality tactical chess.A runner-up of the world
championship 2001 in Iran, Shirov is referred to as vice world
champion 2001 in this match.

For Anand, Shirov thus far has been an easy customer but the Indian
knows only too well that he cannot be underestimated even though in
match play, Anand has an enviable record against the Latvian born

In the last two world championships that Anand played in, he beat
Shirov twice — once in the finals in 2000-2001 at Tehran, Iran and
next in the quarterfinals of the Moscow edition in 2001-2002.

“Nothing ever changes in this world, Vishy always beats me,” Shirov
had said after his dismal result against Anand in Moscow.

in the last edition, the Indian ace had beaten world’s top rated
women player Judit Polgar in a hair-raising battle that finally ended
5-3 in his favour. The most remarkable thing about this contest was
that not a single game ended in a draw and Anand struck back after
conceding lead thrice to Polgar.

In 2002, Anand had beaten Ruslan Ponomariov in a real close fight
that ended 4.5-3.5 while in 2001 it was Vladimir Kramnik who was made
to suffer by the Indian via tiebreaker.

Anand, who comes to Mainz after a brilliant victory against world No
3 Vladimir Kramnik of Russia at Dortmund, has had an excellent year
thus far with his victory in the Corus Chess Tournament at Wijk ann
Zee in the Netherlands followed by the rapid section of the Amber
Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament and in June this year he led the
world team to 18.5-17.5 triumph over players with Armenian

The Chess Classic will have a variety of event and the most popular
of them is the Chess 960, also known as Fischer Random Chess in which
the position of the pieces is changed randomly only a few minutes
before the game. Russian champion Peter Svidler is currently the top
ranked player in this form of the game. This year Svidler will be
challenged by former world junior champion Levon Aronian of Armenia
for the title he won last year.

There will also be an open category in Chess 960, in which Krishnan
Sasikiran will be one of the attractions following his second
position in the category-18 Biel Grandmaster Tournament. Besides
these a few simultaneous exhibitions and the Ordix Open under rapid
chess rules are also scheduled.