Chess: Anand, Aronian In Chess960 Final


Malaysia Sun, Malaysia
Aug 17 2007

World No.1 Viswanathan Anand of India and Lev Aronian of Armenia will
contest the final of the Chess960 World Championships here.

Anand won two games against Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzebkistan and
Etienne Bacrot of France to finish second in the four-man semi-finals
to qualify for the finals of the Chess960 World Rapid.

Aronian, with whom Anand drew on both days, was the topper with 4.5
points in six games, while the Indian finished with four.

Anand had drawn all three games on the first day, while Aronian won
two and drew one, against his final opponent. Both remained unbeaten
in the semi-finals.

On the second day the Chess960 in Mainz, Anand played with white pieces
against the former world champion Uzbek grandmaster Kasimdzhanov.

Anand opened with e4 and in a game, where the back row is placed
randomly, Kasimdzhanov was very cautious. The Indian used his superior
craftsmanship to steer the game in his favour and won the game after
21 moves.

It was Anand’s first-ever win in Chess960 format championship.

In the game against Bacrot, Anand converted a messy game into a superb
ending. Playing with white, Anand played e4 again.

The Chennai-born Anand played quickly and showed he had come to terms
with the format very quickly. He attacked the French player and won
in 35 moves to enter into the final.

Anand and Aronian drew the final game.

‘With Kasimdzhanov it all happened straight out of the opening. He
almost could not avoid the loss of a piece and that was quite
unexpected,’ said Anand.

‘After that I knew my chances for qualifying in to the finals improved
dramatically because he was my main rival. Beating Bacrot was a bonus.’

The Indian added: ‘My game with Bacrot was very messy and I thought
I was worse I should not have allowed his Bishop on ‘b’ file. It made
me very uncomfortable in the whole game.’

Defending champion Aronian tried hard to gain an upper hand over his
opponent Bacrot, but in the endgame agreed for a draw.

In the second game Aronian defeated Kasimdzhanov while Kasimdzhanov
lost to Bacrot.