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Viswanathan Anand
Number of games in database: 2,786
Years covered: 1984 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2785 (2809 rapid, 2811 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2817
Overall record: +605 -202 =929 (61.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1050 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (469) 
    B90 B33 B30 B32 B42
 Ruy Lopez (314) 
    C78 C67 C89 C88 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (154) 
    C89 C88 C92 C84 C95
 Sicilian Najdorf (120) 
    B90 B92 B93 B96 B97
 French Defense (120) 
    C11 C10 C18 C19 C12
 Caro-Kann (87) 
    B17 B12 B14 B18 B19
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (254) 
    B90 B92 B48 B84 B65
 Ruy Lopez (132) 
    C78 C80 C88 C65 C67
 Queen's Indian (115) 
    E15 E12 E17 E19 E14
 Semi-Slav (100) 
    D45 D47 D43 D44 D46
 Sicilian Najdorf (83) 
    B90 B92 B97 B96 B91
 Caro-Kann (72) 
    B12 B18 B17 B19 B13
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Aronian vs Anand, 2013 0-1
   Karjakin vs Anand, 2006 0-1
   Anand vs Topalov, 2005 1/2-1/2
   Anand vs Lautier, 1997 1-0
   Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 0-1
   Radjabov vs Anand, 2002 0-1
   Anand vs Topalov, 2010 1-0
   Anand vs Kasparov, 1995 1-0
   Anand vs Bologan, 2003 1-0
   Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Kasparov - Anand World Championship Match (1995)
   Karpov - Anand World Championship Match (1998)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001)
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005)
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007)
   Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)
   Anand - Topalov World Chess Championship (2010)
   Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship (2012)
   Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Wijk aan Zee Corus (2004)
   7th Corsica Open (2003)
   Linares (1998)
   Corsica Masters (2004)
   Corus Wijk aan Zee (2006)
   SIS-MH Masters (2003)
   Arctic Securities Chess Stars (2010)
   Corsica Masters Knockout (2011)
   Villa de Canada de Calatrava (2007)
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens (1996)
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens (1998)
   Corus Chess Tournament (2005)
   Dortmund Sparkassen (2004)
   Corsica Masters (2006)
   36th Olympiad (2004)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Anand! by amadeus
   Admirable Anand! by chocobonbon
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1990-1999 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 2000-2010 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   anand's ruylopez as white by senankit
   Anand's immortal by senankit
   admirable anand by senankit
   anand's ruylopez with black by senankit
   anand ruylopez as white by senankit
   Exchange sacs - 2 by obrit
   anand at his best by senankit
   Anand vs World Champs decisive games+ vs Asians by visayanbraindoctor
   end games by senankit
   Ruy Lopez Closed by Volcach

   Nijboer vs Anand, 1998

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Viswanathan Anand
Search Google for Viswanathan Anand
FIDE player card for Viswanathan Anand

(born Dec-11-1969, 44 years old) India

[what is this?]
Vishwanathan Anand ("Vishy" to his fans) was the 15th undisputed World Champion, reigning from 2007 until 2013. He was also FIDE World Champion from 2000-2002. He was born in 1969 in Mayiladuthurai, a small town in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, but grew up in Chennai. His mother taught him to play chess at age 6.


As an Indian and as an Asian chess player he blazed a trail with a number of firsts, including in 1984 becoming the youngest Indian to earn the title of IM (aged 15), becoming the youngest ever Indian Champion at 16, becoming in 1987 the first Indian to win the World Junior Championship and India’s first grandmaster, and becoming India’s (and Asia’s) first World Champion. He was also the first World Champion since Robert James Fischer and the second since Max Euwe who did not originate from one of the countries of what was the Soviet bloc. Moreover, he was the first and only player to have won the putative world championship via knockout tournament, round robin tournament and traditional match play.


<Youth and Junior>: Anand’s first serious impact in Indian chess was as a 14 year old, winning the 1983-84 National Sub-Junior Championship with a perfect score of 9/9 points. From 1983 until 1986, he was the National Junior (under 19) Champion and in 1984 and again in 1985 he won Lloyd’s Bank Junior championship. Also in 1984 and again in 1985, Anand won the Asian Junior (under 19) Championships, the youngest to achieve this distinction. Anand capped his junior career by winning the 1987 World Junior Chess Championship.

<National>: He won the Indian National Championships in 1986, 1987 and 1988.

<Continental>: In 1986, he won the Arab-Asian International Chess Championship. In 1989, he won the 2nd Asian Active Chess Championship held in Hong Kong. In 1990 he won the Asian Open Chess Championship in Manila.

<World>: Anand’s first tilt at the World Championship cycle occurred during the last of the traditional FIDE cycles that had been established after World War II, albeit a cycle cut short at the final by Kasparov’s split from FIDE in 1993. Anand kicked off his world championship campaign when he won the gold medal at the 1990 Asian Zonal Championship, qualifying for the Manila Interzonal later that year. He came 3rd at that Interzonal, half a point behind co-leaders Vassily Ivanchuk and Boris Gelfand, thereby qualifying for the Candidates Matches. In 1991, he defeated Alexey Dreev in Chennai in the first round of Candidates matches, but lost to Anatoly Karpov in Brussels in the quarter finals.

In 1993, he came =1st with Michael Adams at the PCA Interzonal tournament in Groningen, the strongest Swiss tournament played until that time. Also in 1993, he contested the 1993 Biel FIDE Interzonal Tournament, coming 10th in a tightly fought contest, but nevertheless qualifying for the FIDE Candidates cycle. In the PCA Candidates, he defeated Oleg Romanishin 5-2 in a best of 8 match held in New York in 1994, then followed up shortly afterwards with a 5.5-1.5 demolition of Adams at Linares in the Candidates semi-final. In Las Palmas in 1995, he met and defeated Gata Kamsky in the final for the right to meet Garry Kasparov. In 1995, he met Kasparov at the World Trade Center in New York to play the match. After an opening run of eight draws, Anand won game nine but then lost four of the next five to concede the match 10½–7½. Conversely, in the concurrent FIDE cycle, Anand lost his quarter-final match to Kamsky, who went on to lose the 1996 FIDE championship match against Karpov. In 1997, Anand won the knock-out matches at Groningen for an opportunity to challenge FIDE World Champion Karpov, defeating Predrag Nikolic 2-0, Alexander Khalifman 3.5-2.5 (in the rapid and blitz tiebreak), Zoltan Almasi 2-0, Alexey Shirov 1.5-0.5, Boris Gelfand 1.5-0.5, and Adams 5-4 in a hard fought sudden death tiebreaker. In the 1998 FIDE cycle, FIDE controversially seeded the reigning champion Karpov directly into the final against the winner of the seven-round single elimination Candidates tournament. Despite coming through an extremely arduous campaign of 31 games in 30 days, Anand was able to draw the regular match 3-3, forcing a rapid playoff. However, the rapid playoff was won 2-0 by Karpov, allowing him to defend his FIDE championship.

In 2000, he beat Alexey Shirov 3½–½ in the final match held at Tehran to become the FIDE World Chess Champion, after defeating Viktor Bologan, Smbat Gariginovich Lputian, Bartlomiej Macieja, Khalifman, and Adams in the preliminary rounds. He failed to defend the title in 2002, losing in the semifinals to Ivanchuk after defeating Olivier Touzane, Peter Heine Nielsen, Vladislav Tkachiev, Dreev, and Shirov in the earlier rounds. Anand did not compete in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), but tied for second with Peter Svidler in the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005) at San Luis in Mexico with 8½ points out of 14 games, 1½ points behind the winner, Veselin Topalov. On the basis of his results at San Luis, Anand was seeded directly into the double round-robin FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007) in Mexico City, which he won with a score of 9/14 points, a full point ahead of joint second place finishers, Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand, thereby succeeding Kramnik as the title holder of the unified World Championship. In Bonn in October 2008, he successfully retained his crown when he won the twelve-game Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008) by 6.5-4.5 (+3 -1 =7). The following year, he successfully defended his title in the Anand - Topalov World Chess Championship (2010) by 6.5-5.5 after winning the 12th and final classical game scheduled for the match. In May 2012, he faced the winner of the World Championship Candidates (2011), Boris Gelfand, to again successfully defend his title, winning the Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship (2012) 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3) in the rapid game tiebreaker after drawing the classical games 6-6 (+1 -1 =10).

As a result of Magnus Carlsen winning the World Championship Candidates (2013), the Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013) was played in November 2013. The first four games were drawn before Carlsen won the fifth and sixth games. The seventh and eighth games were drawn, with Carlsen then winning the ninth game and drawing the tenth and last game to win the crown from Anand. Final score was 6.5-3.5 (+3 =7) in Carlsen's favor.

Anand's loss in the World Championship match did, however, qualify him to play in the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), which he won with a round to spare. He will therefore challenge Carlsen in a rematch to be held in November 2014.


Anand is the only player to have won the super tournament at Wijk aan Zee (Corus from 1989-2010) five times. He is the first player to have achieved victories in each of the three big chess supertournaments: Corus/Wijk aan Zee (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006), Linares (1998, 2007, 2008), Dortmund (1996, 2000, 2004).

One of Anand’s earliest serious successes in international tournaments that brought him to international attention include his tie for first place in the Sakthi Finance International Grandmasters Chess Tournament in 1987, enabling him to win his third GM norm, and thereby becoming the youngest Grandmaster in the world at that time. In 1989, he competed in the 4th International Games Festival in France, placing 2nd overall in the Veterans vs. Youth Tournament, although he was 1st in the Youth category. During that event he beat former World Champions, Mikhail Tal and Boris Spassky in their individual encounters. In 1990, he won the 1990 Manchester Chess Festival and was =1st in the 1990 Triveni Super Grandmasters Tournament in Delhi. In 1992, Anand took out 1st in the category 18 Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament ahead of Kasparov and Karpov in the strongest tournament ever held until this time. Also in he won the 1992 Goodrich Open International Tournament in Kolkata and won the category 18 Alekhine Memorial tournament in Moscow ahead of Karpov. This raised his rating to 2700, and was only the 8th person to reach that mark at that time. In 1994, he won the PCA Grand Prix in Moscow ahead of Kasparov

Major successes followed rapidly in 1996, when he finished 2nd at the Las Palmas super tournament and at the Magistral Tournament in Leon. There followed, in 1997, wins in the category 19 tournament in Dos Hermanes, the Invesbanka Chess tournament in Belgrade, the Credit Suisse Classic Tournament in Biel, and 2nd place in Dortmund. In 1998 he won the category 21 (average 2752) Linares tournament, as well as at Madrid and at the Fontys-Tilburg International Chess Tournament. In 1999, he won again at Wijk aan Zee. In 2000, he was runner up at Linares, won at Leon (beating Shirov 1½:½) and at Dortmund and also at the 2000 FIDE World Cup in Shenyeng, defeating Evgeny Bareev 1.5 - 0.5 in the final to win. He successfully defended his World Cup title in 2002 in Hyderabad. In 2001, Anand finished 1st in the 2nd Torneo Magistral Tournament in Mexico City, a clear point ahead Nigel Short, Khalifman and Hernandez. In 2002, he won the Eurotel World Chess Trophy in Prague, defeating Jan Timman (2-0), Khalifman (2-0), Sokolov (1.5-0.5), Ivanchuk (2.5-1.5) and Karpov (1.5-0.5) in the final. He won Corus in 2003 and 2004, and took out Dortmund in 2004. In spring of 2006, following a record-extending fifth victory at Corus Wijk aan Zee (2006), Anand became only the fourth player ever to crack the 2800-Elo mark in FIDE ratings, following Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, and Veselin Topalov. A few months after he won the World Championship in 2007, he won the (category 21) Morelia-Linares (2008) outright with 8.5 points, winning at Linares for the third time in his career. Following mediocre (for Anand) results in 2012 which saw him slip out of the top 5 for the first time in nearly 20 years, Anand scored 8/13 to place =3rd behind Carlsen and Aronian at the category 20 Tata Steel (2013) event, and defeated Aronian in round 4 in a game that is becoming known as Anand's Immortal.*

2013 saw Anand breaking his tournament drought by winning outright at the category 19 GRENKE Chess Classic (2013) with 6.5/10, winning in the last round to head off Fabiano Caruana by half a point at the pass. This was his first tournament win since Linares in 2008. A few weeks later he placed 2nd behind Caruana at the Category 21 Zurich Chess Challenge (2013) with 3/6 (+1 -1 =4), losing one game to Caruana and defeating Kramnik in his sole win. In April-May 2013, Anand placed outright 3rd at the category 20 Alekhine Memorial (2013), a half point behind Levon Aronian and Gelfand, with 5/9 (+2 -1 =6), a par for rating performance. Soon afterwards he played in the category 21 Norway Chess Tournament (2013), scoring 5/9, another par for rating effort. His next tournament was the category 22 Tal Memorial (2013) in June 2013 was one of his worst results in many years, finishing near the bottom of the field with 3.5/9 (+1 -3 =5), also causing him to shed 11 rating points and four places in his world ranking.

After he lost his title defense to Carlsen, Anand next's tournament was the category 23 Zurich Chess Challenge (2014) in which he placed 4th with a scored of 2/5. In the lead up to the return match against Carlsen in November 2014, Anand placed a decisive 1st at the category 21 Bilbao Masters (2014), winning with a round to spare in the six game round robin event.


Anand played board 4 for India in 1984, and top board in 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2004 and 2006, winning a silver medal on top board in 2004.


In 1992, Anand defeated the then number 3 Vassily Ivanchuk by 5:3 in a match held in Linares. In 1997, he played an exhibition simul against 6 computers at the Aegon Man Vs Computers chess event, winning 4-2. In 1998 at the Siemens Nixdorf Duell (Rapid) event in Frankfurt, he beat the then world open category computer chess champion Fritz 5 (1.5-0.5). In 1999 at the Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez in Leon, he beat Karpov 5:1. He won the 2001 "Duel of the Champions", defeating Kramnik in a rapid game match 6.5-5.5 and in 2009, he defeated Leko 5-3 in the Leko - Anand Rapid Match (2009).


In 1986, he won a team silver medal and a an individual gold medal for board four in the Asian Team Championship. He scored 7/7 in the 1989 Asian Team Chess Championship thereby helping his team to a team bronze as well as winning the top board prize as well as the individual best performance of the tournament. He has played in the Bundesliga, the French and Hungarian Team Championships and the European Club Cup. In 2009, he lead the Rest of the World from board 1 to a decisive 21.5-10.5 victory in the Azerbaijan vs the World (2009) event. He played top board for Baden-Baden in a couple of rounds, helping his team to win the 2013-14 Bundesliga.


Anand has always been renowned for the speed of his calculation and moves. His early classical games were often played at close to blitz speed and this prowess has stood him in good stead to enable him to become perhaps the greatest blitz and rapid player of all time. His prowess at quick-play chess has earned him the nickname "The Lightning Kid."

The Chess Classic at Mainz, essentially the annual open world rapid championship, that had commenced in 1994 and finished up in 2010 had become Anand’s personal property as he won it 11 times out of the 17 times it had been staged, including nine consecutive wins from 2000 through to 2008. In addition, he has won the annual overall Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Championships in 1994, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2006, the Amber Rapid 7 times, and he was the only player to win the blind and rapid sections of the Amber tournament in the same year (twice: in 1997 and 2005). Other significant sequences were the six consecutive wins at Corsica from 1999 through 2005, and seven wins at Leon in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, Ciudad de Leon XVIII (2005), XIX Ciudad de Leon (2006), and 2007. Other victories include 1st place at the 1996 Credit Swiss Rapid Chess Grand Prix, in Geneva, where he beat Garry Kasparov in the final, 1st in Wydra in Haifa in 1999 and 2000, 1st in the 2000 Plus GSM World Blitz Chess Cup in Warsaw where he won outright with 17.5 Points in 22 Games, defeating Karpov, Gelfand and Svidler, 1st in the 2000 Fujitsu Siemens Giants Chess (Rapid) in Frankfurt, winning the 2006 Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament in Moscow with 23/34, which involved winning 11 out of 17 mini-matches to claim the strongest Blitz tournament in the history of the game, beating his eventual successor to the rapid crown, Aronian, by a 2 point margin. He is also the 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion by virtue of winning the Cap D'Agde FRA (2003). On 27 March 2011 in Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Anand defeated Rustam Kasimdzhanov in a rapid play match by 3.5-0.5 and in September 2011, he won the Botvinnik Memorial Rapid (2011) ahead of Aronian, Kramnik and Carlsen with 4.5/6 (+3 =3 -0). In In June 2011, he won the rapid XXIV Magistral de Ajedrez Ciudad de Leon (2011) 4.5-1.5 (+3 -0 =3) and in October 2011, he defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov by 2-0 in the final to win the Corsica Masters Knockout (2011).

Anand competed in the rejigged London Classic of 2013, and qualified for the final rounds by placing =1st in the London Chess Classic (Group A) (2013), but then lost to Kramnik in the London Chess Classic (Knockout) (2013). He placed =2nd in the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014) with 10.5/15, half a point behind the winner, Carlsen, whom he defeated in their individual encounter, and scored 13.5/21 (placing =5th) in the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014).


Anand has won the Chess Oscar on 6 occasions, in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008. He has received many other national and international awards including the Arjuna award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess in 1985, the inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honour in the year 1991–1992, the British Chess Federation’s 'Book of the Year' Award in 1998 for his book My Best Games of Chess, the Padma Bhushan in 2000, the Sportstar Millennium Award in 1998 from India's premier Sports magazine for being the sportperson of the millennium. In 2007, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award in Indian history and received the 'Global Strategist Award' for mastering many formats of World Chess Championships by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) in 2011.


Anand holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Loyola College in Chennai, India. Previously, he attended High School at Don Bosco. He is married to Aruna Anand and lives in Chennai along with his son Akhil Anand. In August 2010, Anand joined the Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation for promoting and supporting India's elite sportspersons and potential young talent. In 2010 Anand donated his World Championship gold medal from his successful 2008 title defense to the charitable organisation "The Foundation" to be auctioned off for the benefit of underprivileged children.

Rating and Ranking

<Standard> Anand is one of six players in history to crack the 2800 mark, peaking at 2817 in 2011. As of 1 September 2014, his rating was 2785 making him the world #5. He remains the top rated player in the Asian region.

<Rapid> 2809 (world #6); and

<Blitz> 2811 (world #7).

Sources and references

Live rating:; Biography of Anand at the official FIDE website for the 2012 World Championship match:; Wikipedia article: Viswanathan Anand; * Aronian vs Anand, 2013

 page 1 of 112; games 1-25 of 2,786  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Van der Wiel vs Anand 1-027 1984 ThessalonikiB42 Sicilian, Kan
2. Piket vs Anand 0-144 1984 Wch U20A48 King's Indian
3. Anand vs A Greenfeld 1-080 1984 Lloyds Bank opB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
4. D Alzate vs Anand 0-166 1984 ?B80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
5. K Perera vs Anand 1-060 1984 Asia-ch U20 8thC70 Ruy Lopez
6. Anand vs M Apicella 1-025 1984 Champigny sur Marne opB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
7. Anand vs C Hansen ½-½19 1984 ?B05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
8. Anand vs D Hergott 1-038 1984 ThessalonikiB33 Sicilian
9. P Ostermeyer vs Anand 0-141 1984 ThessalonikiA15 English
10. Kiril Georgiev vs Anand 1-035 1984 Wch U20E63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
11. Anand vs A J Mestel 1-025 1985 LondonB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
12. P Mithrakanth vs Anand 0-130 1985 IndiaB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
13. Anand vs Ivanchuk ½-½50 1985 Wch U20C78 Ruy Lopez
14. V Perera vs Anand 1-029 1985 9th Asian Junior ChC05 French, Tarrasch
15. P Paiewonsky vs Anand 0-131 1985 Wch U20D79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line
16. Anand vs Dlugy 1-060 1985 SharjahB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
17. Blatny vs Anand 1-032 1985 SharjahB25 Sicilian, Closed
18. Anand vs Seirawan ½-½45 1986 DubaiC16 French, Winawer
19. Sax vs Anand 0-130 1986 PhiladelphiaB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
20. Anand vs Bareev 1-027 1986 GausdalC16 French, Winawer
21. Anand vs N Murshed 1-060 1986 CalcuttaB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
22. Anand vs T Thorhallsson  1-039 1986 GausdalB57 Sicilian
23. Anand vs D Barua 1-042 1986 CalcuttaC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. Anand vs M Burgess 1-048 1986 OakhamC10 French
25. E Torre vs Anand 1-029 1986 DubaiE15 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 112; games 1-25 of 2,786  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 745 OF 745 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-20-14  Mr 1100: <offramp: How many games did he win in his four defences?>

He won more games than all of his challengers put together :-)

Sep-20-14  visayanbraindoctor: I only count the undisputed World Championship matches:

Kasparov - Anand World Championship Match (1995)

1 win (Anand loses decisively)

Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)

3 wins (Anand wins decisively)

Anand - Topalov World Chess Championship (2010)

2 wins (Anand wins narrowly)

Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship (2012)

1 win (Tie, but Anand retains the Title via quick games tiebreaker)

Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013)

0 wins (Anand loses decisively)

7 wins in 5 undisputed World Championship matches.

Sep-20-14  visayanbraindoctor: I wish I could dismiss Anand's weakly played loss to Aronian in the last round of Bilbao as just one of those days. But I can't, as it seems to be related to his inherent personality. Of all World Champions, he seems to have a 'gentle heart'. In some games, it's as if he lacks determination and focus, no hunger to beat up his opponents, no killer instinct. AFAIK most World Champions have had this characteristic (maybe except Capablanca too). Fischer and Carlsen are the two World Champions that have this killer instinct developed to the fullest.

Anand's only other relative weakness compared to other world champions peculiarly enough seems to be endgames. Sometimes he doesn't seem to notice that he is falling into a worse endgame, or simply misplays it. But this might be related to his gentle hearted chess style, he was never the one for long endgame grinds.

Anand has already acknowledged he made a strategic mistake by playing into Carlsen's strength in the last WC match. To put up a semblance of a good fight, he would have to address this and also fire himself up into a killer mood.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Even though I can't picture Anand winning the rematch, I would definitely be happy for him if he did in fact win it.

The guy is one extremely nice person.

Nothing but a class act in my book.

Sep-20-14  fisayo123: <visayanbraindoctor> Maybe a 44 year old version of Anand, but Anand in his prime was an incredible endgame player. Even the Anand of 2005-2008
Sep-21-14  nok: <I only count the undisputed World Championship matches: Kasparov - Anand World Championship Match (1995)>

It seems you're not very good at it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <chancho: Even though I can't picture Anand winning the rematch, I would definitely be happy for him if he did in fact win it.>

I'll sign that.

As to your views on Anand, I have nothing to say which I have not already stated on more than one occasion.

Sep-21-14  Pulo y Gata: <Anand's only other relative weakness compared to other world champions peculiarly enough seems to be endgames.>

Here a comparison cannot be avoided. To name a few exceptional endgame master and WCs, we have Capablanca, Fischer and Karpov (note that I am naming these because I have some familiarity with their games, Smyslov is also said to be great, but I haven't really followed his games and the other modern champions' styles I only have some superficial knowledge). All three are great endgame players, Capa being the most natural talent of the three. Fischer buckled down to work after he realized his serious lack of "elite" knowledge in the endgame. Karpov is reminiscent of Capa in his prime, his intuitive feel for endgame combined with prodigious practical knowledge made him a truly formidable opponent for anyone after his ascension to the throne. Kasparov is an extremely gifted tactician and opening specialist, but it was with his difficult games with Karpov that Kasparov honed and hardened his endgame-- a metal to metal friction that benefited both players but saw Kasparov on top.

Carlsen meanwhile is of a different breed. His endgame knowledge and analytical prowess is frightening when he's in top form. His first win against Anand in their match was marked with minute calculations that punished the slightest inaccuracy to the hilt. In this regard, he is similar to Fischer and unlike Capablanca and Karpov.

Now Anand is of course a great endgame player but compared to Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov, and Carlsen, I think he is slightly lower in rank. <visayanbraindoctor>'s guess that it might be connected to his personality may not be far-fetched. Strangely, Capabalanca now comes to my mind again. Anand was a prodigy on his own right and the quickness of his mind reminds one of the Cuban champion when he was younger; there are even stylistic similarities. Both amiable human beings these two.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <visayanbraindoctor: I only count the undisputed World Championship matches: Kasparov - Anand World Championship Match (1995)

1 win (Anand loses decisively)

Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)

3 wins (Anand wins decisively)

Anand - Topalov World Chess Championship (2010)

2 wins (Anand wins narrowly)

Anand - Gelfand World Chess Championship (2012)

1 win (Tie, but Anand retains the Title via quick games tiebreaker)

Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013)

0 wins (Anand loses decisively)

7 wins in 5 undisputed World Championship matches....>

You may have made the same mistake as I did... Anand won three games v Topalov. He lost 2.

Sep-21-14  MissScarlett: Someone mentioned the sword of Damocles hanging over Vishy's head. It's actually a clump of horse hair.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: he got outplayed, and snuffed. It was no blessing, just a sign of being a middle aged grandmaster.
Sep-21-14  Ulhumbrus: Anand's loss in the game Aronian vs Anand, 2014 may be a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps more than any other recent game it is this game which Anand is advised to examine closely in order to help prepare himself for the coming match.

In the position after 22 Re4 Black has an isolated e6 pawn and from this alone one may think mistakenly that Black has easy equality.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The e6 pawn is not Black's only weakness. In addition to the e6 pawn Black has in fact no less than four weaknesses: the g6 square, the e4 square, the seventh rank and the eighth rank.

Black is in fact in serious trouble and has to be very careful to avoid defeat.

Black's pieces are tied to the defence of the e6 pawn and cannot keep Aronian's heavy pieces out of the other four weaknesses. After Aronian occupies the last weakness- the back rank- Anand is lost.

It may be that for Black's moves after 22 Re4, the moves suggested by the computer place tiny little difficulties in the way of White's prospects for attack upon Black's five (!!) weaknesses, namely, the e6 pawn, the g6 square, the e4 square, the seventh rank and the eighth rank.

Anand can hardly do better than examine the computer's suggestions for Black's moves after 22 e4. in order to search for and find the REASONS WHY the computer's moves place tiny little difficulties in the way of White's prospects for attack upon Black's five weaknesses

If Anand can go over these with a toothpick he will need every ounce of additional knowledge and skill which he can extract from the examination if he is to defend such positions against Carlen at the coming match in Sochi.

Thus Aronian may have given Anand a most valuable parting gift, providing Anand is able and willing to make use of the present.

The chances based upon ratings will favour Carlsen of course, but there is no reason why Anand should not try to improve his chances by means of such a close examination.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Anand will seek with determination to redeem himself in the rematch.

The match should be competitive the second time around.

But consider that Carlsen (who in no way has the experience to prepare like Anand) STILL managed to emerge victorious in their first match.

I do not believe that Carlsen (who obviously wants to keep his title) will prepare like he did the last time.

I also would not be surprised one iota if it turns out that he is working in secret with Garry Kasparov.

We all know Magnus was in New York playing a consultation game with Kasparov for fun.

Isn't it possible that this was more than a mere get together for some exhibition?!

Carlsen is a smart guy.

He knows he stands to benefit in another collaboration with Kasparov.

Especially when the motivation is to prep for an important rematch to keep his title.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <just a sign of being a middle aged grandmaster.>

I always find it funny how losses by aged players are always attributed to age. I think this attribution is one of the main reasons for some too quick declines - you stop searching for reasons for your losses, "nah, I'm just getting old, forgeddaboutit".

I mean, imagine exactly the same set of games were played by a young player...

Sep-21-14  dx9293: <nok> Lol! Well done!
Sep-21-14  cplyakap: Last 46 days for World Championship.Go Vishy!I really hope he regain title.
Sep-21-14  visayanbraindoctor: <offramp: You may have made the same mistake as I did... Anand won three games v Topalov. He lost 2.>

You're right!

BTW in that Anand - Topalov World Chess Championship (2010)

Anand lost a very crucial drawn endgame, apparently just completely misevaluating it and then blundering at the end.

Topalov vs Anand, 2010

In Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013), Carlsen essentially won the match with two endgame victories from near equal positions. He convincingly outplayed Anand in these grind-fests.

Anand does not seem to have the intuitive feel for endgames that some World Champions had. Neither does he have the relentless determination to do tiring calculations in long endgame grind-fests, something in which Carlsen excels at. But the latter is a matter of attitude that Anand can still change.

I think that he has to hone up a killer instinct, exert immediate pressure on Carlsen right out of the opening, and given equal options choose variations that keep pieces and tactics alive on the board. On the other hand, if he can see his way into a clearly advantageous endgame, he should also take it, and psyche himself out to do some grinding himself. There was a game in the Carlsen match in which Anand could have simplified into a Queen endgame in which he would be a pawn up. Maybe the prospect of trying to grind down Carlsen in a hundred moves daunted him. But this bespeaks of an attitudinal problem, which he should correct.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Reisswolf: Unfortunately, attitudes are hard to correct for an <n>-year old just <n> days before the world championship match, especially when the value of <n> is 45.

If Anand is not willing to get into grind-fests with Carlsen, he has to compensate by preparing even harder in the openings, to the point that he can punish Carlsen's sub-optimal moves that seek to avoid book lines. He <cannot> allow Carlsen to sidestep opening preparation and still emerge roughly even from the opening.

Easier said than done, I know.

Sep-22-14  visayanbraindoctor: <Reisswolf> You are probably right but there is still the example of Alekhine who forced a change in attitude in himself, changing his style into that of a Fischer or Carlsen to grind out wins against an unsuspecting Capablanca in the 1927 match. In that match, Capablanca lost the only two Rook and pawn endgames that he ever lost in his entire career. I don't think Capa expected a change in style in AAA, and got psychologically disadvantaged. It's still possible that we might see a different Anand.

<Pulo y Gata: <Anand's only other relative weakness compared to other world champions peculiarly enough seems to be endgames.>

Here a comparison cannot be avoided. To name a few exceptional endgame master and WCs, we have Capablanca, Fischer and Karpov... <visayanbraindoctor>'s guess that it might be connected to his personality may not be far-fetched.>

Here is another example of Anand's 'bad' attitude in endgames.

Karjakin vs Anand, 2010

Anand agrees to a draw without fighting it out.

Here is Capablanca milking the same endgame out for all its worth and winning.

J Bernstein vs Capablanca, 1915

If you read the messages in the game page <euripides: Mueller and Lamprecht seem to think winning chances in this kind of ending are quite good. They cite

V Ciocaltea vs Unzicker, 1956>

Capablanca with his unsurpassed feel for endgames knew he had good winning chances and played it out perfectly (even before there was a formally written theory about it! He also had a worse pawn structure than Unzicker probably making it harder for him, but that's Capablanca for you, chess genius extraordinaire). Anand even with modern endgame theory available to him, did not. As I opine, an attitude problem.

Hoping to see a different Anand in the match.

Sep-22-14  beatgiant: <visayanbraindoctor> <In that match, Capablanca lost the only two Rook and pawn endgames that he ever lost in his entire career.> He had this loss against Aurbach at least, A Aurbach vs Capablanca, 1913 although probably not a tournament game.
Sep-22-14  anandrulez: Anand's middlegame and endgame needs more work ! Aronian-Anand was dotted with too many red moves . And he seems to have missed Ne5 - Ramirez-Cornetto move . Arguably difficult to find OTB but he needs those to play White vs the like Aronian Carlsen and now Fabiano .
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