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Zurich Chess Challenge Tournament

Viswanathan Anand3.5/5(+2 -0 =3)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura3/5(+2 -1 =2)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik2.5/5(+0 -0 =5)[games]
Sergey Karjakin2/5(+0 -1 =4)[games]
Fabiano Caruana2/5(+0 -1 =4)[games]
Levon Aronian2/5(+0 -1 =4)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Zurich Chess Challenge (2015)

Played in Zurich, Switzerland 14-18 February 2015. Official site: Scoring system (Classical games only, this page): 2 points for win, 1 point for draw, 0 points for loss. The event started with the Zurich Chess Challenge (Blitz) (2015) (13 February, to determine colors for the Classical section) and ended with the Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2015) (19 February). In the combined standings (Classical + Rapid), Anand and Nakamura both achieved 9 points, and the final winner (Nakamura) was decided by an Armageddon blitz game.

Previous: Zurich Chess Challenge (2014). Next: Zurich Chess Challenge (2016)

 page 1 of 1; 15 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Aronian vs Karjakin ½-½272015Zurich Chess ChallengeD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
2. Anand vs Kramnik ½-½472015Zurich Chess ChallengeD36 Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2
3. Caruana vs Nakamura 0-1412015Zurich Chess ChallengeB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
4. Kramnik vs Nakamura ½-½402015Zurich Chess ChallengeA14 English
5. Anand vs Aronian 1-0282015Zurich Chess ChallengeD97 Grunfeld, Russian
6. Karjakin vs Caruana ½-½412015Zurich Chess ChallengeC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
7. Nakamura vs Karjakin 1-0272015Zurich Chess ChallengeA33 English, Symmetrical
8. Caruana vs Anand ½-½452015Zurich Chess ChallengeA07 King's Indian Attack
9. Aronian vs Kramnik ½-½612015Zurich Chess ChallengeA14 English
10. Anand vs Nakamura 1-0412015Zurich Chess ChallengeD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Aronian vs Caruana ½-½352015Zurich Chess ChallengeD56 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Kramnik vs Karjakin ½-½432015Zurich Chess ChallengeA07 King's Indian Attack
13. Nakamura vs Aronian ½-½442015Zurich Chess ChallengeC67 Ruy Lopez
14. Caruana vs Kramnik ½-½282015Zurich Chess ChallengeC53 Giuoco Piano
15. Karjakin vs Anand ½-½422015Zurich Chess ChallengeA22 English
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 34 OF 34 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-19-15  chaturangavallabha: I am a big Anand fan but I will have to say that we have to accept the result for what it is. Anand accepted the armageddon so its result is THE RESULT! Anand is too much of a gentleman to go around whining about it.

What excites me is the way Anand showed his class in this super strong tournament. The young 'uns have to huff and puff to catch up with the old tiger. For Anand fans like me any such win is a bonus for our idol is way beyond his prime and that shadow of his former self is still enough to win uper strong tournos in Carlsens ABSENCE.

Cant help but yearn for the 1998 or 2007 Anand to come back as a new player from Indian or subcontinental fold. Harikrishna, you listening?

Feb-20-15  dumbgai: Funny that Aronian wins the blitz, Anand wins the classical, and Kramnik wins the rapid...yet the overall winner of the tournament is none of the above.
Feb-20-15  Overgod: <dumbgai: Funny that Aronian wins the blitz, Anand wins the classical, and Kramnik wins the rapid...yet the overall winner of the tournament is none of the above.>

That's not funny at all. All it does is reinforce the fact that overall consistency trumps temporary flashes of brilliance.

Just ask Carlsen. Undoubtedly the most consistently brilliant player on the planet. He has his howlers, but they're few and far between. Other players are capable of outshining him for a game or two.

But then gravity hits them hard -- while Carlsen continues floating in outer elo space. He's 60 points ahead of number 2 at the moment. And he's not even in peak form. In fact, he's a bit below his intermediate playing strength at the moment, which is about 2875.

How does one tame such a monster? Nobody has the answers right now...

Feb-20-15  Rolfo: Whatever <overgod> writes, his assessments on Carlsen strength and consistency vs the others are right. Just evaluate the results. Though his joke on Karjakin being a chesstourist is too exaggerated. Karjakin has a slump in his carreer just like Aronian. Both are likely to recover. Given the new squad of ambitious younger players it is harder to flow all the way to the top. Though Nakamura has taken a new step clearly
Feb-20-15  Joules: You all are correct regarding the structure of the tournament was clear "from the beginning." I read it and understood it myself. My confusion and complaint is perhaps better directed at the commentators and, of course, the way in which the tie breaker situation was handled.

I like the idea of a single day round robin rapid on the final day. It should have been and was, in hindsight, a dramatic way to finish the tournament. But the handling of that drama by the Chess24 commentary crew was, IMO, apathetic at best. Gustafsson repeatedly, it seemed to me, discounted and or ignored the importance of the rapid round scoring. His oft stated bias toward valuing the results of the classical rounds made it confusing from the beginning, for me. Otherwise, I enjoyed the Chess24 commentary a lot, especially Gustafsson.

The tiebreak fiasco was, for me, just more chaotic icing on the cake. One can't blame the commentators for that mess. I've watched a lot of sporting events. I can't recall anything like it in any sport other than wrestling. I stopped watching or caring about "pro" wrestling when I was 10 years old in 1956. As a relative newcomer to watching tournament chess, I'm disappointed at that comparison.

What should have been a very exciting finish was turned into what felt like an absurd waste of time - a big yawn instead of a wow.

Feb-20-15  Absentee: <bobthebob: We also don't know if the players involved agreed to the terms or were forced.>

How could the players possibly be FORCED to agree?

Feb-20-15  Marmot PFL: <On the other hand, the study also found that a statewide tally would have resulted in Gore emerging as the victor by 60 to 171 votes, if the official vote-counting standards had not rejected ballots containing overvotes (where a voter marks a candidate's name and also writes it in).>

The 2000 election would not even have been close, if not for Ralph Nader. However, I do not blame anyone who voted for Nader (almost did myself).

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Zurich seems to be morphing into the slot the Melody Amber tournaments played for 20 years.

Have the prize moneys been disclosed?

Feb-20-15  kummatmebro: Mmmmm whats that? Fabiano is the next contendor for the world title? Tell me more..
Feb-21-15  me to play: Hmmm...I bet on Nakamura to win the Zurich Chess Challenge, which he did, ( at least I thought he did after the tie breaker)and yet my Chess Bookie ticket says..."lose discard ticket". Strange event ;).
Feb-22-15  Conrad93: How could he win? Anand is half a point ahead with no losses.
Feb-22-15  Conrad93: I've seen several sites claim Nakamura won.
Feb-22-15  disasterion: <Conrad93> Nakamura won.

The tournament winner was determined by combining the results of classical games (on this page) and rapid games (Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2015)), with classical points counting double.

This scoring system left Anand and Nakamura tied for first place, after which the organisers arbitrarily opted to impose a blitz tiebreak round. Anand refused to play blitz but agreed to a single Armageddon game which Nakamura won decisively.

Report plus this final game:

Feb-22-15  bobthebob: <This scoring system left Anand and Nakamura tied for first place, after which the organisers arbitrarily opted to impose a blitz tiebreak round. Anand refused to play blitz but agreed to a single Armageddon game which Nakamura won decisively.>

Your post does not match the article you link to.
According to the article:
Blitz playoff was announced "earlier in the day".
After talking to the two players involved, the format was changed. No mention that Anand refused to play blitz.

The reporting on this has been sloppy with "reporters" asserting facts that aren't supported by any know...facts.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <AK....political nonsense, no matter what your political views are, should never surprise you.>

Quite true.

Feb-22-15  disasterion: <bobthebob: Your post does not match the article you link to.>

Fair point. I only used the link to support the contention that Nakamura won, and provide the final game.

The rest of my post was based on watching events unfold online... In the general chaos I got the distinct impression Anand was unhappy (with some justification - his Sonneborn-berger score would have given him first place). And this would seem to be backed up by the sight of Nakamura waiting at the board for some minutes, with Anand nowhere to be seen and the commentators anticipating several blitz games, before everyone disappeared into a back room to consult, and then came out again for the single Armageddon game.

I should have made it clear that this was just my impression.

There's a more substantial report here:

... complete with a lot of arguing about what did and/or should have happened in the comments.

Feb-22-15  Conrad93: So, wait, Anand lost even though he had the highest score in the tournament? Why does rapid even matter?

This seems highly unfair.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Conrad93> In my view, Anand won the classical tournament. Then they played some rapid and blitz, the results of which will pass into oblivion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Vishy's opinion on tiebreak rules:

<Viswanathan Anand @vishy64theking · 17h 17 hours ago

unhappy with the tiebreak or the interpretation of rules.

I would just like to say I was never dissatisfied with the tiebreak(2/6)>>

Mar-03-15  Nina Myers: Il suffit de rejouer ce blitz final pour s'aperçevoir qu'Anand n'avait pas du tout envie de le jouer!
Mar-03-15  jsy: <Il suffit de rejouer ce blitz final pour s'aper�evoir qu'Anand n'avait pas du tout envie de le jouer!>

Just replay the awards ceremony and Anand was in good spirits.

Mar-26-15  ex0duz: It's funny how Anand, Aronian and Kramnik are mentioned as individual winners on chessgames main page(unless it's an automated posting based on the tablebase results of each section), and yet Nakamura is never mentioned even though he won the whole thing lol

< Troller: <Conrad93> In my view, Anand won the classical tournament. Then they played some rapid and blitz, the results of which will pass into oblivion.>

You mean in your view, he's the winner of Zurich altogether? Because there's no 'your view' for Anand winning the classical portion, because he won that outright, half a point ahead of the eventual overall champ(Naka) and that's just objective fact which no one would dispute.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <ex0duz>

Basically I mean that Anand will be remembered as the winner of Zürich. Blitz and rapid - well, it can be entertaining and all, but not so serious.

I might be in the wrong here, but does anyone remember e.g. winners of the Melody Amber tournaments? Compared to e.g. winners of Wijk-ann-Zee.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: The only thing that really counts is the winner of the tournament according to its rules, a classical section plus a rapid section. And the only site that really counts is the official site, The winner of the classical section (Anand) has as much relevance as the winner of the rapid section (Kramnik).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The final Armageddon game between Anand and Nakamura is not in CG db it seems.
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