Chess Classics Mainz 2008

Vishy Anand with simul on 40 boards

Mainz rapid Anand Aronian

Vishy Anand at Chess Classics last year

The Chess Classic Mainz began in style. World Champion Vishy Anand and 10-times winner of the Rapid World Chess Championship in Mainz opened the event with a simul on 40 boards. This time, maybe a bit more than just the usual chess entertainment simuls tend to be. Of course, Anand has his mind on the World Championship match against Vladimir Kramnik, which will be played in October. Doing badly in a simul might not be good for his confidence. But possibly Anand does not even think about defeat and just wants to break another record in Mainz where he already holds so many records. Four draws in 40 games is the best result ever achieved in these simultaneous events, which traditionally start the Chess Classic. And this record was set back in 1994, at the first Chess Classic ever – and by no other but Vishy Anand himself.

14 years and two World Champion titles later Anand now tries to top himself. In the “Goldsaal” – the “Gold Hall” – of the Hilton in Mainz he quietly moves from board to board to show his opponents what a World Champion can do with the pieces. In the beginning Anand, playing White on all 40 boards, keeps a steady pace, moving in a constant rhythm, which, however, slows down a bit while some of his opponents manage to pose him more seriously problems. But there are not many who are able to do so. The 40 players visibly try their best to outwit the best player they might ever have played against and will ever play against, but to no avail. No matter how hard they think about their moves, how tricky the maneuvers they come up with, the strategies they plan to follow, the World Champion seems to grasp all of them in a moment and to dispel all dreams of victory with quick and smooth play, which forces one after the other of his opponents to resign. And while the simul takes its course more and more boards are dominated by a white Kings on e4, indicating a win by Anand. After three and a half hours of play only about half of the players are still in the game. Only one player managed to achieve the draw. After four hours of play Anand had conceded only two draws. The final result will be published tomorrow.

Full article by Johannes Fischer at – live games from 2008 Chess Classics Mainz

The experts think that Vishy Anand can still win another Chess Classic title this year, but it will be a hard battle according to Anand: “Magnus Carlsen has a winning streak this year winning Wijk aan Zee, Baku, and he is leading the tournament in Biel currently. That is very impressive. All players in the Grenke Leasing Rapid World Championship have an attractive style. Alexander Morozevich and Magnus seem to be in great form, and my games with Judit Polgar are always hard-fought. I even had a 14-game sequence with Polgar without a single draw.” Since the Grenke Rapid World Championship will be played at the end of the week, the women were in the focus of attention during the opening press conference, because they will start off with the FiNet Chess960 Women´s rapid world championship on Tuesday. Alexandra Kosteniuk, Natalia Zhukova, Victorija Cmilyte and Katherina Lahno will play a round robin with a 4-game final on Thursday.

Official site

Mainz Classics Viktoria Cymlite

Victorija Cmilyte is back to the Chess Classics tournament

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