was disappointed to hear that Anand skipped out of Libya because
of Kasparov being seeded into the reunification. I wish Vishy
could appreciate Kasparov rights as an ex world champion. Kasparov
has yet to take advantage of his rights as an ex world champion
one match removed from his title. Other world champions have
exercised great rights as ex world champions. Karpov
and Botvinnik both had greater rights than Kasparov ever had.
Kasparov doesnít need to play Anand any longer.
Kasparovís great legacy is already built, and he is just putting
the finishing touches on it now. Anand on the other hand might be
known as the 2nd best player never to have won the true
I believe Anand lost momentum this year. He
seems to be happy with his 2nd
place in the rating charts, his victory at Corus the last two
years, his win over Kramnik at Cap D'adge in 2003 for the rapid
world championship, and his third
Chess Oscar. Anand skipped Linares in 2004, a tournament where
he could have proven his dominance over the chosen ones in the
reunification process, namely Kasparov, Kramnik and Leko. Anand,
at 34 years of age, is at the height of his chess powers. Anand is
a very talented player who excels in rapid and blitz games. He
certainly could have won the FIDE KO in Libya. He went to the
finals twice out of three attempts. Anand finally won the FIDE
KO in 2001 with just 8 wins against 6 opponents.
also passed up on the Brain Games World Championship against
Garry Kasparov in 2000. Kramnik
wisely took up the challenge and is now the current world
champion. Based on how long reunification is taking and the
uncertainty as to when it will finish, Anandís
chances to be a true world champion are waning. Anand needs to
be savvier with opportunities to play great players. Iíll never
understand why players refuse great opportunities to play Garry
Kasparov, arguably the greatest player who ever lived.
that an Anand victory over Kasparov in a match of significant
duration (12 games) would be Anandís greatest achievement.
Anand's greatest achievement is not his 2001 FIDE KO
Championship, nor his 2003 Rapid World Championship. In fact I
greatest achievement to date is his loss to Kasparov in the
1995 world championship match by a score of 10.5 Ė 7.5. Anand
completed the rigorous candidates process and he should be proud
of this achievement and proud of his loss to Kasparov. During the 1995
world championship, Anand showed he was Kasparovís equal or
better over the first 9 games; Anand led 5 Ė 4.
I liken winning
the true world championship to climbing Mount Everest. Its not
enough to summit you must make it back down alive. Many climbers
use great energy and desire to make it to the top, however once at
the top they feel their mission is completed and they collapse on
the way down and die on the mountain. I feel thatís what
happened to Anand during the 1995 match, when he took first blood
and the match lead in game 9. Anand fell apart afterwards and lost
4 out of the next 5 games. I wish the players would have a greater
respect for the great tradition of chess world championship. It is
this tradition of the man who beat the man who beat the man that
gives value to the world title.
I was also surprised that Anand feels
the world championship format is not important. I was surprised he
felt the old system favored the champion. Well, with the old
system the champion had to go through the candidateís process as
well. Lets compare the old system by the match ups they created
and the champions they produced.
The old system produced Spassky,
1000 in my book. I call that an utopian system.
Both champion and challenger had to demonstrate their
superiority through strength of play in classical chess. The old
system was a three-year cycle. The challenger gets time to
recharge before playing the champion. The champion has the
disadvantage of not knowing whom to prepare for, while all the
challengers can prepare for the champion for three years. The
3-year cycle allows the champ to promote the game. Karpov and
Kasparov were excellent examples of
great world champions. They played and won many tournaments
around the world. They defended their titles and promoted the game
around the world. In the old system the world champion could not
relax, because he knew the process would produce the best
Lets choose the
system that gives us the best and true world champion.
We have already seen with the many upsets in this current
KO that this format is unworthy of world championship selection.
Poor Topalov who started the KO with 9.5/10 points. Finalist
Ruslan Kasimdzhanov eliminated him with one win. Thatís a crime.
The KO format is a blitz-crazed,
grab-bag process unworthy of classical world championships. I
find it strange that Anand would play in 3 KO without Kasparov
with no problems, but now itís a problem. If Anand had no
problem with Kasparov playing Ponomariov for the FIDE world
championship, why should Kasparov lose his rights because of Ponomariovís
poor decision not to play?