Hangin's preamble on Amber 2005


 3/16/2005 -
The Amber tournament will be starting in a few days.  This is an exciting tournament. Many of the top players in the world will compete in rapid and rapid blindfold chess competition.  There are a lot of scores that need settling. With Garry Kasparovís retirement, the field is wide open. The top five players in the world are competing.

   Vishy Anand is not off to an Anand type year. He finished in 2nd place at Corus and  in 3rd place at Linares. He suffered tough losses to Peter Leko and Michael Adams.  This is not a good start for the so-called best player in the world. Anand had a chance to win Amber last year, but two losses to Morozevich cost him first place. Lets not forget that Anand is the highest, active, rated player in the world. He needs to pick up the pace.

     With his hard charging, first place finish at Linares, Topalov has firmly establish himself as the number three man in the world.  Or should we now bump Kasparov out and put Topalov in the 2nd spot behind Anand? Topalov had a real good Corus, might have won it, had he not faltered against Judith Polgar. Topalov could go down in history as the last man to defeat Garry Kasparov.

     Now what about the 14th World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik? Heís been a nonfactor since narrowly retaining his title last October. He lost in 20 short moves, with white against Topalov in round one of Corus. Kramnik unwisely skipped Linares.  I think itís time for Kramnik to reestablish himself. At Amber last year, Kramnik shared first with Morozevich. Kramnik keeps falling in the rating charts. Both Anand and Topalov have passed him by. Peter Leko is also poised to jump past Kramnik. Kasparov is a hot commodity now.  Kramnik needs to boost his worth, if he wants that 2 million dollar match with Kasparov. A world championship match is just the thing to bring Kasparov out of retirement.

    Peter Leko is coming off an uninspiring 4th place finish at Linares. Peter drew all his games. I guess his great showing at Corus is not enough to shake off the draw master label. Lets hope that Leko was just tired from a tough world championship match and a great victory at Corus.

    As for Alexander Morozevich, he shared first with Kramnik at Amber in 2004. A few months back I did an analysis of games between the top 6 players in the world. I was surprised to see that Morozevich can beat any one in the world at blindfold or rapid chess. This is Morozevichís element. He also has a lot to prove after a poor showing at Corus.

    With a retired Kasparov, the field is WIDE open. Who is going to make the break for daylight? Who going to lead the chess world now? As far of the rest of field, Alexi Shirov, Peter Svidler, Evgeny Bareev, Boris Gelfand, and Francisco Vallejo Pons, they all have a great opportunity to show their skills against the best in the world. You canít ask for more than that.




ChessBase Report on Amber
Hangin's final
report Linares
Who is the best player in the world
Hangin Wynchell reports