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
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.
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.
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.