I saw the movie Brave Heart recently. It was about William
Wallace a 13-century warrior who led his countrymen to over throw English
rule. What kind of man would defy a king? Only a brave one can. What kind
of player can defy Anand in rapid chess? Only the Brave or the Bareev can
defy Anand at rapid/blitz. Vishy Anand cut through the first 5 rounds of
Amber like a hot knife through butter. He won 8 out of 10 games with two
draws. He took both games from Shirov, Vallejo Pons, and Topalov, the last
man to defeat the retired Garry Kasparov. Anand even took a game from the
14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, and one from Ivanchuk.
express was cruising along fine, however it would slow down when it ran
into Morozevich in the 6th round. Alexander Morozevich gave
Anand all he could handle in their blindfold game.
Lets recall at the 2004 Amber Tournament, Morozevich won both of his games against
Anand. In round 7 the Indian Express picked up Evgeny Bareev.
the early 1990s, Evgeny was the 3rd rated player in the world,
behind Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.
Anand and Bareevís round-7 blindfold game ended in a 26-move
draw. In the rapid game Anand would have the white pieces. Lets recall
that Anand is the rapid world champion. He won that honor by defeating
Vladimir Kramnik in the finals at Cap deí Age in late 2003.
Today, Anand is peerless in rapid/blitz chess.
Since more and more chess is played at rapid speed, Anand wants
FIDE to change the rating system to incorporate these games into the
rating calculation. Clearly Anand is in the hut for the 2800-rating barrier.
Only two men in the history of the game have broken this
barrier. Both the 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov and the 14th
World Champion Vladimir Kramnik have broken it. What kind of man would defy a
king? I think that in order to take a full point from Anand you must
defeat him 3 times, once in the opening, middle and endgame phases of the
Anand debated the Caro-Kann defense. By move 14 both sides had castled
queenside. By move 19 Anand had a space advantage by virtue of his e4
pawn. Bareevís pawns had not past his third rank, however his pieces
were well placed. Bareev would take Anandís 4th rank pawn and
replace it with one of his own. This pawn would prove to be Anandís
Achilles heal. With the next move, it would be Bareev who would grab the
lead in space. He took away Anandís space advantage and grabbed it for
himself with his freeing move 20..c5. This move allowed Bareev to free his
game and establish his own pawn on the 4th rank, however it
came at some expense. In
chess pawn moves create weakness, with 20 ..c5 Bareev king shelter became
less secure. However it allowed him to free his game and grab some space
for his own. Bareev snatched Anandís d4 pawn with 21..cxd4. Anand
responds by bringing his rook into play with 22. Rxd4. Bareev completed
the space grab with 22..e5, thus winning the opening phase of the game.
Anand went on
the offensive, with his rook-lifting move 25 Rh4.
With his queen on f3, rooks on d3 and h4, and a c4-knight, Anand
was poised to storm Bareevís weakened barricade.
military operations, assaults are sustained when the attacking army is
properly supplied. If the communication or supply lines are severed, an
attack can fail horribly.
While trying to
triple up on Bareevís
b7-pawn, Anand miscalculated when he played 26 Na5.
Anandís plan was to take advantage of Bareevís over worked
queen, however Anand failed to appreciate his opponents space advantage.
He failed to see the e4 push coming. This aggressive pawn advance disrupted
Anandís supply and communication lines.
It also put Anandís queen under direct attack.
With his a5-knight now hanging and under attack, Anand needed to
undertake aggressive, desperate actions. With move 26.. e4, Bareev won the
middle game battle against Anand.
allow his attack to dissipate, Anand sacrificed his rook with 27.Rxe4. Bareev quickly grabbed up the rook with 27..Rxe4 and with it
a significant lead in material. Anand was now committed to a desperate
full blow attack. Anand traded his a5-knight and b3-rook for his
b7-pawn and queen. Anand was
hoping his intact queenside pawns and his opponent's dangerously exposed
king would be enough to hold the position.
Bareev realizing the danger quickly regrouped his pieces. The game
evolved into a battle of Bareevís 2 rooks and 2 minor pieces
against Anandís queen, bishop and queenside pawns. By move 53 the
bishops came off the board. Anand queen was out number 3 to 1.
Bareevís rooks and knight were perfectly placed and control the board
With move 53.. Rdb5 Bareev would double both rooks on the b-file.
With his rook-battery bearing down the b-file, Bareev would force
the rooks and queen off the board and trade down to a winning endgame. When the smoke cleared it became a battle of Bareevís
blocked a-pawn and knight against Anandís two isolated pawns. Bareev completed his hat trick and took home the full point
As far as
the reasons for Anandís loss today, I think it can be attributed to
several things: The brave play of Bareev, Anand being over confident with
a commanding lead in the tournament, but lastly it might be due to the
Hangin song parody curse. I
recently wrote and recorded the Anand steamroller song, the next day Anand
loses. The same think happened to Peter Leko during his world championship
match against Kramnik. I wrote the Leko song, then Leko lost the final
game and with it the world championship title. I think itís too early to
tell if the Hangin song parody curse is real or not.