Which are your favorite players among your seven opponents?
And who will be the toughest?
Well itís been a strange year for chess.
No one is dominating in the post Kasparov Era. Lets see, Leko won Corus,
Kasparov won Linares, Anand took Amber, Topalov took Mtel, and Naiditsch took
Dortmund. I think that if we learned anything from Naiditsch taking
Dortmund, it is that this field is wide open.
However I think that Topalov, the last man to defeat
Kasparov, has been playing the best classical chess this year. He had a nice
third place finish at Corus and tied for first with Kasparov at Linares. He
also took first at Mtel. He also prepared deeply for this tournament.
Anand has dominated the rapid events. He
steam rolled at Amber and at Leon, he just got past Kasimdzhanov. Anand then
went on to have an easy time against Grischuk at Mainz. But lets
recall these are rapid events. Anand hasnít won a classical event since
Peter Leko started the year strong by winning the
strongest tournament in 2005. He did it in grand style by defeating Anand.
However, Leko has since cooled and he is showing the same uncertainty he
showed right before he took on Kramnik for the 2004 Classical World
Championship. Leko is a great defender and we all know great defenses win
But lets not forget about the dark horse here. I think Rustam
Kasimdzhanov could show us his great form from the FIDE KO in 2004. Rustam
has done deep preparation for the ill-fated match with Kasparov. So Rustam could
be a dangerously prepared opponent here. Kasimdzhanov is
probably the 2nd best rapid player in the world. He gave Anand a
battle at Leon this year. Anand won that match. But Kasimdzhanov had his
chances and came up a little short.
Now Michael Addams has shown the world he can beat anybody. This
year heís defeated Anand, Kramnik, Leko, and Topalov. I think of Adams as a
top 10 chess iron man. He plays in all the tournaments and is always in the
middle of the pack. I wonder if Adams had the time to rest before this
tournament. He did have a great start in his drawn match against Leko.
Adams did have a very tough time with Hydra. He was crushed by 5.5 - .5
score. But not many players could stand up to the 2nd coming of Deep Blue.
So I am not sure about Adams' confidence coming into this tournament.
However, this could be the place he makes his move.
Peter Svidler is just coming off is successful defense of the
chess960 world championship. Svidler retained his title by defeating
Almasi. However, Svidler was not happy with his quality of play. Almasi had
his chances. Svidler is also a three time Russian champion. So heís no
stranger to tough tournaments.
Now Judith Polgar hasnít played much chess since having her baby
last year. She did return in 2005. She played in two major tournaments this
year. She finished in the middle of the pack at Corus and Dortmund. In his
new book fire on board two, Alexi Shirov said he had trouble
concentrating on chess and performing his fatherly duties for his young
children. So with Judith being a new mother, one has to wonder if she has
had sufficient time to prepare. However, the one thing this reporter has learned,
is that mothers can do the impossible.
Now when we come to Alexander Morozevich, we are talking
about a great rapid player. He has taken more than his fair share from the
world's top players at rapid and blindfold. However heís not faired to well
recently at classical chess. But if his creative talent is high, he
could definitely pose a serous threat to Anand, Topalov and Leko. But
Morozevich must bridle his creative energies, if he wants to seriously
contend for this title.
How are you preparing yourself for the WCC Argentina 2005?
Well I have been walking 3 miles a day. Itís a tip I picked
up from the great Victor Kortchnoi, who after crashing a car into the back
of a police cruiser, gave up on driving and took to walking. Also I am
jumping back into the pool and will swim 300-400 yards daily. I have been
going over the playerís games and doing analysis. I continue to
work on my own game in a general manner. So i will be prepared for the
September 27 start of this exciting tournament.
Name the first things that come in to your mind when you
think of Argentina.
Since this is a world championship tournament, I am thinking about
Argentina's rich chess
championship history. Lets recall the great Capablanca vs. Alekhine match
played in 1927. Alekhine would achieve chess immortality by defeating the
unbeatable chess machine named Jose Raul Capablanca. Alekhine would need
32 games to win 6 games, while only suffering three losses.
Lets not forget about the 1971 candidate final between two world
champions. Bobby Fischer took on ex champion Tigran Petrosian. Coming from
2 perfect match shut outs of Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen, Fischer had a
17 game winning streak. After losing the first game, Petrosian would break
Fischerís 18 game winning streaks by defeating Fischer in game two.
However Petrosian would come down with a case of Fischeritis and lose the
last 4 games of the match. In 1972 at Reykjavik, Iceland, Fischer became
the 11th World Champion by crushing defending world champion