How many matches! Leko-Kramnik, Aronian-Kramnik, Junior-Fritz and the Fide Candidates, but there could be some others. Well, the first clash to start will be a rematch of the Classical World championship challenge, which took place three years ago in Brissago (Switzerland) with a 7-7 final result. Hungarian Peter Leko will face the day after tomorrow to April 29 the Fide champion Vladimir Kramnik in 8 rapid games; venue of the duel is the National Theatre of Miskolc. This is the third challenge between the two superGMs: Kramnik won a 12 games rapid match in 2001 (7-5), then in 2004 they played in Brissago. Official site: http://www.lekokramnyik.hu/.
Some days later after the end of this duel, Kramnik will flight to Yerevan, Armenia, where he will play World Cup holder Levon Aronian in May 4 to 6. Two games will be played each day. The time control will be 25 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 10 seconds per move. The match is organised by the Armenian Chess Federation. Official site: http://www.aroniankramnik2007.am/.
We can't forget about the 2007 Fide Candidates matches, which will take place in Elista (Russia), 27 May - 13 June. Official site is to be announced yet, but the first round pairings are known: Aronian-Carlsen, Leko-M. Gurevich, Ponomariov-Rublevsky, Gelfand-Kasimdzhanov, Bacrot-Kamsky, Grischuk-Malakhov, J. Polgar-Bareev and Shirov-Adams. It looks really hard to predict who will succeed in qualifying for the Mexico city competition. I would say Aronian, Leko, Grischuk (or Ponomariov) and Kamsky (or Gelfand), but I think all can happen.
Finally we have the Deep Fritz-Deep Junior duel. Deep Fritz won the 2006 match against the (human) world champion Vladimir Kramnik, Deep Junior is the current computer chess world champion. The rate of play is 75 minutes for the game + 5 sec per move. Arbiter is IM David Levy, President of the ICGA (International Computer Games Association). I don’t know who cares about this electronic brains clash, and I don’t understand why Fide and Ilyumzhinov sponsor this event by giving a 100.000 $ prize fund. I think Fide can spend this money in a better way. And you?
Some details about Anand’s simul on the ICC are finally available on the www.hindu.com site. Arvind Aaron reports: “In a three hour battle, World number 1 Vishy Anand saved a couple of difficult games towards the end to turn around and win 17 games, draw 1 and lose 1 game in the Anand v The World, Vidya Sagar Charity Simultaneous Display held on April 21 at the Internet Chess Club. Anand took on 19 players at the same time from four continents spread across eight nations, from various time zones as Hong Kong in the East to California in the West, in a classical chess game from his home at Collado Mediano near Madrid in Spain. Speaking to The Hindu, Anand said the best preparation before playing such a demanding display was good sleep and rest and he had it. “Both ‘Bluesette’ (real name Marc Lacrosse of Belgium) and ‘Knight Gold’ (Dr Alain Authier from Quebec, Canada) played well, and I managed to recover against Shanbhag and win”, said Anand. Bluesette won a nice ending after Anand admitted that he overlooked a rook manoeuvre by his opponent. Knight Gold took a draw by repetition. The ICC confirmed that $5,408 (about Rs. 2.25 lakhs) was raised for VidyaSagar, Chennai from last night's Charity Simul. The highest bidder paid $501”. Games are available at http://www.chessclub.com/resources/event/anand07/.
A strong tourney has started today in Cutro, Italy. 22 players compete in the main group, with 8 GMs, 4 IMs and 3 FMs. A tough battle for everyone! Swedish GM Evgenij Agrest is the Elo favourite, but GMs Milan Drasko (Montenegro), Arkadij Rotstein (Germany) and Sergey Kasparov (Belarus) among the others won’t let him have an easy victory. Official site: http://scacchicutro.no-ip.info/.
And now here is the only game Anand lost in the ICC simul. His opponent was Belgian player Marc Lacrosse (he has the same name, but he is not the FM, as I previously reported :-) - read the comments).
Anand,V (2786) – Lacrosse,M [B41], ICC 21.04.2007
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nb3 Bb6 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. Bf4 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bb5+ Nc6 11. O-O O-O 12. c3 Bf5 13. Qd2 a6 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Be3 Bc7 16. Bf4 Bb6 17. Rfe1 Qf6 18. Be5 Qg6 19. Qf4 Be4 20. Qg3 Rfe8 21. Bd4 Bc7 22. Qxg6 Bxg6 23. Nc5 a5 24. b3 Bf5 25. f3 h5 26. g3 f6 27. Kf2 Kf7 28. Na4 g5 29. Rxe8 Rxe8 30. Bb6 Bxb6+ 31. Nxb6 Rb8 32. Na4 Rb5 33. Rd1 Be6 34. Ke3 c5 35. Kd2 c4 36. bxc4 dxc4 37. Kc1 Rf5 38. Rf1 Re5 39. Rf2 Re3 40. f4 gxf4 41. Rxf4 Re1+ 42. Kb2 Re2+ 43. Ka3 Rxh2 44. Nc5 Bg4 45. Ne4 f5 46. Rf2 Rxf2 47. Nxf2 Kf6 48. Ka4 Kg5 49. Kxa5 f4 50. gxf4+ Kxf4 0-1