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Fourth place for Anand in Your Next move Grand Chess Tour

by Sagar Shah - 22/06/2016

Blitz chess is considered to be a young man's game. You need good reflexes, quick thinking and most of all stamina in order to play 18 rounds in two days. However, Vishy Anand once again proved that he is timeless and ageless by finishing a respectable fourth and playing some high quality chess. He beat MVL 2-0, Nakamura 1.5-0.5 and very nearly got the better of Magnus Carlsen. An overall fourth place finish sets him up well for the remaining two legs of Grand Chess Tour in Sinquefield and London.

Your next move Grand Chess Tour, which was the second leg out of the four Grand Chess Tour events, was held in Leuven from the 17th to the 20th of June 2016. After nine rounds of Rapid chess (25 min + 10 sec increment) Vishy Anand finished fourth with a score of 10.0/18. In the rapid the participants played only nine rounds but every game was counted for double the points. After the rapids, the blitz tournament (5 minutes + 2 seconds increment) of 18 rounds began. Double round robin with each game counting for one point. The combined points of Rapid and Blitz would determine the winner.

Carlsen's 4.0/4 on the final day of the Rapid made sure that he was on the top with 12 points. But Anand wasn't badly placed with ten points.
On the first day of Blitz Anand played some super solid chess. He drew seven games, won against MVL and lost to Caruana. His win against MVL was quite impressive. 
 
[Event "GCT Blitz YourNextMove"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2016.06.19"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A08"]
[WhiteElo "2789"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2016.06.19"]
[EventType "blitz"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. d4 Nf6 5. O-O cxd4 6. Nxd4 e5 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8.
c4 Be6 9. Qa4 Qd7 10. Rd1 Rc8 11. Nd2 Bd6 12. e4 d4 13. Qc2 c5 14. Nf3 h6 15.
Ne1 O-O 16. Nd3 Nh7 17. f4 exf4 18. gxf4 f5 19. e5 Be7 20. b3 Kh8 21. Qe2 Qe8
22. Bd2 g5 23. Bd5 Qf7 24. Bxe6 Qxe6 25. Qh5 Rg8 26. Qf3 Rcd8 27. Kh1 g4 28.
Qg2 h5 29. Be1 h4 30. Kg1 Nf8 31. Rd2 Qh6 32. Re2 Ne6 33. Bg3 hxg3 34. hxg3 Rg7
35. Kf2 Rh7 36. Rg1 Kg8 37. Ke1 Kf7 38. Kd2 Rdh8 39. Qd5 Rd8 40. Qb7 Qf8 41.
Kc2 Qe8 42. Rh1 Qh8 43. Ree1 Rh3 44. Qg2 Qh5 45. Nf2 Rh8 46. Nxh3 gxh3 47. Qe2
Qg4 48. Qd3 h2 49. Re2 Nxf4 50. gxf4 Rh3 51. e6+ Ke8 0-1 

Even at 46 Anand has no problem is drubbing opponent's half his age in blitz
Maybe the biggest disappointment for Anand was his draw in a completelely winning position against Magnus Carlsen.

[Event "GCT Blitz YourNextMove"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2016.06.19"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2855"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2016.06.19"]
[EventType "blitz"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Nbd7 8.
e3 g5 9. Bg3 Ne4 10. Nd2 Nxg3 11. hxg3 c6 12. Qc2 Kf8 13. Bd3 Kg7 14. O-O-O Nf6
15. Nf3 Ng4 16. Kb1 Bxc3 17. bxc3 Qe7 18. Rhe1 f5 19. Re2 Rf8 20. Qb2 a5 21.
Ne1 b5 22. Bc2 b4 23. cxb4 axb4 24. Bb3 Nf6 25. Rc2 Ne4 26. Nd3 Nc3+ 27. Rxc3
bxc3 28. Qxc3 Ba6 29. Qc5 Bxd3+ 30. Rxd3 Qxc5 31. dxc5 Ra5 32. Rc3 f4 33. gxf4
gxf4 34. exf4 Rxf4 35. f3 Kf6 36. g3 Rf5 37. f4 Rh5 38. a4 Rh2 39. Bc2 h5 40.
Kc1 Ra8 41. Re3 Ra5 42. Rc3 Rh3 43. Kb2 h4 44. gxh4 Rxc3 45. Kxc3 Rxc5+ 46. Kb3
Rc4 47. h5 Rxf4 48. h6 c5 49. a5 Rb4+ 50. Ka3 Rb5 51. Ka4 Rb2 52. h7 Kg7 53.
Bf5 c4 54. a6 c3 55. a7 Ra2+ 56. Kb3 Rxa7 57. Kxc3 1/2-1/2

Here's the entire video shot by Ve love Youtube channel

Magnus was not so generous as he beat Vishy on day two with the black pieces
[Event "GCT Blitz YourNextMove"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2016.06.20"]
[Round "12.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2770"]
[BlackElo "2855"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2016.06.19"]
[EventType "blitz"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Na3
Ne7 9. Nc2 O-O 10. Be3 Bxe3 11. Nxe3 a5 12. Re1 Ng6 13. Bb3 c6 14. Bc2 Re8 15.
d4 Qc7 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. g3 h6 18. Qe2 Be6 19. Red1 Rad8 20. b4 Nf8 21. Nc4
axb4 22. cxb4 Bg4 23. Rxd8 Qxd8 24. Rd1 Qe7 25. Rb1 Ne6 26. Ncxe5 Nd4 27. Qd3
Nxf3+ 28. Nxf3 Qxe4 29. Qxe4 Nxe4 30. Rb3 Nf6 31. Kg2 Be6 32. Ra3 Bd5 33. Kf1
Ng4 34. h3 Bxf3 35. hxg4 Bxg4 36. Kg2 Kf8 37. Rc3 Rd8 38. b5 cxb5 39. axb5 Rc8
40. Rxc8+ Bxc8 41. f4 Ke7 0-1

Although he lost to Magnus, Anand bounced back to beat one of the best blitz players currently Hikaru Nakamura with the black pieces
[Event "GCT Blitz YourNextMove"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2016.06.20"]
[Round "15.1"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A21"]
[WhiteElo "2787"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2016.06.19"]
[EventType "blitz"]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5 Bc5 4. e3 Nf6 5. b4 Nxd5 6. bxc5 Nf6 7. Bb2 Qe7 8.
Nf3 Nc6 9. Qb3 b6 10. cxb6 axb6 11. Be2 O-O 12. O-O d6 13. Rfe1 e4 14. Nd4 Nxd4
15. exd4 Bf5 16. d5 Nd7 17. f3 Nc5 18. Qe3 Rfe8 19. Bd4 exf3 20. Qxf3 Bg6 21.
Bf2 Qe4 22. Qxe4 Nxe4 23. Be3 Ra3 24. Bf3 f5 25. Rec1 Rea8 26. Rc2 f4 27. Bxf4
Ng5 28. Rcc1 Nxf3+ 29. gxf3 Rxf3 30. Be3 Raf8 31. a4 Be4 32. a5 R8f6 33. h4 Rh3
0-1

Topalov lost the mini-match to Anand with a score of 1.5-0.5
Three former World Champions in one frame!

In the end Vishy lost a game to Levon and ended with 9.5/18 in the blitz event. Not a bad score at all!

 

Magnus Carlsen convincingly won the blitz tournament with 11.0/18 losing his mini-match only to Anish Giri. Anand's best result was the 2-0 knockout of MVL. 

To be a good blitz player you need your move to be prepared even before your opponent has played!
The Master of all formats: Magnus Carlsen! It is a pity we won't see him in the next two legs of the Grand Chess Tour - Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic as he will be preparing for his World Championship Match against Sergey Karjakin
On a parting note we would like to show you a game of Magnus Carlsen which provoked the following tweet from a top Indian grandmaster:
 
Have a look at this game and see how the World Champion outplays the master of endgame play by fearlessly activating his king: 
[Event "GCT Blitz YourNextMove"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2016.06.20"]
[Round "14.2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2855"]
[BlackElo "2812"]
[PlyCount "132"]
[EventDate "2016.06.19"]
[EventType "blitz"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5
8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re1 Re8 11. c3 Rxe1 12. Qxe1 Ne8 13. Bf4 d5 14. Bd3
g6 15. Nd2 Ng7 16. Nf1 Bf5 17. Bxf5 Nxf5 18. Ne3 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Qd7 20. Re1 c6
21. Bh6 Bg7 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Qe7 Rd8 24. h4 h5 25. Re3 b6 26. Qe5+ Kg8 27. Kh2
a5 28. f3 a4 29. Kg3 b5 30. Kf4 Qd6 31. Qxd6 Rxd6 32. Re8+ Kg7 33. Ke5 Rd7 34.
a3 g5 35. hxg5 h4 36. f4 Kg6 37. Rg8+ Kh7 38. Rc8 Kg7 39. Rxc6 Re7+ 40. Kxd5
Re2 41. Rh6 Rxb2 42. Rxh4 Rb3 43. Kc5 Rxc3+ 44. Kxb5 Rxa3 45. f5 Ra1 46. Kb4 a3
47. g4 Rd1 48. Kxa3 Rxd4 49. Kb3 Rf4 50. Kc3 Ra4 51. Kd3 Ra3+ 52. Kc4 Ra4+ 53.
Kb5 Rf4 54. Kc6 Ra4 55. Kd6 Ra6+ 56. Kc7 Ra7+ 57. Kb6 Ra4 58. Kb5 Rf4 59. Kc5
Ra4 60. Kc6 Rb4 61. Kd5 Ra4 62. Ke5 Ra5+ 63. Kd6 Ra6+ 64. Kc5 Ra4 65. Kc6 Rb4
66. Kd5 Ra4 1/2-1/2 
Final results of combined, blitz and rapid
Woah! Look who we found! Vidit Gujrathi in the stratsopheric company of Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen and all the other greats! What exactly in Vidit doing in Leuven?!!
A picture for posterity!

The final day video report by Vijay Kumar with an interview with Vishy Anand beginning at 9 minutes and 30 seconds

Interview of Garry Kasparov by Maurice Ashley

A huge thanks to our friend Lennart Ootes for treating our readers to such high quality images from the event