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Anand wins the Champions Showdown

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 19/11/2016

The final day saw the blitz leg that consisted of 12 games. Anand finished it with 7.0/12, half a point behind Nakamura. Thus, Viswanathan Anand won the rapid tournament, shared first in the 60-minute format and became second in blitz. That was enough to win the Champions Showdown 2016 at Saint Louis. We have an illustrated report with videos and comments by Vishy.

Pictures from the Facebook page of the Saint Louis Chess Club

Anand wins the Champions Showdown

Anand drew both of his games on day three to finish the classical leg of the multi-format
tournament with 3.5/6. He led together with Topalov who also had the same score.
Anand won the rapid leg without any contest

But as he admitted later, he didn't consider himself a favourite even on the last day of the multi-format event when the blitz leg began. The blitz games consisted of 12 games with 3 min.+ 2 sec. delay.

Vishy Anand's greatest challenge came from Hikaru Nakamura who was breathing down the former's neck.

This footage records those heart thumping few minutes when Vishy made more than 40 moves with one second left on the clock.

He eventually flagged to suffer the only loss in 24 games played over five days in this event.

Anand is all smiles as he talks with Caruana

One of the important victories in the blitz leg was this win in a Sicilian against Caruana:

[Event "2016 Champions Showdown"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.11.14"]
[Round "21.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B43"]
[WhiteElo "2754"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[PlyCount "49"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[TimeControl "180"]
[WhiteClock "0:01:42"]
[BlackClock "0:00:39"]
1. e4 {0} c5 {0} 2. Nf3 {0} e6 {0} 3. d4 {0} cxd4 {0} 4. Nxd4 {0} a6 {0} 5. Nc3
{1} d6 {0} 6. Bd3 {0} Ne7 {0} 7. O-O {0} Nec6 {0} 8. Nce2 {10} Be7 {8} 9. c3 {0
} b6 {3} 10. f4 {9} Bb7 {0} 11. Be3 {6} Nd7 {2} 12. Nxc6 {4} Bxc6 {0} 13. Nd4 {
0} Bb7 {0} 14. f5 {3} Nc5 {52} 15. fxe6 {0} fxe6 {0} 16. b4 {18} Nxd3 {11} 17.
Nxe6 {0} Qd7 {42} 18. Nxg7+ {2} Kd8 {0} 19. Bxb6+ {2} Kc8 {0} 20. Qxd3 {0} Qc6
{22} 21. Bd4 {2} Qxe4 {0} 22. Qxe4 {0} Bxe4 {0} 23. Rf7 {17} Bd8 {0} 24. Nf5 {4
} Rg8 {1} 25. Nxd6+ {0} 1-0

 

But Fabiano defeated Hikaru in this beautiful game in the penultimate round. Thus, Anand ended up winning the event with a round to spare.
[Event "2016 Champions Showdown"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.11.14"]
[Round "23.1"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2842"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[PlyCount "96"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[TimeControl "180"]
[WhiteClock "0:00:14"]
[BlackClock "0:00:08"]
1. d4 {1} Nf6 {0} 2. c4 {0} e6 {0} 3. Nf3 {0} Bb4+ {0} 4. Nbd2 {1} O-O {0} 5.
a3 {3} Be7 {0} 6. e4 {0} d6 {0} 7. Bd3 {0} Nbd7 {9} 8. b4 {1} e5 {0} 9. d5 {1}
a5 {2} 10. Rb1 {2} axb4 {9} 11. axb4 {0} c6 {0} 12. O-O {4} cxd5 {0} 13. cxd5 {
1} Nb6 {0} 14. Nb3 {3} Nbxd5 {4} 15. exd5 {6} e4 {0} 16. Re1 {0} exd3 {5} 17.
Qxd3 {0} Re8 {0} 18. Bg5 {3} h6 {2} 19. Bh4 {0} Bd7 {11} 20. Na5 {16} Qb6 {14}
21. Qd4 {5} Qxd4 {21} 22. Nxd4 {0} Nxd5 {11} 23. Bxe7 {0} Rxe7 {0} 24. Rxe7 {0}
Nxe7 {0} 25. Nxb7 {0} Nd5 {5} 26. Nxd6 {62} Nxb4 {0} 27. h3 {0} Rb8 {20} 28.
Rc1 {1} Nd5 {1} 29. Rc5 {0} Nf6 {0} 30. Rc7 {3} Rb6 {8} 31. Nc4 {1} Rb1+ {0}
32. Kh2 {0} Rc1 {0} 33. g4 {16} g5 {17} 34. f3 {0} Kg7 {1} 35. Kg3 {0} Rc3 {5}
36. Kf2 {0} Rd3 {3} 37. Ne2 {3} Be6 {1} 38. Ne5 {7} Rd5 {0} 39. Nc6 {1} Rc5 {5}
40. Ned4 {0} Bd7 {1} 41. Kg3 {0} Kf8 {5} 42. h4 {4} Ke8 {2} 43. h5 {11} Nd5 {2}
44. Rxd7 {0} Kxd7 {0} 45. Ne5+ {0} Ke8 {3} 46. Nf5 {0} Nf4 {4} 47. Nd6+ {9} Ke7
{0} 48. Nf5+ {1} Ke6 {1} 0-1

 

 

Topalov, who had tied for the first place with Anand in the classical leg, could score only 1.5/6 in rapids and 1.5/12 in blitz and finished at the bottom of the heap.

Topalov seen enacting a sequence from a famous Hindi song from Baghban.

Consistency. That is how you can describe Vishy's greatness in one word. 

"Zurich is the tournament I recalled the most," Anand said about his victory to ChessBase. "The main differences were the number of games and the time delay. I think these multi-format events are good for spectators."

 

Of course we asked him if he was heading to New York for the match. "No, I didn't go to NYC. I'm just enjoying the match from afar. It is heating up now! I'm looking forward to the next few games," Anand said.

Watch Vishy's (hilarious) interview with Alejandro Ramirez

Related:

  1. ChessBase India's recent interview with Vishy Anand
  2. Champions Showdown: The Madras Tiger roars in St. Louis
  3. Anand is the Rapid King, crushes the field

Games in PGN