Sunday 21 September 2014

Anand wins in Bilbao

Viswanathan Anand's win in the 2014 Candidates tournament not only gave him a rematch for the World Championship, but also had the chess pundits wondering if this was the start of a career resurgence.  For the last 6 months this has been a hard question to answer, as Anand has not played that much, but this week he showed that the Candidates was not a one off.
Despite a last round loss to Lev Aronian, Anand won the Bilbao Masters for the first time, after 3 previous attempts. With the 3-1-0 scoring system in place, he had the tournament wrapped up with a round to go, and his +3=2-1 was eventually worth more than Aronian's +2=4-0, when it came to handing out prize money and interesting hats. Aronian finished a point behind in 2nd, with Ponomariov and Vallejo Pons 5 points back.
Of the games from the event I saw, the one that impressed me most was the following win by Anand over Vallejo Pons. As with most hight level games, it isn't one blunder that undoes Vallejo, but just the gradual build up by Anand until Black's position finally cracks.

Anand,V (2785) - Vallejo Pons,F (2712) [D20]
7th Grand Slam Masters Bilbao ESP (4), 18.09.2014

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