What Goes into the Minds of Grandmasters?

A Grandmaster makes the best moves because they are based on what he wants the board to look like ten or twenty moves in the future. This doesn’t require the calculation of countless twenty-move variations. He evaluates where his fortunes lie in the position and establishes objectives. Then he works out the step-by-step moves to accomplish those aims.

— Garry Kasparov (on his book “How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom)

Bobby Fischer, 1943–2008

One of the world’s greatest chess geniuses, Bobby Fischer, has died at the age of 64. A spokesman for Fischer said the former world chess champion passed away in a Reykjavik hospital yesterday. The US-born former world chess champion, who became famous around the world for beating the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky in 1972, had been seriously ill for some time. Rest in Peace, Bobby.

[adsense]

Read the news.

Bobby Fischer has always been one of my favorite players. Why he has been so different, let’s leave it up to him. After all, he’s just being Bobby. Continue reading

Anand Reclaims the World Title

Vishwanathan Anand is the World Chess Champion after the World Championship 2007 in Mexico City. He is the fourth grandmaster to have reclaimed the crown, after Alexander Alekhine, Mikhail Botvinnik and Anatoly Karpov. That is, however, granting that Garry Kasparov split from FIDE in 1993 and retired from active chess in 2005. Anand first won the FIDE crown in 2000.

The list of world champions according to FIDE’s is now updated with this development as follows:

Name Years Country
Wilhelm Steinitz 1886-1894 Austria / United States
Emanuel Lasker 1894–1921 Prussia/Germany
José Raúl Capablanca   1921–1927 Cuba
Alexander Alekhine 1927–1935 Soviet Union (Russia) / France
Max Euwe 1935–1937 Netherlands
Alexander Alekhine 1937–1946 France
Mikhail Botvinnik 1948–1957 Soviet Union (Russia)
Vasily Smyslov 1957–1958 Soviet Union (Russia)
Mikhail Botvinnik 1958–1960 Soviet Union (Russia)
Mikhail Tal 1960–1961 Soviet Union (Latvia)
Mikhail Botvinnik 1961–1963 Soviet Union (Russia)
Tigran Petrosian 1963–1969 Soviet Union (Armenia)
Boris Spassky 1969–1972 Soviet Union (Russia)
Robert J. Fischer 1972–1975 United States
Anatoly Karpov 1975–1985 Soviet Union (Russia)
Garry Kasparov 1985–1993 Soviet Union / Russia
Anatoly Karpov 1993–1999 Russia
Alexander Khalifman 1999–2000 Russia
Viswanathan Anand 2000–2002 India
Ruslan Ponomariov 2002–2004 Ukraine
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2004–2005 Uzbekistan
Veselin Topalov 2005–2006 Bulgaria
Vladimir Kramnik 2006–2007 Russia
Viswanathan Anand 2007–present   India

Rows in italics represent the grey areas in the world chess history.

Viswanathan Anand became, for the first time, the undisputed World Chess Champion on September 29, 2007, after finishing the tournament with a score of 9/14, not losing a single game and a full point ahead of the second placer, Vladimir Kramnik.

To download the games in pgn and to view some pictures, visit chessbase.com.

Anand’s title, though, it appears, will be challenged again(!) next year sometime between May and September 2008 by no less than…. Vladimir Kramnik, in a best of 12 games one-on-one match. Why, read the wikipedia article.

For Kramnik’s part, I guess he’s better off playing a one-on-one match rather than playing in a round robin tournament. Just look at his 2000 match win agains Kasparov and the 2006 match against Topalov. Clear victories!