Monday, April 26, 2010

Beginning of Anand-Topalov Match/Predictions




For a change, I will discuss high-level chess instead of my own foul-play. I will by no means attempt to analyze the games as much stronger annotators such as Yermolinski on Chessfm and Giri on Chessbase.com gave gave their input;however, I do want to my put some my insights.

Personally, I think Anand is a clear favorite to win the match. I predict he will win the match 7-5 as Topalov will try to hard to win some key games toward the end of the match. Before the start of the ridiculous bathroom scandal in his 2006 match against Kramnik, which I am sure you are all aware of, I rooted for Topalov to become World Champion because of his entertaining tactical and interesting style.


Oh No!! Kramnik is not at the board! He must be cheating in the bathroom!


I remember I went to a lecture Joel Benjamin gave at the Marshall about half way through the match. In his introduction, he asked how many people were rooting for Topalov before and after the bathroom controversy. Beforehand, about 3/4 of the 20 or so people there said they were rooting for him and few if any were afterwords.

Perhaps my prediction that Anand will win is biased but the two factors of their overall lifetime score and the fact that Anand beat Kramnik are in Anand's favor. Feel free to share your predictions.

As to the first two games: Somewhat amusing, somewhat not so amazing

To a certain degree, it was an incredible start to the match in terms of excitement:two consecutive decisive games. On the other hand I don't find two players rattling off 22 moves in the 1st game and Anand blundering on move 23, at least according to chessbase.com,so interesting. Obviously, preparation is a large factor in such a prestigious match I don't find a game so heavily based on it to be so interesting. I would even prefer a long-fought draw with a lot of positional nuances. Of course, I could be criticized for bias for Anand again by saying this, but I truly did appreciate his victory more as although the game wasn't perfect, he did play some high-level nuances such as 27.bf3 that a weak player like myself would likely ignore.

According to IM Malcom' Pein's article on Chessbase.com, Anand played some questionable moves such as his "not so great" novelty 15.Qa3. Yermolinski does agree with Pein on this annotation as he expressed on his ChessFM video. On the other hand, I think this was a great physcological blow to to Topalov going back to the principles of Lasker, which I learned about in the 1st chapter of "Counter Attack" an excellent new book by Gm Zenon Franco. Lasker would often purposely play "inferior" moves if he thought his opponents would not react in the best way. Whether this is what Anand was thinking or not, its a good explanation that I would like to believe!

Thats all for now.. Check back for more reactions to the Championship in a few days.

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