Sports Outside the Beltway

India’s Vishwanathan Anand wins World Chess Championship in Mexico

From the Times of India.

Vishwanathan Anand became the world chess champion on Saturday, after winning the global tournament in Mexico. In doing so, he replaced Vladimir Kramnik of Russia as champion, winning the tournament on points after tying a match with Hungarian Peter Leko on the 14th day of the contest, which he dominated from the start.

The tournament saw eight of the world’s top chess brains battle it out in the competition, from which Anand came out unscathed.

The 37-year-old Indian had previously won the world championship in 2000, but the achievement was valued less since at the time the chess world was split between two rival world titles.

While I’m a prolific Correspondence chess player(Over 1,000 games lifetime with over 100 going at present), I don’t follow the world chess scene much anymore. Much like my baseball viewing habits, I knew the status of the game(sport) much better twenty years ago. Like many US chessplayers my age, I can tell you all about Bobby Fischer. My familiarity with his successor, Anatoly Karpov, is almost as strong.(We both like to play a certain Caro-Kann variation. I’ve played it over 70 times, Only Karpov and four other have played it as often or more). Only by sheer fluke, do I know anything about what Annad likes to play. A 2003 Golden Knights game of mine following one of the World Champ’s 1999 games for 25 moves. Opening databases are wonderful aren’t they? Till your game leaves them, then you’re on your own. I barely managed a draw in the 2003 game.

The way the World Championships are conducted has changed. For 25-30 years starting in 1964, the champion was determined via a series of Interzonal tournaments followed by elimination matches. This method put into place after some said the old Candidates tournaments were too prone to Soviet cheating. Now we’ve come back to a system much like the one used from 1948-1962.

Congratulations to Annad. Now are Indians prouder about Annad winning the World title again or Team India winning the recent Cricket Championship.

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