world chess championship

For the uninitiated, the world chess championship is going on at Mexico. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of you don’t know about it, given the ineptitude of our mainstream media (as I had lamented here). The tournament is being played on a double round robin format, and after five of the fourteen rounds, Anand is in the lead, having won two of his games and drawn the rest.

The games are available online on the official tournament website, and earlier today I was going through some of them. As Devangshu Dutta of the Business Standard had predicted in his weekly chess column two weekends back, because of the “winner takes all” nature of this tournament, players will tend to be more aggressive than they normally are. Devangshu had also suggested that due to this format, naturally aggressive players such as Anand stand to gain, and that has been the case so far.

One thing that strikes you while looking at the games is the choice of openings. From the games that I have seen, a large number of players have opened “d4”, which have mostly been met with an attempt to nimzo-indian kind of formation, which has transposed into a queen’s gambit kind of situation. Then, there have been some freaks, like leko playing the almost-defunct 1.e4 e5 2. Bc4 against Kramnik. It was no surprise that the game quickly petered to a draw.

Interestingly, both Kramnik and Gelfand chose to employ the Petroff (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6) against Anand and managed to draw their games. The former was an exciting game, as Kramnik quickly went a pawn up and had a passer as soon as the game came down to a rook end game. However, Anand played the end game superbly and managed to draw it. From his games so far, Anand seems to be in good form, and is playing extremely aggressively, though he was forced to draw from a winning (pawn up) position following some excellent play by Morozevich.

One of the more exciting games so far, mainly due to the choice of opening, has been the Anand-Svidler game where the latter employed the Marshall Attack. Anand deviated from the best known line on the 12th move, preferring an older variation. He then defended accurately and picked up two pawns to force Svidler’s resignation.

It is an exciting time ahead for the chess-lover. The tournament has been nicely set up, though the matches are at an unearthly time here in India for us to follow. They all start at 2 pm local time (in Mexico) and are webcast live on the official website.

However, one thing I’m looking for is for annotations for the games. Looking at the games by myself is one thing. Looking at them with some expert annotations/commentary is another. Does anyone know of a good site where I can get the same?

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