The World Champion is back

The reigning World Champion

The Tiger of Madras, Viswanathan Anand, is back! To be back, he had to be somewhere before. Well, the year 2012 was despite his title defense one of the more disappointing years in his chess career. He lost 27 elo points and dropped from the third to the seventh rank in the world ranking list. Not very satisfying for a World Champion. In one interview at the end of 2012 he said, that it is certainly not the lack of motivation which is holding him back. He knows what he has to change and how to work on it. Said and done, since Anand has already won in his first tournament of the year as many games as he won in the entire last year! Three, by the way, and the tournament is not over yet. One of those three victories Anand himself called one of the best games he ever played. Let us take a look, shall we:

The Wijk aan Zee chess festival is one of the strongest and most prestigious events of the year. It was first held in the small Dutch town Wijk aan Zee in 1968 and persists to be one of the absolute highlights in the chess calendar today. Anand holds two records: He is the player with the longest streak without a loss, 70 games, and also the only one, who won the tournament five times. Might he add another title? Right now eight rounds are played and Magnus Carlsen is leading with 6 points, followed by Anand with 5.5. Carlsen has implemented very successfully the old Russian grandmaster technique - winning with White and drawing with Black. Especially his very long manoeuver win against Sergej Karjakin in round 8 was quite impressive.

Magnus Carlsen

The most beautiful finish so far in the tournament was produced by the Indian GM Pentala Harikrishna and this is also a good way to bring the article to an end. Can you spot it?

Harikrishna - Van Wely Wijk aan Zee A-group

White to move