World Chess Championship Review

The tournament is now over and it is time to assess just what happened. Anand came through the challenge of 7 of his strongest peers and emerged totally triumphant. His victory was well-deserved. He was quite superb throughout and his victory was never in doubt after about round 8, when he had a full point advantage over Kramnik and only had Gelfand in pursuit.

I had confidently predicted a Kramnik win. Some commentators have suggested he must have been always conscious of the battles to come: namely, a rematch against the winner of this tournament in 2008. If this blunted his desire to win, then Anand’s victory might be seen in a slightly different light. But I doubt that this theory is correct. After all, this was his opportunity to enhance his reputation once and for all. He would be crowned the undisputed champion and emerge into a match with Topalov stronger than ever. I just think he was aiming for a conservative +2 or +3 from the tournament and it backfired on him.

Anand is a great winner and a deserved world champion. He is a great ambassador for the sport, a wonderfully attacking and stylish player.

My Personal Prediction

1st Kramnik

2nd= Leko, Anand

4th Aronian

5th-7th Morozevich, Grischuk, and Svidler

8th Gelfand

The actual result

1st Anand

2nd= Kramnik, Gelfand

4th Leko

5th Svidler

6th= Morozevich, Aronian

8th Grischuk

My predictions were reasonable enough. I predicted a score of +4 to win the event (meaning 9/14 should be enough) and was right. Anand won with 9/14, with Kramnik and Gelfand a full point off the pace. Gelfand was the main miscalculation in my prediction, coasting to a very credible joint second place with Kramnik. But Kramnik only secured 2nd with a win in the last round and, you have to say, it was very late. Leko was the only other player on at least 50%. He performed precisely at his rating suggested (2751) but other than that, he had a very lame tournament by his standards. I thought that my prediction of Moro, Svidler, and Grischuk sharing 5th to 7th was pretty accurate, with only Aronian breaking them up.

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