Carlsen-Anand 2014 – Game 2
The curse of queen and rook vs queen and rook positions seem to haunt Anand the same way they haunted Capablanca in his match against Alekhine. Capablanca lost the crucial games 11 and 34 in this type of endgame (some even argue it is something between a middlegame and endgame). I remember reading that Alekhine used to train for this type of positions by going for them on purpose in the tournaments that preceded his match, spurning more favourable options, just in order to be able to train. Amazing dedication and commitment to a higher cause.
Anand lost game 6 in Chennai, barely drew yesterday and lost today (albeit, when they entered the position with only queens and rooks on board his position was already difficult). That should give him something to think about. But more worrying is that again like in game 1, after a normal opening that gave him a good position, he drifted into difficulties as a result of miscalculations (as he confessed in today’s press conference). This doesn’t bode well for him and unless he springs back to life the match may turn to be a worse nightmare than Chennai.
But I believe he will come back roaring after the free day. He made the mistake of playing calmly after a loss in Chennai (that same game 6) and lost, so this time he’ll try to come back with a vengeance.
The game today saw a rare set-up by Carlsen in the 4 d3 Spanish and all went normal until Anand miscalculated on move 18.
In the meantime it’s worth noting that Grischuk is on 4.5/5 in Moscow at the Petrosian Memorial. It’s nice to see another player on a killer streak after Caruana. Today he beat Leko by using 8 g4 in the QGD Tartakower (which I know it gives nothing to white, but Leko must have been surprised).
|Black is OK, but needs to know how|
Gelfand beat Morozevich, so it’s good to finally see him win a game after going almost a whole month winless (his last win was on 13 October against Radjabov).
The others are drawing and that leaves Kramnik in sole second with +1. He still needs to play Grischuk, but with 2 rounds to go and 1.5 point advantage, we can safely proclaim Grischuk the winner of the tournament.
And on another sidenote, on this day in 1936 Mikhail Tal was born, in 1985 Kasparov became the youngest World Champion, while in 1989 the Berlin Wall (in Berlin) was destroyed.