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Candidates 2014 preview (#1), Viswanathan Anand

AnandThe Candidates Chess Tournament 2014 to determine the challenger for the FIDE World Chess Championship Match will take place from 11th March to 1st April in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. Eight players participate in the Candidates Tournament and the winner qualifies for the World Chess Championship Match.

More about Candidates 2014: All news / Participants / Pairings / Live games / Live games (with stats)

With just two weeks left, is going to make a daily preview of the event, presenting the players, the venue, the organizers, and all important news around the Candidates 2014.

As a starter, a preview on the five times world champion Viswanathan Anand.

Viswanathan Anand – career

Viswanathan Anand (44) from India is the former World Chess Champion who won the title five times – in 2000, 2007 (Mexico City tournament), 2008 (against Vladimir Kramnik), 2010 (vs Veselin Topalov), and 2012 (vs Boris Gelfand). Anand was also World Rapid Chess Champion in 2003 and winner of many prestigious tournaments, most recently the Grenke Chess Classics in Baden Baden.

The long and successful carreer of Anand had a detailed preview here just a few days before the WCC 2013.

The way to Candidates 2014

On first sight, Viswanathan Anand had the shortest qualification way to the Candidates. According to the FIDE regulations, the player who lost the 2013 World Championship Match qualified for the Khanty Mansiysk event. As a result, Anand is seated in the Candidates Chess Tournament 2014 as the former World Champion, who lost the title to Magnus Carlsen only a couple of months ago.

From another point of view, Anand had the longest qualification for the Candidates 2014 that started with the qualification and winning of the 2007 title, and the defence of the 2008, 2010, and 2012 titles, all the way to the 2013 match with Magnus Carlsen

Despite the media speculations that Anand has lost the motivation and will retire from pursuing the World Championship again, the Indian star confirmed his participation within the designated deadline. In the most recent interview with the New Indian Express Anand said “The Candidates will be a tough event – strong players and a grueling format.”, but he added “I would say I have hunger to play good chess.”

The mix of huge experience, recent bad streak, and hunger for victories make Anand one of the most unpredictable players in the field.

Head to head (classical chess)

Viswanathan Anand is playing successfully against most of the players in the field. He has defeated Kramnik and Topalov in direct matches and has both statistics and psychological advantage on his side. Peter Svidler is also a comfortable opponent for Anand, while there are too few games against Mamedyarov, Karjakin, and Andreikin to draw conclusions. The only opponent with positive balance against Anand is Levon Aronian. The game with Aronian will be Anand’s first round encounter in Khanty Mansiysk. Replay their last game Aronian – Anand 1-0 from Zurich 2014.

Viswanathan Anand – Vladimir Kramnik +10, -8, =67
Viswanathan Anand – Veselin Topalov +15, -13, =36
Viswanathan Anand – Levon Aronian +2, – 7, = 18
Viswanathan Anand – Sergey Karjakin +2, -0, =8
Viswanathan Anand – Peter Svidler +6, -0, =20
Viswanathan Anand – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov +1, -0, =4
Viswanathan Anand – Dmitry Andreikin +0, -0, =1

Stats by and Chessdom Online Chess Arena, see the full Candidates Tournament 2014 pairings

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