World Chess Championship

World Chess Championship.

Anand World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Photo courtesy of Chessdom.

The World Chess Championship took place in Sofia, Bulgaria Saturday 24th April to 11th May 2010. Viswanathan Anand won a very hard fought match 6.5-5.5 against his challenger Veselin Topalov to retain his title. In the final game Topalov's quest for complications led to trouble and he couldn't recover from a bad blunder.

Anand deserves extra credit for the fact that, as the reigning champion, he was prepared to play the match in Topalov's home country, Bulgaria. In addition, he had to overcome the effects of the Icelandic volcano on air travel, having to travel by car from Germany to Bulgaria instead making the trip last a purportedly 40 hours. This led to a 1 day postponement for the start of the match. Apparently, Topalov also managed to secure the use of a super computer running the strongest Chess software for the duration of the match.

However, in spite all of this the match was one of the least controversial in memory. Once Anand had actually arrived in Sofia and started the match everything was about the moves on the board. Anand went out of his way to praise the organisation and the toughness of Topalov in the final press conference.

Topalov's "Sofia rules" policy meant that all the games were played out, and the only way a draw could be achieved was by three fold repetition. He relaxed a bit towards the end taking a draw in a dead drawn position without repetition. It seems as if this new rule worked out well for the watching public although the jury is still out on whether this should be added to the rules for next time.

Topalov Anand Last game Topalov V Anand. Photo courtesy of Chessdom.

Topalov prospered in simplified endings that his policy produced. The opening battle was interesting. Anand managed to keep changing the opening discussions enough to avoid deep computer preparation but Topalov's preparation was also good enough to meet these changes. Topalov's over-the-board aggression befitted his role as challenger. The contrast in styles produced fascinating chess, well worth studying! You can visit the Official web site for more information.

All 12 games below.

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