Chess will never lose the interest of viewers until we have players like Anish Giri around. The Dutch grandmaster who was a prodigy once has recently again started showing colors of why he is so special with the kind of performances he has shown 1st in the Tata Steel tournament and more recently in the Magnus Carlsen invitational.
Saying that his entertainment is not limited only to the chessboard.
Off the board, he kept the world entertaining on youtube during the pandemic and almost everyone is fond of the humour he brings to the game and the world of chess. ALMOST!
Anish Giri’s Playing Style
Anish is no short of skills. His playing style is solid chess, amazingly talented positional player, young, very dangerous, and a future contender. These are some of the traits his fellow chess compatriots Hikaru Nakamura, Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov defined him with.
Anish Giri And the Odds of Qualifying among Candidates
With the loss again Alexander Grischuk, Anish surely is not going to qualify for the world championship now. Ian Nepomniatchi has a clear 1 point lead and a tie-break advantage against Anish now.
He fought well since the resumption of the Candidates tournament but unfortunately, Ian was equally or even better ready to cope with his opponents otherwise it would have been a match made in heaven. No love lost between Anish and Magnus. An epic battle between two super grandmasters who once were very good friends.
And I’m quite sure Magnus Carlsen won’t like to face him, or will he? Only time would have told. But not anymore…
The current situation of scores is much more favouring for Ian Nepomniatchi in the candidates’ standings as he is in a clear 1 point lead.
The kind of form Anish has shown recently in the Magnus Carlsen invitational–scoring a 10.0/15 in group-round following it up by eliminating Maxime Vachier Lagrave, Wesley So, Magnus Carlsen and then in the final Ian Nepomniatchi–if he had repeatad that kind of performance in the Candidates, he surely would have qualified for the world championship.
Candidates Tournament Standings And what it Means for Anish
As the positions stand currently, Ian Nepomniatchi is leading with a score of 8.5 / 13. Followed by Anish Giri 7.5 / 13, Fabiano Caruana 7 / 13 and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 7 / 13. It looks like tournament is already over for most of the players and there is a very dim chance for Anish and only a mathematical chance for Fabi or Maxim to make the qualification.
The difference of a full point from leaders is a sign of almost no hope for Anish as he is already short in tie-break score.
Chess is a very complicated game. And the stakes of the Candidates tournament are very high. Emotions can play their part at any time and results can go any way. But this is now the limit. Ian fought very well and deserves where he currently stand.
What makes Anish a Special Chess Player?
Previously we have covered how Ian Nepomniatchi could be the next world champion if it’s not Magnus. And in this post, we are going to make a case for Anish Giri–his playing style, what he brings to the world of chess and how he is a serious distraction and a psychological pressure for the current world champion Magnus Carlsen.
The All-round Play
In the classical format, games mostly end up as draws in top-level chess.
In the last world championship, we saw 12 draws in 12 classical games between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana. From there on, it was easier for Magnus to beat Caruana in the Rapid format because the American, although is a very good player in all formats of chess, he somehow lacks the skills of competing in shorter formats.
Being number 7 in Rapids and 14th in Blitz in the FIDE ratings, Fabiano is a little weak to compete against Magnus and the result was visible in the Rapid event of World Championship. The Norwegian outplayed him to a 2-0 victory in Rapids and secured his thrown.
Considering how all-around great performers some of the other Super Grandmasters like Anish Giri, Ian Nepomniatchi, and Maxime Vachhier Lagrave are, it won’t be easier for Magnus to win this time around if the games went beyond the classical event.
What players like Anish and Ian Nepomniatchi can do or even Maxime who is also up there in the leading race of candidates is that they have the speed to cop with Magnus in the shorter format. Things won’t be a walk in the park for Magnus this time around.
The Rivalry Between Magnus and Anish
Humans are humans and emotions can play their part anytime in any walk of life. It will be interesting to see how Magnus and Anish will cope with the presence of each other after all the Twitter banters and even in live events like streams and interviews, both Magnus and Anish haven’t left any opportunity to point the guns at each other. So looking at this situation, it will be interesting to see a face to face under the same roof real competition on a chessboard between the two grand players in the future.
To understand the gravity of the situation between Magnus and Anish, check out the video below:
Candidates is a Gigantic Coin Toss:
After winning the Magnus Carlsen invitational, Anish had a say on what Candidates will be like and according to him, it’s a gigantic coin toss. Unfortunately, the coin didn’t land in his favour and it’s Ian Nepomniatchi who won that toss.
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