Russia Loses the World Chess Championship

For the first time since Bobby Fischer, a non-Russian player has become the undisputed chess champion of the world. Last night in Mexico City, the Indian phenom Viswanathan Anand, age 37, was crowned world champion, after emerging as the high scorer with nine points out of 14 in a double round robin against seven other super grandmasters. He did not lose a single game in Mexico City.

(By some counts, this was the second time Anand had won the title; in 2000 he won the championship of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, but the legitimacy of the title was in dispute because a splinter organization, the Professional Chess Association, had its own world champion.)

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6 Responses to “Russia Loses the World Chess Championship”

  1. Sarah Hurst Says:

    I realize that in the U.S. it’s common to just refer to any ex-Soviet person as Russian, but I think we should be more specific nowadays since each ex-Soviet republic has a strong identity of its own. Russians would even argue that Jews aren’t Russian, but let’s not get into that. My point is that Tal was Latvian and Petrosian was Armenian, which is worth recognizing. They, and Kasparov also, had significant obstacles to overcome because of the fact that they weren’t Russian. Paul Keres just missed out on becoming world champion and the fact that he was Estonian and considered a Nazi collaborator may have had something to do with that. So it’s not entirely true to say that there have been no other non-Russian world champions.

  2. Blue Devil Knight Says:

    We couldn’t ask for a better representative of the sport than Anand. A wonderful performance from a seemingly wonderful guy.

  3. ZvooKi Says:

    FIDE keeps complicating thing unnecessarily (for pure profit).
    This last round robin tournament cannot be considered a true world championship. This was a World Championship Candidate tournament. Traditionally a match with the reigning world chess champion HAS to take place. So in 2008 Anand will need to play a MATCH against Kramnik.
    Then and only then if he can beat Kramnik he will be considered a true world chess champion and be the 15th of it’s kind in chess history.
    Many in the Chess world know this. I don’t know why the media, FIDE and in interest of commercializing every event as a “championship”has to be this way. This last event in Mexico was just to pick who will challenge Kramnik for the crown. Anand won the right to be in this hot seat and we’ll see what he’s made of once he faces Kramnik in a match for the absolute title.

  4. ZvooKi Says:

    Paul,
    Thanks for a great book !
    I enjoy reading “King’s Gambit” at about a chapter per day (…trying to savor it like fine wine).

  5. Sarah Hurst Says:

    In reply to ZvooKi, if the event in Mexico was only to pick who would challenge Kramnik, then why was Kramnik playing in the event? Kramnik said he’d acknowledge the winner as the world champion. I guess the next match will be a chance for the defeated champion to win back the title. Yes the system has become a complete mess, but that’s the way it is now – it’s no longer traditional.

  6. ZvooKi Says:

    I know it’s a mess! As If Kramnik would have won would he play himsef in 2008? (I think only Fischer is intersted in this sort of chess….)
    No, FIDE’s answer is that “if Kramnik would have won” he would still have to play Topalov in 2008.
    This works well for Kramnik, who loves being the underdog (if you’ve seen his DVD-“My rise to the top”.) Now all the pressure if off and he is right where he wants to be in facing Anand next year.
    Remember that the world championship tradition has existed before FIDE (Goes all the way back to Steinitz) FIDE was formed around Botvinik’s time…
    So the tradition of a wrorld champion playing a MATCH with the world champion challenger still exists!
    FIDE can complicate things as much as they want. In the hearts of most chess players “Kramnik is still king untill a challenger takes it away from him in a MATCH for the title.(NOT A TOURNAMENT – as Mexico city was.)

    Read the new rules FIDE has set for championship cycles.
    http://www.fide.com/official/handbook.asp?level=DD106

    More info on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Chess_Championship_20
    09

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