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Grenke 2019 Round 2: Old is Gold! 49 years old Vishy Anand beats 14-year-old Vincent Keymer

by Sagar Shah - 22/04/2019

Round two of the Grenke Chess 2019 saw a very interesting pairing. The oldest player in the field Vishy Anand took on the youngest - 14-year-old Vincent Keymer. Just as we had expected Keymer went for the most aggressive line - the Sicilian Najdorf and tried to put pressure on Anand from the word go. But Vishy's experience helped him to tackle the youngster's aggression in the perfect manner. Rather than lashing out, Anand played in a calm manner, improving his position bit by bit. Very soon Vincent went wrong and Vishy managed to bring home the full point quite easily. Two other important news of the day were Magnus Carlsen's magical endgame play against Vallejo Pons and Peter Svilder excellent knight manoeuvre to beat Arkadij Naiditsch. Check out our illustrated round two report.

When the oldest participant of Grenke Chess 2019 met the youngest! | Photo: Grenke Chess 2019

In the most anticipated game of the round, 14-year-old Vincent Keymer audaciously essayed the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian against the former five time world champion, Viswanathan Anand. Out of the opening, Keymer reached a decent position with his pawns threateningly advanced in the centre and the kingside. Anand said after the game that it was difficult for him to judge what would happen if the black pawns had advanced any further. Unfortunately, Keymer made a big error at this point with his 24.Nf4 and Anand made the most of it. Let's have a look at the game.

Anand played the 6.Bd3 line, which is not the most popular one, but Vishy seems to have done his homework in this line

The bishop went to h6, then to g5 and finally to d2 in order to soften up Black's kingside a bit

It seemed Anand's basic idea in the game was not to go for anything spectacular. Just make those little improving moves and let the opponent take some concrete actions.

For a 14-year-old it is not so easy to sit around and do nothing. Vincent is an active player and he went ahead with f5 trying to push his pawns down the board

According to Vishy this was the critical mistake of the game. Because it allowed him to take on f4 and then get his rook to e6.

When Anand played his rook to e6 he felt that his position was just much more comfortable to play

Anand had won a pawn and the conversion was quite easy. He pushed his queenside pawns and very soon Vincent resigned.

Anand was at his best against Vincent Keymer as he moved to 1.5/2 | Photo: Grenke Chess 2019
Interview of Anand after the game
Vishy Anand on prodigies

Yes, Vincent is having a tough time at the event with 0.0/2, but... | Photo: Grenke Chess 2019

...his fighting approach has helped him gain a lot of new chess fans! | Photo: Grenke Chess 2019

Magnus Carlsen showed why he is the current World no.1 and the World Champion. Tremendous endgame play! | Photo: Grenke Chess 2019

With a technique that could be nothing short of witchcraft, the reigning world champion pulled off a miraculous win over GM Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain to retain his half point lead over the field. After the game, Carlsen said that he knew that the pawnless endgame was winning but wasn't sure if he would manage to make it happen within fifty moves. It is just amazing to see how much knowledge Carlsen really has. We all usually feel that Magnus is an excellent practical player, but his theoretical knowledge helps him to make the right decisions in the game.

According to the tablebases this position is winning for Black, mainly because of the opposite coloured bishops. However, a wrong move and sometimes it would take more than 50 moves to win. But Carlsen achieved this task very well as we see in the game below.
Final moments of Carlsen's win over Vallejo Pons
You must not miss the phenomenal bit of analysis that Carlsen shows after the game in the commentary room

Peter Svilder got the better of Arkadij Naiditsch | Photo: Grenke Chess 2019

Peter Svidler’s game against Arkadij Naiditsch concluded with a very interesting win for the former. Play mainly revolved around white’s centre where the pawn duo on e4 and f4 was constrained by the black forces. Playing black, the eight time Russian champion came up with a masterful knight maneuver to pile up the pressure on white’s centre and soon managed to win a pawn and, in a few moves, the game.

Peter Svilder's masterful knight manoeuvre from g6 to d6 that helped him win the game!
Peter Svidler after his win against Naiditsch

After two rounds, Carlsen leads the tournament with a perfect 2/2 score while Anand and Svidler remain a half point behind at 1½/2. Third round begins on Monday at 18:30 hours IST. Pairings for the same can be found below.

The ranking crosstable after two rounds

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