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Peter Heine Nielsen on 10 years of Mexico - We are restarting the series!

by Sagar Shah - 15/05/2019

In 2017 we had started a series "Peter Heine Nielsen on 10 years of Mexico 2007". It was exactly 10 years since Anand had become the undisputed World Champion and in order to celebrate this occasion we had published seven articles from rounds one to seven of the World Championship 2007. These articles had insights by Anand's second at the event Peter Heine Nielsen. IM Sagar Shah had interviewed Nielsen in Lithuania in 2017 and the videos were filled with great insights into how Anand won his second World Championship title. It's been nearly one and a half year since we started the series in 2017. In this period the following of ChessBase India has grown humongously and we think this is the right time to restart the series of articles. For all those who had missed the first seven articles, here's a recap.

Vishy Anand's reign as the World Champion lasted for six years. It all began from 2007 when he won the Round Robin tournament in Mexico. This was followed by beating Kramnik in Bonn 2008, Topalov in Sofia in 2010 and Gelfand in Moscow in 2012. The 2007 Mexico tournament was a momentous occasion for Indian chess as it was the first time that Anand had won the unified World Championship Match. Kramnik, who was the reigning World Champion at that point was also playing in the round robin tournament.

Participants of Mexico 2007

Viswanathan AnandIND27921969
Vladimir KramnikRUS27691975
Alexander MorozevichRUS27581977
Peter LekoHUN27511979
Levon AronianARM27501982
Peter SvidlerRUS27351976
Boris GelfandISR27331968
Alexander GrischukRUS27261983


This championship was unusual in that the World Chess Championship was decided by a tournament rather than a match. The FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 was also a double round robin tournament, but at the time the world title was split, with that tournament being for the FIDE world championship, and with Classical World Champion Vladimir Kramnik refusing to take part.


Soon after the 2005 tournament, FIDE announced that the 2007 World Championship would also be a double round robin tournament. In 2006, FIDE announced the World Chess Championship 2006, to reunify the world chess championship. Because the organization of the 2007 tournament was largely in place, conditions of that match included: If Classical champion (Kramnik) defeated FIDE Champion Veselin Topalov,


1. Kramnik would take Topalov's place in the 2007 tournament.

2.The 2007 tournament would be a world championship.


Kramnik won the 2006 match. In June 2007, Kramnik confirmed that he recognized the 2007 tournament as the world championship, while expressing a personal preference for the championship to be decided by a match. FIDE later announced that future world championships (beginning with the World Chess Championship 2008) would be decided by matches between the champion and a challenger. At the same time FIDE announced that, as compensation for being denied entry to the 2007 tournament, Topalov would have special privileges in the World Chess Championship 2010 cycle.

Peter Heine Nielsen's involvement in Anand's victory

Peter Heine Nielsen was Anand's second at the World Championship 2007 in Mexico. He was working day in and out helping Anand in his preparation before and during the event. Naturally he has an insider's view of how things panned out at this important event. When the author of these lines was in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2017, he met with Peter Heine Nielsen. 

Peter Heine Nielsen and Sagar Shah walking towards the apartment from the bus station in Vilnius

Discussion on what was to be included in the video series

And then we began!

This series of articles was intended to published in 2017, exactly a decade after Anand had won the World Champion's title. We published seven articles, the links of which can be found below. However, the next seven rounds had not been covered. Over the last year and a half, ChessBase India has grown in a huge way. We think that launching the series once again will help the readers of the newspage, which also includes so many youngsters, understand better what Vishy Anand had achieved ten years ago and how it was such a huge achievement.

Previous articles, videos and games:

After seven rounds of the tournaments this is how the standings looked like:

Anand was the sole leader of the tournament at the half way mark, followed closely by Gelfand and Kramnik

For all those who would like to refresh their memory with what happened in the first seven rounds can have a look at the link of the articles, videos and pgn files given below.

Road leading up to the tournament

(click on the link above if you would like to read the full article)

R01: Anand saved against Gelfand

R02: Beautiful novelty 17...c5 against Aronian

R03: An opening debacle in the Petroff

R04: No gamble in time scramble

R05: Svidler Marshalled by Anand

R06: Gelfand joins Anand at the top

R07: Anand beats Grischuk with the anti-postional 34.h5!!

We will continue with the next set of seven articles from round eight to fourteen in the coming days. We hope that you will enjoy this series.

We cannot thank Peter Heine Nielsen enough for sharing high quality knowledge and information with the readers of ChessBase India | Photo: Ali Nihat Yazici