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The Anand Files Part I - Jorden van Foreest

by Sagar Shah - 15/03/2020

FM Michiel Abeln recently wrote a very interesting book named "The Anand Files" that has been published by Quality Chess. It deals with Anand's three World Championship matches from 2008 to 2012 against Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand. The book not only deals with the analysis of the games, but also with inputs by Vishy's seconds and you get a complete insight into how top level chess preparation looks like. At the beginning of the year, Abeln was present at the Tata Steel Masters tournament in Wijk Aan Zee. He managed to speak to some of the top players in the world, who had already read his book. In this article we begin with the review of GM Jorden van Foreest, rated 2671 and member of Team Anish Giri for the Candidates 2020. 

How to prepare and train for a World Championship? Part 1

With the Candidates tournament coming and later this year the World Championship, a series of 8 articles will be published on ChessBase India on how the top players prepare and train for these type of events. Recently Michiel Abeln published a book on how Viswanathan Anand won the World Championships between 2008 and 2012. The book is called "The Anand Files" and offers a detailed insight into the strategies Anand used to win against Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand. It takes the reader behind the scenes to show the inner workings of Team Anand, including pre-game planning and preparing opening novelties, some of which have yet to be used.

The cover of the book "The Anand Files"

Anand himself says about the book: “I love this book. The level of detail is fabulous, and as I read it I felt I was reliving the entire five-year period during which these three matches happened... This is the definitive book on those three matches.”

The contents of the book

As a follow up to the book, the author Michiel Abeln has done a series of video interviews with top players during Tata Steel tournament 2020: today we will start with Jorden van Foreest and then next will be Anish Giri, Peter Leko, Erwin L’Ami, Jan Smeets, Pavel Eljanov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Surya Ganguly.

Jorden van Foreest:

Jorden van Foreest | Photo: Alina l'Ami

Jorden is A Dutch grandmaster with a rating of 2671 (March 2020). Besides being a full-time professional player, he also works sometimes for Anish Giri. Most recently he was part of team Giri to prepare for the Candidates 2020 tournament.

Jorden's views on the book:

Jorden van Foreest speaks about his experience of reading the book "The Anand Files"

1. This is the fastest that Jorden has ever completed a chess book! "I don’t think I have ever finished a book this fast. I think I finished in maybe 3 or 2 days."


2. What was Jorden's favourite part of the book? "I especially enjoyed the part of how they worked, what they did in preparation for the matches.” The young Dutch GM also like the parts of the book which were non-chess nature. For example: the adventure of reaching the match in Sofia against Topalov in a car!

The road trip from Frankfurt to Sofia because of the Volcanic Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland

3. Jorden recognizes the benefits of being a second for a top player for his own career: “Especially Wojtaszek is now a top player and when he started working for Vishy he was just a grandmaster.”

Radoslaw Wojtaszek who was just a GM, is now one of the best players in the world | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

4. On the question what he learned from the book, Jorden mentions, “It is not a good idea to work all night!” and then on a more serious note he refers to his observation that as a team you need a good routine and that in the first match Team Anand did not have that yet.


5. An important question for any team preparing for the World Championship Matches is - do you prepare on ChessBase file with over 30,000 moves for an opening, or you split it into smaller ones? While Team Anand seemed to prefer the former, Jorden likes to have smaller files which he can revise from time to time, so that he doesn't forget the analysis!

Jorden's interview was done by FM Michiel Abeln, who is also the author of the book

The books are on their way from Europe and will be available on ChessBase India within a couple of months.

For people outside India, the book can be ordered from here:

Interview with Michiel Abeln

PDF excerpt of the book

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