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Anand's Master Class Day 1: Endgames and Puzzles

by Sagar Shah - 17/03/2017

Learning chess from the best in the business is a dream come true for any budding talent. However, the best players are often extremely busy and are unable to spare time to share their knowledge and experience. Not with the greatest chess player that chess has seen! Vishy Anand is taking a three day Master Class in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Chennai and today was the first day. It dealt with endgames and puzzles and the students had a great time. Positions, pictures and videos in this illustrated report.

Day one of a unique three-day Master Class with Vishy Anand took place today at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Chennai. It is a tremendous initiative by Golden Goose Sports who has been able to bring a legendary player like Vishy Anand to interact with youngsters and help them improve at the game. Nothing like learning the tricks from the five-time World Champion!

Where there is Vishy, there have to be reporters!

This video shows you the arrangements made for the master class
The master in action!
On the first day Anand decided to start with the endgames. It's not that he believes endgame is the most important phase of the game. According to Vishy the demarcations between different phases of the game are slowly disappearing. So it's important to proficient at just about everything.
There are two groups of players taking part at the event. The advanced batch and the intermediate one (below 1500). The advanced group is quite strong with the inclusion of three International Masters - P. Iniyan, Praggnanandhaa and Siva Mahadevan. While Anand worked with the advanced batch, the intermediate group was instructed by IM V. Saravanan and soon they switched roles.
Anand used his World Championship game against Boris Gelfand to start off the session. It was the Vancura endgame in which the Israeli made a huge blunder and the game ended in a draw. If Gelfand would have won that endgame, who knows, we would have had a different World Champion. Vishy took it from here and went on to more complex and different sorts of endgames. What he was essentially trying to share is the thought process that is required to play such positions.
Boris Gelfand vs Vishy Anand,
World Championship Rapid game three
Gelfand blundered big time here. White to play. Can you do better?
[Event "World-ch Anand-Gelfand playoff +1-0=3"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2012.05.30"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D12"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2791"]
[Annotator "Ftacnik,L"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "7R/8/2k4P/7r/8/8/6K1/8 w - - 0 61"]
[PlyCount "6"]
[EventDate "2012.05.30"]
[EventType "match (rapid)"]
[EventRounds "4"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]
[SourceTitle "CBM 149"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2012.07.17"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2012.07.17"]
[SourceQuality "1"]

{[#]} 61. Rh7 $4 {If you need living proof of the maxim "Chess is a tragedy of
a single tempo" look no further. Gelfand managed to improve his position to
the winning rook endgame, but sheer nervousness has lured him into losing a
precious tempo with this absurd move.} (61. h7 $2 Kb7 62. Kg3 Rh1 $11) (61. Kg3
$1 Rh1 (61... Kd6 62. h7 Ke7 63. Ra8 $18) 62. Kg4 Rg1+ 63. Kf5 Rf1+ 64. Kg6
Rg1+ 65. Kh7 Kd7 66. Rg8 Rh1 67. Rg6 Ke7 68. Kg7 $18) 61... Kd6 $1 62. Kg3 Ke6
63. Kg4 Rh1 {An extremely exciting game with lots of content, but also
horrible omissions by both players. Gelfand's failure to realise his huge
advantage at least twice in this game has decided the issue of the chess title.
} (63... Rh1 64. Ra7 Kf6 65. h7 Kg6 $11) 1/2-1/2

The day ended with both the intermediate and advanced group being merged into one and they were tested by different puzzles and positions given by Anand.


The press conference consisted of some interesting questions being hurled at Vishy. They dealt with Harikrishna and his meteoric rise, Adhiban's excellent performance at Tata Steel, what is the right age for people to start learning chess and how has fatherhood affected him as a chess player! Have a look at this video for Vishy's clear and crisp answer to these questions:

An exciting day two lies ahead of us as Anand will delve into more finer details of the game. We will be having our ChessBase India author Nitin Pai at the venue, so expect some really detailed and interesting content coming your way!


Congratulations Anand for taking out time from your schedule and sharing your knowledge and experience with the kids. It is sure to motivate them to scale greater heights in the days to come.

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