In round 12, Anand was in the position of being able to guarantee at least a tie for first with three straight draws. Only Gelfand could catch him and that would require three consecutive wins or an Anand loss. But Gelfand came up with a sparkling win with the Black pieces, meaning there was still all to play for.
Svidler had a cricket match he really wanted to watch
Going into round 10, Kramnik needed a win against Anand to give himself a shot at winning. With 5 rounds left, he and Gelfand trailed by 1.5 points, and Anand was going to have to meet each of them with the Black pieces. A final exam for a potential champion!
When an irresistible force meets an immovable object...
4 rounds remained, and Gelfand had a matchup with Anand scheduled for the 12th round...a Gelfand win there would throw things into chaos, so Anand looked for something special in round 11....
Leading the tournament by half a point over Gelfand going into the second half of the tournament, Anand faced a crucial matchup against the second-placed Gelfand in a game with big implications for deciding the winner:
After this painless draw Anand may have had dangerous ambitions against Aronian in the next round, where another Marshall Attack was in store...
The recording cut out, but the finish was 16...Qd7 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Nd2 Bd3 19. Re3 Bg6 20. Nf1 a5 21. a3?! and the game was agreed drawn.
Black was slightly for choice in this position with the bishop pair and typically better piece activity in the MarshallAttack, though still down a pawn. However, the draw suited Anand who remained the leader and perhaps Aronian who was already effectively out of the race and may have been battling illness.
After two quick but interesting draws, Anand benefited greatly from Morozevich upsetting Kramnik in round 9 and Grischuk bouncing back with a win over Gelfand, giving Anand a commanding lead over the field. Meanw
hile, the key game for the tournament was shaping up for round 10, where Kramnik was to have the white pieces against Anand in a must-wingame.
In their season opener for the GSCL, the Karpovs pulled out a tight away match against their Route 22 rivals, Summit. With league MVP Steve Stoyko suffering his first loss in well over a year after a surprise mistake, the pressure was on the lower boards. Max 'the young executioner' Sherer let his man off the hook on board 3 after being two pawns up in an opposite color bishop endgame, so with the match tied at 1.5 each, everything rode on Joe 'The Closer' Demetrick on board 4, with time pressure looming. And then...
As they said, take a bow, son, take a bow.
Fun fact #1: Black scored 3.5/4 in the match
Fun fact #2: Two queens were simultaneously hanging for two moves each on board 2. Caliente!
National Chess Day has been around as a concept since 1976. President Ford issued a letter in support of National Chess Day but it slowly faded away over the years. It became a half-remembered celebration because it wasn't official. It became "more official" on September 29, 2010 when the US Senate, in S Res #672, proclaimed Oct 9, 2010 as National Chess Day...
Check out the rest of the article to see how chess made its way to Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. And as the weekend nears, think about introducing chess to someone new!
Additional Info: S.Res 672 - A resolution designating October 9, 2010, as "National Chess Day" to enhance awareness and encourage students and adults to engage in a game known to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills.