Thursday, May 31, 2012

World champion Anand joins elite club

CHENNAI: By winning his fifth World Chess Championship title, Viswanathan Anand joined an illustrious band of Grandmasters who have achieved the feat the same number of times. Statistically, the number may not mean much when you look at the most significant title wins because there are two ways of determining the most dominating reigns in chess history: either by the number of times a champion has won the title or the number of years he has been in power.

Among Anand's predecessors , there are three World champions who had won the title more number of times . If Emanuel Lasker towers over the rest of them with six titles mainly because he had a longer reign too (27 years ) and he could choose his opponents then , the modern Soviets Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov had also won it six times each . Lasker's 27-year World record reign will probably remain forever.

If a Garry Kasparov , with his phenomenal run , could not better it, then such a reign is beyond the reach of the new generation . Alexander Alekhine ruled for 17 years (with breaks and also the war helping him ) and Mikhail Botvinnik was World champion for 15 years (again with breaks ).

The change in the championship format in the 1990s opened the doors for the young Grandmasters to have a close look at the titles and helped reduce the reigns of the established stars . The likes of Anand , Kramnik , Shirov and Ponomariov belonged to this generation . The match format gave way to tournaments , the privileges of the defending champions were dispensed with and there were also frequent world championships between 1997 and 2004.

However , the giants of the previous generation , Karpov and Kasparov , had vanished and the field became more open with at least four new generation players having equal rights to claim the title of the champion . If Kramnik , Anand , Ponomariov and Topalov had similar results in the early 2000s, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian joined the band later . Ponomariov even had the privilege of winning the World title at the age of 18.

Curiously, Anand , despite being good in tournaments in the first half of 2000s, found this format a little too frivolous for World championship contests . He skipped one and when he came back in 2007 after the Fide framed clearcut rules for the 2008 World title match , he was good enough to win it too.

Anand would join the top league next year if he adds one more to his bag when he plays at home , most probably in Chennai.

Article Source:éférencement-163779.htm

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