Recently, on account of the ICM, I had the opportunity to play a game with the current World Champion Vishwanathan Anand. He played against 40 delegates of the ICM. The result was a whooping 39.5 – 0.5. Only a 14-year old kid was able to salvage a draw from the king of Chess. But Anand played white on all 40 boards.

Curiously, he played 1. e4 and 1. d4 on alternate boards. His games were rapid and the maximum he stopped at any board was for a couple of seconds! [A small video] It was an awesome experience and any Chess player’s dream come true. About 5-6 players played excellently and their efforts were appreciated by Anand. He also gave them some tips, pointed out better moves after vanquishing them. I had to be content with a smile (succeeding a Knight fork) and an autographed chess-board.

Overall, I found Vishwanathan Anand to be a congenial person, and according to my professor (who was playing next-to-me), “not like Garry Kasparov”. He didn’t raise temper neither laughed mockingly even when one of the players persisted when all he was left was a king and a pawn.

My annotated game with the World Champion is below in pgn format. You can select the text below and paste it in a pgn viewer, like this. Alternately, you can also view a gif file (without annotations) here.

Edit: The photos have been posted here.

Edit (25 May, 2012) (photo added)

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[Event “Simultaneous chess by V Anand against 40 opponents.”]
[Site “ICM 2010, Hyderabad, India.”]
[Date “2010.8.24”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Vishwanathan Anand”]
[Black “Abhishek Parab”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteELO “2800”]
[BlackELO “Unrated”]

{On the event of the International Congress of Mathematicians, reigning World
Champion Vishwanathan Anand was invited to play with 40 players including 35
delegates and 5 Infosys representatives. The game ended with Anand defeating
all but one players and only one 14-year old kid was able to salvage a draw.
Here is my game against the Indian Grandmaster.} 1. e4 c5 {The Sicilian is
arguably the best defence against 1. e4 .} 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6 {Sicilian Najdorf.} 6. Be3 Nc6 7. h3 e6 {I decided to go against the Sicilian Dragon, so
didn’t play g6.} 8. g4 {Now h6 was a necessary precaution, as the game
shows.} 8… Be7? {?} 9. g5 Nd7 10. h4 {bolstering the pawn on g5.} 10…
Nc5? {Creates a doubled pawn on the c-file. Should have seen it. But I wanted
to free up my already-locked position.} 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bxc5 dxc5 {The two
isolated c-pawns are a taboo.} 13. Qxd8+ Bxd8 14. O-O-O O-O {The position is
still, defendable. I hoped.} 15. e5 a5 {In order to free up or exchange the
white bishop.} 16. Ne4 {attacks the weakned c5 pawn.} 16… Bb6 {Be7 might
have been better since the b-file is now blocked.} 17. Bc4 {Prevents advancing
of the c-pawn and hence, the black bishop’s mobility.} 17… Bb7 {What else?}
18. Nd6 Ba6 {Trying to exchange off the bishop.} 19. Bxa6 Rxa6 {The rook is
now badly placed.} 20. a4 {prevents the advance of the a-pawn. It is all very
obvious.} 20… c4 {If Nxc5 then Bxf2 is good for white} 21. Rhf1 {For Anand,
it is all obvious. He took hardly 3-5 seconds at each board!} 21… f6 22.
gxf6 gxf6 23. Nxc4 Bc5 {Why did I play that?} 24. f4 Raa8 {An attempt to
mobilize the rook.} 25. c3 h5 26. Kc2 {Now Be3 is no longer a fork.} 26… f5
27. Rd7 {A slow, painful death.} 27… Rf7 28. Rfd1 Ra7 29. Rxa7 Rxa7 30.
Rd8+ Kg7 31. Re8 Kf7 32. Rh8 Kg6 33. Rc8 {The beginning of the end.} 33…
Bf2 34. Rxc6 Kf7 35. Nd6+ {Usually only one move is played in each round that
Anand makes. This time, I played two. And was promptly punished!} 35… Ke7?? 36. Nc8+! {Both smile.
1-0} 1-0

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