The Chess Files
The answers are out there.
By Jim Eade
The stereotypical chess scene involves two elderly men playing in the park. Chess is a great solace in old age, but the question is: Is chess a young person’s game? My answer is an emphatic: Yes!
The number of players who remained at a world class level after turning 50 can be counted on one hand. The number of players remaining among the world’s elite past age 40 is almost as bleak. It is true that Anand is 42, and he is the current World Champion, but things are not looking up for him these days.
Consider the latest list of the highest rated players in the world:
1. Carlsen - 2847.6 age 21
2. Aronian - 2815.4 age 31
3. Kramnik - 2795 age 37
4. Radjabov - 2789.7 age 26
5. Caruana - 2786.5 age 21
Anand had been a top five mainstay for years. It’s become increasingly difficult to imagine him ever making this list again. Furthermore the Grand Slam finals were just completed in Bilboa, Spain, and Carlsen won on tie breaks. Here are the final standings:
1-2. Carlsen and Caruana - 17,
3. Aronian - 11,
4. Karjakin - 10,
5. Anand - 9,
6. Vallejo - 6.
The amazing thing is not that Carlsen won, but that Anand did not manage to win a single game! Carlsen is favored by virtually everyone to not only become the next world challenger, but to dethrone Anand as well. The gap between them in ratings and results is simply too much to ignore.
Carlsen had White in the following position, and Anand, who was in a hopeless position, resigned.
As always, you can send your chess questions directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.