In the first round Carlsen lost on time in a winning position against Veselin Topalov. The 40-year-old Bulgarian grandmaster turned this lucky break into first place with a string of victories reminiscent of his triumph at the world championship tournament in San Luis in 2005. In the last round Topalov held Vishy Anand, 45, to a draw.
Rising young stars, falling legends, deflated chess computers, clumsy soccer games, brilliant attacks, a commentator faux-pas, chess hungry spectators, windy beaches -- all this was present during the Tata Steel traditional chess tournament (Jan. 9-25) in the coastal Dutch town of Wijk aan Zee, one of the major chess events of 2015.
The center of professional chess in America is Saint Louis, Missouri. For the last six years the U.S. championship was held at the local Chess Club and Scholastic Center. With Nakamura absent this year, all eyes were on Gata Kamsky, the defending champion and the oldest participant. Could he still defend the title at the age of 39?
At 44, Vishy Anand continues to raise eyebrows. After he lost the world championship match to Magnus Carlsen last year, his critics were merciless: his play was too timid, he made too many draws, he was too old, he was done, he didn't have a chance, he shouldn't have even tried to play in the Candidates tournament. Anand proved them wrong.