He Always  Comes Through

Hint and Explanation:
Force Checkmate

Next month, Chennai, the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, will host the World Chess Championship.

The challenger for the title, 22-year-old Magnus Carlsen — who has gone from victory to victory during the last three years — has attained the status of an unstoppable force.

He will engage the defending champion, Viswanathan Anand, a great talent himself but, at 43, almost two decades older.

As Carlsen’s star has risen, Anand’s has declined.

Their relative performances of late are reflected in their respective international ratings. While Carlsen is a towering first, Anand is ranked only seventh on the World Chess Federations’s rating list.

On the basis of rating alone, Carlsen is better than a 3-2 favorite. But an egregiously bad move or two, especially in later rounds, can drastically change the momentum of the three-week, 12-game event.

An apparent and seemingly deserving and inevitable winner can suddenly be set back on his heels.

The importance of the match is reflected in the prize fund for the two players of 1.94 million euros (about $2.6 million at this time).

Anand has no illusions about the task ahead. After Carlsen won the qualifying London Candidates tournament in April, Anand declared: “Congratulations to Magnus. He always comes through.”

Below is a win by Igor Lysyg against Avetik Grigoryan from the 2012 Chigorin Memorial Rapid tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Lysyg Grigoryan

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 e6

3. Nc3 c5

4. d5 exd5

5. cxd5 g6

6. Nf3 Bg7

7. h3 O-O

8. Bg5 Qa5

9. Nd2 b5

10. e3 h6

11. Bf4 Nh5

12. Bd6 Re8

13. Nxb5 Na6

14. Bc4 Bxb2

15. Rb1 Be5

16. O-O Nf6

17. Bxe5 Rxe5

18. Nf3 Re8

19. Nd6 Rf8

20. Ne5 Kg7

21. Qd3 Nb4

22. Rxb4 cxb4

23. N(d)xf7 . Black resigns

Solution to Beginner’s Corner: 1. Qd8ch! Rc8 2.Qb6ch Ka8 3. Qa7 (or Qb7) mate (Gelfand-Dominguez Perez ’13).