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DAN EDELMAN (RIGHT) WITH GM ARNOLD DENKER CIRCA 1987


By the mid 1980s, many Americans


already knew of Anand’s phenomenal tal- ent. Actually, the maestro from Madras made his debut at the World Open not in 1987 but in the previous year, where he dispatched the great Gyula Sax (who would soon claim Interzonal fame at Sub- otica). A month after our 1987 showdown, Anand would cruise to clear first place at a star-studded World Junior Champi- onship in Baguio City, scoring 10 out of 13 ahead of the likes of Vassily Ivanchuk, Gregory Serper, Wolff, Vladimir Akopian, Simon Agdestein, Jeroen Piket, Pavel Blatny, and others. I entered the Adam’s Mark Hotel with a score to settle (actually, an annual racquetball contest with Alex Fishbein) and the hope that I would get a chance merely to witness the mighty Anand blitz his opponents to smithereens. This year marks the silver anniversary of


a most intriguing World Open contest. As many remember, the event was a great suc- cess for Boris Gulko and Tony Miles, who shared $16,000 apiece with 8-2 scores. Gulko, who went on to defeat Miles in a


uschess.org


playoff game, became a close friend and briefly my chess teacher while I was attend- ing Harvard. What makes Philly ’87 remarkable was the uncharacteristically large number of upsets. Third-place finisher Larry Christiansen somehow managed a miracle comeback after dropping his sec- ond and third games; my perennial racquetball roommate Fishbein coughed up losses in his first two; even Yasser Seirawan, Yehuda Gruenfeld, Doug Root, and John Donaldson got off to rocky starts. But back to Anand ... this was to be one of the worst showings in his career. The champ from Chennai lost his first round to Marcel Sisn- iega, the ingenious Mexican international master, and then stumbled on the black side of an Exchange Ruy against grandmas- ter-slayer Alex Sherzer. Anand picked up his first point from an expert but then had an unbelievable setback at the hands of local master Anthony Randolph in a sparkling King’s Indian Attack game where the Indian ace was mated on move 31. Then three wins in a row brought Vishy back to form. I would meet him with black in round eight.


French Defense (C19) IM Viswanathan Anand (2630) Dan Edelman (2436) World Open (8), Philadelphia 1987


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Nf3 Nbc6 8. a4 Qa5 9. Qd2 Bd7 10. Bd3 f6


This is old school French ... nowadays,


few play the white side of the Winawer without 7. Qg4. Those that embark on the positional main lines mix things up with an early h4-h5 for White, or 9. Bd2 Bd7 10. Bb5 instead of 10. Be2, or 8. Be2 Qa5 9. Bd2 shunning the move a3-a4 altogether.


11. exf6 The more ambitious plan is 11. 0-0


against which I was planning the unusual 11. ... 0–0–0!? 12. Re1 fxe5 13. dxe5 h6 14. Ba3 Rdf8 15. Qe3 c4 16. Bf1 Rf7 17. Reb1 Nf5 18. Qe1 g5 19. Rb5 Qa6 20. Rab1 b6 21. R5b2 g4. Black crashes through and White really has no attack


Chess Life — July 2012 41


PHOTO: ARCHIVAL


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