Chess

Tata Steel Masters Chess: Anand survives a scare to beat Matlakov in opening round

Coming into the event after his title-win at the World Rapid Championship, Anand outwitted the Russian in 53 moves.

Viswanathan Anand survived a few anxious moments before beating Maxim Matlakov in the first round of Tata Steel Masters Chess tournament here.

Coming into the event after his title-win at the World Rapid Championship, Anand outwitted the Russian in 53 moves. The Indian ace is playing in the 80th edition after a gap of four years.

A winner here five times – a record that he shares with World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway – Anand allowed Matlakov to break through on the queen side in a Ruy Lopez opening manoeuvre.

“I was not able to break through,” said Anand in the post-game chat.

When asked about his possible sixth title victory, Anand said, “If I win now, I’m winning after 12 years, so it’s not like I’ve been blazing but, well, I’ll try for sure.”

Grandmaster B Adhiban, the other Indian in the 14-player field, started with a draw against Peter Svidler of Russia. In the last edition, Adhiban had finished third, ahead of many stalwarts.

Besides Anand, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and local hero Anish Giri were the other winners in the opening round. Kramnik won against Wei Yi of China and Giri beat Yi’s compatriot Yifan Hou.

Carlsen was held to a draw by Fabiano Caruana of the United States. It was an usually long game arising out of a Petroff defense that the world champion could not break.

In the Challengers section, top seed Vidit Gujrathi was held to a draw by World Junior champion Aryan Tari of Norway.
D Harika drew with Amin Baseem of Egypt.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.