Former world champion Viswanathan Anand led the Rest of the World team to a scintillating 3.5-2.5 victory against Petrosian (Armenia) team on the opening day of the Petrosian Memorial match at Hotel Park Ararat in Moscow on Thursday.
It turned out to be a very close encounter in the first round of the six-players Scheveningen tournament wherein all the six members of the World team will play one game each against the member of the rival team.
In all, 36 games will be played in this unique event being organised to celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of the late Armenian world champion Tigran Petrosian.
The World team comprises Viswanathan Anand, Peter Svidler of Russia, Etinne Bacrot of France who was once the youngest Grandmaster of the World, Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain, Loek Van Wely of The Netherlands and Michael Adams of England.
Russian Garry Kasparov leads the Armenian challenge that comprises Peter Leko of Hungary, Boris Gelfand of Israel and Armenians Vladimir Akopian, Smbat Lputian and Rafael Vaganian.
The first match ended with two victories for the World team, one for Armenia while the remaining three games were drawn.
If Anand missed being away from classical chess for long, it did not show in his duel against seasoned Smbat Lputian.
The Indian stalwart last played in a classical chess event in January this year when he won the Corus Chess tournament comprehensively and some experts had expected that it might take some time for him to adjust to the conditions.
However, that was not to be as Anand gave an emphatic display in all departments of the game with his white pieces and grounded Lputian in 61 moves from a French defence game.
The middle game was extremely wide at one point and Anand had to calculate precisely to get a much better endgame with an extra pawn. Lputian tried to combat in the ensuing rook and pawns endgame but perfect technique by the Indian put an end to his chances.
Anand was also awarded his third Chess Oscar on Thursday for his fantastic performance in 2003.
Also gaining a big victory for the World team was Peter Svidler who crushed Boris Gelfand in a Sicilian defence game.
There was much contemplation as to why Boris Gelfand, formerly a Belarussian, should be in the Armenian team but the matter ended with a simple fact that Gelfand is the most famous people to have studied under Petrosian. Their training sessions had taken place in early 80s.
Playing white, Svidler employed the English attack to tackle Sicilian Najdorf and obtained an advantage in the rook and minor pieces endgame.
Gelfand lost a pawn as Svidlers rook started the final onslaught and it was curtains for the Israeli in 52 moves.
The match in fact is between players with Armenian connections v/s Worlds best.
And Garry Kasparov, whose mother, Klara, is an Armenian showcased his loyalty to his newfound team by defeating Loek Van Wely in a display of flawless attacking that lasted just 33 moves.
Kasparov threw caution to the winds by starting a king side pawn roller from an apparently harmless position and caught Van Wely off guard.
Results of Round 1: (Whites names first)
Kasparov (ARM) beat Van Wely (ROW); Anand (ROW) beat Lputian (Arm); Leko (ARM) drew Adams (ROW); Svidler (ROW) beat Gelfand (Arm); Akopian (ARM) drew with Vallejo Pons (ROW); Bacrot (ROW) drew with Vaganian (Arm).
Moves of Anand's game: Anand v Lputian
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Qg4 O-O 8. Bd3 Nbc6 9. Qh5 Ng6 10. Nf3 Qc7 11. Be3 Nce7 12. h4 Nf5 13. g4 Nxe3 14. fxe3 cxd4 15. cxd4 Qc3+ 16. Ke2 Bd7 17. Rab1 Be8 18. Ng5 h6 19. Rxb7 Qc8 20. Rhb1 Nxe5 21. dxe5 f5 22. exf6 Rxf6 23. Nf7 Rxf7 24. Rxf7 Bxf7 25. Qe5 Qd8 26. Rb7 Qf8 27. g5 hxg5 28. hxg5 g6 29. e4 a5 30. Qf6 Rb8 31. Ra7 Ra8 32. Rd7 Be8 33. Qxe6+ Bf7 34. Qe7 Re8 35. Qxf8+ Kxf8 36. Kf3 dxe4+ 37. Bxe4 Re5 38. Kf4 Rc5 39. Ra7 Be8 40. Ra6 Ke7 41. Bxg6 Bxg6 42. Rxg6 Rxc2 43. Ra6 Rc4+ 44. Kf5 Ra4 45. Ra7+ Kf8 46. Kf6 Rf4+ 47. Kg6 Ra4 48. Rf7+ Kg8 49. Rf3 Rc4 50. Rb3 Rc6+ 51. Kh5 Ra6 52. a4 Ra7 53. Rb5 Kg7 54. Kg4 Kg6 55. Kf4 Ra6 56. Ke4 Ra8 57. Kd4 Rd8+ 58. Kc4 Rd1 59. Rxa5 Ra1 60. Kb3 Rb1+ 61. Ka3 1-0.