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Viswanathan Anand vs Pavel Blatny
Wch U20 (1987), Baguio, Jul-??
Modern Defense: Gurgenidze Defense (B06)  ·  1-0


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find similar games 2 more Anand/Blatny games
sac: 25.Nf4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-11-02  mrwonkabar: (Beginner Question)
Why doesn't Blatny play 16. ..Qh4+ to stop Anand from castling?
Dec-11-02  ughaibu: He will need to retreat his queen to prevent it being caught by g5. At worst white by Kd2, Rd1, Kc1 will bring about a castled position at the loss of two moves (the same as black spent with Qh4-e7) on the other hand white may find a better square for his rook or as it is now (after Qe7) white's turn he may find something else. So in short there is no gain and possible loss so on first principles the check is bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: That's actually a deep question! I'd like to try to answer it.

First we have to ask ourselves, "how important is castling in this situation?" Obviously White has to free that queen's rook, but Kd2 or Ke2 would accomplish that.

In other words, could it be wise to play Kd2/Ke2 instead of O-O-O? It's a case of pros and cons. With Ke2 or Kd2, your queen's rook will be free, and king would be more centralized, ready for the endgame. On the other hand, with O-O-O, your queens rook will be instantly deployed on the d-file, but there will be less king safety--and with queens on the board, that is a serious concern.

When Anand played 17.O-O-O, he showed us where his values lie: in this position he preferred the king-safety and instant rook development over centralizing his king and delayed rook development. This follows the old rule of thumb, that with queens on the board you should seek shelter for your king.

And yet, as you show, White would not have the option of O-O-O if Black played 16...Qh4+. Then he would have been forced to play Kd2 or Ke2. (Kd1 is poor because the rook is still not free.) Black could have forced White into doing something which he clearly didn't prefer! So why not do it?

The answer must have to do with the element of TIME. If Black played 16...Qh4+ 17.Ke2 and it may be true that Black is now wise to retreat the queen (again!). For example, what if White plays g5 to trap in queen inside the pawns, then routes the knight to g2 (d1,e3,g2) where it attacks her? Eek!

So Black inconveniences White, but if Black is forced to move the queen back again, it comes at the cost of what we call a "tempo."

In summary, my opinion is that Blatny probably considered 16...Qh4+, but knew that not castling wouldn't be so much of a problem for White, and so it wasn't worth spending a tempo on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: while I was typing my opus, ughaibu said everything I said in 10% of the space. including the g5 move. good job!
Dec-12-02  drukenknight: interesting comments above from Ugi/Sneaky, I have not had time to digest them.

What do you guys think about the end game play here, specifically blacks 52nd move?

Dec-12-02  mrwonkabar: Thank you all for the detailed explanation, especially Sneaky. Between the loss of tempo and the possible trap, I think I understand the virtues of not checking in that position.
Dec-13-02  drukenknight: well Im still looking at it and I dont see how the Q gets trapped. What if he just follows up...hxg4?
Dec-13-02  ughaibu: After the reply hg4 he still has to retreat the queen or swap it for a rook.
Mar-29-03  panandh: To drunkenknight: After 52nd move, Black cannot move his king out of b-file. Then white's rook will come out with a check and h-pawn will become queen. White's king has the freedom to go to c/e file without getting a check from the black rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: A very interesting Rook ending. Instead of playing a drawish position, Anand took his best practical chance and tried to confuse his opponent. He succeeded. But meanwhile the indian genius missed a subtle point and in turn Blatny missed the draw.

40.Rg8+ <40. Re1 Rxh4 41. Rxe2, Black has drawing prospects with all the pawns on the same wing.> Kc7 41.Rh8!? <Instead of playing a drawish ending with 4 vs 3 pawns on the same wing, Anand gives up his small material advantage in order to keep some winning prospects. But the all idea should prove rather doubtful.> e1=Q+ 42.Kxe1 Rxb2 43.h5 Rxa2 44.h6 Rh2 45.h7 Kb6? <The losing move. Blatny should have kept his King on the c file where he would have been useful to stop the d pawn. He should have played 45... a5. For instance, 45... a5 46. c4 a4 47. d5 a3. 48. d6+? Kd7 49. Rb8 does not work after 49... a2!. After 45... a5, White could try 46. Kd1 Kb6 47. c4 a4 48. Kc1 a3 49. Kb1 Rb2+ 50. Ka1 Rh2. Here 51. d5 does not work after 51... Kc5 52. d6? Kb4! 53. Re8 Rxh7 54. Re7 Rh1+ 55. Ka2 Rh2+ 56. Ka1 b6.> 46.c4 Rh4 47.d5! cxd5 <47... Rxc4? 48. R moves and the threat h8Q wins.> 48.cxd5 Re4+ 49.Kd2 Re7 50.d6? <The good idea but not the good move order. 50. Kd3 a5 (50... Kb5 51. d6 wins) 51. d6 Rd7 52. Kc4!, White wins like in the game.> Rg7? <Losing. Blatny should have played 50... Rd7 51. Ke3 (51. Kc3 Kb5! is a draw. This is the point.) a5 52. Ke4 a4 53. Kd5 a3 54. Ke6 a2! 55. Ra8 Rxh7 56. Rxa2 Rh6+, it is a draw.> 51.Kc3! a5 52.Kc4 a4 53.Kb4 a3 54.Kxa3 Kb5 55.Kb3 Rf7 <Or 55... Rd7 56. Kc3 b6 57. Kb3 Ra7 58. Kc2! (58. Kc3 Rd7) Kb4 (58... Rd7 59. Kc3!) 59. Kd3 Rd7 60. Ke4, White wins.> 56.Kc2! Rd7 57.Kc3 b6 58.Kb3 Rg7 59.Kc2 Rf7 <59... Kb4 60. Kd3.> 60.Kd3 Rd7 61.Ke4 1-0

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