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Viswanathan Anand vs Miguel Illescas Cordoba
Linares (1992), Linares ESP, rd 7, Mar-03
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 35 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-22-04  rags: Did anyone figure this out :) ?!(Fritz 6 didnot)
Aug-22-04  drcdwil: No way! I was humbled by this one. :(
Aug-22-04  Minor Piece Activity: I bet most people thought of 32. Nxb6!! but missed the "in between" moves. (At least I did) =) 36...Nb6 would lose to Be5 right or is it Rb1 again? It's funny, I kept thinking (unsuccessfully) about some combination with 32. e5 so that I could play Be5, skewering the rooks, but Anand finds a way to do it in a sideline without e5. Instead he uses 34. c5! to eliminate the d pawn so he can threaten the skewer.
Aug-22-04  Minor Piece Activity: I'm putting this in my collection. It's taught me a lot about thinking flexibly. Btw how long did it take you to find this, crafty? =D
Aug-22-04  pikoro: Why not 33...Qc8 with no immediate threat?
Aug-22-04  rags: <pikoro> 33..Qc8 34.Bxb6 Rxb6 35. Qxb6 white is up an exchange
Aug-22-04  Jack Rabbit: I think 33. -- Qc8 loses to 34. Bxg6. Black's losing move came much sooner.
Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Maybe I got lucky, but I got this one rather quickly and without the computer (hope Fritz or Crafty doesn't surprise us with a cook).

It's hard to classify today's (33. ?), as it is with most Sunday puzzles nowadays, since it combines multiple tactical themes:

33. Nxb6 is a "deflection" move to force 33...Nb6.

33. Na5 is a "deflection" move to force the Queen into a "pinning" position.

33. c5! is the key combined "clearance, deflection, and potential discovered attack" move, which also serves to indirectly attack the "pinned" and somewhat "trapped" queen.

[Note: 33. c5! leaves Black in such an ugly and cramped position, and creates so many tactical threats, that I intiutively sensed Black was busted. Sort of reminded me of a lyric from an old Elvis Presley song -- "...if it feels so right How can it be wrong?"]

After the coming 35. bxc5, the Knight has to go somewhere after which 36. c5 forces an interposition (Rook or Knight), putting Black into a forced losing "pin."

37. Rb1 is the logical followup, bringing decisive pressure to bear on the "pinned" Rook and semi-trapped Queen. Notice that 37...Rxb1 38. Rxb1 simply forces White to interpose and lose the Knight using the same "pinning" motif.

Based on the tactical themes most utilized here, I think I'll put this Anand brilliancy in my "Deflection and Pin" collection.

Aug-22-04  Jack Rabbit: The critical position seems to be after White's 16th move. 16. -- Rfe8 looks like a faulty plan. This could be the losing move.

Black is cramped and would do well to exchange some minor pieces or break the bind.

Some alternatives to 16. -- Rfe8? that might be considered are:

16. -- Ne8 followed by -- f5.

16. -- Rfd1 followed by -- d5.

16. -- Bc6 followed by -- Qb7 and -- b5.

Any thoughts?

Aug-22-04  Tiamat: Wow, I guessed two of the moves from 32-up. I feel like a fool. Wouldn't Linares have gotten a better chance if he had done 33. Na5 Nxe4? Any move following it would have been better, giving a loss of 1 point approxmitaly

for instance, 34. fxe4 Qxe4, saving his queen and destroying his pawn structure, though it might turn into a hide and seek game with his queen

Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Jack Rabbit> Your idea of preparing a pawn move to grab a share of the center and counter Anand's center control and space advantage is the right idea. However, looking at the position after 16. Bf1, I wonder if Black might be starting a little late in the game with this idea. I suspect Black will need to find an improvement earlier than move 16 to counter White's initiative and center control.
Aug-22-04  Jack Rabbit: Interesting idea, <Tiamat>.

How would you reply in your line to 35. Bd3? The Black Queen appears to have nowhere to go.

Aug-22-04  Dick Brain: I saw the saw the breakthrough 33. Nxb6!, 34. Na5, 35. c5 and realized that the pin could be reinforced with Rb1 winning back the material, but I wasn't all that confident it would be a winner. I was also worried about the counter-sacrifice 32...Nxe4 although later I felt it probably only lost a piece for Black since White can still get black the knight on b6.
Aug-22-04  Jack Rabbit: <patzer2> The move 8. -- b6 isn't very common. Usually, Black opts to develop his Bishops on d7 and e7.

Nevertheless, Black has enjoyed some success when 8. -- b6 is played. It might seem that we are looking for some move between Black's 8th and 16th where he just goes wrong.

Maybe it's 10. -- Nb8? Black could try instead 10. -- e5 11. f3 Ne4. Even if play continues 12. Nc2 Nxc2 13. Qxc2, Black will have succeeded in exchanging a pair of minor pieces, a worthy goal in a cramped position.

Just to state where I am coming from, I subscribe to the theory that a perfectly played chess game ends in a draw; the corollary to that is that the game must be lost before it can be won. Consequently, it's of at least as much value to look for blunders as it it to find brilliancies; it's the blunder that makes the brilliancy possible.

Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: As a correction to my earlier post her, I meant 34. c4! (not 33. c4).

<Jack Rabbit> I don't know enought to draw any conclusion about "perfectly played" chess leading to a draw. I'd be happy just to know how to win "won positions," especially those difficult informant problems the computers rate a win with only about a 1.5 pawn advantage. However, I'll take a look at possible improvements in Black's play here.

Aug-22-04  Tiamat: <Jack Rabbit> I think this wuold work, its early in the morning and had to rescope everything out, but as I saw it yesterday,

33. Na5 Nxe4 34. fxe4 Qxe4 35. Bd3 Bh4 36. Bxe4 Bxf2 37. (this can go two ways) Bxf2 Bxe4 or 37. Bxa8 Bxd4 38. Rxd4 Nxa8

tell me if I've missed anything

Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I think 8...Be7 as in Anand vs Salov, 1993, with a draw result, was an improvement over 8...b6 in this game.
Aug-22-04  Ziggurat: <patzer2> With all due respect, I think you are looking for the improvement in the wrong place. 8..b6 and 10..Nb8 may look weird out of context but Black is clearly playing for a hedgehog setup here and he was probably satisfied with his position at move 16. The hedgehog is a system where black keeps a flexible position and tries to lure white into overextending himself. Unfortunately the Hedgehog may run into tactical difficulties, such as in this game.
Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Tiamat if 33...Nxe4?, then White plays 34. fxe4 Qxe4 35. Bxb6! and wins easily.

[play could continue 35...Bh4 36. Bxc7! (36. Qg1 or 36. Qe3 also are nice winning options ); or if 35...Rcc8 36. Ba7 Bg5 37. Bxb8 Bxc1 Bxd6 38. Be3 Qe2 ]

Aug-22-04  uponthehill: higher school of driving...
Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This puzzle is on yet another topic. I was looking for something in the center-but instead-it was a harrassment of black's queen.

A neat series of moves.

Aug-22-04  cvcs68: somebody should annotate this game - other than the pawn capture on move 4 - till move 34 - there is no bloodshed - and it will help players like me to understand what was going on in the minds of the two players through all these moves
Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: <cvcs68> Do you mean that there was no captures-from black move 4 to white move 32 (the key move)?

There was once a game that had all 32 pieces and was drawn by the fifty move rule on about move 73-there were pawn moves and maybe castling-so the count began after move 23.

Aug-22-04  pikoro: <rags> Yes, yes. I saw that one. However, since White has already sacrificed a knight that only leaves him a pawn up, material-wise. Of course, White's position is superior, just trying to think what was the best move in the given circumstances. Thanks.
Aug-22-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Zigguarat> Notice that 8...Be7 was played as a planned improvement over the 8...b6 in this game by a 2715 player, less than a year after Anand clobbered the 8...b6 try here. Also notice that Anand gets much the worse of the draw after 8...Be7 in the game link above.

In Bastsford Chess Openings, Kasparov and Keene recommend 8...Be7 as leading to equality for Black as in Tseshkovsky vs Kasparov, 1979, and it is by far the more popular choice in GM play over 8...b6 (have any Super GMs successfully employed 8...b6?). Looking at the game play in both these lines, my opinion is that Black gets better counterplay after 8...Be7 than with 8...b6 (but as you suggest that may be more of a personal preference).

I don't doubt Black can equalize after 8...b6. And I must admit 8...b6 scores very good results in the Opening Explorer (34.6% wins for Black to 34.6% wins for White out of 52 games loaded at this time). However, with the strongest GMs mostly avoiding 8...b6 (preferring 8...Be7) and scoring well as White against 8...b6, I'm not very enthusiastic about it.

For a later improvement, I think 10...Be7 (41% Black wins to 26% White wins out of 27 games in the Opening Explorer) is a good choice over the overly subtle 10...Nb8. One example of Black's play with 10...Be7 was the win scored in P Enders vs A Braun, 2004. Perhaps changing the move order with 11...Nbd7, as in S Mannion vs A Poluljahov, 2004, might have avoided the disaster Black faced due to his cramped queenside in this game. Black's 13...Qc2 in S Sulskis vs G Tunik, 2002 also might be a worthy alternative.

The alternative 15...Rfe8 worked OK for Black after 16. Bf1 Rcd8 in L Kaplan vs Zsofia Polgar, 1994. The subtle maneuver 16...Qb8 appears it might be a playable alternative as it has mostly won in practical play as in M Solleveld vs Van der Werf, 2001 and G Miralles vs N Borne, 2001 and Leko vs Z Franco-Ocampos, 1993. However, I still prefer the counterplay Black gets after the BCO recommended 8...Be7.

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