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Viswanathan Anand vs Lubomir Ftacnik
Biel Interzonal (1993), Biel SUI, rd 3, Jul-18
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  1-0


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Given 21 times; par: 54 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-01-13  mistreaver: Sunday. White to play. Insane. 21?
This is what i call a true Sunday. When i saw the board i knew i was fighting a lost cause. There are so many possibilities and it is hard to tell which is good. The one idea that struck my mind was the following:
21 Ndxe6
the idea is to get the queen to e6 by any means neccesary. Black has many replys:
A) 21... fxe6
22 Bxc5
and now further branching:
22... Bxc5
23 Qe6+ Kd8
24 Bxd5
and i dare to say that white is winning.
22... Qxc5
23 Nxe6 (now this comes with a tempo)
23... Qd6
24 Nxg7+ Kd8
25 f6
and i would venture to say white is much better, if not winning. B) 21... Nxe6
22 fxe6 Nxd1
23 exf7+ Kd8
24 Rxd1
and i don't know white probably has compensation here and f7 pawn is rather strong. C) 21... Nxd1
22 Bxc5 Bxc5
23 Nxg7+ Kf8
and i don't know, here it is too much for me.
Time to see whether i guessed the first move and some ideas. -------------
Nope not even close. 21 fxe6 is kinda computer move. To understand it, i had to try capturing the knight on move 21, but it didn't work due to following variation: 21 Kxb2 Na4+
22 Kc1 Nc3
23 Qd3 Qa3+
24 Kd2 e5!
with 21 fxe6 white removes the e5 resource, and if
21 fxe6 Nxd1
22 exf7+ Kxf7
23 Rxd1
White is just winning.
And if black tries:
21 fxe6 fxe6
22 Kxb2 Na4+
23 Kc1 Nc3
24 Qd3 Qa3+
25 Kd2 e5
26 Qg6+! (this is the key)
and white wins.
Trully a computer defence, and excellent piece of calculation by Anand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: This is double insane. Zero chance, and I don't understand a bit of it.
Sep-01-13  devere: When did Black go wrong? It seems that 15...Be7 was a mistake, and then 16...h5 was fatal. After that Anand's grand conception could not be successfully resisted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: This is Game 23 in Anand's book " Vishy Anand: World Chess Champion, Life and Games. His extensive analysis gives 21 fxe6 !!. His comment after this move; "White should just ignore everything, except mate itself, and just hack away." He also mentions that he was on the verge of playing the amazing 21 Nb3, but that 21 fxe6 seemed even stronger. He also notes that 21 Kxb2 is bad in view of 21... Na4ch 22. Kc1 Nc3 23. Qd3 e5. Needless to say, even with the extensive notes, understanding what's going on here is way beyond my ability as a chess player to understand and visualize.
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Another comment in Anand's book as to Lubomir's mistake: He says 9... Bb7 is a move order mistake, 9... Nbd7 must be played first because otherwise he couldn't play 10 h4 because of 10..b4 11Nce2 d5, and White cannot push his e-pawn since e5-square is covered. I might add that this is typical of Vishy's excellent verbal commentary on his games in this book in addition to the concrete analytical lines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wow. What a quick turn of events.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Anand's 21. fxe6!! is a brilliant in-between (aka zwischenzug) move, which combines defense and offense.

The combination involves defense because 21. fxe6!! defends against Black's demolition attack 20...Nxb2!? by providing an essential in-between move to parry the decisive Black threats after 21. Kxb2? Na4+! .

Immediately capturing with 21. Kxb2? loses to 21...Na4+! (not 21...Qa3+? 22. Ka1! ) 22. Kc1 (22. Ka1 23. Nc3 ) 22...Nc3 (position below).

click for larger view

Here, 23. Qf3 (or any other Queen move) allows the pawn fork 23...e5!, which wins back a piece with decisive compensation for the sacrificed Knight.

The combination involves offense because 21. fxe6!! answers Black's attempted demolition 20...Nxb2!? with a demolition counter-attack to strip the Black King of pawn cover and leave White with a winning advantage.

Fritz 12 gives best play as 21. fxe6!! fxe6 22. Kxb2 Qa3+ 23. Ka1! (not 23. Kb1? Na4! ) 23...Qc3+ 24. Kb1 Na4 25. Bc1 (position below).

click for larger view

Here (i.e. after 21. fxe6!! fxe6 22. Kxb2 Qa3+ 23. Ka1! Qc3+ 24. Kb1 Na4 25. Bc1 ) White has captured the invading Knight, exposed the Black King to attack, and left Black a piece down.

So, after 21. fxe6!! and strong White follow-up, Black has insufficient compensation for the sacrificed piece (e.g. 20...Nxb2!?).

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is two pawns down.

Black threatens 21... Nxd1, 21... Nba4, 21... Nc4 followed by ... Nca4, 21... e5, etc.

White has a number of options, 21.Kxb2, 21.Nb3, 21.fxe6, 21.g6, 21.Rde1, etc.

The capture 21.Kxb2 looks risky: 21... Na4+ (21... Qa3+ 22.Ka1 [22.Kb1 Na4 23.c4 (23.Bc1 Nc3+ 24.Ka1 Qxa2#) 22... Nc3+ and 23... Nxe2] 22... Na4 23.Bc1 Qc3+ 24.Kb1 unclear) 22.Kc1 (22.Ka(b)1 Nc3 wins) 22... Nc3 followed by 23... e5 with many threats.

The agressive 21.g6 grants f6 to Black's dsb and also looks unclear after 21... Nxd1 22.gxf7+ Kxf7 23.Rxd1 Na4 24.Bd2 Qb6.

The simplistic 21.Rde1 is met with 21... Nca4 22.Bd2 Nc4 and Black's attack seems to make more progress than White's.

The passive 21.Nb3 is met with 21... Nxd1 22.Rxd1 (22.Nxa5 Nc3+) 22... Nxb3 unclear.

Therefore, 21.fxe6 seems more or less forced (a very partial analysis follows):

A) 21... Nxd1 22.exf7+ Kxf7 23.Rxd1 Na4 24.Bd2 and the White pieces look ready to attack the black king.

B) 21... fxe6 22.Nfxe6 Nxd1 23.Rxd1 with a similar conclusion.

C) 21... f6 22.Nxh5 Nxd1 23.Rxd1 Na4 24.Bd2 Nc3+ 25.Bxc3 bxc3 26.Nxg7+ with attack. For example, 26... Kf8 28.Ka1 Kxg7 29.gxf6+ Bxf6 30.Qg4+ Kf8 31.Qg6 Ke7 32.Nf5+ looks winning.

I think I'd play 21.fxe6.

Sep-01-13  Marmot PFL: It seems that black miscalculates in a complicated position. He would like to play 20...e5, but this fails as d5 is unguarded, so maybe he should play 20...Na4. But being more clever, he decides to play Na4 with check, so first plays 20...Nxb2. The trouble is that white is not forced to take, and gets there first with 21 fe6. Now can black get away with 21...Nxd1 22 ef7+ Kxf7 23 Rxd1 and survive? I cannot begin to calculate all those line but the black king position looks desperate, and black did not try it.

After black castles he is playing a piece sac, which Anand refutes without too much trouble. The main thing to avoid is 23 Ka1?? Nc3.

Sep-01-13  Rama: The key move he had to see was 29. Bd4 which just looks so good, after he plays it.
Sep-01-13  RandomVisitor: <Rybra4.1>

[+2.30] d=18 21.fxe6 OľOľO 22.Kxb2 Na4+ 23.Kc1 Nc3 24.Qd3 fxe6 25.Nfxe6 Rd7 26.Nxg7 Kb8 27.Bh3 Rdd8 28.Be6 Ka8 29.Ngf5 Qa3+ 30.Kd2 Rhe8 31.g6 Bf6 32.g7 Ne4+ 33.Ke2 Qa4 34.Qb3 Qa5 35.Rb1 Bxd4 36.Nxd4 (0:11:52) 182848kN

Sep-01-13  Marmot PFL: Do you think Anand saw 29 Bd4 that far ahead? I doubt it but maybe.

If he could still do that he would probably beat Carlsen, the problem is that it was 20 years ago.

Sep-01-13  patcheck: I thought that 21.exf6 was the right move but there were so many possibilities that I didn't get deep into them. This was really a very difficult puzzle to solve.
Sep-01-13  RandomVisitor: After 9.Qd2: <Rybka4.1>

[+0.14] d=26 9...b4 10.Na4 Nbd7 11.OľOľO Qa5 12.b3 Bb7 13.a3 Qc7 14.axb4 d5 15.e5 Nxe5 16.Kb1 Nfd7 17.h4 Nc6 18.c3 Bd6 19.Bh3 Nxd4 20.Qxd4 Rc8 21.f4 e5 22.fxe5 Bxe5 (4:08:18) 4177580kN

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: One advantage of 21 fxe6 shows up in the following sample line.

Here is the position after 21 fxe6 Nxd1 22 exf7+ Kxf7 23 Nxd1 Na4 24 Bd2 Nc3+ 25 Bxc3 bxc3, below.

click for larger view

Black wants to play 26...Qb4+ but leaves open the door for 26 Qe6+ first.

Sep-01-13  rickster13: was i supossed to follow that line?
Sep-02-13  Dr. Funkenstein: I got fxe6 because it seemed like the most forcing move, but the rest of the combo is beyond me. I also still don't fully understand why white cannot immediately take on b2 versus taking on b2 after black plays 0-0-0 (I understand that without castling, white has exf7+). This is of course the key to the combination, that white escapes the attack up a piece or, as in the game, with two minors for a rook and a passed pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Dr. Funkenstein> <don't fully understand why white cannot immediately take on b2 versus taking on b2 after black plays 0-0-0> Immediately capturing with 21. Kxb2? loses to 21...Na4+! (not 21...Qa3+? 22. Ka1! ) 22. Kc1 (22. Ka1 23. Nc3 ) 22...Nc3 23. Qd3 e5 .
Sep-02-13  Jakob52: Why isn't 21 ... Nxd1 and option? Okay, white then takes exf7 and black takes back with the king. Still, is that so bad for black?
Sep-02-13  Jakob52: But Jimfromprovidence, why should black play Na4? Why not Ne4? Then he blocks the e-file. If bishop takes then the pawn will block the file. White queen can check at c4 but black queen or the bishop can block it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Jakob52. <But Jimfromprovidence, why should black play Na4? Why not Ne4? Then he blocks the e-file. If bishop takes then the pawn will block the file. White queen can check at c4 but black queen or the bishop can block it.>

If this is the position you are referring to...

click for larger view

...white has two major threats still, g6+ and Nxd5 seeing Qf1+

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Dr.Funkenstein> <patzer2> <I also still don't fully understand why white cannot immediately take on b2>

I think that the reason that white cannot play Kxb2 right away is that that move leaves him vulnerable to multiple forcing moves, the most important of which is ...e5.

21 Kxb2 Na4+ 22 Kc1 Nc3 23 Qf3 e5, below illustrates this point.

click for larger view

Sep-03-13  Dr. Funkenstein: Thanks,

I didn't see the reply 23. ...e5 in that line necessitating taking on e6 first...

Nov-21-13  SirRuthless: This version of Anand is stuck in 2008 with prime Tiger Woods. Who is this 2013 imposter Anand? How the mighty have fallen...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Anand is no impostor, but a worthy champion who has had his day in the sun.

There are a number of posters who can take a lesson from the way Carlsen handled a foolish question at today's postgame press conference, as he used tact-simple consideration which typically escapes posters who are far weaker players than Anand.

Let the old give way to the new, but this inevitability does not diminish the stature of Anand one iota, nor does it obviate such games that great player has produced as this.

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