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Viswanathan Anand vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Las Palmas (1996), Las Palmas, Canary Islands ESP, rd 3, Dec-11
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Neo-Archangelsk Variation (C78)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: i'm convinced that anand won this game by witchcraft, but we'll see :) after 15. ... Nxh4 what does white have for his troubles? not too much...he's down a whole exchange and has a slight advantage in space and development, but i don't think it's enough (obviously i'm wrong) :) ivanchuk greatly overestimated his position when he played 22. ... Rxc4? by no means was that forced, and but i think he was caught up in the moment, but IMO if he didn't go on the mad saccing spree, he should've been able to hold on
Aug-04-02  bishop: Refutor, I believe that Anand's exchange sac was sound as Ivanchuck could not develop normally without having to give material back. I really can't see an alternative to 22...Rxc4 because if Black moves his attacked Knight he loses the d6 pawn and then his rook.
Mar-26-05  csmath: This is absolutely magnificent game. This is Anand at his best, a masterpiece, the exchange sacrifice is sound and it is a deep one. You will not find many games of this beauty, this game counts as one of the best games of dynamic chess and a crown jewell among best Anand's games. This is also the best game of Las Palmas supertournament where Anand came in second. Gazza took the first place.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes the exchange sac is great - like some of Gary Kasprov's - the question is - not if it doesnt win? - but does it _certainly_ win? - and that is hard to decide - but everything is in White's favour.
Aug-01-05  aw1988: This is almost like "You have a winning game. So what?".
Apr-11-06  atragon: Good game from Vishy but Chucky, once more, overrated his position after the sac. Of course after 16. ...Bf5 white has only a very small edge. And then 19. ...h6 followed by Re5 could result in an even game
Oct-05-06  aw1988: This makes no sense. Why not 24. gxf5?
Oct-05-06  aw1988: Ah, I see Re1 would have also been crushing if the knight moves...
Dec-08-06  Vinchent78: Guys, I think the knight sacrifice is top class! Black is simply totally tied up. He can not develop his queen side normally without giving material back
Dec-08-06  wonderboymyth: R + 2B = 2R + N
Which could occur at White's will, given N on b6 and B on c8. White's fantastic position and the easily attainable bishop pair gives him ample compensation (if not more) for the exchange.
Feb-09-07  crwynn: The exchange sac is sound, but I don't think it's winning. Anand's best games collection suggested 19...h5 instead of 19...h6, so as to prevent g4. Also 16...Bf5 as mentioned before is not terrible for Black.

But it is also risk-free for White, because after playing d5 he can capture on c6 twice and Black must return the Exchange, with a level position.

Feb-09-07  crwynn: The point of the sac, btw, is that 3 of Black's pieces are completely frozen: the Nf5, the Bc8 and the Rb8. While the idea is ingenious and original (and devised otb), there's nothing of "witchcraft" in it; if anything is surprising it's that Black could have survived. 22...Rxc4 also seems to be the only chance at that point, because 22...Rd4 or 22...g6 (to stop 23.Bc2 from winning a clear rook anyway) allow at least with a nice material advantage to come.
Jun-27-08  crwynn: Given that White wants to play g4 it is surprising chucky didn't play 19...h5, then probably White has to play 20.dc bc 21.Bc6 Rb6 etc. and Black is fine.
Jan-10-09  WhiteRook48: White sacs the exchange and goes on to be a piece ahead?
Jan-23-09  VaselineTopLove: Anand's 13.Qh5 is a novelty which he found OTB after 35 minutes of thinking.

He felt Ivanchuk erred with 19. ..h6 and should have played f6 instead.

Jun-02-11  Jaideepblue: 14. Rxh4 features as #6 in Tim Krabbe's "110 Most Fantastic Moves of all time"
Jun-02-11  checkmateyourmove: indian canary sings a wonderful song
Jul-31-11  Whitehat1963: So, go ahead and call me stupid (I'm used to it.), but how does white go on to win this?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <"I played this game on my birthday. There had been only one decisive game in the first two rounds (Topalov-Kasparov), but I knew from experience (Wijk aan Zee 1996) that things can heat up very quickly! Even so, this was the only decisive game of the 3rd round.">

-- Anand

Aug-04-17  Tomasmental: I had my doubts on the final position after 46.Kh2, but I understand now there is simply no way to cover both threats 47. Bd4+ threatening 48. Bg7, and 47. Bf3 threatening Bxb7 at the same time on 46th black movement.
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