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Viswanathan Anand vs Alexey Shirov
"Vishy Springs" (game of the day Aug-11-2017)
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000), Tehran IRI, rd 4, Dec-23
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-27-05  aragorn69: Anand gives this as one of his three most memorable games.

<Viswanathan Anand : I remember my win against Ftacnik in 1993 for the beauty, my win against Shirov in game 4 in Teheran for giving me the World title. And my game against Bologan from Dortmund 2003 for winning both the best games and the best novelty of the year.>

Source: http://inhome.rediff.com/sports/200...

May-24-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Oh-oh! Suave Indian Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi was trying to congratulate Anand but got lost somewhere on this page! Can you help find him so that he can give his compatriot a laurel and a hearty handshake?
May-24-06  sneaky pete: Move 13.
Nov-04-06  oao2102: Incidentally, I believe 5. Nce2 is sometimes called the Shirov-Anand variation
Oct-30-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: Watson features this game on page 295 of Volume I Mastering the Chess Openings.
Aug-05-08  just a kid: I love to see these games.A sharp game with threats from both sides.
Oct-18-08  PinnedPiece: How about a game title:

"An End to Sheer Offense"

Nov-10-08  veerar: Clash of the Tacticians"!
Nov-10-08  dumbgai: Anand sure has a lot of guts playing into that kind of position with black's pawns swarming about. Especially against a renowned tactician like Shirov.
Sep-05-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Yet again chess adventurer Parimarjan Negi has been wandering around the crazy universe of chess. Here he has transported into a game of his former employer. Can you find him before he gets squeezed out of the Universe like a lemon pip?
Jan-13-11  BISHOP TAL: Watson also has this in chess strategy in action page 72 small tidbit,black has often moved away from brute force devolopment and sacrifices to his own untraditional methods Lalic Speelman Hastings 2000 is 1 example continueing 8.bishop e79.g3a510h4a4!?11bishoph3knightdb8!? here speelman shows white isnt the only one that can move backwords!His approach to this middlegame is philosophically opposite of what black has mostly used for over 100 years.
May-30-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Hesam7: This was the last game of the match which ended 3.5-0.5 for Anand. I think Shirov's piece sacrifice was sound, but he was unable to find the correct continuation. *** >

I agree with this and the balance this post. Shirov probably felt that keeping Queens on the board was the best way to maintain chances for a decisive result (which, of course, is what occurred in this game; unfortunately for Shirov, it was Anand who got the full point).

In choosing <19. ... Qf6>, Shirov may have failed to anticipate that in the position after <22. Kc1>:


click for larger view

... both <23. Rxh4> and <23. Nd2> would be threatened.

Sep-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: game quote..

"After the text-move, I left the stage. The situation is hopeless for Black, so when I carne back Alexei graciously congratulated me on becoming World Champion."

- GM Viswanathan Anand (after 41.♘h4)

Source: Vishy Anand My Best Games of Chess

Oct-09-11  waustad: As happens so often with Anand games I kept wondering where will the king live and how will he get his rooks in touch? His play is all well beyond my ken.
Oct-23-13  DrGridlock: Some confusing opening chatter so far on this game. John Watson does use this as a model game for the Classical Variation of the French defense in "Mastering the Chess Openings, vol 1." Watson gives black's 13'th move ... a4 an (!). After black's 18'th move ... Bxh4+ Watson writes,

"Shirov pours more gasoline on the fire. He could probably say to himself, "I've got two mobile centre pawns and tremendously active pieces, so I'll just take it easy and retreat by 18 ... Qc7. Then I'll play ... e5 (hitting h3) and ... Bf6." That's probably a good plan."

It's interesting to look to an engine evaluation of black's position after White's 18 Qe2:


click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth = 21):

1. (-0.75): 18...Qc7 19.Bg5 Bd6 20.Rf3 Rxf3 21.Qxf3 cxb4 22.axb4 Bxb4 23.Kd2 Ba5 24.Ne2 Bd7 25.Bf4 Qb6 26.Kc1 Rf8 27.g3 Qb3 28.Rb1 Qa3+ 29.Kd1 b5 30.Qe3 Qa2 31.Kc1 b4 32.Qc5 Qa3+ 33.Rb2 Qa1+ 34.Rb1

2. (-0.28): 18...Qd6 19.Bg5 cxb4 20.Bxe7 Qxe7 21.axb4 e5 22.Rf3 Bf5 23.g3 a3 24.Bh3 Bxh3 25.Nxh3 Rxf3 26.Qxf3 Qd7 27.Nf2 e4 28.Qe3 Qc6 29.Kd2 Qa4 30.Kc1 Qb3 31.Rb1 Qc4 32.Ra1 Qf1+ 33.Nd1

3. = (-0.05): 18...Bxh4+ 19.Kd1 Bf6 20.Qxe5 Bxe5 21.Bb5 Rf2 22.Be3 Rxg2 23.Bxc5 Bh2 24.Ne2 e5 25.Rd3 Be6 26.Rd2 h5 27.Kc2 Bf5+ 28.Kb2 Bg4 29.Kc2 h4 30.Rf1 Be6 31.Be7 h3 32.Bc5 Kh7 33.Bb6

Which suggests that after 18 ... Qc7 it is black who is rather comfortably in the better position!

This game was played in January 2000. Interestingly, Anand and Shirov played a game 6 months later:

Anand vs Shirov, 2000

Which duplicated the opening through Black's move 11. At that point, instead of playing 11 ... a5 (as in this game), Shirov deviates and plays 11 ... Na5 (and also lost that game). Shirov did not want to reach the "Watson position." The closest the CG database comes to the "Watson position" is:

R Kuczynski vs I Zaragatski, 2001

where black deviates on move 14 with ... cxd4 instead of ... fxe5.

It's black who seems not to want to reach the "Watson position" with the lore of Anand's win seemingly accounting for more than actual positional analysis.

Apr-04-15  Hesam7: <DrGridlock: Some confusing opening chatter so far on this game. John Watson does use this as a model game for the Classical Variation of the French defense in "Mastering the Chess Openings, vol 1." Watson gives black's 13'th move ... a4 an (!). After black's 18'th move ... Bxh4+ Watson writes,

"Shirov pours more gasoline on the fire. He could probably say to himself, "I've got two mobile centre pawns and tremendously active pieces, so I'll just take it easy and retreat by 18 ... Qc7. Then I'll play ... e5 (hitting h3) and ... Bf6." That's probably a good plan.">

It is certainly the case that after 18...Qc7! Black is better, it is not a winning advantage but it is quite large. And given the forcing nature of the preceding moves means that 10 h4?! was what landed White in an inferior position.

In fact Black could have played 13...b5! sacrificing a pawn for very strong initiative:


click for larger view

Apr-13-17  Toribio3: Bravo Anand! Master of Defence!
May-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <DrGridlock:
This game was played in January 2000. Interestingly, Anand and Shirov played a game 6 months later>

This game was actually played in December 2000 after the other Anand-Shirov game you quote.

5 Nce2 is a move that Anand has used on several occasions; 5 f4 and 5 Nf3 are the main lines. After 8 Nf3 the game had transposed into a variation of the French Tarrasch where, interestingly enough, one knight reached f3 via d2 and the other had reached e2 via g1. 12..Qd8 had been played in a few previous games; 12..Qc7 was new. The piece sacrifice with 15..Ndxe5!? is thematic in this variation; without it Black can easily get routed on the kingside. Shirov may have overlooked 22 Kc1 with thr threat of Ne5 or Nd2 trapping the queen: ie 22..Bf6 23 Bxf6..Rxf5 24 Nd2. Anand took the second piece though he thought, after the game, that taking the queen with 23 Nd2 may have won faster. White has to be very careful: 31 Ng5?..Rf2 32 Nxe6..Rxe2 and it would have been Black who would have been winning. 37..g4 38 Be5..gxf 39 Bxg3..f2 40 Rh4..Rf5 41 Rg4+..Kf7 42 Bxf2..Rxf2 43 Kd3 would have been winning for White. Anand had to avoid Shirov's final devious trap: if 41 Nd4? the 41..d1(Q)+! 42 Rxd1..Rd2+! and Black wins the a1 rook.

An outstanding fighting game. Particularly given the circumstances it is remarkable that Anand played into this line giving Shirov the type of position that he loves to play. But Anand was more than equal to the task.

May-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: A real battle of the Titans. Now everybody has their analysis and proposes improvements but when it was being played I bet only a handful of top players really had any idea what the hell was going on and everybody else's comments alternated between Huh? and What the *&%$?
Aug-11-17  Ironmanth: Unbelievable fighting game! Thanks for this one. Lots to learn from this one. Have a great day, chessplayers!
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: It's obvious to Anand and Shirov that the final position is lost but it sure looks dangerous for white.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Why did the game end here? White looks more in danger than black.
Aug-11-17  RandomVisitor: After 18.Qe2 the position is likely more complicated than it seems - deeper runs might be needed to clarify who has the advantage and by how much:


click for larger view

Stockfish_17081107_x64_modern: <3.75 hours computer time, 8 cores>

<0.00/51 18...Qc7 19.Bg5 Bd6 20.Rf3 Rxf3 21.Qxf3> cxb4 22.cxb4 Bxb4+ 23.Kd1 Bd6 24.Qd3 h6 25.Bd2 Qf7 26.Qf3 e5 27.Qxf7+ Kxf7 28.Nf3 Bg4 29.Be2 Bf5 30.Bb5 Kf6 31.Bc3 d4 32.Be1 Ke6 33.Bc4+ Kf6 34.Bb5

Aug-12-17  RandomVisitor: After 18.Qe2 <Qc7> 19.Bg5 Bd6 20.Rf3 Rxf3 21.Qxf3 cxb4 22.cxb4 Bxb4+ 23.Kd1 Bd6 24.Qd3 things look even:


click for larger view

Stockfish_17081107_x64_modern: <6 hours computer time, 8 cores>

<0.00/52 24...h6> 25.Bd2 Qf7 26.Qf3 e5 27.Qxf7+ Kxf7 28.Nf3 Bg4 29.Be2 Bf5 30.g4 Be4 31.h5 Rc8 32.Nh4 Bc2+ 33.Ke1 d4 34.Bb5 e4 35.Nf5 Be5 36.Rc1 e3 37.Bxe3 dxe3 38.Nxe3 Bf5 39.Bc4+ Kf8 40.Nxf5 b5 41.Ne3 bxc4 42.Rxc4 Rxc4 43.Nxc4 Bd4 44.Ke2 Kf7 45.Kd3 Bc5 46.Ke4 Kf6 47.Kf4 g6 48.hxg6 Kxg6 49.Kf3 Bd4 50.Ke4 Ba1 51.Nb6 Kg5 52.Nxa4 Bf6 53.Nb6 Be7 54.a4 Kxg4

Jun-14-18  JPi: I like the last position. "Rook belongs behind passed pawn" Here is the King!
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