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Viswanathan Anand vs Alexander Khalifman
Linares (2000), Linares ESP, rd 9, Mar-09
French Defense: Winawer. Retreat Variation Armenian Line (C18)  ·  1-0


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Given 31 times; par: 56 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Takya Kotov: 42...Qd2 is forced. Simplest is probably to exchange Queens and take the pawn on f7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in the next to last (9th) round; Anand was having a poor tournament and was open to a sharp game. A month earlier at Wijk aan Zee Anand had played 7 Nb5 and won a nice game against Akopian; here he played the super-sharp 7 Qg4. 14..Nf5 was new; 14..d4 had been played previously. The different move order meant that the standard set-up with g3 and Bg2 could be answered with ..Qc5; instead Anand tried 15 Rg1. Anand did not trust 17 Nxd4..Nxd4 18 Qxd4..Bc6 feeling that it would open the position too fast. 18 Ng5? immediately would have been answered by the exchange sacrifice 18..Rxg5!. Shipov thought that Black should have tried to hold on to the c-pawn with 22..Kb8 23 Rb3..Rc8 though Anand made no comment regarding Khalifmans 22..Bc6.

Anand on 31 Rc1:
"Allowing Black to take on c2 makes no sense. I want to hold everything together long enough to get the h-pawn to h7. Once it's there, black can no longer take on c2. If I didn't have the h-pawn in this position I would probably be worse. That's also why Black cannot be cool about it and spend a tempo on capturing the pawn on a3, as this will allow me to get my h-pawn runnung."

A tougher defense was 35..Qd5 36 Be2 (36 Bh7..Qd1 and Black is OK) 36..Nxg4+ 37 Ke1..Rh8 though White would have been clearly better. After the clever 37 Bxh7! (37 Be2..Rg8) Black was lost. 39 Kxg5! giving back the piece but bringing the king to safety was played with Khalifman having 23 seconds left on his clock; the alternative 39 Be4..Rg2+ 40 Kh5..Qd8 could have been messy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The white king has done all the running but is curiously the safer of the two. After the queens come off at the finish, perdition is Black's lot.
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