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Viswanathan Anand vs Vassily Ivanchuk
14th Amber Tournament: Rapid (2005), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 5, Mar-24
French Defense: Steinitz. Boleslavsky Variation (C11)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-24-05  your brilliance: I have two questions. Thanks in advance to anyone who answers.

1) Is 42..Bxc5 an oversight by black? or was he hoping to pick up the d and f pawns for the exchange. If the latter, did he fail to anticipate 45 Re7?

2) What is wrong with 27..Kxf6?

Mar-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: <your brilliance>By move 42, black is already in deep trouble. Afterwards, white missed a spectacular move, 44. Qxf7! wins immediately.

27 ... Kxf6 is met by:
28. Ng5+ Ke7
(or KxN Qg4#)
29. Ra8 Qh5
Winning both the f and h rank pawns. Pretty scary looking, but probably not fatal.

Mar-24-05  Bigfatpatzer: <benveniste> I believe you are missing a white move in your analysis: <29. Ra8 Qh5> only a black rook can go to a8 in this position. So what should be white's 29th move?
Mar-24-05  Boomie: ♘e5+ looks better than ♘g5+ after ♔xf6. Both lead to winning positions for white.

27... ♔xf6 28. ♘e5+ (28. ♘g5+ ♔e7 29. ♘h7 ♖a8 30. ♕h5 ♔d8 31. ♕xh6 ♔c8 32. ♖xf7 a4 33. ♘g4) 28... ♔e7 29. ♘3g4 ♗e8 30. ♘f6

Mar-24-05  your brilliance: <beneviste> thank you. However, I share Bfp's puzzlement about move 29.
Mar-24-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: An impressive win by Anand; as of Move 30, I still think Black stands better. After 32. Qd3 maybe 32 ... h5 & 33 ... h4 would improve. The plan with 32 ... Rhg8 & 33 ... Rg5 seemed to backfire and eventually cost the h Pawn. Other ideas?
Mar-24-05  maoam: How about trying 32...Rfg8?! when Black is better after 33.Nxf7 Rxg4 34.Nxh8 Rxd4. However White can play more cautiously with Nxd7 and h3, but even then I suspect <tpstar>'s plan of pushing the h-pawn is very strong.

One idea that occured to me was for White to answer with 33.Rb1 and then sacrifice the exchange, lift the a1 rook to a3 and attempt to breakthrough on the queenside. For example 32...Rfg8?! 33.Rb1 h5 34.Rxb4!? Qxb4 35.Ra3! with the distinct threat of Qa6+.

Mar-24-05  csmath: Black was doing just fine until 37. ... Rf5, this was just totally pointless move.

What is surprising here to me is that Anand, who plays e4 almost exclusively, had nothing against this opening of Ivanchuk. I've seen many times how superGMs play clueless against French and yet somehow most of them are avoiding this opening as black. Ivanchuk shows here that this is very, very active and good opening. Unfortunately he lost a clue in 37th and 38th move and that costed him three pawns and a loss.

Many times French develops in an exhaustive tactical manouvreing and some people just cannot follow that for a long time. Anand apparently does not have such a problem.

Mar-25-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <csmath: Black was doing just fine until 37. ... Rf5, this was just totally pointless move.> You are correct that 37...Rf5? 38. Rxf5! loses immediately for Black. Black can put up more resistance with 37...Kb7 or 37...Qb6, but his position is still difficult and White maintains a strong and likely winning advantage.

<your brilliance> I suppose <27...Kxf6> is playable, but after 27...Kxf6 28.Ne5+ Ke7 29.N3g4 Be8 30.Nf6 White has a clear advantage/initiative with a big space advantage. I see 42. Bxc5 less as a mistake and more as frustration in a lost position.

Mar-25-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Instead of 23...h6, I suppose Black might improve with 23...Nf5!? 24.Nxf5 exf5 25.Re1 00 26.Bg3 Rfe8 .
Mar-25-05  sheaf: 27 ..Kxf6 28. Ng5+ Ke7 29.Nf5+ Kd8 30. Nxf7 .. might be a continuation.
Mar-25-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: After 40. Qg7! Bb6 41. h3, Anand won the endgame easily enough. However, Black could have made the win more difficult with 41...Kb6!? 42.Qg3 Rc8 43.Rb1+ Bb4 44.Nd3 Qxf6 45.Nxb4 axb4 46.Rxb4+ Ka7 47.Qe1 Rc6 48.Qe8 Qd6 49.Ra4+ Ra6 50.Qxf7+ Kb6 51.Rxa6+ Kxa6 52.Qxf5 .

Instead of allowing Black this possibility, Anand might have won quicker with 40.Rxa5! Bxa5 41.Qxf8 Kb7 (41...Qxf6?! 42.Qc5+ Kb7 43.Qxa5; 41...Kb6 42.Qe7 ) 42.Qe7+ Bc7 43.Qxe6 fxe6 44.h4 Bd6 45.h5 Bf8 46.f7 Kc7 47.Ng6 .

Anand's 44. Ra7+! Kb6 Re7! sacrifices the exchange to simplify to an endgame in which his passed pawns will decide. However he could have won faster with 44. Qxf7+! QxQ 45. Ra7+, which is an immediately decisive skewer tactic.

In the final game position, play might continue 55.Qb3+ Kd2 56.Qb2! Kd1 57.f7 c1Q 58.Qxc1+ Kxc1 59.f8Q 10

Mar-25-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: <Bigfatpatzer> I misread my notes and collapsed some lines. It should go something like:

28. Ng5+ Ke7
29. Qf2 Kd8
30. Nxf7+ Kc8
31. Qh4 Rhg8
32. Qxh6 (etc).
(or)
29. Qf2 f5
30. Ng6+ (King moves)
31. Nxf8 (etc).

My apologies.

Mar-26-05  Boomie: 36. ♖aa1 seems to lead nowhere. A better plan for white is to use the pin on the b-file.

36. ♖b1 ♖f5 37. ♖a3 ♖c8 38. ♖xc3+ ♗xc3 39. ♕xc3+ ♔d8 40. ♘xf7+ ♔d7 41. ♕a1 ♕a6 42. ♕a4+ ♔c7 43. c4 ♖b8 44. ♖c1 ♖xf6 45. ♘e5 ♖bf8 46. ♔g1 dxc4 47. ♖b1 ♖6f7 48. h3 c3 49. ♘xf7 ♖xf7 50. ♕b3 ♕a7 51. ♔h1 ♔d6 52. ♕xc3 ♕a6 53. ♔g1 ♕a7 54. ♕e3 ♔e7 55. ♕e4 ♔f8 56. ♕e5 ♕d7 57. ♖b8+ ♔e7 58. ♖a8 ♖f5 59. ♕h8 ♕c7 60. ♕xh6

Jun-15-05  notyetagm: Strange that both Anand and Ivanchuk should miss the <decoy into a skewer> 44 ♕xf7+! ♕xf7 45 ♖a7+ and 46 ♖xf7.

Does anyone know where I can find annotations to this game? I am a French player and studying how Anand beats it so often is a great way to learn it.

Jul-16-14  firebrandx: On ICCF, 9...Qa5 instantly shatters white's hopes of winning because it prevents the critically complex 10.Ne2 lines that can often win against the computer. Black has effectively equalized on the spot, which puts into question white's entire point of this variation (at least in the centaur arena).
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