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Sergey Karjakin vs Viswanathan Anand
"A Corus Line" (game of the day Jan-12-08)
Corus (2006)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 77 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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sac: 24...Nc7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-18-12  DrGridlock: Anand talks about his thought process in finding 24 ... Nc7 "over the board."

"Nc7 is the only move, where Black isn't worse. So does he have something? I checked it as long as I could, and I couldn't see it. So I thought: Either I play Nc7 or I resign. So I went Nc7. It was all a bit confusing. I think I even went Nc7 quite fast, by elimination there is nothing else."

Analysis by Komodo rebuts some of Anand's desription.

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Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit:

1. (-2.57): 24...Nc7 25.Qxc7 Rc8 26.Qxa5 Qxa5 27.Rd4 Qa8 28.Bf4 Qa6 29.Rhd1 Qe2 30.R4d2 Qg4 31.Rf1 Kh8 32.f6 gxf6 33.Bh1 Qxh4 34.gxf6 Qxf6 35.Rdd1 Qe6 36.Be3 Qg4 37.Bd4 f6 38.Rg1 Qe2 39.Rge1 Qh5 40.Bc3

2. ³ (-0.36): 24...Nf6 25.gxf6 Bxf6 26.Rd2 Rc8 27.Qxb3 Rb8 28.Bb6 Qc6 29.Rc1 Rc5 30.Rxc5 dxc5 31.h5 c4 32.Qb5 Qxb5 33.Nxb5 Rxb6 34.Nc3 Rb8 35.Nd5 c3 36.Rc2 Nc4 37.Nxf6+ gxf6 38.Rxc3 Rxb2+ 39.Kc1 Rxg2 40.Rxc4

3. = (0.05): 24...Ra4 25.Qxb3 Nc7 26.Rd4 Ra6 27.Rc1 Nc6 28.g6 Rb8 29.Qxf7+ Kh8 30.Rxc6 Rxa3 31.Rxc7 Rxe3 32.Qxe7 Rxb2+ 33.Kxb2 Qa3+ 34.Kc2 Qa2+ 35.Kd1 Qa1+ 36.Kc2 Qa2+

4. ² (0.29): 24...Ng4 25.Rd5 Rxd5 26.exd5 Qa4 27.Qc4 Qxc4 28.Nxc4 Nxe3 29.Nxe3 Nc7 30.Rc1 Na6 31.f6 gxf6 32.Nf5 Bd8 33.gxf6 Bxf6 34.Nxd6 Bxh4 35.Rc3 Rb8 36.Bf1 Be1 37.Re3 Bb4 38.Nxf7 Kxf7 39.Bxa6 Bd6 40.Rh3

5. ² (0.35): 24...Ra6 25.Rhg1 Rc6 26.Qxb3 Nc7 27.Rd4 Ra6 28.f6 Nc6 29.fxe7 Rb8 30.Qc4 Rxa3 31.Rxd6 Nxe7 32.e5 Ra1+ 33.Kc2 Qa4+ 34.Qxa4 Rxa4 35.Rd7 Nf5 36.Bd2 Ne6 37.Rf1 Rd4 38.Bd5 Rxh4 39.Rf2 g6 40.b4

While 24 ... Nc7 is Black's best reply, 24 ... Nf6 also gives an advantage to black, so there are other options to Nc7 besides "resignation" for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevinatcausa: Fun fact about this game: Every single one of the first 39 moves (through 20. axb3) is the most common move given in the Opening Explorer from the position at its point in the game.

This probably continues a few more moves, but that's as far as the Opening Explorer goes.

Jul-21-13  Conrad93: God, that was ean easy puzzle. Any average club player would have found this move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <SamAtoms1980: I'd get a better game from HAL.... oh wait, he kicked Dave's ass. Never mind...>

In Santa Cruz in the late 1980s, I was playing a series of games in a local café against a visitor from Washington (state) named Hal.

After a while, some other players drifted in. As it happened, the first three to arrive were Dave Berger, Dave Rus and Dave Schnittman.

Once supplied with the names, Hal proceeded to introduce himself: "Dave. Daaave. Daaaaaaaaaaave."

(Fortunately he failed to sing about Daisy driving him crazy.)

Sep-02-13  Chessman1504: Viswanathan Anand's best game?
Sep-02-13  Nerwal: <Viswanathan Anand's best game?>

Possibly. To me though it doesn't hold a candle to Anand vs Bologan, 2003

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Both fine games, but my vote goes to this one.
Sep-04-13  Nerwal: <Both fine games, but my vote goes to this one.>

Maybe it's because I've played the Najdorf almost all my chess life. I must have grown accustomed to these king hunts where material doesn't matter. Whereas the Bologan game gives me the impression of a maze of complexity and precise calculations well beyond my understanding.

Sep-06-13  Chessman1504: An example of how queen and rook (and pawn, I suppose) are lethal together.
Nov-17-13  Zorts: So many sacs for modern chess! This creative genius is down to the bare bones, but that's all that a world champion needs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I've seen this game before but I was staring at the position here and couldn't see the win. So I put it on the computer and found 2 mates in about 3!!

I must be tired or getting too old.

Yes a good example of the English Attack which can go either way. No draws or end games if you play this opening.

Jan-13-14  nummerzwei: <Nerwal: <Viswanathan Anand's best game?> Possibly. To me though it doesn't hold a candle to Anand vs Bologan, 2003>

<perfidious: Both fine games, but my vote goes to this one.>

This game features an amazing combination beginning with 24...Nc7, but it is something of a blemish that ten moves later the banal 34...QxQf8 is also an easy win.

In contrast, I don't get the fuss about the Bologan game. Sure, 14. Re1 was a big novelty which went on to put 12...g5 out of business, but otherwise? What sets that game apart from dozens of other king-pawn attacks?

Unfortunately, I'm no Anand scholar, so I won't advance any candidates of my own.

Mar-21-14  Rama: If 30. Qxf7+ Kh8, 31. Bd4 ..., how does black get out of that? The points a1, a7 and e4 are all covered and surely 31. ... Rg8, loses?
Mar-23-14  matinet: <rama> a1 is covered but it is not sufficient. Black mates with 31 ... Ra1+ 32. Bxa1 Qa2#
Mar-23-14  Rama: Good eye, M.
Jul-22-14  Vinod S U: Anand's 24th move "Nc7" was adjudged the best move of the tournament,, top game by VISHY
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom: I'll believe that computers are intelligent -- well, vaguely sentient anyway -- the day they start to have slanging matches and call one another 'idiot' and 'moron'.>

A moment not to be missed.

Aug-02-14  castagno: brazil chess, hi, 2 years later i thought the same you thought 2 years ago. Just the same! Don't worry... learning is endless...
Jan-23-15  Patanjali: On my machine Houdini 4 finds 24...Nc7 in under 5 seconds using a single thread. But other engines require more time. Either way, it's amazing that Anand was able to find this move over the board.
Feb-03-15  Kinghunt: Stockfish still has issues with this position, one of the few that still eludes (some) engines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I <think> this could be the greatest game of all time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fluzao: How To removerthe plugin that coverz the game image?
May-09-15  FairyPromotion: <offramp: I <think> this could be the greatest game of all time.>

Many times in sports, and probably in art too, being <the best> does not equal to being <the greatest.> Chess is both, and it is no exception. For example I have no question in my mind about which game was Fischer's best, it's R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963. Yet "Game of the Century" is definitely his greatest.

Likewise, this game might not even be regarded as the greatest of Anand in a couple of years (Aronian vs Anand, 2013 is being labeled as "Anand's Immortal,") but it is his best. In fact I also think that this is one of the best ever played, probably even the best ever.

As far as single moves go, black's 24th might be both the best and the greatest. While visually 24... Nc7 is not as flashy as some queen sacs, the depth of it still baffles a lot of engines. The ensuing combination is filled with original ideas that are extremely hard to comprehend before playing down a few more moves.

All in all, I find this game to be quite underrated. I'm glad someone thinks the same. =)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I have video-annotated this game at
Jul-20-16  j4jishnu: Robotic Opening! Haha!
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