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Sergey Karjakin vs Viswanathan Anand
"A Corus Line" (game of the day Jan-12-2008)
Corus (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-14
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1


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

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-21-13  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!
Apr-29-17  ZackyMuhammad: Anand's Immortal
Oct-10-17  ZackyMuhammad: Karjakin was 16 years old in this game
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < posoo: A previous kibitzer noted that this game somewhat loses its appeal because 24....Nc7 is the novelty...the implication is that Anand planned all this in advance, thereby making it less amazing. I thought about this for a while...and then realized that it is the very fact that top players must plan in advance that makes chess today great.

Chess has evolved to such a high level that there is an avalanche of theory. A top chess player must know it all, and then try to figure out exactly what lines his opponent may use. He must anticipate anything and everything. He is like an NFL head coach, diagramming schemes and deciding how he matches up best against his opponent. And he may have a few trick plays up his sleeve too...

THe fact is that there is not enough theory to cover the opening 3 moves...which first three moves are white's best? It's unclear. And so the amount of theory grows exponentially with every move.

Great chess, hurrah hurrah hurray!>

Well said. This is a brilliant game.

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