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Viswanathan Anand vs Ruslan Ponomariov
MTel Masters (2006), Sofia, Bulgaria, rd 4, May-14
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B19)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: I'm not sure 20...Ng3 was a such a great choice, because once the Knight ended up on e7, his own pawn on c6 and White's King side pawn formation left this piece with little scope. 20...Nf6 forces White to pay attention to his h-pawn, restrains d4-d5, and offers more central influence.

I do have a very bad feeling about 28...bxc4 and 29...Bxc5. Black's pawn formation might be sounder, but it's usually very hard for him to mobilize his King side majority in this opening. Meanwhile, d6 becomes a great square for White. Perhaps 28...Nc8 intending 29...Nd6 is better. Or perhaps 28...Ra8 and then ...a7-a5-a4.

May-14-06  EmperorAtahualpa: Great play by Anand. He had no trouble doubling his c-pawns, and I guess he had Bb7! in his mind all the way. Impressive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Beautiful play by Anand, especially that bishop maneuver 43 ♗a5 and 44 ♗b6!.

The point is that Black cannot take the bishop with 44 ... axb6? because then White will have unstoppable connected 6th-rank passed pawns after the recapture 45 cxb6.


May-14-06  euripides: 56 Ka2 seems also to win after 56...Nc3+ 57 Ka3 Ra1+ 58 Kb4 Ra4+ 59 Kb3 Rxc4 60 Rd6+ or 58...Rb1+ 59 Kc5 Na4+ 60 Kc6 Nxb6 61 Bxb6 Rc1 62 c5 (or 62c8=Q Rxc4+ 63 Bc5), but this line suggests the kind of tricks that Ponomarov was trying to create.
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <EmperorAtahualpa: Great play by Anand. He had no trouble doubling his c-pawns>

Anand's doubled c-pawns were actually very useful.

He used his doubled c5-pawn to create outposts for his pieces, on d6 for a rook (31 ♖d6) and on b6 for his bishop (44 ♗b6!).

And for many moves in the middlegame, Anand used his doubled c4-pawn's control of the d5-square to deny the Black knight this square as a central outpost. Without this crucial doubled c4-pawn, Black would have been able to play ... ♘d5 at some point and his knight would have been invulnerable on this great central outpost.

Anand knows when the normal rules do not apply. In this game he saw that the doubled isolated c-pawns could be useful. In his win over Bacrot, he saw that in that position his ♕ was stronger than ♖♖♙. That's why Anand is 2800+.

If he could only improve at rook endings ...

May-14-06  hayton3: <Anand knows when the normal rules do not apply. In this game he saw that the doubled isolated c-pawns could be useful.> Absolutely - Kamsky did the same in his game against Anand.

I suppose that is the sign of a great player - judging a position several moves out in the knowledge that certain principles will not apply.

May-14-06  Ezzy: Anand,V (2803) - Ponomariov,R (2738) [B19]
(4), 14.05.2006
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 <Strange, but Ponomariov has only had this position twice before in professional play. In both them games he played 4...Nd7> 4...Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.h4 h6 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Ngf6 12.0𢠢 Be7< Anand has had this position before against Bareev in 2002 1/21/2.There he played 13 Kb1. Anand decides to play the next most popular move>. 13.Ne4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nf6 15.Qd3 Qd5 16.c4 Qe4 17.Qxe4 Nxe4 18.Be3 00 19.Ne5 Bd6N <New move. 19...Rfd8 is usually played>. 20.f3 Ng3 21.Rh3 Nf5 22.Bf2 Rad8 23.g4 Ne7<Blacks position is solid but very passive.> 24.Nd3 b5 25.b3 Bc7 26.Rhh1 <The rook was doing nothing on h3> 26...Bb6 27.Nc5 <This is a nice move. It protects the d4 pawn, and improves the position of the knight because if 27...Bxc5 28 dxc5 and white can invade with 29 Rd6> 27...Rfe8 28.Kc2 bxc4<This doesn't seem right after my previous comment, but Pononmariov has difficulty creating counterplay in this passive position> 29.bxc4 Bxc5 30.dxc5 e5 31.Rd6 Rb8 32.Rhd1< Looks like a dream position for Anand. Total control of the d file, and the black knight has no moves of any worth.> 32...Rb7 33.Rd8 Rxd8 34.Rxd8+ Kh7 35.Rf8 f6 36.Be1 <This bishop now creates mayhem in the pono camp> 36...Rd7 37.Bc3 <Stopping any possible 37...Rd4 counterplay.> 37...Ng8 38.a4 g6 39.a5 gxh5 40.gxh5 Kg7 41.Rb8 Ne7 42.a6 <Threatening 43 Rb7 Winning a piece> 42...Kf7 43.Ba5 Nf5 44.Bb6!, <Anand probably saw the possibility of this damaging move when he played 36 Be1> Ne3+ <44...Nd4+ 45.Kc3 Ke6 46.Rb7 Nxf3 47.Bxa7 and the pawn will queen eventually.> 45.Kc3 Ke6 46.Rc8 Kf5 47.Rxc6 Nd1+ 48.Kb4 Rd2 49.Bxa7 Rb2+ 50.Ka3 Rb1 51.Rb6 Ra1+ 52.Kb3 e4 53.fxe4+ Kxe4 54.c6 Kd3 55.c7 Rb1+ 56.Ka3 10

Super play by Anand. I enjoyed going through this game, as it is very instructive. Anand always seemed to be just one tempo ahead, and any slight error from Anand would give Ponomariov some chances of saving the game. His 3 won games have been a joy to watch.

All we need now is for Topalov to spark into life. Will he do it against Kamsky later today. I shiver in anticip..ation.

May-14-06  aw1988: The sign of not simply a great player, but any player who wishes to progress further in chess, is one of knowing when to add your own vision to the game, and not merely be one who fills shoes. A "great" player is simply someone who is better at it. Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, etc, know some same rules. There is no principle that Kasparov knows that, say, Karjakin doesn't. It sounds strange, but Kasparov is just better at what he does. More of the same, but more intensity. This is the hallmark, often overlooked.
May-14-06  suenteus po 147: <aw1988> I must quote you for my chess novel! <Novel Development>
May-14-06  aw1988: Am I missing a kind of joke, or is this a serious statement? I never have been very good with sarcasm.
May-15-06  suenteus po 147: <aw1988> It is a serious statement. I'm not being sarcastic. I find your statement very insightful and key to understanding something I want to communicate in my chess novel, therefore I must quote it. I will discuss this with you in more depth later when I reach this key part of my novel.
May-15-06  Hesam7: <sp147> This maybe of interest to you:

<Spiegel Online: Where does your intellectual modesty come from?

Kramnik: Because the more you penetrate into the things, the less you can understand them. Chess is a good example here. When you begin to understand a game of chess in its full depth, you find that certain rules become blurred. Suddenly you feel that one needs to create a little space here and attack there. But why it is like that, you don抰 know. To play according to textbooks is fine, up to a certain level. Perhaps up to master level, but not to grandmasters. At this level you have to feel the game. It comes to you.

Spiegel Online: How does that feel?

Kramnik: At some stage you feel you are the master of a game. Sometimes you do not have to think that much. You ponder some of the details, but the greater strategy simply comes to you in certain situation. It is astonishing. I like things you cannot touch.>

May-15-06  suenteus po 147: <Hesam7> Thank you. That could be very useful.
May-15-06  Fezzik: Wow! Anand's 44th move could be a Sunday puzzle. What a shot!
May-15-06  stanleys: I didn'like like the way Pono placed his rooks.Think he should have played Rfd8,the other rook could be useful on the queen's side
May-15-06  Karpova: <Wow! Anand's 44th move could be a Sunday puzzle. What a shot!>

rather a Monday puzzle

May-15-06  euripides: <Vishyfan> asked some way back why not 46 Rb7. I think the answer may be something like this: 46...f5 47 Bxa7 (if 47 Rxd7 Kxd7 48 Bxa7 Kc8 or 47 Rxa7 Rxa7 48 Bxa7 Kd7 49 Bb6 Kc8 Black stops the pawn) e4 48 fe f4 49 Bb6 f3 and neither 50 Rxd7 nor 50 a7 look entirely clear. There's probably a win somewhere here for White but it's not as simple as it initially looks. In the game, after 46 Rc8, 46...f5 would allow 47 Rxc6+ followed by Rxh6 threatening Rh7+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Brilliant game for Anand who had a hard task. Some moves are very instructive and difficult to find. The winning plan with the Bishop to b6 was beautiful. A masterpiece.

27. Nc5!. If 27... Bc5 28. dc bc 29. bc f5 30. Bg3, White is better.

28. Kc2!, making room for the Rooks on the b file in case of trade of the b5 and b3 pawns.

30... e5 was a deep trap. No better was 30... Nc8 31. Rd8 Rd8 32. Rb1 invades along the b file.

31. Rd8 was very good, but not 31. Rd8 Rd8 32. Re1 f6 33. f4 g5! 34. fe f5! as the Knight comes into play.

44... Ne3 leads to a quick loss, but 44... Nd4 loses anyway. Then, 45. Kc3 Ke6 46. Rb7 Ne2 47. Kb4! Rd3 48. Ba7 Rf3 49. Bb8 Rf1 50. Ka5 Ra1 51. Kb6. Then the pawn goes to a7, the Bishop to d6, and the King to c7-b8. White wins.

May-15-06  aw1988: <suenteus po 147> Ah. It's nothing against you, I just don't know when to recognize sarcasm, and sometimes it's let me to believe the wrong thing that someone is trying to pass on. That said, I'm pleased I could provide a quote.
May-15-06  samikd: Extremely instruxctive game ! Anand's positional play reminds me of Botvinnik. A masterpiece.
May-15-06  samikd: <Hesam7> thats a nice quote from Kramnik. Thank you.
May-15-06  samikd: <fezzik> you are from CO ? Me too !are you active in tournaments ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: In my last post, read <31. Rd6 was very good>.

According to GM Marin, 20... Nf6 might be a safer choice.

Instead of 22... Rad8, Marin prefers 22... c5. The main variation is: 23. Nd7 [I would add 23. f4!? Nd4 24. Bd4 cd 25. Rd4 Be5 26. fe /=] Rfd8 24. dc Bf4 25. Kb1 Be3 26. Be3 Ne3 27. Rd4 Ng2 28. Rh2 Ne3 29. Rhd2, with a better ending for White. But where is the advantage after 29... Rdc8 (not 29... f6? 30. Nf6) threatening 30... f6, cutting the retreat of the Knight? White has to play 30. Ne5. Then comes 30... Rc5 =.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This is a game I am really fond of. No spectacular irrational mess but very solid, precise and deadly positional play by Vishy Anand. It is fine to see that some things in modern chess can work normally. At least, sometimes...:-D
Jul-02-14  raju17: 46.Rb7 is as cute as it can be.
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