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Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen
London Chess Classic (2010)  ·  Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  1-0
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Given 10 times; par: 124 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-11-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Hesam7: I guess we can summarize the turning points:

24. ... Be4? = (24. ... Qe6 )
27. ... f6? (27. ... Rc6 =)>

Looking at the post-mortem with the players after the game (video 3.5 in http://www.londonchessclassic.com/, starting from about 20:00 - highly recommended), it's quite clear that Carlsen was really rattled during the game when he realized the mistake he's made with 24...Be4; for some reason he was counting only on 25.Nh6+ gxh6 26.Qd4 f6 27.Re1 Bc5 28.Qxe4 Qxe4 29.Rxe4, with a difficult endgame for White [Anand says that "he didn't see it at all":-)]. So he had to make a very quick mental switch from playing for an advantage and a win to prudently playing for a draw, and apparently he didn't handle it well.

Dec-11-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Speaking of the post-mortem, here are some more interesting lines mentioned with regard to critical points in the game:


click for larger view

Here Anand mentions 24...Qe6 25.Ncd6 as better for Black, though he wasnt sure how much instead of the forcing 25...Rc5, he mentions 25...Rb8, where White cannot regain the pawn - 26.Nxb7 Rxb7 27.Rxa6 loses to 27...Nc5.


click for larger view

Here he gives a nice line to refute 26Qe6: 27.Nxc8 Nc5 28.Ba3! Nb3 (28...Qxc8 29.Rc1) 29.Qd8 Qxc8 30.Rd1! and Black cant do anything to prevent the exchange of queens and the entry of the white rook to the back rank, leaving White an exchange up.


click for larger view

With regard to 28Rc7, it seems that after the rather obvious sequence 29.Qd5+ Kh8 30.Qf7 the players focused mainly on 30...Qc8 Anand gives 31.Nh6 (31...gxh6? 32.Rxd7 and 33.Bxf6+) and says he couldnt find anything clear after a bishop move to c5 or b4, but that Carlsen told him after the game that 32.Qe6 should win, which is indeed confirmed by the engine: 31...Bc5 32.Qe6 and the threat of Nf7+ (and then inflicting some damage by discovered check) is decisive. 31...Bb4 is a bit more interesting, since it allows 32.Qe6 Nc5; White can win here by 33.Qg4! threatening both Qxb4 and Nf7+ followed by Rd8+, and Black cant exchange queens because of mate on d8. Sample lines are 33...Qf8 34.Qxb4 gxh6 35.Bxf6+! Qxf6 36.Qb8+ and Qxc7, or 33...Rd7 34.Rxd7 Nxd7 (34Qd7 35.Qxb4 gxh6 36.Bxf6+) 35.Qe6! and again the threat of Nf7+ is decisive (35Nb6 36.Qxb6, and the knight on h6 is still untouchable because of Bxf6+).

Besides such concrete lines, which can be easily checked with an engine, its very interesting to hear the players (well, mainly Anand Carlsen isnt very talkative for obvious reasons) evaluating various possible endgames that could have turned up e.g., Blacks chances of setting up a fortress in case of 31.Rxd7 Qxd7 32.Qxd7 Rxb2.

Dec-11-10  Hesam7: <Eyal> I think based on your postings on this page one could write a full analysis of this game with no difficulty!

Another point I like to mention is that I really like Black's position in Breyer (say after 13. ... Bf8). The problem is whenever I meet 1. e4 with 1. ... e5 most of my opponents avoid the main line. They play almost everything else: King's gambit, Scotch, Bishop's opening, 3. Bc4, the exchange Lopez, .... and I don't like to play Black in those sidelines (except 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6).

Dec-12-10  thickhead: Did black lose on time? Still concrete plan for white not visible. Annoying perpetual checks are possible. Unless exchange of Queens takes place win may be difficult.
Dec-12-10  anandrulez: Vishy in the press conf said Bxc4 was unpleasant for black and that was a wrong judgment apparently . Any idea why he had such illusions .
Dec-12-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Anand was probably thinking of something along the lines of 21.Bxc4 Bxb4 22.Bxd4 (22.Nxd4? Bxd2 and the bishop on c4 is under attack) 22...a5 (22...Nxd5? 23.Qb3; 22...Bxd5 loses the pawn on a6) 23.Qb3 - and while this might be more or less equal, White has considerably less prospects for an attack than in the game (especially his knights are less well-coordinated with the other pieces). With 21.Nxc4 and the pawn sac he took a risk, but he also got more attacking chances in case Black doesn't play completely accurately - which is indeed what happened.
Dec-12-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Hesam7> Yes, it's a well-known problem that our opponents refuse to play the "correct" lines against us...

Btw, as far as the opening stage goes, Carlsen has indeed been consistently getting good positions in this Breyer line lately (in all the three games with Anand, as well as in the game with Shirov from Bilbao). The only one who managed to get an advantage against him is Gashimov, with the older 13.Nf1 line.

Dec-12-10  anandrulez: Eyal : It surprises me that Vishy went for a speculative attack instaed of a disaster control bxc4 which would have given a slightly inferior game for white !
Dec-12-10  Hesam7: <Eyal: <Hesam7> Yes, it's a well-known problem that our opponents refuse to play the "correct" lines against us...>

Well I would not say the "correct lines" but rather "main lines". That was basically the reason I stopped playing 1. ... e5 and started playing 1. ... c5 instead.

Dec-13-10  Chess Network: London Chess Classic 2010 -
Vishy Anand vs Magnus Carlsen VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MDW...

Dec-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Had Anand not missed the 33. Rf7 continuation, it would have shortened the conclusion quite a lot but it will still be easy to see McShane vs Carlsen game is more deserving of a brilliancy prize if it comes to comparisons.
Dec-14-10  anandrulez: Indeed sevenseaman , this game had some errors exchanged early on and Vishy was not sharp enough . McShane was brutally sharp vs Magnus and won a good white game .
Dec-15-10  SufferingBruin: 1000 rating, trying to get better.

27... Bxd6 can't happen because after 28. Qxd6 the a-pawn crawls up into the fetal position, preparing death. Right?

/shrugs meekly, humbly, waits for reply... :)

Dec-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SufferingBruin> Your move 27....Bxd6 leaves the square g7 unprotected and White mates there.
Dec-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Lubosh Kavalek annotes this here:

feed://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?a-
uthor=lubomir-kavalek

That's an RSS feed, but you can probably find it by looking up Kavalek on huffingtonpost.com

Dec-25-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: There's a video of Anand going over this game (during the Euwe 75 years World Champion memorial day in Amsterdam) in http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/c.... It doesn't add much to what Anand already said after the game in London, but at least two points become clearer:

- On move 21 he went for the pawn sac with Nxc4 rather than for Bxc4 because he thought the latter is just worse for White after 21...Bxb4 22.Qb3 a5 23.Bxd4 Qd8 with the idea of playing ...Nc5 and winning the d5 pawn; only after the game he realized that 24.d6, with pressure on f7, should make it more-or-less equal.

- What he missed while calculating 33.Rf7 was 33...Qc8 34.Qe7 Rxb2 35.Rxg7 Qc1+ 36.Kh2 Qf4+ 37.Rg3! and the rook both stops Black's attack and keeps the deadly mate threats of White.

Dec-28-10  anandrulez: Thanks Eyal . Its worth poiting out that most reports even Chessbase.com said that bxc4 was an easy drawing move and claims that Vishy just goes for complication instaed . However its clear Vishy didnt go for a complex middle game but rather had to play nxc4 to keep his chances and also save the game !So Vishy has to work on his opening and its not clear what is the improvement as after Rc8 d5 black is just better .It wont be long before they discuss the line in Corus anyway ...
Jan-16-11  smarlny: What's wrong with 33 ... Qxa3 34. Rd8+ Bf8 35. Qxf6+ Kg8 36. Qe6+ Kh8 37. Qf6+ etc.? Doesn't White get a perpetual check at best?
Jan-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 33...Qxa3, 34.Rd8+ Bf8 35.Qxf6+ Kg8 36.Qe6+ Kh8 37.Qf7 is winning for White.
Jan-16-11  smarlny: 37. Qf7 Rxf2 38. Kxf2 Qc5+ 39. Kf3 Qa3+ leads to a rook versus bishop ending that appears drawn, at least according to my computer engine
Jan-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <smarlny: 37. Qf7 Rxf2 38. Kxf2 Qc5+ 39. Kf3 Qa3+ leads to a rook versus bishop ending that appears drawn, at least according to my computer engine>

After 37.Qf7 Rxf2 38.Kxf2 Qc5+ 39.Kf3 Qa3+, Houdini 1.5 suggests <40.Kg4 Qb4+ 41.Kh5 Qb5+ 42.Rd5 Qe2+ 43.g4 Qe7 44.Qxe7 Bxe7 45.Kxh6 Bf8+ 46.Kg5> (+10.25/d=23). What line does your engine suggest after 39...Qa3+?

Mar-04-12  Savarkar 22: 34.Queen takes pawn on a6.........after that how about Ra2 for black......?
Apr-01-13  birthtimes: 24. ... Nc5 25. Nh6+ Kh8 26. Qf5 Qe4 27. Nxf7+ Kg8 28. Qxe4 Nxe4 29. Nfe5 Bc5 30. Ne3 Bxe3 31. fxe3 Rc2 32. Rd1 h6 33. Rd8+ Kh7 34. Bd4 Ng5 35. Nd7 Kg6 36. Ne5+ Kh5 37. g3 Nxh3+ 38. Kf1 Ng5 39. Rd7 Bg2+ 40. Ke1 Ne6 41. Ra7 Ra2 and Black is up a pawn with at least a draw and decent winning chances due to its outside passed pawn.
Jun-11-13  AsosLight: I consider this the best game, in terms of quality, ever played by Anand.
Oct-21-13  iamsheaf: <I consider this the best game, in terms of quality, ever played by Anand.> I consider it the worst comment ever posted at Chessgames.com ;-)
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