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Levon Aronian vs Viswanathan Anand
"Nerves of Steel" (game of the day Jan-16-13)
Tata Steel (2013)  ·  Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  0-1
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Given 23 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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Jan-19-14  john barleycorn: and similar to this one

Anand vs Kramnik, 2013

Mar-13-14  LIFE Master AJ: Aronian,Levon (2802) - Anand,Viswanathan (2772) [D46] Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee (4), 15.01.2013

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qc2 Bb7 11.a3 Rc8 All well-known moves by now... 12.Ng5 [White has tried 12.b4 but after 12...c5! 13.bxc5 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nxc5 15.dxc5 Rxc5 16.f4 Nd5 17.Bb2 Nxc3 18.Bxc3 Qc7 19.Rfc1 Rc8 20.Bxh7+ Kh8 21.Bd3 Rxc3 22.Qxc3 Qxc3 23.Rxc3 Rxc3 24.Bxb5 Bxa3 the draw is near, as in Topalov,V-Kasimdzhanov,R London 2012.] 12...c5! [A strong novelty. Anand stated that this was his preparation for his match vs. Boris Gelfand for the FIDE WC in 2012. Previously 12...Bxh2+ 13.Kxh2 Ng4+ 14.Kg1 Qxg5 15.f3 Ngf6 16.b4 had been seen in Wojtaszek,R-Negi,P Germany 2012. He also stated that he didn't remembered all the details in his analyses, but netherless it wasn't that hard to work them out!] 13.Nxh7 [13.Bxh7+ was the obvious alternative - Anand said that 'we found compensation everywhere'. A sample line could be 13...Kh8 14.f4 cxd4 15.exd4 Qb6 .] 13...Ng4! 14.f4?! [In view of what happened, I think that White should have opted for 14.h3 . But then 14...Bh2+ 15.Kh1 Qh4 looks quite fine for Black: 16.Be4 Bxe4 17.Qxe4 f5 18.Qxe6+ Kxh7 19.Qxd7 and now Black can force a draw with 19...Bb8 20.Kg1 cxd4 21.exd4 Bh2+ (or play for more with 21...Rce8!? ) 22.Kh1 Bb8= .] 14...cxd4 15.exd4 [After 15.Nxf8 Bxf8 16.exd4 Ndf6 17.h3 Qxd4+ 18.Kh1 Bc5! 19.hxg4 Nxg4 Black's attack should decide - the black queen will finally land on the h-file!] 15...Bc5! A great move, easily overlooked! 16.Be2? [Good or bad White had to opt for 16.dxc5 Nxc5 17.Nxf8 (17.Qe2 Qd4+ 18.Kh1 Nxd3 19.Qxg4 Kxh7 20.Qg3 a6) 17...Nxd3 18.h3 Qd4+ 19.Kh1 Ndf2+ 20.Rxf2 Nxf2+ 21.Kh2 Kxf8 , where Black has the more pleasant position but White retains fair chances to hold.] 16...Nde5!! [Anand doesn't seem to care about Aronian's pawns - his light pieces are dancing around them! Note that this is the third black piece under attack! Also that 16...Bxd4+ 17.Kh1 Nf2+ 18.Rxf2 Bxf2 19.Nxf8 Nxf8 would be 'just' better for Black!] 17.Bxg4 [17.fxe5 Qxd4+ 18.Kh1 Qg1+! 19.Rxg1 Nf2#; or 17.Nxf8 Qxd4+ 18.Kh1 Qg1+ 19.Rxg1 Nf2# was the point of 16... Nde5!!.] 17...Bxd4+ 18.Kh1 Nxg4 19.Nxf8 [19.Ng5 fails to 19...f5 20.h3 Rf6 and White is helpless...] 19...f5! [Anand said that he was very pround of this move. Now the black queen is ready to come to the h-file. 19...Qh4? would be too naive: 20.Qh7+ Qxh7 21.Nxh7 Kxh7 22.h3 .] 20.Ng6 Stopping ...Qh4 for the moment... 20...Qf6 'To be honest I didn't see a defence' said Anand... 21.h3 Qxg6 22.Qe2 Qh5 23.Qd3?! [The endgame is lost after 23.Rf3 Nf2+ 24.Kh2 Bxf3 25.Qxf3 Qxf3 26.gxf3 Nd3 . White decided that he had seen enough...] 23...Be3! And it's over, as 24...Qxh3+ cannot be met... Anand reminded us of the similarity of this game to Rotlewi-Rubinstein: 'It was the same concept: bishop on b6, bishop on b7, and Rubinstein's version was even ... Rxc3-h3, but essentially the same idea: ...Qh4 and ...Qxh3 - all these ideas work'. The game is given for replay in the dropdown menu on the top left of this JavaScript player. 0-1

Mar-15-14  LIFE Master AJ: I posted the CB analysis ... jic anyone was interested in that.
Mar-22-14  Conrad93: What is wrong with 19...Qh4?
Mar-22-14  shivasuri4: <Conrad93>, 19...Qh4 leads to 20.Qh7+, liquidating to a roughly equal position.
Mar-22-14  Conrad93: How is it even roughly equal?

Black has two very strong bishops eyeing the kingside.

Mar-22-14  N0B0DY: ... is here to learn.
Mar-22-14  shivasuri4: <Conrad93>, yes, but Black would also then be down an exchange. The two bishops compensate to a fair extent, but I doubt they would give Black a significant advantage, if at all.
Apr-05-14  Subham Jain: Why Aronian not play 13.Bb5 or 13.Nb5
Why Anand play 15..Bc5
Apr-06-14  EGarrett: After 16...Nde5, black is hanging two pieces AND an exchange, and taking ANY of them will cause an immediate collapse for white.

I've heard of poisoned pawns, but a poisoned Knight, Bishop and Rook, all in the same just insane.

May-08-14  Going4Draw: No one seemed to discuss this, but why didn't white take bishop on move 16?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Going4Draw>, see below, from three pages or so back in the kibitzing:

<Eyal....after 16.dxc5 Nxc5 17.Qe2 Nxd3 18.Qxg4 Qd4+ 19.Kh1, 19...Nf2+?? (instead of Kxh7) is clearly a blunder. It's true that 16.dxc5 Nxc5 is relatively better for White than the game continuation, which loses by force, but Black still has the advantage there.>

Without poring over all eleven pages of comments, I am sure there is more on this in the foregoing.

May-09-14  Going4Draw: <perfidious>, thanks for the quick reply.

My head was spinning, trying to look for a tactical shot that could create a major advantage. I forgot these are grandmasters that are happy enough with only a small positional advantage. After 16.dxc5 and a few minor major pieces off the board later, black's white bishop, knight, and queen is still pointing towards enemy camp.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Aronian - Anand was rated #1 on the ChessPro's hit list of the best games played in 2013:
May-15-14  mate4cast10: I don't see immediate mate after 24.Kd5
Jul-22-14  Vinod S U: Brilliant game by anand, in this game aronian's first mistake was on 13th move Nxh7,, probably his last.In the post game interview anand had said that critical variation for white was Bxh7..!! and he didnt care for that as he had the counter play with cxd4,& also the strong bishop on B7
Jul-31-14  yiotta: Well, as Tal said, "They can only take one at a time". Wonderful game.
Oct-19-14  honeypot: <MarkFinan> <It's 22nd century stuff!?!> As per Kramnik - Anand has already played 23rd century Chess in the game against Toplaov

Anand vs Topalov, 2005

Both games are pure genius.

Oct-19-14  honeypot: <Natalia Pogonina> Where is the doubt? This WAS the best game played in 2013. The jury had an easy choice going by the fact that this one got 326 points and the #2 got just 179.
Premium Chessgames Member

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Qd3? was the losing move here, and even though I have the benefit of an engine and the game was already lost, I didn't need the engine to see that Rf3 was the only move. Kinda irrelevant I guess, because when you're playing at anything above 1900ish level there's no coming back from this anyway, but Qd3 is still pretty weird.

Jan-15-15  jrofrano: jrofrano: This game was the number four game of 2013:
Jan-15-15  FairyPromotion: <jrofrano: jrofrano:>

Lol, were you quoting yourself? :-P

Anyway, I wanted to say that the list in the link is someone's personal picks. In all the larger polls I've seen this was the clear #1.

Jan-16-15  jrofrano: <FairyPromotion> Do you have a link to the polls that you are referring to?
Jan-23-15  FairyPromotion: <jrofrano> The largest poll I've seen is the one done by the panel of experts of ChessPro, as mentioned in: It got almost twice as many votes as the second place. If you can read cyrillic, here is the detailed voting of the panel members:

There were two different polls in this site, one for the Game of the Year under the Caissar Awards of Chessgames, and another for the Top Games of the Year, hosted annually by User: tpstar.

There were polls in other chess sites at the begining of 2014, but I can't find the links at the moment.

P.S.: I would agree that consensus on this game being the best is partly because of the name of Anand. At the time there was constant criticism of him not being a worthy World Champion, and even of him not being among the absolute elite. This game against his "nightmare opponent" came as a thunderbolt, and it was hailed as Game of the Year the day it was played (mid January). 2013 ended up being one of the greatest years in chess history with many immortal worthy games like M Vachier-Lagrave vs Ding Liren, 2013, Kamsky vs Mamedyarov, 2013, Ding Liren vs Aronian, 2013, V Gunina vs Ju Wenjun, 2013, among others, however the quality of this game itself is not to be questioned!

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: This was deep stuff
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