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Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen
Grenke Chess Classic (2015), Baden Baden GER, rd 4, Feb-06
Dutch Defense: Stonewall. Modern Variation (A90)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-07-15  Rolfo: Visayanbraindoctor, well said
Feb-07-15  nummerzwei: Thank you. I also considered that possibility, but didn't have the books ready to check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <5. I agree with <laskerian>, that Carlsen's pawn grab is reminiscent of Lasker, Korchnoi (and also Fischer). That IMO portends well for chess because it indicates a fearless fighting style in the current World Champion. (Anand sad to say has not been displaying such an attitude since he won the World Title, and even in this game IMO played in a too reserved manner at the start, as indicated by his liquidation of his own strong knight and timidity in capturing Black's a-pawn.)> <visayanbraindoctor> that was a good post, but I think this is a little unfair to Anand. He made mistakes, of course -- he lost the game after all. But he played extremely aggressively in the middlegame, opening up the center and attacking Carlsen's king. In the interview <Nf8> Carlsen says <there was a very large chance that Black will get embarrassingly mated>.

Re your point #3, I am compelled to observe that at about 3:15 of the interview, Short asked him if he was in the habit of studying the games of Salo Flohr. Carlsen laughed and said no, and he thought he might have seen Nxd7 in Watson's <Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy>. The thesis of that book is that modern masters know lots of things that Alekhine, Capablanca, Nimzowitch etc. didn't know. Of course as Nf8 points out the Flohr game actually shows up in Watson's sequel.

<All> Interesting interview, worth watching. Carlsen points out that during the game he regretted both ...a3 and ...h5. He also thought that he might have overestimated his position when he played ...Bb2 and ...Qxa2. In the loss to Naiditsch, he played ...Rf7 instead of ...Rb8 because he was afraid of White's attack, even though he couldn't see a forced mate. Against Anand, he was also afraid, but played ...Qxa2 because he couldn't see the forced mate. Like all of us, grandmasters do different things on different days. Or maybe Carlsen thought Anand might not be up to the demands of the position?

Feb-07-15  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 5 Nf3 is 5 d5 as - with a somewhat similar pawn formation - in the games Petrosian vs Larsen, 1972 and Kasparov vs Ulf Andersson, 1981
Feb-07-15  Nf8: A time-lapse video of the game:

Feb-07-15  Ulhumbrus: 9 Nd2 gives up the option of Nc3. One alternative to this is 9 a4 supporting the move Ba3 exchanging White's bad bishop for Black's good king's bishop
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Reversing the conventional wisdom. Flohr's idea: using Black's light-squared weaknesses.

click for larger view

16.Nxd7!? Exchanging off the "bad" bishop.

"There were conflicting views on why Anand had done it. Carlsen thought it was by analogy with a Salo Flohr game that’s mentioned in John Watson’s 'Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy', where the same idea of following up with c5 works – although he didn’t think it was nearly so effective here."(

Salomon Flohr - Grigory Abramovich Goldberg. Position after 10...Na6

click for larger view

11.Nxd7! (At the same tournament Kotov had tried 11.Nd2 against Goldberg). What is the idea behind trading a strong knight for a "bad" bishop. The reason is that this bishop is an important defender of the light squares, and later in the game White was able to break through by using Black's light squares weaknesses.

Position after 22.b5

click for larger view

Flohr vs G Goldberg, 1949

Levon Aronian: "Anand wanted Magnus to take on c3 later on and he won’t lose the game. This is more of a strategic choice. I generally wouldn’t take on d7 – maybe I’d regret it, but that’s just a matter of style."

Feb-07-15  karthick2229: please any one help why not 12) b*a3
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <karthick2229: please any one help why not 12) b*a3>

12 bxa temporarily wins a pawn but unlikely that he would be able to hold it. Creates a lot of weaknesses in White's position - just not worth the aggravation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: 12.bxa3 would spoil White's queenside pawn structure (that's why 12.Ndf3 is considered White's best answer).

click for larger view

Nevertheless, the move had been tried in practice. As Carlsen said, "12.bxa4 is not as stupid as it looks”.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <keypusher: ... I thought it looked great for white after 24.e4, with everything opening up for White's bishops and rooks.>

Me too. I would have been happy as a clam if I were White in that position. Chess is a hard game.

Feb-09-15  Nerwal: Maybe with 27. ♗f2 White set himself too big of a task and it's a case where the strongest move may turn unpractical. 27. ♖f2 followed by ♗c3 looks easier to handle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Dutcha know, Vishy?
Feb-16-15  Patrick007: Safe to say Vishy's best years are behind him. stats see him drifting slowly backwards. Too bad, as i am a fan, but he has somewhat lost the fire he used to have.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Patrick007: Safe to say Vishy's best years are behind him.>

A fate that comes to all of us; though it does not matter, for he has had a brilliant career, regardless of all the naysayers and their nattering.

Feb-16-15  Patrick007: Perfidious-totally agree. He has had a marvelous career.
Feb-19-15  anandrulez: IMHO mistakes in this game seems to be:

1) Avoiding 12.bxa4
2) Taking 20.de5

After Anand's Bh3 was refuted he was either thinking it was lost or didn't feel like continuing because he miscalculated something. Tad self critical in the end.

Mar-18-15  Ulhumbrus: After 21...Qe6 White has the bishop pair.

If the group of three moves 22 f3, 23 Bh3 and 24 e4 is premature because it ends up exposing the a2 pawn to attack following the interception 25...Bb2 this suggests 21 Rd3 or 21 Qb3

Jul-15-15  RKnight: How about 32. Re6 Qxf5, 33. Rd7+ Kg8, 34.Rg6+ Kh8, 35. Rh6+ and Anand could have drawn by perpetual? I don't have an engine to check this out, but it looks like the way avoid the loss.
Sep-07-15  joddon: CARLSENS STYLE IS SO SIMPLE....ANAND DOESNT GET WHEN HE LOSES ,WHY HE DOES.......ALL CARLSEN DOES IS HE WAITS FOR PAWN MOVES AND WHEN PAWNS DONT MOVE THEY BECOME WEAK AND THEN HE TARGETS THEM WITH HIS ROOKS. its a simple way,, he has no creative style, although people think he does.....he knows that pawns make positions weak or strong....he therefore is called a total positional player....he is not tactical at all hence Anand needs to take advantage of this play Carlsen and win he must not push pawns , play defensively and wait until Carlsen gets nervous about himself rather than his opponents. I see their games where it looks like Anand is always in a rush to catch the train, Carlsen acts like he is already on the train to make a foolishness out of him......pawns are Anands weakness and Carslen knows that....Carslen is a total pawn player, he never plays with the rest of the pieces although the magic and hallucination is that he does tricks with them....he does not!! for critics , they have their own opinion.this is sick of hearing their @#$%!!
Dec-18-15  Hawkman: For White to allow 13. ... a3 is simply too defensive for White. He's letting Black attack. Take the attack to Black first!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Here is a good video about this game:

Jun-25-16  Ulhumbrus: After 27 Bf2 g5 evades the attack on the g6 pawn and closes the f and g files. Instead of this 27 fxg6 opens the king side, but then 27...Bd4+ wins White's queen. It is because of this threat that Black can play 26...Qxa2 even though his g6 pawn is attacked. This suggests 27 Qd2 preventing both 27...Bd4+ and 27...g5.
Apr-13-17  Dave12: Somehow the game very much reminds the 9th game in Chenai, where black confronted white's kingside strategy with a very tactical queenside pawn advancing. In both games Magnus was forcing Anand to "find" an attacking combination, to avoid a black edge in the endgame.
Nov-11-17  Clement Fraud: 8.Ne5 and 12.Ndf3 ceded all control of white's important e4 square; both these moves gave an open invitation to black's king-knight to jump into e4... from where it caused havoc.

I don't think that theory has come anywhere near to providing white with a sound and competitive line against the Stonewall Dutch Defense as yet. On club nights I've been trying 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.e3 d5 5.Nge2 c6 6.Ng3 (??)

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