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Alexander Grischuk vs Viswanathan Anand
London Chess Classic (2015), London ENG, rd 6, Dec-10
English Opening: King's English Variation. General (A20)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-10-15  MindCtrol9: I capture the pawn <41.Rxg5+ and follow with Ra5 or f5>Anand can only hope for a mate which is not going to be ver.
Dec-10-15  prithvimothi: Just a reminder that tomorrow is Anands 46th birthday
Dec-10-15  sreeskamp: <PMcGuigan> Sounds good, you must be head of some clan sitting in a kind of Skyfall house in Scotland or Ireland, I guess..
Dec-10-15  MindCtrol9: I capture the pawn with check,and then follow with Ra5 or f5.Anand can only hope for a check mater with the Bishop and Rook which is not going to happen.May be there is a better move than the one I say,but thatis what I see without thinking too much.
Dec-10-15  PMcGuigan: It's Ireland yes😊
Dec-10-15  Marmot PFL: Anand seems to have sent all his pawns on a king side charge, from which there was no retreat. They made it as far as f3 but not much is left of them now.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: So you mean he took some risks - good for him
Dec-10-15  PMcGuigan: How significant is blacks d pawn?
Dec-10-15  Marmot PFL: At worst white can trade the b pawn for the d pawn and it looks completely winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: To the experts, Anand have a chance to win?
Dec-10-15  Marmot PFL: Grischuk could win this blindfolded.
Dec-10-15  Jack Kerouac: Rf7 to consider?
Dec-10-15  Marmot PFL: Anand's only chance was to play 51...d3. this is much too slow.
Dec-10-15  Jack Kerouac: Okay. Not.
Dec-10-15  Marmot PFL: Haven't seen that happy rook much at this event.
Dec-10-15  shintaro go: Amazing game by Grischuk
Dec-10-15  kamagong24: Grischuk's interview with Jennifer Shahade was funny, i hope it gets posted on youtube
Dec-10-15  mrbasso: Anand lost again in an off-beat opening. He has a weakness there IMO. 2.d3 is not played often and this sicilian reversed is considered harmless.
Dec-10-15  cunctatorg: Well, imho Grischuk just conducted a masterpiece but he had to prove that Black's king-side play is harmless ... if this is really the case; imho Anand found no way to really solve the problems arising from 10. Nd5...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The Black set up niggled an itch and I had scratch it.

Vishy seems to have gone for a Grand Prix type attack in reverse.

One key line in the Grand Prix is for White to chop the Black Queen's Knight with the King's Bishop. (that is why in the refined Grand Prix White plays 2.Nc3 before f4 to see Nc6 then the Bishop goes to Bb5 to chop it.)

Black failed to do this in reverse.

Do you recognise this position? (White to play)

click for larger view

It is the exact mirror of the Anand - Grischuk game here with White to play his 10th move. Here is the Anand- Grischuk position for you to compare.

click for larger view

The big difference in this position from the actual game is it's White's move.


Back to this position. The mirror position.

click for larger view

It has appeared on here 3 times and even with White to move, Black has won all three games.

Which does not bade well for the Black set up in the Grischuk - Anand game. Because here Anand's position is actually a tempo down on those three losses.

Of course this is just an observation based on the three games here which still had a lot of chess to play. It could not possibly have been prep unless Grischuk has an Anand game not here.

Anand as Black has difted into a position a tempo down where White in the past has toiled

Here are the other three games from this site which reached the above positions with White to play. In all three cases White chose. 10 Qe1.

E Paoli vs Z Beil, 1973

S Arkhipov vs N Davies, 1987

P Bersamina vs P Rout, 2010

Dec-10-15  nariga: Why did Anand play 51..Kd3 and not 51..d3? If he gets his pawn to d2, wouldn't it be a constant threat for white?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: How strange--Grischuk built his entire game around the c5 square. He even lets his Bishop get buried at h1 just to keep the c6 pawn from advancing (e.g., 25...c5??; 26.Rxc5). As a result, the c6 pawn becomes a permanent target and the Black Bishop becomes a big pawn. A quiet game with a lot of depth to it, and very impressive.
Dec-11-15  Mehem: <Why did Anand play 51..Kd3 and not 51..d3?> A mystery. 51... Kd3? loses instantly while 51... d3 would pose some problems before Grischuk who was customarily short on time. 52.Rd7 Rb4

click for larger view

I think White must find the answer how to trade a4 & b5 for d3 & h5?

Dec-11-15  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 14...Nb6 the computer analysis on the official site gave 14...Nc7! one point of this appearing to be that on 15 Bxc6?? Rb8! displaces White's queen from the defence of the bishop on c6. From c7 the knight may go to e6 to support a king side attack.

After 16 Rac1 Black has very great central pawn superiority and some advantage in space to accompany it, and if other things were equal Black would have sufficient positional advantage to justify starting an attack.

However other things are not equal.

Black's c pawn is backward. His a pawn is isolated. His queen's rook is undeveloped, and so is his queen. Black's knight on b6 is far away from the king side.

White's queen is on the rim but even so Black's overall advantage can be considered only slight at best unless he can remedy his shortcomings such as his undeveloped queen's rook, queen and knight.

This suggests beginning a plan to complete Black's development before doing anything else eg ...Qe7, ...Be6 and ...Rae8

The move 16...f4?! starts an attack in a position where Black may appear to have the advantage but is actually unlikely to have the advantage until he can complete his development. Therefore this attack may appear sound but is in fact unlikely to be sound unless Black can complete his development and bring his queen's rook and knight over to the king side. The attack is therefore likely to fail unless Black can complete his development and get his queen, queen's rook and knight into play on the king side.

Instead of 18...Kh8 the computer gave 18...g5. This suggests that Anand has chosen the wrong precaution for his king: it is not on the a2-g8 diagonal that Black's king is exposed to attack but actually on the long diagonal a1-h8 that Black's king is exposed to attack.

This is confirmed soon by Grischuk who places his queen on the long diagonal a1-h8 by 20 Qc3! and turns Black's king and f4 and e5 pawns all into targets.

20...e4 is an admission that the attack has failed: Anand can hardly want to exchange queens. After this White has the advantage although it takes at least one or two more mistaken choices for Black to lose. The computer evaluations indicated that the immediate 40...Rxd4 was mistaken, as was 51...Kd3 instead of 51...d3.

It may be that Anand overrated his side of the position after 16 Rac1 on account of his massive central pawn superiority and did not take into account the shortcomings of his position which included the lag in development of his pieces such as his undeveloped queen and queen's rook and the knight placed far away from the king side on b6, so that he needed to complete his development before starting his attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: What a struggle! I enjoyed this game immensely.
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