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Viswanathan Anand vs Anton Kovalyov
World Cup (2017), Tbilisi GEO, rd 2, Sep-06
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Adams Attack (B90)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-06-17  SChesshevsky: Anand may be showing signs of chess fatigue. He played Sinquefield, the St Louis rapid and blitz, and now World Cup.

I thought he might've been tired at the rapid and blitz. Now with the last game of the last round and this one, seems clear his form is off for some reason.

Sep-06-17  dumbgai: If Kovalyov is lucky it seems to happen in the WC. He made it to the 3rd round last time.
Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Judging from the clock times, Anand missed the strength of 25...Kf5.

He had spent 8:44 on the sacrifice 23 Nc5 and answered within seconds up to that move. Then he thought for 7:01, but could not rescue the game.

Kovalyov also confirmed that once 25...Kf5 was played, he felt sure of his advantage.

Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  SirRuthless: It can be hard to create chances to lose with white if your goal is a draw from the start. It will be up to anand to create something with black.
Sep-06-17  Imran Iskandar: 25...Kf5 is an amazing move, the prelude to a king walk (albeit in circles).
Sep-06-17  fisayo123: He's obviously a very strong player. I'm sure he was just being modest.

Win with black on demand for Vishy tomorrow? Good luck with that.

Sep-06-17  fisayo123: 23. Nc5 is pretty interesting especially considering how Anand has played his chess for the last 7 years or so, which is extremely cautious taking zero risk.

It will be interesting to see what he does tomorrow considering the only point of his black repertoire these days is to make draws.

Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <fisayo123: He's obviously a very strong player. I'm sure he was just being modest.>

For sure. But afterwards he disclosed that he had intended to study for his degree on this trip(!) and now that might suffer.

Sep-06-17  znsprdx: the simple 40. R[d]d5 looks pretty solid ....also I do not understand 26.Rb5 - why not g4+
Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: 23. White to move is a tough position. There doesn't seem any way to keep the extra pawn on b7. The obvious move is 23. Na5 Bxa5 24. Rxa5 Rxb7 and it's probably a draw, so Anand wanted to do something spectacular like in the good old days and almost got away with it. I wouldn't call it a blunder.
Sep-06-17  call14: What about 26.Ra8 Bf6 27.Bd5 e4 28. Rda1 with Rxb8 and Ra8 threat?
Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <call14: What about 26.Ra8 Bf6 27.Bd5 e4 28. Rda1 with Rxb8 and Ra8 threat?>

Yes, I was thinking that. Looks like black would have to give up a rook for a couple of pawns.

Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <31..g6 32.Rf3+ Ke6!>


click for larger view

He creates a hidey-hole at g7 ... and then <doesn't> retreat there! His K is actually safer (!?) attacking White's overextended d6, leaving White with too few active pieces to harass him.

Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Gilmoy: 31..g6 32.Rf3+ Ke6! He creates a hidey-hole at g7 ... and then <doesn't> retreat there!>

I think the point of g7 was not to create a hidey-hidey ho' but to keep the white LSB stuck on the long diagonal because otherwise if white plays Ra8, as <call14> suggests, then Black could play Rxb7 (if Rxh8 then Bxh8)

Sep-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <fisayo123: 23. Nc5 is pretty interesting especially considering how Anand has played his chess for the last 7 years or so, which is extremely cautious taking zero risk.>

Life imitates art. I was just reading Nabakov's "Luzhin Defense" and guess who this passage reminded me of:

<Luzhinís game, which in his early youth had so astounded the experts with its unprecedented boldness and disregard for the basic, as it seemed, rules of chess, now appeared just a little old-fashioned compared with the glittering extremism of Turati.

Luzhinís present plight was that of a writer or composer who, having assimilated the latest things in art at the beginning of his active career and caused a temporary sensation with the originality of his devices, all at once notices that a change has imperceptibly taken place around him, that others, sprung from goodness knows where, have left him behind in the very devices where he recently led the way, and then he feels himself robbed, sees only ungrateful imitators in the bold artists who have overtaken him, and seldom understands that he himself is to blame, he who has petrified in his art which was once new but has not advanced since then.

Looking back over eighteen and more years of chess Luzhin saw an accumulation of victories at the beginning and then a strange lull, bursts of victories here and there but in generaló irritating and hopeless draws thanks to which he imperceptibly earned the reputation of a cautious, impenetrable, prosaic player. And this was strange.

The bolder his imagination, the livelier his invention during his secret work between matches, the more oppressive became his feeling of helplessness when the contest began and the more timidly and circumspectly he played. > (https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet...)

Still, you could see a spark of the adventurous old (young) Anand today in his knight sac, although it unfortunately didn't work out.

Sep-07-17  kingberzerk: When wondering about alternatives to 23Na5 I couldn't find anything to protect the pawn on b7.

The machine does not care about immediate, direct protection and invited the other rook to the party: 23Rda1. Alternatively, it suggests to play 23Ra8 with the idea of 23...Rb7 24Rda1 Rc7 25Ra1a7! and Black is still in a bind. Cood blooded play for domination.

I wonder if Anand saw this, my guess is he didn't.

Sep-07-17  kingberzerk: pardon me: Alternatives to the Knight sacrifice 23Nc5.
Sep-07-17  call14: < Willber G: <call14: What about 26.Ra8 Bf6 27.Bd5 e4 28. Rda1 with Rxb8 and Ra8 threat?> Yes, I was thinking that. Looks like black would have to give up a rook for a couple of pawns. >

Well, later I realised it fails as black has 28... Bd5! may be this is what Anand missed when he made the sac?

Sep-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <call14: < Willber G: <call14: What about 26.Ra8 Bf6 27.Bd5 e4 28. Rda1 with Rxb8 and Ra8 threat?> Yes, I was thinking that. Looks like black would have to give up a rook for a couple of pawns. >

Well, later I realised it fails as black has 28... Bd5! may be this is what Anand missed when he made the sac?>

I don't understand - how can black play 28...Bd5 in this sequence?

25.Ra8 Bg5
27.Bd5 Be6
28.Bc6 Bd5?? just loses the bishop.

Sep-07-17  call14: <Willber G: how can black play 28...Bd5 > Sorry, typo error. I mean 28.. Be5 targeting d6 pawn and later supporting b8 rook.
Sep-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <call14: <Willber G: how can black play 28...Bd5 > Sorry, typo error. I mean 28.. Be5 targeting d6 pawn and later supporting b8 rook.>

Got it, thanks.

Sep-07-17  Howard: This just in....their second game in the mini-match was a (very) short draw.

Anand has just been--believe it or not--eliminated !

Sep-07-17  Ulhumbrus: On 27 Ra8 Bb6 28 Rd1-a1 Ke5 29 Bc6 Kxd6 30 Bxe4 Kc7! reinforces the blockade on b8.

Suppose that instead of 26 Bd5 White plays 26 g3. Then on 26...e4 27 Rd5+ Black's king cannot advance to f4 in order to hold on to the e4 pawn. However Black can make a waiting move after 26...Bf6 27 Ra8 with 27...g6 ( say) and on 28 Rd1-a1 e4 becomes possible as White lacks the check Rd5+

A pawn on the seventh rank seems considerable compensation for a piece if White can make it count. It is however blockaded on a white square.

One can only guess what it was that Anand overlooked or did not consider. To borrow the words of Lasker, he can however profit from the loss if he tries to find out the reasons for it eg what was the type of move that he did not consider.

Sep-09-17  The Kings Domain: Unfazed by his opponent and the sacrifice, Kovalyov played an admirably skillful game. It may have also cost him the tournament.
Sep-20-17  CowChewCud: <Ulhumbrus> I too considered g3 but as move 27 but haven't bothered to check with a machine.
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