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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Viswanathan Anand
Altibox Norway (2018), rd 7, Jun-05
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Classical Defense (C83)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-05-18  pajaste: 33...Black's one pawn away from winning, no? Out with the king?
Jun-05-18  boz: That knight has been on e6 since move 17.
Jun-05-18  fisayo123: MVL sometimes can be very arrogant. He played the middlegame in essentially blitz mode taking ridiculously quick decisions in a complex position against one of the best players ever in complex positions. I seriously don't know what is wrong with him. Maybe if he takes his time on occassion he can actually make better moves. Dissappointing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Very strange, like taking candy from a baby
Jun-05-18  Iron sabbath priest: Vishy's Tactics!!!
Jun-05-18  Ulhumbrus: Lasker gives 11 Bc2 instead of 11 Re1 and perhaps one reason is that on 11 Re1 Nc5 Black's knight attacks the d3 square.

Instead of 14...Nf4, 14...Nxc1 gains the bishop pair but at a high price: the knight moves a fifth time to exchange itself for a bishop not moved at all, making a loss of no less than five tempi for development. This suggests that Black will lose the game if he tries 14...Nxc1. Perhaps Anand does not want to try this move without examining it first.

The sacrificial advance 24...c5 brings to mind the advance 23...c5 in the game Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 According to Keene when Korchnoi played the advance 23...c5 there was a tinkle or a crash heard as Karpov dropped the glass of yoghurt which he ate from.

One example of a possible reason for 27 Qf5 is that Vachier-Lagrave suspects that Anand has prepared this exchange sacrifice and gained some knowledge of its consequences, even if not necessarily in exactly the same position. However the exchange of queens does not save his game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I'd be very reluctant to say this was an Anand prep'd variation. Not after 27 moves.

This is the first time either player has had this position after 11 moves in front of them.

click for larger view

Yes the top GM's do prepare but in this tournament it will be very little compared to the heavy prep work that goes into an important match.

It's more likely Anand decided on the morning of the game he would play the Open Variation.

And why not. It will dodge anything MVL has planned (the last time Anand was on the Black side on an Open Lopez was back in 2005.) It was also clear from the after game interview with these two players that no preparation regarding what happened in the game was brought to the table. Anand brought his vast experience to the table. He's still a very good player...very good.

Jun-05-18  dehanne: These youngsters need to study some endgames.
Jun-05-18  BOSTER: With own BS bishop you can not put your pawn on the same colour.Very strange game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: that Rook out too early, came to a bad end.
Jun-06-18  The Kings Domain: Yup, the big guy shows he's still got it. The most brilliant player of the times was outpointed by sheer topnotch experience.
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space:

Peter Svidler analyzed this game

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Svidler's a walking (or in this case sitting) encyclopedia, excellent commentary despite the obvious hangover.
Jun-06-18  Toribio3: Move #13(Nd3) by Anand is the silent killer move; its effect is not immediate but from that point - the initiative is with the Black side.
Jun-06-18  Isilimela: MVL came up short against the Indian King's Defence! Well done Vishy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Peter Svidler analyzed this game> Highly recommended (~ 32 mins)

Game Collection: 98_C80-C83_Ruy Lopez, Open

Jun-07-18  JPi: Yes excellent analysis from GM Svidler. I like especially this idea - according to the GM himself a computer's one - of QorR on c6 (Which the c2 square is paired!?) 21.BxB! BxR 22.Bb1! Bb4 23.a3 Be7 24.Qc2 g6 25.Qc6 then Ba2 If Maxime has played in such fashion it would have been one major game of the Tournament. Indeed Maxime opening idea to put pressure on "c" with 11.Re1 14.Re3 17.Rc3 was more deep than it appears at first sight. Vraiment dommage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Salut, JPi:

Ceci est la position, n'est-ce pas?

Trait aux noirs

click for larger view

Je ne comprends pas pourquoi l'ordinateur ne conseille pas Qxd5 maintenant:

1) -0.14 (22 ply) 26...a4 27.Kg2 Kg7 28.Rd1 Rb6 29.Qxd5 Qxd5 30.Bxd5 Rd8 31.Be4 b4 32.Rc1 bxa3 33.bxa3 Bxa3 34.Ra1 Rb3 35.Bc6 Rc3 36.d5 Rxc6 37.dxc6 Rd3

Jun-08-18  JPi: Salut <ChessHigherCat> In my post the Rook on Queen side is still on its original square (a8) Maybe 25...Rb8 is your move then 26.Ba2. If I understood what GM Svidler has said the idea of Qc6 is mainly to delay Queen side expansion which c7-c5 occurs.

To speak frankly I don't understand your computer's line too. I reassure myself by saying that I know how to do things that he could not but at the moment this consolation is very meager. Here just an attempt... basically Black should expand his pawn on Queen side. 26...b4?! has the drawback of giving the c4 square (Bxd5 then Qc4) and immediately 26...Rb6 puts the Rook on Be3 diagonal (Qxd5 QxQ BxQ Rd8 Be4 then White has d5). So 26...a4! makes sens. What I do not understand is 28.Rd1. I feel the move a bit tame. Instead 28.Rc1 or 28.h4!? will be my choice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4:

<d 27 dpa 1. = (0.00): 29.a3> Nc5 30.Rxb4 axb4 31.Bxd4 Nb3 32.Rd1 Nxd4 33.Rxd4 bxa3 34.bxa3 Rf3 35.Rxd5 Rxh3 36.Rxb5 Rxa3 37.Kg2 Kf7 38.f4 h6 39.Rb7+ Kf6 40.Rb6+ Kf7 41.f5 Rc3 42.Re6 h5 43.gxh5 Rc5 44.h6 gxh6 45.Rxh6 Rxf5 46.Kg3 Rf1 47.Kg2 Rf4 48.Rb6 Rf6 49.Rxf6+ Kxf6

d 26 dpa 2. - / + (-0.86): 29.Rxb4 axb4 30.Bd2 b3 31.axb3 Rf3 32.b4 Rd3 33.Re1 Kf7 34.Bc1 Rxh3 35.Re5 Rb3 36.Rf5+ Ke7 37.Rxd5 Rxb4 38.Kg2 Rxb2 39.Bxb2 Nf4+ 40.Kf3 Nxd5 41.Bxd4 g6 42.Ke4 Nf6+ 43.Kf4 b4 44.Kg5 Kf7 45.f3 Nd5 46.Kh6 b3 47.Kxh7 g5 48.Kh6 Nf4 49.Bb2

Jun-08-18  JPi: <cormier> What is Houdini 4 evaluation on the line we debated previously <ChessHigherCat> and I? The line is 21.BxB BxR 22.Bb1! Bb4 23.a3 Be7 24.Qc2 g6 25.Qc6 Rb8 26.Ba2 a4(*) 27.Kg2 Kg7 28.h4!? or ?! Giving a pawn might be not the best strategy but 28...Bxh4 29.Rh1 has some taste.

(*) It seems I didn't conclude my previous post to answer completely to your question <ChessHigherCat> Why not 27.Qxd5 (27.Bxd5? Rb6) ? Because c7 pawn gets freedom! 27...QxQ 28.BxQ c5! It's still quite balanced B+p vs R with healthy B But the Rook has file and will get soon strong too, then lightly in Black favor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: JPi:The line is 21.BxB BxR 22.Bb1! Bb4 23.a3 Be7 24.Qc2 g6 25.Qc6 Rb8 26.Ba2 a4(*) 27.Kg2 Kg7 28.h4!? or ?! Giving a pawn might be not the best strategy but 28...Bxh4 29.Rh1 has some taste.

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4
29...Be7 30.Bh6+ Kg8 31.Bxf8 Nf4+ 32.Kg3 Ne2+ 33.Kg2 Bxf8 34.Qc2 Nf4+ 35.Kg3 b4 36.axb4 Ne6 37.Qc6 Rxb4 38.Bxd5 Rb6 39.Qc4 Rb4 40.Qc6 Rb6 = (0.00) Depth: 25)

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Ulhumbrus>
<Instead of 14...Nf4, 14...Nxc1 gains the bishop pair but at a high price: the knight moves a fifth time to exchange itself for a bishop not moved at all, making a loss of no less than five tempi for development. This suggests that Black will lose the game if he tries 14...Nxc1. Perhaps Anand does not want to try this move without examining it first.>

The thought that "having made many knight moves, it's important to preserve the knight so those won't go to waste" seems to me like a "sunk cost fallacy." Rather the decision should depend on what positions will come after the move, not what went before.

Both 14...Nxc1 and 14...Nf4 been played many times before, and loss of time did not seem to be an issue when Black played 14...Nxc1. It's a common book position in his repertoire, so it seems pretty likely Anand has already examined both.

Jun-10-18  JPi: Thanks <cormier>! It seems that line was indeed playable. Here GM Svidler's insight is a joy for the thought. With a "classical" setup of mind the one we use when we look at a game of Morphy or of Capablanca and so..., we are looking with cultural glasses of a painting of Antoine Watteau, moves like 22.Bb1 for Qc2-Qc6 just to stop c7 pawn(!) are of cubism fashion, Dora Maar by Picasso. Enjoy!
Jun-10-18  JPi: Suddenly I'm asking myself if in Houdini 4 line, 30.Qc1 for Qg1-Qh2 could be an interesting alternative. Just an idea.
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