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Peter Svidler vs Viswanathan Anand
Dos Hermanas (1999), Dos Hermanas ESP, rd 5, Apr-11
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Karpov Gambit (C80)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Open Defence: This variation seriously challenges Sokolov's 11..Bd5?! but so far I don't see anything to say that Black cannot hold the game as the center is way open...did you guys see any analysis showing a win for Svidler?
Jan-15-04  aulero: Svidler agreed a draw in a winning position!!

After 70.♔xd4!! ♘b5+ 71.♔c5 ♘xa7 72.♔b6 ♘c8+ 73.♔c7 Black is lost!

73... ♘e7 74.h7 ♔g7 75.f6+

73... ♘a7 74.♔d7 followed by h7 and f6

See also Kramnik vs Svidler, 2004 for another Svidler's very bizarre decision!

Jan-27-04  Dick Brain: <aulero> Hey! give credit. That's all from Fundamental Chess Endings exercise E3.11. They way you say it might lead someone to think it was your own work ;).
Jan-27-04  aulero: <Dick Brain>, I surely did not discover this Svidler's error. I did not know this game, I was only curious because in a chessbase's page about the Kramnik vs Svidler game and the Svidler's bizarre resignation there was a reference to another Svidler's sensational decision: the offer of a draw in a winning position. I retrieved the game, then I analyzed the final position and I worked out the variants: they are not difficult especially knowing that they exist!

I cannot give the credit to a book that I don't know, but citing this book you raised an interesting question: was this ending already known? Was the book published before the present game?

If not, then we must give the credit to the first person that showed the winning move, perhaps Anand just after the game!

Jun-06-04  AdrianP: Svidler is incredibly strong with the White pieces in the Ruy Lopez. I have 84 such games in my database, with Svidler scoring +44 =33 -7. Svidler's novelty 14 Qg4+! should have won.
Oct-28-05  iron maiden: <suenteus po 147> Never resign!
Oct-29-05  suenteus po 147: <iron maiden> Thanks for spotting this! It's amazing how Anand through complete dedication to playing out the endgame is able to win the draw. Psychologically, he probably had some help from having the intense complexity in the middlegame. By the end, Svidler was probably happy to wash his hands of the game without a loss :)
Feb-03-07  positionalgenius: Everyone should look at this one-brilliance from svidler.
Dec-30-08  soberknight: Yes, I remember seeing some years ago that Svidler drew a won endgame. This is the first time I'm seeing the whole game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <aulero: Svidler agreed a draw in a winning position!! *** > Here is the complete analysis of this ending from "Fundamental Chess Endings" by Muller and Lamprecht (Gambit (c)2001), E3.10 at pages 75 and 369 (with move numbers conformed to the actual game):

Svidler,P. - Anand,V.
Dos Hermanas, 1999

70.Kxd4 Nb5+ 71.Kc5! Nxa7 72.Kb6! (Nunn Convention is used throughout these notes.) Nc8+ 73.Kc7! 73...Na7 [73...Ne7 74.h7! Kg7 (74...Nd5+ 75.Kd6 Kg7 76.Kxd5 ) 75.f6+! ] 74.Kd7!! [74.h7? Kg7!=] 74...Nb5 [74...Kf6 75.h7! Kg7 76.f6+! Kxh7 77.f7! Kg7 78.Ke8! ] 75.h7! Kg7 76.f6+! Kxh7 77.f7! Kg7 78.Ke7!

Considering the number of far-from-obvious "only" moves in this analysis, even if Svidler had been motivated to play for the win, my guess is the most likely outcome still would have been a split point (i.e., Svidler would have missed 71. Kc5! or 72.Kb6! or 73.Kc7! or 74.Kd7! and the great defender Anand would not have allowed him another chance to win).

Oct-20-10  sevenseaman: The decisions OTB are ruled by what one can see there.
May-23-12  sheltone: GM Campora was the one who spotted the win before Svidler resigned.
Jun-14-12  dumbgai: <Yes, I remember seeing some years ago that Svidler drew a won endgame.>

This is not the only time Svidler has drawn a won endgame. Here's another:

Gelfand vs Svidler, 2001

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 11..Bd5 was an idea first played by I.Sokolov against Anand at Lyon 1994 (Black won). The piece sacrifice 12 Nxf7 was first played in Dominguez - Rios Cuba 1996. Svidler's 14 Qg4 was an improvement over Dominguez's 14 Ne4. The alternative defense 18..h6 could have been answered by 19 Nh4..Rg8 20 Ng6+..Kd6 21 cxd..Ncxd4 22 Be3 with a powerful attack. Flear felt that Black could have improved with 20..Qd5 (intending ..Kd7) 21 Nxe6..Nxe6 22 Rxe6..Qxe6 23 Re1..Qxe1 24 Rxe1..dxc 25 Bxc3..Kd8 and Black is out of danger. Anand, down three pawns, put up a dogged defense. He won material with 43..Rxc3 but an alternative suggested by his second Ubilava may have been even stronger: 43..Rxc2 44 Kd1..Rxf2 (threatening ..Kd3). As Seirawan pointed out 68..Kg7! would have maintained the fortress and drawn; Marin gave the drawing line as 68..Kg7! 69 Kd3..Kg8! 70 h6..Kh7 71 Kxd4..Nb5+ 72 Kd5..Nxa7 73 f6..Kxh6 74 Kd6..Kg6 (followed by ..Nc6). Instead, after 68..Kf6? Anand was theoretically lost. This fortunate escape was the highlight of a poor tournament who finished tied for last (with Svidler and J Polgar) with a winless -2 (Adams won the tournament).
Nov-07-15  sfm: Instead of accepting the draw White had of course no risk in trying 70.KxP. But he he didn't even imagine that there could be a win after 71.-,Nxa7.
Jun-16-16  Keshav Murali: Not sure if Ruy Lopez or Fried Liver Attack, :D
Jun-08-19  Christoforus Polacco: Swidler couldn't lose that endgame. So...For him it was any risk to play a some longer :)) Draw was the obvious plan minimum without any danger .... Shade.
Jun-08-19  SChesshevsky: Clocks are involved, so there is a way Svidler could lose the endgame. Walking into the fork and then chasing the N by diverting the K away from the pawns probably isn't going to be near the first lines calculated. Without knowing the clock situation, it's hard to tell whether Svidler blew it or just made a practical decision.
Jun-14-19  Christoforus Polacco: At 1999 year there were used electronic clocks or not ? With 30 seconds extra per one móve ? :) Probably not.....:))
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Since black couldn't win with only a knight Svidler should have played it out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

(I think I'll shoot for the most pedantic post of July 2020.)

<" Since black couldn't win with only a knight...">

The Anand plan would have been to leave Svidler with the h-pawn. Svidler offered the draw before Anand thought of it.

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Black plays Ng5 and it's mate next move.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Svidler, Svidler On the Wall, Who's The Passer After All?

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