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Viswanathan Anand vs Joel Benjamin
Hoogovens (1989), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 12, Jan-27
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Classical Variation (B63)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-08-03  bishop: Anand shocks Benjamin with a superb combination starting with 12.Bxf6! dxe4 13.Bxe7! Rxd2 14.Nxd2!! and the American champ realizes that he cannot play ...Nxe7 because of 15.Nc4! Qc7 16.Nb5! and Black must give the Queen back.
Jun-12-04  acirce: 11...d5 was a mistake in itself but 12...dxe4 even worse, 12...Bxf6 forced.
Aug-09-06  dramas79: Inthe final position, why not Qg4+ to win a piece?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <dramas79> if 31...Qg4+ 32. Rf3 blocking the checking line and the rook is backed up by the bishop.
May-05-09  MrMelad: 13.Bxe7!! is shocking! Superb Anand.
May-05-09  blacksburg: whoa. this is way over my head.
May-05-09  hartkoka: this is good for saturday or sunday puzzle i think!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: It appears that Anand gave Benjamin an opportunity to get back in the game with 24.Nd5?. (Better would have been 24.Rd2.) Benjamin missed his chance, however, with the inferior 24...Qc5?

Black seemingly would have been fine if he had played 24...Qd8! Then after 25.Nxb4 Bxd1, White cannot gain a piece by taking the Bishop: if 26. Kxd1, then 26. ... Nf3+ and, however White responds, Black will at least gain back the piece; and, of course, if 26.Rxd1??, then 26. ... Ne2+ and mate next.

Jan-25-20  Sacsacmate: Vishy talks about this game in his latest book Mind Master. This idea was originally mentioned by Chuky when the 2 talked about. Actually in Catalan in some line Chuky mentioned that queen can be trapped. While playing this game Vishy suddenly realized that the same idea can, in fact, occur in Sicilian! That conversation with Chuky sparked this combination.
Mar-11-20  fisayo123: Extraordinary queen sac from the Indian genius.
Apr-25-20  wordfunph: <Sacsacmate> right! a very nice book by Vish.
Apr-25-20  SChesshevsky: Maybe not a queen sac exactly as appears you get three pieces for the exchange. But very nice play anyway and shows sharp alertness.

Similar theme with maybe more a sac aspect might be Nisipeanu's win over Nakamura in 2019 World Cup, I believe.

May-17-20  wordfunph: behind the scene..

<In one of his first high-profile tournaments, Wijk aan Zee 1989, Anand regularly spent seconds on moves his opponents took minutes on. When Joel Benjamin resigned to him on the 31st move, the American had one minute left — while Anand had more than an hour. - GM Andy Soltis>

Source: Chess Life 1998 May

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <SChesshevsky: Maybe not a queen sac exactly as appears you get three pieces for the exchange.>

Do you mean rook and two pieces for the queen?

In any event, 12.Bxf6, allowing for 12...dxe4, and 13.Bxe7 are jaw-dropping moves. But the rest is a gem too.

May-17-20  SChesshevsky: <Fusilli...Do you mean rook and two pieces for the queen?...>

Yeah. I was never sure about the comparison of Rook and two minors versus the Queen until I lost a couple of painful games with the Q.

Coincidently also heard Dubov mention that an early coach told him Q better than three pieces and he later found that might not be accurate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Another Anand-2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious: Another Anand-2.> What does that mean?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <fusilli>, a former opponent who also faced Anand; I first played Benjamin in 1986.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Anand writes in "Mind Matters":

<Vassily Ivanchuk once spoke to me about an opening in the Catalan and showed me a pretty idea where Black attacks White’s queen, and White simply ignores the attack and moves his bishop. Afterwards, Black is left to choose between two bad options – the marginally better one being to move the queen away so that White goes on to capture a rook and a bishop. But White’s dominance is already so great by then that the position is no good for Black. The alternative is to maintain the material balance, or the value of the pieces, but the difference in the piece placement becomes overwhelming. A month or so after my conversation with Ivanchuk, I was playing Joel Benjamin at the 1989 Wijk aan Zee tournament and we got into a position in the Sicilian Defence, which is as far away from the Catalan as one can imagine, except, miraculously, I found that the idea Ivanchuk had outlined for me worked. Instead of long-term compensation, here I collected material. White would have had two knights on c4 and b5 attacking the Black queen, which would then have to be sacrificed. It caught Benjamin off guard and turned the game in my favour.>

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