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Viswanathan Anand vs Yasser Seirawan
6th Euwe Memorial (1992), Amsterdam NED, rd 5, May-19
Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack. Modern Defense (B13)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-13-03  mkdir: Isolated Queen Pawn helps anand win the game....
Jul-13-03  thomaspaine: Is the finishing move 40. Rd1?
Jul-13-03  kutuzov: I tend to think that 5..e6 is better for black and that after Seirawan played 5..Nc6, I think Anand should have played 6.Nf3
Jul-14-03  refutor: it's all theory in my old, old caro-kann book up to 8. ... h6. they describe 6.Nf3 as "somewhat more solid than 6.Bg5, but if both players are so disposed, there need be no lack of complications here either." both 6.Nf3 and 6.Bg5 are playable as is 5. ... Nc6
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <thomaspaine> Can't imagine you're still waiting for a response, but 40.Rd1 does indeed look like a killer. Thing is, black's 39th is not a blunder, since he is lost no matter. If <39..Kb8 40.Rb1+ Kc8 41.Qa8 Kc7 42.Qb7+ Kd6 43.Rd1+> is another way to end it.

38..Qxd7??, coming off the a8-h1 diagonal destroys black's chances to hold. 36..f5 may also be an improvement to the game move, gaining space on the K-side. Things seem balanced here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: Instead of 39...Qd5, Black should have played <39...Qb7 40.Qxf6 Qd5 41.h3 Rc8>, where White is better but there is no easy win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <Sastre> thanks! Didn't see that possibility.
Nov-02-14  krippp: This is a really weird-looking game. It's amazing into how much trouble Yasser got from allowing <7.d5>.

But it's actually all somewhat imprecise; Anand used a lot of bluff which Seirawan folded under. He could've gained advantage by playing the most natural-looking moves on:

1ST) <12..Nf5> to be able to trade white's DSB guarding the d-pawn.

2ND) <15..b5> instead of giving the c-pawn with <15..g6?!>, which he could've played after ..b5 anyway.

3RD) <22..Qxg2>, which gives white the g-file, sure, but it's fortified by the ..f7 & ..g6 formation, and so quite useless. White has no attack elsewhere, so giving white this tempo is irrelevant.

4TH) is Seirawan's really weird-looking decision not to capture the d-pawn with <24..Rxd6>.

White would actually get a surprising amount of initiative afterward, but with so few pieces for the attack, it just can't be winning. And the d-pawn is a real pain for black, so capturing it should be a high priority.

This is the most complicated decision, but nothing a grandmaster shouldn't be able to calculate, because the tactics seem fairly straight-forward.

Here's what Stockfish 5 says after <24..Rxd6>, which it also recommends, with advantage for black.

White basically has 3 main-candidates to attack with:

A) <25.Rxd6 Qxd6 26.Qf3> threatening Qxf7 and Qa8+ with Qxg8, so <26..Rf8 27.Qa8+?!> trying for perpetual, <27..Qb8 28.Qc6+ Qc7 29.Qa8+>, but <29..Kd7 30.Rd1+ Ke7> and White has no more attack.

B) <25.Rc1> threatening c5 & cxb6 pinning the queen, so <25..Rd7 26.c5 b5>, completely stopped.

C) <25.Qf4> forking ..Rd6 and ..f7, so <25..Rd7 26.Rxd7 Qxd7 27.c5! bxc5 28.Rb1> threatening Qb8# or Rb8# so <28..Qc7 29.Qa4> threatening Qa6+ & Rb7 so <29..a5 30.Rb5>, and perhaps here Yasser stopped calculating and thought "OK he has the advantage",

but <Rd8!>, bringing the rook to safety and action, and if white captures the a-pawn he gets backrank-mated, hence <31.g3 Rd7> to make an escape-square for the king and stop Ra7, <32.Rxa5 Kd8 33.Ra8+ Ke7 34.Rg8 Bd4 35.Qa8 Rd8> and white's attack dies out after the exchange(s).

It's all fairly straight-forward, no strokes of genius required. I haven't always even chosen the best defense for black, just the most obvious one.

Well, after this the game is played "normally", too bad Seirawan blundered with <38..Qxd7?> which opens the a8-h1 diagonal for <39.Qf3+>, and with <39..Qd5??> instead of <39..Qb7>. I guess he was in time-trouble by now.

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