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Viswanathan Anand vs Vasyl Ivanchuk
Linares (1993), Linares ESP, rd 3, Feb-26
Russian Game: Modern Attack. Center Variation (C43)  ·  1-0



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Given 26 times; par: 38 [what's this?]

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Jun-06-09  gofer: As <dzechiel> rightly points out 26...Rc8 is a better defense than 26 Re6, Ta! But I think white can do better than just being a couple of pawns up ( 27 Bc6+ Rxc6 28 Qxc6+ Ka7 29 Qxe8)

27 Bxe8! Rxe8,
28 Qc6+ Ka7 (not allowing the Queen to take with Qxe8+, just Qxe8)

29 Qc7+ Ka8
30 c6! Qc8
31 Qa4+ Kb8
32 Qb4+ Ka8
33 Bxd4!

then everything that follows is a little circumspect, but possibly true...

33 ... Qc7 trying to stop the mate on a7 (not Re7, allowing Qa5+, Kb8, Qb+ wining the rook and still threatening Qa7#)

34 Bb6

34 ... Qc8 losing to 35 Qa4+ Kb8, 36 Qa7#
34 ... Qe7 losing to 35 Qa6+ Kb8, 36 c7!

Is this possible? Correct???!!!


Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is an exchange up and threatens 23... Rxe3 24.fxe3 Bxe3+ winning the queen. However, his castle is very weak and not properly defended. The first move that comes to mind is 23.Rxb7+, forcing 23... Kxb7 (otherwise mate next) 24.Qxa6+ Kb8 (24... Kc7 25.Qa7+ Kc8 26.Ba6#) 25.Qb6+ Ka8 (25... Kc8 26.Qxc6+ transposes to the main line) 26.Qxc6+:

A) 26... Ka7 27.Qc7+ Ka8 28.c7

A.1) 28... Rb8 29.Qa5+ Ba7 30.Qxa7#.

A.2) 28... Re7 29.Qxd8+ Ka7 30.Qxe7+ Kb6 (30... Ka(b)8 31.Qb7#) 31.Qb4+ Kxc6 32.Qxd4 + -.

A.3) 28... Rd7 29.cxd7 Rb8 30.Qxb8+ Kxb8 31.d8=Q+ Kb7 32.Qxd4 + -.

A.4) 28... Qc8 29.Qa5+ and mate in two.

A.5) 28... Qd1+ 29.Kg2 reverts to a previous line.

B) 26... Kb8 27.Qb6+ Ka8 (27... Kc8 28.Ba6+ Kd7 29.Qd6#) 28.Bb5

B.1) 28... Rc8 29.Bc6+ Rxc6 30.Qxc6+

B.1.a) 30... Ka7 31.Qxe8 Qd1+ 32.Kg2 + -.

B.1.b) 30... Kb8 31.Qxe8+ Kc7 (31... Ka7 32.Qa4+; 31... Kb7 32.Qb5+ Kc8 (32... Kc7 33.Qb6+ Kd7 34.Qd6+) 33.Qc6+ Kb(d)8 34.Qd6+) 32.Qe7+ and 33.Qxg5 + -.

B.2) 28... Re6 29.Qxd8+ Kb7 (29... Ka7 30.Qc7+ Ka8 31.Bc6+ Rxc6 32.Qxc6+ Ka7 (32... Kb8 33.Qd6+) 33.Qa4+) 30.c6+ Rxc6 (30... Ka7 31.Bxd4+) 31.Bxc6+ Kxc6 32.Qxd4 + -.

B.3) 28... Qc8(d7,e4,e6,f3) 29.Bc6+ Qxc6 30.Qxc6+ Kb8 (30... Ka7 31.Qa4+) 31.Bxd4 Re1+ 32.Kg2 Rxd4 33.Qb6+ and 34.c6 + -.

B.4) 28... Qd1+ 29.Kg2, etc.

Jun-06-09  sileps: I got this one, but I didn't really calculate as far as Bb5
Jun-06-09  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult)

Anand vs Ivanchuk, 1993 (23.?)

White to play and win.

Material: B for R. The Black Kb8 has 4 legal moves. The White Qa4 pins Bd4 to Qg4. The White Be3 also attacks Bd4, so both the Black Rd8 and Qg4 are burdened with protecting Bd4. The White Rb3 pins Pb7 to Kb8, so 23.Qxa6, 23.Qxc6, and 23.Bxa6 all capture a P without threat of recapture. The White Kg1 is secured from all checks but the pointless 23…Qxg3+ and 23…Qd1+, the latter having some potential to disorganize the White defenses.

Note the following egregious candidate, which demonstrates the tactic of removing a pinning piece:

23.Qxa6 [or Qxc6] Qd1+ 24.Kg2 Qxb3 25.axb3 bxa6

Candidates (23.): Rxb7+, Rb4, Bxa6

[23.Rb4 Rxe3 24.fxe3 Bxe3+ 25.Kg2 seems at best a draw for White]


23...Kxb7 24.Qxa6+ Kb8 25.Qb6+ Ka8 [Kc8 Ba6#] 26.Qxc6+

(1) 26…Ka7 27.Qc7+ Ka8 28.Bb5 (threatening 29.Bc6#)

Black drops an excess of material to prevent mate:

28…Rd6 [Re6 29.Qxd8+ then 30.Qxd4]

29.Qxd6 (threatening 30.Bc6+ and mate soon or 30.Qxd4)

The check Be4+ ensures that White can capture Bd4 and dance away, so White has 2B+3P for R.

(2) 26…Kb8 27.Qb6+ Ka8 28.Bb5 (threatening 29.Bc6#)

The variations are similar to Variation 1. Throughout, …Qd1+ is irrelevant.

The second candidate 28.Bb5 is the key to the puzzle today. I would have played 23.Rxb7+ over the board with a draw in hand, which was all I found initially. As a puzzle with unlimited time, however, I investigated first 23.Rxb7, then 23.Rb4, and then the anemic 23.Bxa6, before returning to 23.Rxb7 with the absolute conviction that I missed something.

Jun-06-09  randomsac: I found Qxc6 only to read in the annotation that I let the black queen in to pick up material. I had black on the run in all other variations, but the oversight of the check would have cost me dearly. Oh well. I tried.
Jun-06-09  Marmot PFL: Clearly Qxc6 fails to Qd1+ and Qxb3, and black also threatens Rxe3 fe and Bxe3+. But Rxb7+ Kxb7 Qxa6+ Kb8 (Kc7 Qa7+ and mates) Qb6+ Ka8 Qxc6+ etc is very promising, even if you dont see all the way to the finish, as i did not.
Jun-06-09  remolino: Black is an Exchange up but White has threats against the King such as Qxa6, Qxc6, Bxa6, and Rxb7. Nevertheless, the White king also feels somewhat unsafe. It seems that attack is the best defense in these types of positions. That suggests to me:

23...Rxe3! If

A. 24.Qxa6? Qd1+, 25.Kg2 Qxg3
B. 24.fxe3? Bxe3+ followed by 25...Qxa4
C. 24.Bxa6, either 24...Rxg3 diminishing white's attack and maitaining material advantage or 24...Re1+ with a strong attack should both work

D. 24.Rxb7+ (this seems to be the main line). 24... Kxb7 should not be played, as it allows white at least a perpetual check.

D1. 24. Rxb7+ Kc8, 25. Qxa6 with a threat of mate in one, but Black delivers mate first. 25...Rxg3+!, 26. hxg3 Qxg3+, 27. Kh1 Qf3+, 28.Kh2 Qf2+, 29. Kh3 g4+! and the rook enters the attack as well

Time to check

Jun-06-09  remolino: Oopps! I thought it was Black to play in the diagram position, in which Rxe3 wins as in my line. Of course if it is white to play, Rxb7 will win.

The diagram is more interesting with Black to play, by the way.

Jun-06-09  hedgeh0g: I figured it was Rxh7+, but I didn't see the combination through to the end. I also didn't notice Black's resource of check and capturing the Rook on b3 if White tries to exploit the pin on the g-pawn.
Jun-06-09  johnlspouge: < <remolino> wrote: Oopps! I thought it was Black to play in the diagram position >

You are victim 1 (and counting) of placing White instead of the player to move at the bottom of the diagrams.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Is there anything really wrong with 23 Bxa6, threatening Rxb7?

click for larger view

Black is forced to play a rook to the 7th rank, such as 23...Re7. White now has 24 Rb4, pinning the queen.

click for larger view

Now, if 24 …Qc8, then a series of exchanges follows. 25 Bxd4 Rxd4 26 Bxb7 Rxb7 27 Rxb7+ Kxb7 28 Qxd4 and white is up two pawns.

click for larger view

Jun-06-09  totololo: Rxb7! is thematic and easy to spot. The whole line was easy till Bb5 spent some time to spot the Qxe8 . It looks intermediate difficulty to me.

What looks really difficult is the evaluation by Anand of his exchange sac and the construction of the attack.

Is it home preparation or during the game ?

If this is done during the game it looks to me as Anand attack on the Russian game! Impressive!

Jun-06-09  Kinghunt: Rxb7 was obvious enough. But 28. Bb5! was tougher.
Jun-06-09  WhiteRook48: I thought of 23 Qxa6 protecting the d3-bishop and taking advantage of the pin on the b-line
Jun-06-09  beginner64: It was trivial to see that 23. Qxc6 or Qxa6 loses to 23..Qd1+, losing the rook.

So, 23. Rxb7 and the sequence of steps till move 27 is clear. I paused there to think what was the right 28th move, but could not come up with Bb5! Brilliant.

I thought the move would be to leave the queen at a6, and then advance c pawn to c6.

Either Anand exactly saw the 28th move before playing Rxb7, or he was comfortable with at least the guaranteed perpetual.

Jun-06-09  VaselineTopLove: what about 23.Bxa6?
Jun-06-09  johnlspouge: < <Jimfromprovidence> wrote: Is there anything really wrong with 23 Bxa6, threatening Rxb7? >

Hi, <JFP>. You skeptic. So, you don't believe in the one true path to victory? :)

We are lucky to have you around. Toga agrees with your +2P evaluation of the not-so-anemic 23.Bxa6. Fortunately for those of us who sweated to find 28.Bb5, it still gets a top-scoring +4P.

Jun-06-09  gofer: <johnlspouge> and <Jimfromprovidence> I felt that 23 Bxa6 came unstuck... ...and it didn't seem to go very far... ...but as always I missed the quiet move (like 24 Rb4) as the follow up!



I got my numbering wrong earlier and missed a possible King move for black on move 34


As <dzechiel> rightly points out 28... Rc8 is a better defense than 28 ... Re6, Ta! But I think white can do better than just being a couple of pawns up ( 29 Bc6+ Rxc6 30 Qxc6+ Ka7 31 Qxe8)

29 Bxe8! Rxe8,
30 Qc6+ Ka7 (not allowing the Queen to take with Qxe8+, just Qxe8)

31 Qc7+ Ka8
32 c6 Qc8
33 Qa4+ Kb8
34 Qb4+

Option 1
34 ... Ka8
35 Bxd4 Qc7 trying to stop the mate on a7 (not Re7, allowing Qa5+, Kb8, Qb+ wining the rook and still threatening Qa7#)

36 Bb6

38 ... Qc8 losing to 35 Qa4+ Kb8, 36 Qa7#
38 ... Qe7 losing to 35 Qa6+ Kb8, 36 c7!

Option 2
34 ... Kc7
35 Bxd4

Now there are lots of options for black, but nothing really fantastic, so it would be nice to know if there was something so good for black that means that white should have simply exchanged off with ( 29 Bc6+ Rxc6 30 Qxc6+ Ka7 31 Qxe8)...

anyone got a chess computer?


Jun-06-09  wals: Viswanathan Anand - Vassily Ivanchuk, Linares 1993

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu: ply 17 time 8min 36

1. (5.02): 23.Rxb7+ Kxb7[] 24.Qxa6+[] Kb8 25.Qb6+[] Kc8 26.Qxc6+[] Kb8 27.Qb6+[] Ka8 28.Bb5[] Rc8 29.Bc6+[] Rxc6 30.Qxc6+ Ka7 31.Qxe8[] Bxe3[] 32.Qxe3 Qd1+ 33.Kg2[] Qd5+ 34.f3[] Qxa2 35.Qe7+[] Kb8 36.Qd8+[] Kb7 37.Qb6+ Kc8 38.c6

2. (2.24): 23.Bxa6 Re7 24.Rb4[] h5 25.h4 Bxe3 26.Rxg4[] hxg4 27.fxe3[] bxa6 28.Qxg4[] gxh4 29.gxh4 Rd3 30.h5 Rdxe3 31.h6 R7e4 32.Qg8+ Kb7 33.Qxf7+ Re7[] 34.Qg8 Rh3[] 35.Qd8 Rc7[] 36.Qh8 a5[] 37.Kg2 Rh5

A help for those that cannot see the trees for the wood.

Jun-06-09  butilikefur: Hey <gofer>, that's great analysis. I looked at 29. Bxe8 too but I thought it just transposed into 29. Bc6+ Rxc6 30. Qxc6+ Ka7 31. Qxe8.
Jun-08-09  njchess: I remember this game so I knew the solution. Great game from Anand. Sacks the rook to activate a queenside attack. Quite suddenly, all of Ivanchuck's well positioned pieces are useless due to Anand's control of the dark squares. 23. Rxb7+!! must have come as quite a shock to Ivanchuck, given his previous moves.
Oct-31-10  sevenseaman: An exceptional winning play by Anand, masterfully avoiding the catches en route to a deserved win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Anand points out (in his book) that he prepared this whole game before he even sat down to play Ivanchuk then during the game he realised that 28. ... Qd5 would probably hold the game. So he thought that 20. Qd1 was better than 20. Ra3.

Rare for a whole game to be "book"...but it happens.

Jan-31-11  Lennonfan: I love this opening for white...i always beat my mate shredder with it anyway!
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Anand: "Gurevich and I had the final position on the board during our work in 1991 – an unusual experience for me! I consider myself reasonably well-prepared, but to have worked out the whole game in advance is rare."
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