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Viswanathan Anand vs Joel Lautier
London PCA-Intel GP (1995) (rapid), London ENG, rd 1, Sep-??
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: It's a matter of being familiar with this common endgame idea:


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The pawn cannot be stopped from promoting.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Play through the entire game; Anand essayed two pawn sacrifices that (sound or unsound) demonstrate the difference between the GMs and mere mortals. 11.e5!? simply looks like an oversight until you realize that White has an annoying grip on the dark squares as a result. 26.f5!? looks even more surprising--Anand sacrificed a pawn in order to exchange the Rooks! But Black's is the only decent piece he has, and without it he can't prevent the White Bishops from ruling the board.

You have to be really good to decide upon two such pawn sacrifices in one game.

Jan-06-21  saturn2: After 34. Bxb7 black has several ways to lose
34...Nd7 35. a6 Nb6 36. Ba5 or the game line
Jan-06-21  saturn2: <You have to be really good to decide upon two such pawn sacrifices in one game.>

Maybe it inspired black for the pawn sacrifice
32 ...a5 which alas seems bad. I would have preferred 32...b6

Jan-06-21  stacase: Try to win before you have to torture your brain cells in an end game.

Hmmm, that should be one of those little sayings when you post.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Also noticed 32...b6 <saturn2>, which might last longer, but White has 33.Ke3 with a mighty, and mighty ornery, King.
Jan-06-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: I wasn't particularly familiar with the idea, but I worked it out quickly anyway. :) Indeed, my third move was 36 a6, which is a competitive alternative to the game move.
Jan-06-21  AlicesKnight: Once Bxb7 is recognised as playable the rest becomes what older textbooks call 'a matter of technique'. Someone enlighten; there must be a name for the trapped Black B behind the white Ps - a "Fischer-bishop" perhaps?
Jan-06-21  Walter Glattke: 34.Bxb7 always wins, e.g. 34.-Bxc2 35.a6 Be4 36.Bxe4 Nxe4+ 37.Ke3 Nc5 38.a7 or 35.-Nxa6 36.Bxa6 Bd3 37.Ke3 Kd7 38.Kd4
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens Nxe4+.

Knights hate rook pawns. This suggests 34.Bxb7:

A) 34... Nxb7 35.a6 and the a-pawn promotes.

B) 34... Kd8 35.Bd5 Bxc2 36.Bxc4 and the advanced passed pawn supported by the bishop pair gives White a decisive advantage.

C) 34... Bxc2 35.a6 Be4 36.Bxe4 Nxe4+ 37.Ke3 Nd6 38.a7 wins.

Jan-06-21  Brenin: 34 Bxb7 wins a P, as a classic P vs N manoeuvre means that the recapture loses. Black was already on the back foot, despite his extra P, but 32 a5 and 33 Nc5, creating a potential passed a-pawn and then ushering it through, were mistakes. Black urgently needed to get his K across to the Q-side.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I should have calculated a bit deeper in my line B. Matters become more difficult for White after 36... Nd3+ 37.Kf1 Nxe1.

Anand's 35.Bb4, threatening Bxc5 and eventually Bf8, is considerably stronger.

Jan-06-21  malt: 34.B:b7 Kd7

(34...N:b7 35.a6 Kd8 36.a7 )

35.Bb4 Kc7 36.Bd5 Nd7 Looks good for White.

Jan-06-21  malt: Missed 36...Na6 37.c3
Jan-06-21  Cellist: I did see the first two moves and then wanted to play 36. a6, which wins clearly (+4). 36. ... Nxb7 would lead to 37. a7 (not 37. axNb7), with Black unable to stop the pawn because the N is in the way.
Jan-06-21  TheaN: Somehow I didn't think White would have time for Bb4. He does, given Nxb7 cannot be played in any line; I did see that concept, but chose a line that wins and might be <more practical>.

<34.Bxb7 Kd7> anything else here and the a-pawn's free, mainly 34....Nxb7 35.a6 +- <35.a6> Ke2 now works too but this slightly more forcing <35....Kc7> else a7 <36.Ke2!>


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Black is forced to play <36....Nxa6 37.Bxa6 +->, given that otherwise the dark squared bishop decides. 36....Kb8 37.Bg3+ Ka7 38.Bf2 Kb6 39.Bxc5+ +-, or 36....Kb6 37.Bf2 +- is just as effective as the knight is practically undefended.

Jan-06-21  TheaN: Actually, 35.Ke2, which was the main line I analyzed, is quite a bit worse than 35.a6. Under the line, Black loses the knight in both lines, but the difference is two pawns (lost and won on either side) by not forcing Kc7 immediately.

<35.Ke2<>> Bxc2!? 36.a6 Bd3+ forces 37.Kf3 to protect against an eventual Bf1! with Kg3 (37.Kd1?! Nxa6! 38.Bxa6 Bf1! 39.Bb5+ Kc8 40.h4 Bh3 ⩲ loses king side pawns). White's in time to stop the c-pawn so it still wins, but after 37....Nxa6 38.Bxa6 +- <White lost the a-pawn and Black keeps the c-pawn<>>.

Instead, <35.a6> Kc7 36.Ke2 Bxc2 37.Bg3+ Kb6 38.Bf2 Bd3+ 39.Kd1 +-, as the knight's already pinned, so there's no emergency defense left against the a-pawn and Black has no time for Bf1. After 39....c3 40.Bxc5+ Kc7 41.Bd4 +- <White keeps the a-pawn and Black loses the c-pawn>.

<Tl;dr, 35.a6 is the best move>, 35.Ke2 uses the same idea but gives away a crucial tempo, 35.Bb4 wins too but is more technical so may be practically worse.

Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Mower vim Bxb7 ghost achilles mouth bog tug guv mower clairvoyant vim clavicle off tanky gater peg mower vim wry brays hqs vim jump it is valiant lyeth zone press dutch quick tot add abracadabra mob cud dub huffles a5 it pears Bxb7 cervix?
Jan-06-21  Whitehat1963: How silly of me. I didn’t even look a that pawn!
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Oh-no too crude it hi vid Nc5 yes?
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Messing around with the pieces many moves after the puzzle position, I came to this point.

White to play and mate in 6 moves.


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Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I had the same impression as An Englishman above- sacking the e pawn without seeing a follow up and further play just shows Anand’s positional mastery. It impresses me more than the winning combination.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: missed this one. an extremely simple tactical idea, in plain view.
Jan-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Monday-style obviousness. Not terrible, though!

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