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Viswanathan Anand vs Predrag Nikolic
Groningen Candidates (1997), Groningen NED, rd 2, Dec-12
French Defense: Winawer. Advance Variation (C18)  ·  1-0



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Given 7 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-27-05  sheaf: ????????????
Sep-06-06  dramas79: <sheaf> if you are referring to 28...Qxb4, there is no better alternative. If 28.. Qf5, then 29.g4 traps the queen.
Jul-06-08  notyetagm: Anand vs P Nikolic, 1997

White to play after 26 ... ♘e7-d5?:

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Black last move, 26 ... ♘e5-d7?, has practically <TRAPPED> the Black e4-queen in midboard by cutting off her retreat along the a8-e4 diagonal.

The ever tactically alert Anand (White) sees that he can <TRAP> the Black e4-queen if he can get in the move ♖b1-b4. Currently the b4-square is <DEFENDED> by the Black d5-knight.

So Anand strikes with 27 ♖c7x♗d7!,

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the nasty tactical point being that after 27 ... ♔e8x♖d7 the Black d5-knight is now <COMPLETELY PINNED> to the Black d7-king and can no longer <DEFEND> the b4-trapping square to keep the White b1-rook out. That is, due to the <PIN> along the d-file, Anand can now play 28 ♖b1-b4!, <TRAPPING> the Black e4-queen.

Position after 27 ... ♔e8x♖d7 28 ♖b1-b4! <pin>

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<dramas79: <sheaf> if you are referring to 28...Qxb4, there is no better alternative. If 28.. Qf5, then 29.g4 traps the queen.>>

Yes, the fine point of Anand's strong tactical play is that after 28 ♖b1-b4! the Black e4-queen has only one <FLIGHT SQUARE>, the f5-square, but then the simple 29 g2-g4 (supported by the White b4-rook) rounds up Her Majesty.

(VAR) Position after 28 ... ♕e4-f5 29 g2-g4 <trapped>

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Outstanding tactical play by the super-tactician Anand.

Jul-06-08  notyetagm: And once again Anand simply demolishes the French Defense.

Here are some comments from the French Defense section of the great website in praise of Anand's French-killing prowess:

<November 2004

<First up is Anand's inevitable win versus the French. After this Update he has 14/14 with White on the website, or a performance of 3463 Elo.>

April 2008

<World Champion Anand has 20 games as White in the French ChessPub archives, and has scored +18=2. That's 95% against an average of 2656. Anand's rating performance is 3126 versus the French.>>

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: From the second round of the World Championship tournament. Anand had won the first game so he only needed a draw in this game. I find it hard to believe that 7..Qa4 is best here; using the queen to blockade on a4. 9 Qd1 was new; 9 Rc1 had been played previously. After 12 Nf3 Anand felt that he had full compensation with the two bishops as well as with black's kingside weaknesses. 21..Ne7? would have lost to 22 Bb6. 25..Bc6? would have lost to Rxe7+..Kxe7 27 Bc5+..Ke8 28 Qd6. After 25..b5 Nicolic offered a draw effectively conceding the match. By this time, Anand was confident enough that he would win this game that he saw little risk in declining the draw. 26..Qd5 was the only defense after which Anand would still have had a powerful attack after 27 Qe1..Rc8 28 Rxc8..Nxc8 29 Bb4 with the idea of Rd1.
Jul-25-11  Xeroxx: Nice play by Anand.
Mar-16-15  Brown: <plang: From the second round of the World Championship tournament. Anand had won the first game so he only needed a draw in this game. I find it hard to believe that 7..Qa4 is best here; using the queen to blockade on a4.>

As you may know by now, this is a major system supported by Moskalenko in this Wonderful Winawer book

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As to <plang>'s kibitz of some years ago, I must say 6....Qa5 always looked fishy to me, the more so in the wake of the hiding it took in the celebrated game Fischer vs W Hook, 1970. Interesting to see that such a renowned theorist as Portisch adopted the line as a young master.
Mar-18-15  Brown: <perfidious> the game you site is the only game won by White after 10.h4 in the database, and when that move isn't played, Black is doing well.

In any case, both 8..g6, ..Kf8 are playable. What may not be is ..Ne7, saccing the g- and h-pawns.

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