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Viswanathan Anand vs Loek van Wely
Melody Amber Blind 7th (1998), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 7, Mar-20
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-09-13  darshandatta: Nice finish
Sep-23-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: After 35 Bxg6, White's bishop is poisoned, as per the game line.

35 ... Re7 could hold out longer, but White will have 2 pawns and an attack.

Sep-23-19  zb2cr: I remember seeing this game before, so no credit, because I just remembered the surprising move 35. Bxg6.
Sep-23-19  patzer2: Monday's are no longer so simple. Sure I saw 35. Bxg6 hxg6 36. Rh2 +- wins easy.

However, after 35. Bxg6 Re7 (diagram below)


click for larger view

White's best move is not easy to find.

After 35. Bxg6 Re7 (diagram above), Stockfish 10 gives the two strongest continuations as 36. f5! exf5 37. Bxf5 +- (+7.81 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10) and 36. Rxd5 Nxd5 37. Bxh7+ Rxh7 38. Qxe6 + +- (+7.39 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10).

Neither of those two combinations is what I would call "easy."

P.S.: So where did Black go wrong?

Black's game took a permanent turn for the worse with 25...Bc6?! 26. Nc3 ± (+1.14 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, 25...Nxc2! ∓ (-1.16 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10) is a pawn grab which creates complications that favor Black.

Sep-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair and a pawn for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens Bxe4.

The rook on d2 is ready to support the queen along the h-file. Therefore, 35.Bxg6:

A) 35... hxg6 36.Rh2 (threatens 37.Qh8+ Kf7 38.Rh7#)

A.1) 36... Kf8 37.Bc5+ Re7 (else 39.Qh7#) 38.Qh8+ Kf7 39.Rh7#.

A.2) 36... Kf7 37.Qh7+ Kf8 38.Bc5+ Re7 39.Qh8+ Kf7 40.Rh7#.

A.3) 36... Rf8 37.Qh7#.

B) 35... Re7 36.Bd3 wins a pawn and threatens Rh2 and g6.

Sep-23-19  EIDorado: I love the guys who take a peak at the result and then spit some logic nonsense about how they discovered the solution.
Sep-23-19  newzild: After 35. Bxg6 hxg6 36. Rh2 Kf8, I saw a different mate to <agb2002>:

37. Qh8+ Ke7
38. Rh7+ Kd8
39. Qf6+ Re7
40. Qxe7#

36...Kf7 37. Qh7+ transposes.

I agree with other posters who say the 'new' Monday puzzles are harder than the 'old' ones - not that I object to this.

Sep-23-19  Walter Glattke: Complete this with 35.Bxg6 Na6 36.Bxe8 wins for white.
Sep-23-19  saturn2: Maybe this is a monday puzzle I missed. 

I had 35 Bxg6 hxg6 36. Qh6 (instead of immediatly Rh2) with a possible follow up 36...Re7 37. Rh2 Kf7 38. Qh7+ Ke8 39. Qxg6+ Kd7 - and the attack seemed strong enough to me.

Sep-23-19  RandomVisitor: "Melody Amber Blind" in the title suggests this game was played blindfolded. Not bad for Anand to spot the hole on h8 that could be exploited.
Sep-23-19  malt: Have 35.B:g6 Re7

(35...hg6 36.Rh2 Kf7 37.Qh7+ Kf8 38.Bc5+ Re7 39.Q:e7+ Kg8 40.Qh7# )

36.Bd3

(36.Bc5 Rg7 37.Be4 )

Sep-23-19  patzer2: <agb2002><35...Re7 36.Bd3 wins a pawn and threatens Rh2 and g6> Before I looked at the solution, that was the best I could find.

However, I wasn't fully confident it was decisive until I plugged it into Stockfish 10 and saw 35...Re7 36. Bd3 +- (+3.51 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 10).

No way did I consider or attempt to calculate the computer best move option 35...Re7 36. f5! +- (+7.81 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10).

Sep-23-19  stacase: Not yer basic Monday Queen sacrifice, more like a Tuesday. Look for a Queen sac tomorrow.
Sep-23-19  TheaN: 35.Bxg6 hxg6 36.Rh2 is obvious but 35.Bxg6 Re7 with either 36.Rxd5 or f5 are not. Typically, I chose to just continue the attack with 36.Rh2?! Be4! and it fizzles out with just a +2. I probably would have considered the alternatives if Black opted to try to hold with Re7 as the position looks shaky, but it's not that straightforward. So definitely not 'Very Easy' CG, hint.
Sep-23-19  mikealando: Familiar clinical treatment from Dr. Anand
Sep-23-19  mel gibson: Stockfish 10 says:

35. Bxg6

(35. Bxg6 (♗e4xg6 ♖e8-e7 f4-f5 e6xf5 ♗g6xf5
♖c8-e8 g5-g6 ♖e7-g7 ♖d2xd5 ♘c7xd5 ♗f5-e6+ ♖e8xe6 ♕h3xe6+ ♔g8-h8 ♕e6xd5 ♖g7xg6+ ♔g1-f2 ♕b7xd5 ♖d1xd5 ♔h8-g7 ♔f2-f3 ♔g7-f7 ♖d5xb5 ♖g6-c6 ♗e3-d4 h7-h5 ♖b5-b7+ ♔f7-e6 ♔f3-e4 h5-h4 ♖b7-h7 ♖c6-c8 ♖h7xh4 ♔e6-e7 ♖h4-h7+ ♔e7-e6 ♖h7-h6+ ♔e6-e7 ♖h6-f6 ♔e7-d7 ♔e4-d5 ♖c8-d8 ♖f6-f7+ ♔d7-c8+ ♔d5-c6 ♖d8-e8 ♖f7-h7 ♔c8-b8 ♔c6-d6 ♖e8-d8+ ♖h7-d7 ♖d8-e8 e5-e6 ♔b8-c8) +10.81/39 423)

score for White +10.81 depth 39

Sep-23-19  DrGridlock: What makes this puzzle difficult is labeling it a "Monday" puzzle.

Yes, 35 Bxg6 opens up black's kingside in a way that will become very uncomfortable. However, as Patzer points out, after 35 Re7 there is no quick path to a mate or sizable material gain (the usual fruits of a Monday move).

Sep-23-19  RandomVisitor: Black missed 25...Nxc2, but after 26.Rc1 it is difficult to "see" if the knight, which is now pinned to the Queen, is trapped. Black can continue 26...Red8 27.Rdxc2 Qxc2 28.Rxc2 Rd1+ with a good position.

After 25...Nxc2, other White responses confirm Black's advantage:


click for larger view

Stockfish_19091615_x64_modern:

44/69 15:53 -1.34 26.Nc3 Red8 27.Bxe4 Rxd2 28.Bxd2 Nd4 29.Be1 Bxe4+ 30.Nxe4 Nf5 31.Qd3 Be7 32.Qf3 Kg7 33.Nd6 Nxd6 34.exd6 Bxd6 35.Qc3+ Kf8 36.Qxc7 Bxc7 37.Rc1 Ke8 38.Kg2 Kd7 39.Kf3 Bd6 40.Rxc8 Kxc8 41.Ke4 Kc7 42.Bf2 Bf8 43.b3 b5 44.Ke5 Bg7+ 45.Ke4 h6 46.axb5 axb5 47.Be3 Kd6 48.h3 Bf8 49.Bf2 h5 50.Be3 Kd7 51.Ke5 Be7 52.Bf2 b4 53.Bd4 Kc7 54.Be3 Kc6 55.Bd4

44/66 15:53 -1.61 26.Bg1 Nb4 27.Nc3 Red8 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.Rxd8 Qxd8 30.Bxe4 Nd5 31.Qf3 Nxc3 32.Bxb7 Nxa4 33.b3 Nc5 34.Bxc5 Bxc5 35.Bxa6 Qd2 36.Be2 Be3 37.Kg2 h6 38.gxh6 Bxf4 39.Qa8+ Kh7 40.Qe4 Bxh6 41.h4 Kg7 42.Kf2 Kg8 43.Kg2 Qb2 44.h5 gxh5 45.Kg3 Qxb3+ 46.Kf2 Qh3 47.Qg2+ Qxg2+ 48.Kxg2 Bg7 49.Bxh5 Bxe5 50.Be2 Kg7 51.Kh3 f5 52.Bd1 Kf7

44/108 15:53 -2.22 26.Bf2 Red8 27.Nc3 Bb4 28.Rxd8+ Rxd8 29.Rxd8+ Qxd8 30.Bxe4 Bxc3 31.Bxb7 Bxb2 32.Qf3 Qd2 33.Bxa6 Bd4 34.Qa8+ Kg7 35.Qd8 Qd1+ 36.Kg2 Ne3+ 37.Bxe3 Qg4+ 38.Kf1 Qf3+ 39.Ke1 Qxe3+ 40.Kd1 Qf3+ 41.Kc2 Qe4+ 42.Kd1 Bc5 43.Bb5 Qh1+ 44.Kc2 Qxh2+ 45.Qd2 Qh1 46.Kc3 Qe4 47.Kb2 Qf3 48.Kc2 Bf8 49.Qd4 Qh1 50.Bd3 Qg2+ 51.Kc3 Bc5 52.Qd8 Qg1 53.Kc4 Qd1 54.Kb5 Qb3+ 55.Kc6 Qxa4+ 56.Kc7 Bf8

Sep-23-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, my old Indian friend Vishy finally found 35.Bxg6!,hxg6 36.Rh2 with a mate attack. Unfortunately, this brilliant chess player isn't still world champion anymore.
Sep-23-19  jinkinson: Dammit I didn't see this "easy" puzzle, since I only thought of (and analyzed) Qxh7+ or Rh2 and could tell neither of them would work.
Sep-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <patzer2:
...

No way did I consider or attempt to calculate the computer best move option 35...Re7 36. f5! +- (+7.81 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10).>

Neither I took f5 into account. I was focused on the g6 push.

Sep-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I did not fully trust the solution 35 Bxg6 because it seemed to me that Black can struggle on for a while if he defends h7 instead of accepting the proffered bishop. But Black's position after 35...Re7 36 f5 really does fall apart.
Sep-23-19  payan: 35. Qxh7+Kxh7 36. Rh2+ Kg7 37. Bxg6 Kxg6
38. Rh6+ Kf5 39. Rf6+Ke4 was brilliant but 39-..Kg4 is a winner move
Sep-23-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: Not the most well-chosen puzzle. Taking the analysis as far as I did and posted about is OK for Monday/Tuesday difficulty. But actually working through White's best lines is midweekish at best.

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