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Viswanathan Anand vs Vasyl Ivanchuk
"Fourteenth Move Shocker" (game of the day Oct-05-2018)
Las Palmas (1996), Las Palmas, Canary Islands ESP, rd 3, Dec-11
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Neo-Archangelsk Variation (C78)  ·  1-0



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Given 13 times; par: 77 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-01-02  refutor: i'm convinced that anand won this game by witchcraft, but we'll see :) after 15. ... Nxh4 what does white have for his troubles? not too much...he's down a whole exchange and has a slight advantage in space and development, but i don't think it's enough (obviously i'm wrong) :) ivanchuk greatly overestimated his position when he played 22. ... Rxc4? by no means was that forced, and but i think he was caught up in the moment, but IMO if he didn't go on the mad saccing spree, he should've been able to hold on
Aug-04-02  bishop: Refutor, I believe that Anand's exchange sac was sound as Ivanchuck could not develop normally without having to give material back. I really can't see an alternative to 22...Rxc4 because if Black moves his attacked Knight he loses the d6 pawn and then his rook.
Mar-26-05  csmath: This is absolutely magnificent game. This is Anand at his best, a masterpiece, the exchange sacrifice is sound and it is a deep one. You will not find many games of this beauty, this game counts as one of the best games of dynamic chess and a crown jewell among best Anand's games. This is also the best game of Las Palmas supertournament where Anand came in second. Gazza took the first place.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes the exchange sac is great - like some of Gary Kasprov's - the question is - not if it doesnt win? - but does it _certainly_ win? - and that is hard to decide - but everything is in White's favour.
Aug-01-05  aw1988: This is almost like "You have a winning game. So what?".
Apr-11-06  atragon: Good game from Vishy but Chucky, once more, overrated his position after the sac. Of course after 16. ...Bf5 white has only a very small edge. And then 19. ...h6 followed by Re5 could result in an even game
Oct-05-06  aw1988: This makes no sense. Why not 24. gxf5?
Oct-05-06  aw1988: Ah, I see Re1 would have also been crushing if the knight moves...
Dec-08-06  Vinchent78: Guys, I think the knight sacrifice is top class! Black is simply totally tied up. He can not develop his queen side normally without giving material back
Dec-08-06  wonderboymyth: R + 2B = 2R + N
Which could occur at White's will, given N on b6 and B on c8. White's fantastic position and the easily attainable bishop pair gives him ample compensation (if not more) for the exchange.
Feb-09-07  crwynn: The exchange sac is sound, but I don't think it's winning. Anand's best games collection suggested 19...h5 instead of 19...h6, so as to prevent g4. Also 16...Bf5 as mentioned before is not terrible for Black.

But it is also risk-free for White, because after playing d5 he can capture on c6 twice and Black must return the Exchange, with a level position.

Feb-09-07  crwynn: The point of the sac, btw, is that 3 of Black's pieces are completely frozen: the Nf5, the Bc8 and the Rb8. While the idea is ingenious and original (and devised otb), there's nothing of "witchcraft" in it; if anything is surprising it's that Black could have survived. 22...Rxc4 also seems to be the only chance at that point, because 22...Rd4 or 22...g6 (to stop 23.Bc2 from winning a clear rook anyway) allow at least with a nice material advantage to come.
Jun-27-08  crwynn: Given that White wants to play g4 it is surprising chucky didn't play 19...h5, then probably White has to play 20.dc bc 21.Bc6 Rb6 etc. and Black is fine.
Jan-10-09  WhiteRook48: White sacs the exchange and goes on to be a piece ahead?
Jan-23-09  VaselineTopLove: Anand's 13.Qh5 is a novelty which he found OTB after 35 minutes of thinking.

He felt Ivanchuk erred with 19. ..h6 and should have played f6 instead.

Jun-02-11  Jaideepblue: 14. Rxh4 features as #6 in Tim Krabbe's "110 Most Fantastic Moves of all time"
Jun-02-11  checkmateyourmove: indian canary sings a wonderful song
Jul-31-11  Whitehat1963: So, go ahead and call me stupid (I'm used to it.), but how does white go on to win this?
May-29-13  whiteshark: <"I played this game on my birthday. There had been only one decisive game in the first two rounds (Topalov-Kasparov), but I knew from experience (Wijk aan Zee 1996) that things can heat up very quickly! Even so, this was the only decisive game of the 3rd round.">

-- Anand

Aug-04-17  Tomasmental: I had my doubts on the final position after 46.Kh2, but I understand now there is simply no way to cover both threats 47. Bd4+ threatening 48. Bg7, and 47. Bf3 threatening Bxb7 at the same time on 46th black movement.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: The sac isn't so "shocking." White could have recovered the exchange (but a ♙ down) with 18. g4 Nxd4 19. Bxd6 Bxg4. What I found shocking was that he waited until move 22 to play g4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I was not shocked. Am I jaded, from seeing too many Petrosian exchange sacrifices?
Oct-05-18  dumbgai: That's a deep positional sac. White gives up an exchange but achieves a bind. The knight on b6 and pawn on d5 prevent black from developing his pieces, and he's forced to give back the material (and then some) to free himself.
Oct-05-18  RandomVisitor: Anand - being a GM - likely saw at least some fraction of the analysis below for the alternatives at move 14 - 14.Nc3 or 14.Nb4, and likely concluded that 14.Rxh4 was at least playable.

49/67 -0.07 14.Rxh4 Qxh4 15.Qxh4 Nxh4 16.Nb6 Rb8 17.Bf4 Nf5 18.Rd1 Rd8 19.Bc2 Ne7 20.c5 Be6 21.Bxd6 Rxd6 22.cxd6 Nc8 23.Na4 Nxd6 24.f3 Re8 25.Nc3 Kf8 26.d5 cxd5 27.Nxd5 Rc8 28.Bb3 a5 29.Kf2 h6 30.h4 g6 31.Nc3 Nc4 32.Bxc4 Bxc4 33.Rd4 b5 34.a3 Ke7 35.b4 axb4 36.axb4 Ra8 37.Ne4 Ra2+ 38.Rd2 Rxd2+ 39.Nxd2 Bd5 40.Ke3 h5 41.Ne4 Bxe4 42.Kxe4 Ke6 43.Ke3 Kf5

48/70 -0.63 14.Nc3 b5 15.Bc2 f5 16.Re1 bxc4 17.Bd2 Bf6 18.Ne2 d5 19.b3 Qd6 20.Rad1 Rb8 21.Qf3 Bd7 22.Qc3 Be6 23.Nf4 Nxf4 24.Bxf4 Qxf4 25.Rxe6 c5 26.Qe3 Qxe3 27.fxe3 cxb3 28.axb3 cxd4 29.exd4 g6 30.Rd6 Rbc8 31.Bd3 Rcd8 32.Rxa6 Bxd4+ 33.Kf1 Bc3 34.Be2 Kg7 35.Rc6 d4 36.Bc4 Rc8 37.Re6 Rf6 38.Re7+ Kh6 39.Kf2 Rd8 40.Kf3

3) -0.90 (30 ply) 14.Nb4 d5 15.cxd5 Qa5 16.Rxh4 Nxh4 17.Bc2 Bf5 18.Bd2 Bxc2 19.Qxh4 cxd5 20.Qe7 Qb5 21.Qc5 Bf5 22.Nxd5 Be6 23.Qxb5 axb5 24.Nb4 Rfd8 25.Bc3 f6 26.f3 Kf7 27.Kf2 Bb3 28.h4 h5 29.a3 Re8 30.Nd3 Bc4 31.Nf4 g5 32.hxg5 fxg5 33.Nxh5 Re2+ 34.Kg1 b4 35.Bxb4 Rxb2 36.g3

Oct-10-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 24 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 19...h5 20.Bc2 Nd4 21.Ba4 Nf5 22.Bc2

2. = (0.00): 19...g6 20.Bc2 Nd4 21.Bd3 Rd8 22.c5 cxd5 23.Bxd6 Rxd6 24.cxd6 Be6 25.Rc1 Rd8 26.Rc7 Rxd6 27.Rxb7 Rc6 28.f3 Kg7 29.Kf2 Nf5 30.a4 Nd6 31.Rb8 a5 32.Ke3 Rc1 33.Ra8 Rc6 34.Rb8 Rc1

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