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Viswanathan Anand vs Alexey Shirov
FIDE World Championship Tournament (2001/02), Moscow RUS, rd 5, Dec-06
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Jaenisch Variation (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Game 1 of their fifth round match in the World Championship tournament; the second game was drawn clinching the match for Anand who was then eliminated by Ivanchuk in the semi-finals. 13..Bc8 was first played earlier in 2001 and immediately became very popular. 15 Qc2 had first been played a few days earlier in the first game of the Topalov-Shirov match which ended in a draw. In that game Shirov had played 16..Bd6; here he varied with 16..Qd6. After the game Anand found the strong line 20 Kh1..Bxh2 21 Nh3..fxe 22 Rxf8+..Kxf8 23 Ng5..Bf5 24 Bd2..Kg8 25 Rf1..Bg6 26 Nxe4..Qe7 27 Kxh2..Bxe4 28 Qb3 with a sizable edge for White. Missing that he had to return the pawn with 21 e5 or Black would have taken over the initiative.

Anand on 23..Ba4?!
"The exchange of light-squared bishops tends to emphasize the problems caused by the offside knight on a6, and without his bishop Black will always be vulnerable to the manoeuvre Nf4-e6."; better would have been 23..Qf6 24 Bd2..Rae8 25 Rae1..b6 with just a small White edge.

25..Qe8 26 Qb3..Qd7 would have been a tougher defense but Shirov, in character, plays for activity which just made his situation worse. White missed a quick win with 33 Rfe3 and if 33..f4 34 Bxf4..Rxf4 35 Re8+..Kh7 36 Qc2+..Qf5 37 Qxb2 followed by R8e7.

An instructive game - the weakness of the offside knight on a6 could not be overcome.

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