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Viswanathan Anand vs Vassily Ivanchuk
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001/02), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Dec-13
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. General (B30)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-01-02  Dirac: What was Anand's blunder?
Jul-01-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: That's a tough question to answer. I thought White was going to be OK until the very end.

35...e4! was a killer move. Since 36. Qg4 turned into a lost endgame, perhaps an improvement there could be found.

Where's bishop? He might have an idea.

Jul-02-02  Dirac: Yes, e4 was certainly very good. I thought 29...Qc8 was clever of Ivanchuk.

The move I don't really understand is Anand's 33Qd1. Anyone?

Jul-02-02  mprchess: i think 33.Qd1 was made for either protection of the rook (why not trade it??) or so that if the rooks dont trade white could utilize e4 but after 33... Qf8 the plan was useless.
Jul-02-02  Dirac: I think it actually becomes clear if you look at the position after 32Rxf5.

Let's say Anand tried 33Rxf5. Ivanchuk will reply with 33...Qxf5, with potentially devastating consequences, given White's vulnerable king and the presence of Black's knight on g6.

Anand's 33Qd1 was as far as I can see the best move at that point, but he was already in a position where he could not prevent 35...e4!

Which I suppose brings us back to the question of where, exactly, he blundered.

Jul-02-02  bishop: Maybe Both 23.Bc3 and 24.Qb3 might not have been the best as they took pieces away from the kingside.The consequences of the very strong move 27...f3! were probably noticed to late by Anand. 33.Qd1 was an attempt to defend against the coming queen and knight attack but the excellent 35...e4! made a successfull defense to this assault problematical.
Jul-03-02  Dirac: That was a nice analysis, Bishop. I think Anand was trying to stage an attack on Ivanchuk's kingside, and felt 23.Bc3 and 24.Qb3 necessary. You're right about 27...f3! This set the stage for 29...Qc8.

Ivanchuk deserved this win.

Feb-21-04  karlzen: Ivanchuk certainly knew how to counter the Nf3-d2-f1-e3 maneouvre. He exchanged off both his opponents' knights and then showed that knight was stronger than bishop in the ensuing closed position. Nimzovitch couldn't have done it better himself.
Nov-15-05  azaris: White might be strategically bankrupt already after 22...f5. Placing the queen on b3 certainly didn't help any. What active plan did Anand have in mind that could be pursued there?
Feb-04-07  positionalgenius: Ouch. Ivanchuk's final moves are indeed impressive.
Feb-26-07  yalie: 24.qb3 appears to be big blunder .. even though Anand did not have a plan of attack, he should have bunkered down with, say, b3 and gone for the draw
Feb-03-14  newzild: A contribution to the debate below regarding the search for Anand's decisive error: Peter Leko mentioned this game while commentating live on the game Nakamura - Gelfand, Zurich 2014, which could have resulted in a similar pawn structure in one variation. He said that it was a mistake to capture on e3 with the f2 pawn, because it creates a bad dark-squared bishop and gives Black the long-term plan of f5-f4, etc. He then refered listeners to this game as an instructive example.
Jan-03-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: After draws in the first three games of the four game semi final match of the World Championship tournament this win clinched the match for Ivanchuk who was then defeated by Ponomariov in the finals. It was unusual for Anand to avoid the mainline Sicilian lines but he has in the past expressed respect for Ivanchuk's theoretical knowledge and that may have influenced his decision. 7..Nd7 was a new move; 7..Bg4, 7..0-0, 7..Be6, 7..a6 and 7..Na5 hads been played previously. 23 Bc3? misplaced the bishop; Kasparov suggested 23 Qh5..Qd7 24 b3..Rf6 25 d4. 24 Qb3?! misplaced the queen; 24 Qh5 looks like an improvement. Ivanchuk's pawn sacrifice 27..f3! kept the bishop passive. Perhaps 28 g3..Qd7 29 Kh2..Rf5 30 g4..R5f6 31 Kg3 could have been tried. White had to return material with 32 f5 due to 32 Rf3..Qg4 33 Rg3..Qe2+ 34 Rg2..Qf3 35 Rg3..Qf2+ 36 Rg2..Rxh3+ 37 Kxh3..Qh4#.

Very nice effort by Ivanchuk and a good example of how well a queen and knight cooperate.

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