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Viswanathan Anand vs Garry Kasparov
Linares (1999), Linares ESP, rd 10, Mar-05
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-22-07  Voxation: Wouldn't this game end up being King + Bishop + Knight vs. King + Knight? Isn't that drawable? I know that King + Bishop + Knight vs. King is a win. But with the extra Knight for Anand, can't he draw?
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <Voxation> Some instances of KBNkn are won and some are drawn. This, however, is not the issue here. If White takes the pawn, he'll lose his knight: 51.Kxa4? Nb6+ 52.Ka5 Nc4+ 53.Ka6 Bc8+ and the N is lost (53.Ka4 Bc2#) So he has to move the knight. The only move for it is 51.Na7, but then after 51...Nxc7 the pawn is still taboo: 52.Kxa4 Kb6 and the knight is lost. But after a retreat by the king, the KBNPkn endgame is won for Black.
May-22-07  Voxation: Ohh I understand, thanks for your help Switching.
Aug-05-07  hellopolgar: ok this game bothers me. because i think that 47 Nc3 draws by exchanging pawns. so why didn't Anand play that move?
Aug-14-07  s4life: <hellopolgar: ok this game bothers me. because i think that 47 Nc3 draws by exchanging pawns. so why didn't Anand play that move?>

That's the first move I saw in that position. It's indeed bizarre that Anand missed a 1-move drawing variation.

Aug-14-07  KamikazeAttack: Anad was always a rabbit caught in Kasparov's head lights.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Anand was always a rabbit caught in Kasparov's head lights.> I don't think that is a fair description of Vishy's play in this game, despite the blunder. What a battle!

If you look at the comments on this page, you can see that it wasn't obvious to a lot of people that Anand was lost even when he resigned. Playing over the game just now, it seemed to me (if I didn't already know better) that the game would be drawn after 47. Na7 -- either White would win Black's last pawn, or would play c7-c8/Q, winning the knight. (Note that, even if White lost his pawn and exchanged knights, the resulting B+P v. K ending would be drawn.) So I suspect it wasn't so much a matter of Anand missing 47. Nc3 as analyzing 47. Na7 incorrectly. But it took some subtle play by Kasparov to show that 47. Na7 was a mistake. See the variations that SQ posted.

Aug-15-07  acirce: <Round about this time there had been a lot of talk about a possible title match against Kasparov. I think this started to affect me during 1999; instead of simply playing freely and easily, my mind was on other matters - making a good impression for the match, and so on. I think that I have now learned to shut these extraneous matters out of my mind, but at the time I wasn't able to do this. The game against Kasparov therefore assumed a particular importance, since it could not only decide the destination of first prize in Linares, but also influence our morale before a potential match. The game proved remarkable enough. I ran straight into some very deep opening preparation by Kasparov. Although I had analysed the same line, it was soon clear that my preparation had been lacking. In the critical position, I had analysed several continuations, but missed the one which he actually played, which forced White to find a very narrow path to a draw. I missed it, and was driven into a very bad endgame. However, I then started to defend well and, aided by some inaccuracies from Kasparov, I managed to reach a drawn position. Unfortunately, just at this moment I started looking for too clean a forced draw and I made a fatal blunder.

If I had salvaged this game, then 1999 might have been a very different year for both Kasparov and myself. I would have been given a huge psychological boost by saving a game against an important rival. Kasparov, on the other hand, would have known that he had failed to score a full point despite being handed a winning position from the opening. As it happened, our careers went in opposite directions: he went on to have one of the best years of his life while I went on to have one of the lousiest years of mine.>

-- Vishy Anand, "My Best Games of Chess"

Perhaps should note that he does not include this game in the collection, just tells the story about it in between two other games from the tournament (Anand vs Svidler, 1999 and Topalov vs Anand, 1999)

Aug-15-07  contra: Anand is not mentally tough enough when compared to Kasparov.
Aug-15-07  KamikazeAttack: All that melodrama from Anand just on one game??

What a wimp!

Kasparov really put a dent on his heart.

Aug-15-07  contra: Although your post makes criticism sound easy, I agree.

Reflecting back on your strengths and weaknesses is more important than reflecting back on your results.

Aug-15-07  anandrulez: Kamikaze : well its not just a game from anands perspective . He explains th importance of the game from various perspectives. You try to respect chess players
Aug-17-07  s4life: <KamikazeAttack: All that melodrama from Anand just on one game?? What a wimp! >

Perhaps you'd understand better if you start living off playing chess.

Dec-27-07  Gegga:
May-21-08  littlefermat: Black wins with

51 Kxa4 Nb6+ 52 Ka5 Nc4+ 53 Ka6 (or 53 Ka4 Bc2 mate) Bc8+, or 51 Na7 Nxc7 52 Kxa4 Kc5 and Black wins.

Mig Greengard claims (in TWIC?) that Kasparov had prepared everything up to move 26 or 28.

And the idea for 15..g5 seems to have come from:

Leko vs Topalov, 1999

May-22-08  Udit Narayan: Kasparov, the master of opening preparations
Feb-06-09  VaselineTopLove: I'm no GM but 47.Nc3 looks like the intuitive thing to do in order to draw. Instead Na7 seems complicated.
Feb-06-09  Kinghunt: 47. Nc3 would indeed have saved the draw. I like the move just because it clearly and forcefully wins black's a pawnn (48. Nxa4 after practically whatever black plays), and black has no winning chances.
Feb-07-09  VaselineTopLove: I think it's because GMs are used to thinking so deep and coming up with complicated analyses that at times they tend to sweat the small stuff and overlook simple moves.
Aug-03-11  kasparvez: Notes by Igor Stohl:[Garry kasparov's greatest chess games]-

"Dokhonian recalls that after 24. Bxd5+? Kasparov removed his jacket. He relaxed somewhat prematurely, as there are still some surprises to come.."

"27. Nc3!: This is the first one. Anand presumably planned 27. Nf5+?! but by now he realized this just loses to 27...Qxf5! 28. gxf5 [28. Qd4+? Kg8 and the fork stands] ...Nb3+ 29. Kd1 Bf3! 30. Ke1 Nxd2 31. Nxd2 Bg4 [...] The text move finally gets Kasparov out of his preparation and gives white some chances to save the game."

"36...Ne4?: Kasparov is in a hurry to wrap up the game but he underestimates white's defensive resources. 36...Nb7 or Nd7 wins."

"37. Nb2!: It's amazing but now the position is a draw."

"39...Bf5: Kasparov changes his plan to maintain the tension. His original intention 39...Bd5 allows Nb3! with a draw."

"47. Na7?: This blunder costs white the game. Anand could have crowned his dogged defence with the simple Nc3! White wins the a pawn and draws, as his knight escapes after 47...Kd4 48. Nxa4 Kc4 49. Nb6+ Kxc5 50. Kb2"

This loss must have hurt Anand for long. He ran into a prepared variation and was down in just 24 moves, and then he as if woke up and outplayed Kasparov brilliantly on the board. But just as he extracted a draw from the jaws of defeat, he made a fatal error and accomplished the opposite..

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in the 10th round; Kasparov's 5th consecutive win with Black (all Sicilians). Kasparov went on to finish an undefeated 10.5-3.5 a full 2.5 points ahead of Anand and Kramnik who tied for second. 12 Nb1 experienced some popularity in the late 90s but, after this game, essentually disappeared. 13..g5! was introduced in the 3rd round draw Leko-Topalov (voted the best opening innovation in Informant 75; Topalov had played 13..Ne5 against Anand at Tilburg 1998 and was able to draw from a tough position). 16..Qb6 was Kasparov's improvement (Seirawan:"An intiguing novelty by Kasparov. In round three Topalov pursued material equality with 16..Qa5 and munched Leko's a2-pawn. White got nice counterplay down the h-file. Kasparov takes a different approach. He reasons that his pieces are posed for a fine Sicilian-style attack on White's King and that the a2-pawn can wait."). The natural 19 f4? would have been answered by 19..Nc3! 20 Re1..Bxh1 21 Rxh1..Qxd4 22 bxc..Qxd2+ with a Black advantage. Anand had a chance to play for a perpetual with 24 Qf2+..Kg8 25 Qf5..Bxd4 26 Qg6+..Bg7 27 Re8+; after 24 Bxd5+? he was in deep trouble. After 36..Ne4? the game should have ended in a draw; a clear win would have been 36..Nd7! 37 Nb2..Nb6 38 c4..Bxc4 39 Nxc4..Nxc4 40 Kb3..Ne5! (40..Nb6? 41 c4 draws) 41 Ka4..Na6 42 Kb5..Ke5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Quote from Dirk Jan ter Geuzendam:

"...Quickly both players repeated the opening moves from the game Leko and Topalov had played in Round 3, until on move 16 Kasparov deviated. He moved his queen to b6, got up and threw a look at Anand that seemed to say: 'Well, here you've got something to think about. It's your move." In the press room journalists stared at the complications that soon arose in disbelief. Or rather, they stared at the evaluations of the chess program that they have come to rely on in disbelief, as it told them that Kasparov's position was dead lost. That was the cerdict that Kasparov had seen on the screen of his computer too, when he investigated this line, but he sensed that somehow Black's chances should be fine. When he finally fed the concept that appealed to him into his computer the assessment changed dramatically."

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: 50...Bf5 was one of the most miraculous moments in chess history, because, according to Kasparov, 'on seeing this move, Vishy turned pale.'
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Or rather, they stared at the evaluations of the chess program that they have come to rely on in disbelief, as it told them that Kasparov's position was dead lost. That was the cerdict that Kasparov had seen on the screen of his computer too, when he investigated this line, but he sensed that somehow Black's chances should be fine.>

In light of Dirk's dark side, his propensity for <a good story>, I thought I'd check this using Fritz 5.32, one of the top engines around in 1999. Within a few seconds, it had relegated ...Qb6 from +0.6 for White to +0.3. Behave!

Feb-14-16  dehanne: I suppose Kasparov would be able to mate with bishop and knight.
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