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Lazaro Bruzon Batista vs Viswanathan Anand
Corus Group A (2005), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-22
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense Accepted (A13)  ·  0-1



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Given 16 times; par: 64 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-22-05  patzer2: I like the definition at

"Backward Pawn: A pawn that has fallen behind its comrades, and thus no longer can be supported or guarded by other pawns of its own persuasion."

However, if you prefer it was both a blocked and a backward pawn. Either way, b3 was the weakness Anand focused on for an endgame win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <artemis> Reminds me of some discussions I had about good bad bishops and baad bad bishops ... or about Little Bighorn for that matter ... it all makes sence, but, to unitiated, we sound like we went off the deep end. :-))
Jan-22-05  artemis: Gypsy: sounds like we went off the deep end? I dont know about you, but ever since I went through the college application process I got a little crazy. I got some help and WE're ok now ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <MidnightDuffer> What's it with you and that stalking stuff? And who expelled you from the The Kibitzer's Café?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <┬ápatzer2> Silman has a right to define things any way he pleases or any way that suits his pedagogical goals. But he is making a bit hash of terms, in my opinion. It's good to distinguish between a classical backward pawn, isolated pawn, a basis of a pawn chain, and so on ... Those concepts have been well fixed at least since "My System".
Jan-22-05  artemis: <patzer 2> that is very interesting since in his books Reasses my chess and The Amateur's mind he defines it as i did before on this page. In fact, he calls a huge amount of attention to this fact. One such position regarded black pawns on f7, g6, and h7. White had pawns on g5, and h4. When his student called the f7 pawn backwards, Silman did not argue the point. when the student called h7 backwards, Silman critiqued it as incorrect, pausing in his analysis of the position to explain what I just wrote above. This is very interesting that he would have conflicting definitions, although I believe that he would agree with my assesment on this based on his explanations of positions in his books.
Jan-22-05  artemis: Also, I will not argue with you that Anand focused on the weakness with HIS KNIGHT, but it he won due to the knight's favorable placement regarding the weak pawns. If white's knight had been in a favorable position, say c4 or c6. Then it would have taken a5 first and then blackwould have to combat two passed pawns, and an endgame with pawns on both sides of the board. It worked for anand, I had little doubt that it would as he had a great time advantage to work it all out. My point is simply that these pawns are not extra weak pawns like an isolated pawns, or a pawn falling under my definition of a backwards pawn.
Jan-22-05  patzer2: <Artemis> Appreciate you pointing that out. I have Silman's book, but didn't pay much attention to his book definitions. In this game, I just saw that b3 was weak, could not be protected by another pawn, could not advance, blocked a potential advanced passed pawn, and was therefore a likely target for Anand. I'll do some more research on the definition, and try to find a better term for such weaknesses, especially since I've started a tactics collection on "backward pawns."

P.S. Good luck with your college applications. Hope you get the one you want.

Jan-22-05  artemis: <Patzer2> Thankyou, I have already been accepted at my #1 choice :)!!

I believe that our dispute is over where the held pawns start becoming weaknesses, as In many middle games the amount of pieces on the board allow one side to defend at only a slight inconvinience, whereas in the endgame, using an entire piece to defend the pawns is difficult. Some advice that has helped me regarding the issue is that if you have a backwards pawn, you want to post a piece infront of the pawn and build up an attack on the file. Against blocked pawns ( and the base of a chain that is blocked, such as b3 in this game) Any attack you make will have to be from queen knight and bishop, whereas the defense will come from Queen Knight bishop and rooks, so the attack on that point is doomed ( accept in ideal positions). In the endgame the number of pieces diminishes quite quickly and it is a huge investment to keep a piece defending the pawn. I believe that Anand did recognize that b3 could be taken advantage of, and calculated out most of the endgame at about move 31-34. He traded off the rooks as quickly as possible. With the rooks gone, an attack on b3 may be much more likely to succeed, as Black does not have "extra" defenders.

Jan-22-05  siggemannen: isn't this a Catalan not english after transposition?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <...I have already been accepted at my #1 choice :)!! > Congratulations <artemis>. And good luck once you get there!
Jan-22-05  patzer2: <Artemis> Guess I'm finally educated and will concede that Anand's attack on b3 was an "attack on the weak pawn at the base of the pawn chain" in order to allow his "advanced pawn" on b4 to become a passed pawn.

However,is there a shorter name for such a pawn weakness? Any suggestions?

P.S. Congratulations on your selection to your first choice of Colleges. Keep up the grades as a good college GPA will become important for Graduate Schools and future job applications. If you haven't seen it, the video series "Where there's a will there's an A," available in many puclic libraries, is excellent in providing tips to make your college study time more effective.

Jan-22-05  artemis: patzer2 I have been searching for a way to shorten it and I the only way that I have figured out how to best describe it is this: held virtually isolated pawn ( virtually isolated since it cannot be supported by the pawns around it). When I have been teaching, all but one of the people who i've taught to play havent gotten far enough to really point out when pawns are attackable, and not. I'll ask my advanced student if she has any suggestions. I tend to think of held pawns such as the ones in question in this game as counteracting weaknesses that arent counted as a positional weakness without tactical analysis. Really that was all that it came down to, i.e. anand found a way to force his pieces to trade and finish in a better position than he was in before, which is basically the goal of any chess player come to think of it.

Thank you , and I'll keep up my grades, but probably more out of the fun of the learning then looking ahead to grad school or a job. If i can learn for fun, my grades are better any way.

Jan-22-05  csmath: Strange and uneventfull game. Bruzon choses inferior opening? Probably afraid to play some well known analysis. But what do you get with this? As white has no any advantage and is faced with a complicated positional wrestling with Anand. Probably Bruzon thought he can do that. Well this game is a proof he cannot. He should have taken the offered pawn with 22. Qxa5 ... Qb7 23. Ne1! and queen cannot be trapped though he will have to give a pawn back. Probably a draw though white would still have to fight for it.
Jan-22-05  bishopmate: Now Anand doesn't have such a bad tournament--actually i'd say he has a fairly good one. Three wins in a row
Jan-22-05  patzer2: <artemis> If there isn't a term, I think I'll use attack on the "pawn- chain base" or attack on the "weak fixed pawn" to describe these situations.
Jan-22-05  patzer2: After researching several sources, I thought provided one of the best explainations of various pawn structures, along with their associated weaknesses and strengths. Based on this source, attack on the "pawn chain base" seems appropriate to describe Black's winning strategy against White's b3 pawn in this game.
Jan-23-05  SimonBrazil: In the top battle between Bruzon and Anand, the Corus champion gave his younger opponent a lesson in the Catalan. Black's aggressive play in the opening gave him a very comfortable position (In retrospect maybe 15.Be3!? was better than taking on f6) more so 20.b3? was a serious concession, giving up the all important c3 square. Vishy regretted playing 21...Bc6? as now White likely could have captured the a5 pawn and lived to tell about it. Instead, he ended up in a worse endgame, with an isolated pawn of d4, and had to sac a pawn (although declining it with 29...Bf4 was also a good option for Black) White's final mistake came when in serious time trouble he offered a Queen trade (see diagram 2) (37.Qd6?) - one which Anand pounced on as the ensuing ending was trivially won.

Jan-23-05  patzer2: Anand was much better prepared in the opening than Bruzon. Although 5...c3 is a seldom played move, my review of this game and others in the Opening Explorer are enough to convince me that Black has already equalized and may even have the advantage. Bruzon's reply 5. Qa4+ is the more popular response, but I'm wondering if he shouldn't have considered playing 5. 0-0 instead, to avoid the probelms with 5...c6. Afterall, Bruzon lost to 5. 0-0 himself in A Stefanova vs L Bruzon, 2004.

After the slightly more popular 5. Qxa4+ c6 6. Qxc4 b5 7. Qc7, the opening explorer shows that out of 32 games, Black wins 7, White wins 3, with the rest were draws. I wonder if perhaps Bruzon played this line for a draw against Anand? If so, I think this is perhaps not the best way for this rising young Chess star to prove his mettle against a Super GM like Anand.

Jan-23-05  patzer2: I'm adding 18...a6! to my defensive move collection. This is where the game starts to turn strongly in Black's favor. The tempting 18...Ba6?! 19. Qa5 Rc6 20. Ne1! Bd8 21. Qxb4 cxb4 22. Rxc6 Qb8 23. Rxa6 = lets White off the hook. However, 18...a6! is a strong Super GM move, eschewing speculative complications for a solid positional advantage.
Jan-23-05  patzer2: Anand's 21...Bc6!? worked out OK, but was probably not his best followup. Objectively better was 21...cxd4 22. Rxc7 Qxd7 23. Nxd4 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Bxd4 25. exd4 Nf6 , giving Black a solid position with two targets for attack, including an immediate target on White's isolated pawn on d4 and a longer range target in the weak link in White's pawn chain at b3. Note that this is similar to the actual game, but with one important difference.

That difference involves White's error at move 22. White's passive retreat 22. Qe2? turned out to be a decisive mistake. Instead of passive retreat, Bruzon should have taken Anand's "bait" with 22. Qxa5!

After 22. Qxa5! Qb7 23. Ne1 (23...Ra8 24. Bxc6 Qxc6 25. Qb5 Qxb5 26. axb5 Rxa1 27. Rxa1 cxd4 28. Ra8+ Kh7 =) 23...Bxg2 24. Nxg2 Rb8 25. Qb5 Qa7 26. Qd3 cxd4 27. 27. Ne4 dxe3 28. Nxf6+ Nxf6 29. Qxe3 Qxe3 30. Nxe3 =, White survives with even chances.

Jan-23-05  patzer2: I wonder if Anand deliberately passed over the pretty possibility 25...Bxd4! 26. Nxd4 Bxg2 27. f3 Bh6, when Black wins a pawn with advantage?
Jan-23-05  patzer2: Of course the combination Anand did play to win a pawn with 28...Bxe5! , with a lot of help from an opponent in extreme time trouble, turned out to be decisive.

Here's a bit of analysis, playing it out in detail with Fritz 8:

28...♗xe5! 29. ♗xd5

[(A) 29.dxe5!? (is not a bad alternative, but still appears to lose after 29...Bxc4! ) 29...Bxc4! 30.Qd6 Qxd6 31.exd6 Rc5 32.Rxc4 Rxc4 33.bxc4 Rc5 34.Bb7 Kf8 35.Ba6 Ke8 36.Bb5 Kd8 37.Kf1 Ne5 38.Ke2 b3 39.Rb1 Nxc4 40.Bxc4 Rxc4 41.Rxb3 Kc8 42.Kd3 Rxa4 43.Rc3+ Kd7 44.Rc7+ Kxd6 45.Rxf7 g5 46.Rh7 Ra2 47.Ke3 Ra3+ 48.Ke4 a4 49.Rxh6 Ra1 50.Rh8 Kc5 51.f4 g4 52.Ke5 Re1+ 53.Kf6 a3 54.Ra8 Kb4 55.Kg5 Re2 56.Kxg4 Rxh2 57.Kg5 a2 58.Kf6 Re2 59.Ra6 Kb3 60.Rb6+ Kc2 61.Ra6 Kb1 62.Rb6+ Rb2 63.Rxe6 Kc2 64.Re1 Kb3 ;

(B) 29.Nxe5?? Bxb3! 30.Rxc7 Rxc7 31.Qd2 Rxc1+ 32.Qxc1 Nxe5 33.dxe5 Qc4 34.Qxc4 Bxc4 ]

Jan-23-05  patzer2: 28...♗xe5! 29. ♗xd5 ♗xg3! 29. hxg3

[no fun for White is 30.Bxe6?! Bxf2+ 31.Rxf2 Qxe6 32.d5 Qe3 33.d6 Rc5 34.Nxe3 Rxc1 35.Rd2 Rxd1+ 36.Nxd1 Kf8 37.Rd5 Rc5 38.Rd2 Ke8 39.Nb2 Ne5 40.Kg2 Kd7 ]

28...♗xe5! 29. ♗xd5 ♗xg3! 30. hxg3

[30.Bxe6 Bxf2+ 31.Rxf2 Qxe6 32.d5 Qe3 33.d6 Rc5 34.Nxe3 Rxc1 35.Rd2 Rxd1+ 36.Nxd1 Kf8 37.Rd5 Rc5 38.Rd2 Ke8 39.Nb2 Ne5 40.Kg2 Kd7 ]

28...♗xe5! 29. ♗xd5 ♗xg3! 29. hxg3 exd5 31.♘e3 ♖xc2 32.♖xc2 ♘f6 33.♖c5 ♖xc5 34.dxc5 ♕c6 35.♕d4 g6 36.♕e5 ♘d7 37.♕d6

[In extreme time trouble, Bruzon misses the drawing resource 37.Qe8+! Kg7 38.Ng4! d4 39.Ne5 Nxe5 40.Qxe5+ Qf6 41.Qd5 =]

28...♗xe5! 29. ♗xd5 ♗xg3! 29. hxg3 exd5 31.♘e3 ♖xc2 32.♖xc2 ♘f6 33.♖c5 ♖xc5 34.dxc5 ♕c6 35.♕d4 g6 36.♕e5 ♘d7 37.♕d6 ♕xd6 38.cxd6 ♔f8 39.♘xd5 ♘c5 40.♔f1 ♔e8 41.♘b6 ♘xb3 42.♔e2 ♘c5 43.f3 h5 44.♔e3 b3 0-1

Jan-23-05  patzer2: One possible pretty finish for Anand might have been 45.Nc4 Nxa4 46.Kd2 g5 47.Nxa5 h4 48.d7+ Kxd7 49.gxh4 gxh4 50.Nc4 h3 51.Ne5+ Ke6 52.Ng4 f5 53.Nf2 h2 54.f4 Kd5 55.Kc1 Kd4 56.Kd1 Nc3+ 57.Kc1 Ne4 58.Nh1 Kc3 59.Kb1 Nd2+ 60.Kc1 b2+ 61.Kd1 b1Q+ 62.Ke2 Qf1+ 63.Ke3 Qf3#

All in all, a beautifully played game by Anand, quickly securing equality and wisely managing the clock he found a small advantage which he played very well for an endgame win.

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