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Viswanathan Anand vs Peter Svidler
World Championship Tournament (2007), Mexico City MEX, rd 4, Sep-18
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Modern Variation (C89)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 19 OF 19 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-19-07  seaotter: tell chessmoron,... its not the only one they have running mate
Sep-19-07  Rawprawn: <beenthere> sadly I didn't post, because I just went over to the other games after 8...d5 assuming Svidler would have no plan, Anand would never give up the pawn and would strangle him. Not sure that was too difficult to call, but a rare lifting of the fog that usually covers my view of these things I admit :-)
Sep-19-07  armtwister: My God,Anand is playing like the chess God,Fischer himself!!!!
Sep-19-07  arnaud1959: I don't understand why Anand didn't play Bxc6 on the 36th move. I don't think he wanted to avoid opposite coloured bishops after Qxc6, Rxa7
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <arnaud1959: I don't understand why Anand didn't play Bxc6 on the 36th move. I don't think he wanted to avoid opposite coloured bishops after Qxc6, Rxa7>

36.Bxc6 Qxc6 37.Rxa7 Rxa7 38.Qxa7 Bh3 would give this position:

click for larger view

White has problems here. It looks like he has to move the knight, but after either 39.Ne1 Qe4 or 39.Ne3 Ng4 I think White would be kicking himself.

One of the most difficult lessons to learn in chess is whether to cash in the material or keep piling on the pressure. I think Anand made the right choice here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Great play from Anand and very interesting game full of hidden tactical ideas.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.g3 Bf5 14.d4 Qd7 15.Be3 Rae8 16.Nd2 Bg4 17.Qc2 Bf5 18.Qc1 Re7 <18...h5, Leko-Anand, 2003, 0-1.> 19.Nf3 <Anand plans to gain control of the b1-h7 diagonal to build a battery Queen+Bishop, in order to weaken Black’s Kingside. 19.Nf1, Almasi-Gyimesi, 2005, draw.> Bg4 20.Nh4 Rfe8 21.Qd2 h6 22.Qd3 g6 <Bc2 was coming, forcing g6. 22...g5?! 23.Bc2! f6 24.Ng2 weakens a lot Black’s light squares.> 23.Bd1 <This needed accurate calculation. Not 23.Nxg6? fxg6 24.Qxg6+ Rg7 25.Qxh6?? Re6 26.Qh4 Be7, the Queen is lost.> Bh3 <23...Bxd1 24.Raxd1 Nxe3 25.Rxe3 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Qe6 27.Rf1!. If 27...Qxe3+ 28.Qxe3 Rxe3 29.Rf6. If 27...Qxa2 28.Nxg6!.> 24.Bf3 <The natural position of the Bishop: on the long diagonal h1-a8 to put some pressure on ‘c6’ and protecting the light squares around his King.> g5 25.Ng2 Bf5 26.Qd1 Nf6 27.a4 Ne4 28.axb5 axb5 29.Ra6 Qb7 30.Qa1 Bc8 31.Ra8 Bb8 <with the idea Ba7 traping the Rook.> 32.Bc1 Nf6 <Setting a deep trap. 32...Ba7? 33.Rxc8, White wins.> 33.Rxe7 Rxe7 34.Qa3 <threatens Rxb8. If White plays to win another pawn with 34.Bxc6 Qxc6 35.Rxb8, then 35...Kg7! threatens Bh3. White has to give back material, either with 36.Bxg5, either with 36.Rxb7, with an unclear poition in both variations.> Rd7 <still keeping an eye on ‘a7’.> 35.Ra5 <35.Bxc6 Qxc6 36.Rxb8 could be a bit too risky after 36...Kg7, unpinning the Bishop, with the idea Bb7. White light squares around the King seem vulnerable.> Ba7? <Another trap, but it’s bad. Better the natural 35...Bd6.> 36.Ne3! <Suddenly Black is in big trouble. The threat is Nf5. 36.Bxc6? Qxc6 37.Rxa7 Rxa7 38.Qxa7 Bb7, Black wins.> Qc7 <36...Bb6? 37.Rxb5. 36...Re7 (to impede Nf5) 37.Bxc6!, the Rook is hanging.> 37.Nf5 c5 <37...Kh7 38.Qf8 Kg6 39.g4, White wins.> 38.Nxh6+ Kh7 39.Bxg5 1-0

Sep-19-07  Ulhumbrus: <beenthere240: It's always a treat to read over the comments on the game in progress to realize how almost none of us have a clue as to what is going on. It's an exercise I recommend to everyone. If you commented on the game when it was underway, go look to see how brilliant you were.>

A part of an answer to this may be that a part of what is going on consists of concessions made by either side, in this case by Black. …Rd7 withdraws the R from the e file and invites Nf5 by obstructing the Bc8 covering the point f5.

Another part of an answer may be that Anand was looking for a way to make use of the a file to invade and attack Black's side of the board, the moment Svidler gave him enough relief from Black's threats on the King side to do so.

Sep-19-07  znprdx: As ugly as Nh4 was, Anand's knight fianchetto was superb - the only way to effectively handle the incredible pressure on e3. A true masterpiece worthy of our next world champion:) although I hope Grishuk gets to play him in the rapid playoffs: that will be the best Chess this decade.
Sep-19-07  chessbond: Phony Benoni what if Anand played 34. Bxc6 and not wait till move 36. BTW I agree with waht you said...Anand was more focused on getting the King and not the measily pawn on c6.
Sep-19-07  Rodrigo Gutierrez: <WannaBe: <Rodrigo Gutierrez> Have you had a chance to watch (any) games in person yet? Do you plan to??>

I sure plan to (who would miss such an opportunity!) but tickets are expensive: about US $30.00 per round. So I'm waiting for the tournament to advance and for things to get more exciting. I'll be there this Friday in fact!

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: I'm very, very envious/jealous of you <Rodrigo>!!
Sep-19-07  patzer2: Svidler looked pretty good to me until Anand found a plan for white with 27. a4! to swing the attack to the Queen-side, after which Svidler's initiative with the Black pieces quickly crumbled.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <chessbond> I think that <Mateo>'s notes above answer your question. In general, a premature Bxc6 exposes the light squares around White's king and allows Black's pieces to spring to life.

Games where one side is attacking a weak pawn are often decided elsewhere on the board because the defending pieces lack the mobility to protect a second front.

Sep-19-07  SniperOnG7: It's games like these that makes it worthwhile that Anand plays 1.e4 exclusively. It is not such a bad opening move after all ;)
Sep-19-07  Resignation Trap: Anand and Svidler at the start of the game: .
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Makes you wonder why Svidler is grinning/smirking... =)
Sep-20-07  GazoGypsy: This brings Anand record with the Marshall attack to a very respectable 8-14-1. I get so excited every time Anand gets to use this line. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <orio24: Svidler didn't succeed to learn Petrov in couple of days (somebody should have sent 'Petrov for dummies'), and that cost him another loss.>

Good one! I like Svidler but Anand really was too strong for him in this game. Anand is like a huge nuclear submarine at the moment and the other players are having trouble staying on the board.

Sep-21-07  King mega: Anand, the next world champ!
Oct-27-07  notyetagm: From <;:

<In Anand,V-Svidler,P the soon-to-be World Champion tried the 13. g3 variation, and reached the following key position a few moves later:

click for larger view

Black doubled rooks on the e-file and seemed to have lots of compensation, but White simply brought his knight to g2, and his bishop to f3 to defend his kingside, then opened the a-file and won - very instructive!>

click for larger view

The above position is the game continuation after 27 a2-a4!, where Anand has completed his maneuver of defending his king position with the f3-bishop and g2-knight and has just sought to open the a-file for queenside play with the pawn thrust 27 a2-a4!.

Nov-10-07  Whack8888: This is a really great game by Anand, though it almost totally lacks any sort of 'sparkle'. Instead of brash and exciting moves, Anand just makes simple moves.

Anand wins through a superior plan of development, and that is an amazing thing to see, in my opinion.

The great thing is looking at the position after 17...Bf5 (where Black looks pretty decent) and then jumping to the final position--"Damn, what happened!"

As far as Svidler goes, this was obviously not his best tournament, but I am glad he stuck it out and did finally win a game in the last round.

I thought Svidler got a lot of nice middlegame positions in this tournament (his white game against Kramnik, and even his Black game I geuss, his Black game against Moro, I think he had a good position at about move 20 or so but then it collapsed).

His inability to finish out positions, either to hold a draw or to win them eventually lead to his downfall though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: Anand's second, Peter Heine Nielsen, commented this game along with several others in a Danish chess magazine. Here are his notes for this game (I have let some out - also, the translation is mine, I apologize for any errors):

1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 <If it is difficult to find ideas against the Russian, something similar can be said about the Marshall attack...Anand played the Marshall himself a lot the last six months before Mexico, and when I asked him if this wasn't a pretty obvious 'tell' that he didn't know what to do against it, he answered: No, everyone knows that anyway! This seems a correct estimate, but I hope it is evident that e.g. in the preparation for the Aronian game, we explored far into the details in order to find new ideas.> 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.g3 <This system was in fashion some 10 years ago with Anand as one of its main proponents. The somewhat clumsy g3 prevents Black from playing Qh4, and if he now plays 13..Qd7 hoping for a transposition after 14.d4 Qh3, White plays the strong 14.d3, while in other lines White plays the direct d4.> 13..Bf5 14.d4 Qd7 15.Be3 <A main position in this line. Anand spent some time on it during one of our training sessions, while I intuitively was not very attracted by the White position. Now, my intuition is probably not the decisive factor when choosing an opening line, but it turned out that Anand had actually also lost faith in the line, but had forgot to tell me. So with jetlag in Mexico I began looking at some of his ideas, and together with the computer I found some refinements of a certain relevance. And suddenly, probably in lack of a better choice, we upgraded the system to the primary line.> 15..Rae8 16.Nd2 Bg4 17.Qc2! <After 17.Qb1 Bf5 only 18.Bc2? is the actual error, but 17.Qc2! prevents White from committing that error!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: 17..Bf5 18.Qc1 Re7!? <Played by Gyimezi who has had a few training sessions with Gustafsson in the Marshall Attack, so we were warned about the potential of this move. The normal move is 17..Re6, but e7 is a more flexible square; for one thing White does not gain a tempo when playing Ng5, for another Black's queen is still eyeing h3 and in contact with Bf5. Most essentially: The only advantage of ..Re6, the possibility to start an attack with ..Rg6 is probably only illusionary.> 19.Nf3!? <Almazi played 19.Nf1 against Gyimezi, but the game was soon drawn after 19..Ref8 20.Qd2 Bh3 21.Bc2 Bxf1 after which Black regains the pawn with a drawish position.> 19..Bg4 20.Nh4!? <One of the previously mentioned refinements, one which I am actually a little proud of. Partly becasue I don't quite understand the move. It has something to do with getting the knight out of the way to a more secure square while White prepares to consolidate his position. On d2 it was clumsily placed, now the queen can have that square. In some cases, White will play Bd1, as it makes sense now to maintain flexibility.> 20..Rfe8 21.Qd2 h6 <A good sign, Svidler is not sure how to proceed with useful moves. That both sides play waiting moves is a sign that not much is going on, and that White, with his ekstra pawn, probably has some advantage.> 22.Qd3 g6 24.Bd1?! <Anand was critical of this move, but it is not clear what he should have played instead. 23.a4!? is recommended by the computers, maybe justly so. It is useful to open lines on the queenside, and White also prevents a2 from hanging in the lines after exchanges on d1.> 23..Bh3?! <23..Bxd1 24.Raxd1 Nxe3 25.fxe3 was the only way for White to fight for the advantage and keep the extra pawn, but it is not pretty. (25.Rxe3 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Qe6! 27.Re1 Be7! may have been the move the players missed during the game? The knight is driven away with tempo, so it no longer attacks g6, after which Black can calmly take on a2). 25..Re4 26.Ng2: I had a note that this was after all an extra pawn for White, but it seemed a bit to computerish. Black has lots of squares, and a march with the h-pawn generates some counterplay. A typical problem in the Marshall. In a load of positions White is a pawn up, but Black's compensation is positional and often enough to secure the draw.> 24.Bf3 g5 25.Ng2! <Anand later said that he really liked my Nh4 because it was a way to get it to the key square g2. Excellent, and a good example of why I seldom have verbal notes from my ideas. Originally I thought that g2 was a clumsy square and I had no intentions of deplacing the knight there. But on closer inspection I can see that it has some defensive qualities while making room for a repositioning of White's other pieces.> 25..Bf5 26.Qd1 Nf6 27.a4! <The kingside is consolidated, and a new flank, where Black is more vulnerable, is opened.> 27..Ne4 28.axb5 axb5 29.Ra6 Qb7 30.Qa1 Bc8 31.Ra8 Bb8 32.Bc1!! <A move one can only deeply admire, especially when played by a human. White has penetrated through the a-file, but his position lacks coordination, as it is cut through in the middle. But by maintaining central threats while freeing e3 for the knight White makes the Black position collapse. That Svidler was in time trouble did not make it any easier for him.> 32..Nf6 33.Rxe7 Rxe7 34.Qa3 Rd7 35.Ra5 Ba7 36.Ne3 Qc7 37.Nf5 <Black was worse, but the last moves have turned it into a clearly lost position. Now everything falls apart.> 37..c5 <Or 37..Kh7 38.Qf8> 38.Nxh6+ Kh7 39.Bxg5 1-0

(Skakbladet 2007, issue 9)

Jun-12-08  LaFreaK: arnaud1959: I don't understand why Anand didn't play Bxc6 on the 36th move. I don't think he wanted to avoid opposite coloured bishops after Qxc6, Rxa7 36.Ne3 is much stronger..
Sep-05-09  Everett: Just in case it hasn't been posted yet. Kingscrusher annotates at youtube.

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