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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Viswanathan Anand
Linares (2009), Linares ESP, rd 5, Feb-24
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Classical System Main Line (D19)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-24-09  SetNoEscapeOn: <Ulhumbrus>

Exactly. Since white is able to bring his king to the pawn anyway, it seems incredible that Kd4 wins and Kd5 draws. But I suppose those are the types of moves that the legendary endgame players (Rubenstein, Capablanca, Fischer etc) were able to find.

I'm also guessing that Anand defended perfectly here. That seems to be the last little bit in his game he needed to move him from "one of the best players who ever lived" to "one of the very best players who ever lived". His endgame saves against Kramnik and Grischuk in Mexico 2007 come to mind.

Feb-24-09  VaselineTopLove: What if Anand were to play Rb3 after 47.Kd4? Wouldn't that seal off the white king from the b file?
Feb-24-09  VaselineTopLove: and could Anand have saved the game had he played 33...Rxe3 or some other move instead of g5 assuming white plays perfectly after that?
Feb-24-09  fromoort: Wow! Talk about tenacious defence! Congratulations Anand!
Feb-24-09  Mulyahnto: <What if Anand were to play Rb3 after 47.Kd4?>

I think the pawn will queen

47. ... Rb3
48. Kc5 Ra3
(48. ... Rb1 49. a7 Ra1 etc)
(48. ... Rg3 49. a7 Ra3 etc)
(48. ... Rg3 49. a7 Rxg3 50. a8=Q etc)
The key here is that g4 is still on the board (I think). 49. Kb6 Rb3+
50. Kc6 Rb7+
51. Rb6 Rd3
52. a7 Rd7+
53. Ka6 Rd8
54. Rb8 Rd3 (54. ... Rd6+ 55. Kb5 Rd5+ 56. Kc6 Ra5)
55. a8=Q

But after 47. Kd5 The white king does not get to g1 fast as he can't queen on a1 without losing g4

Feb-24-09  Marmot PFL: < Ivanchuk cried at the end of the game for not winning this beautiful game.> Why do you post crazy things like this? You know Ivanchuk he would never cry over something as trivial as a chess game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willem Wallekers: Some people think chess is a matter of life and death, but insiders know it's much more important than that.
Feb-24-09  Phoenix: On move 46, there were plenty of kibitzers on demanding to know why Anand wouldn't resign.

click for larger view

(Position after 47.Ke4-d5)

It appears that White simply marches his king over to the queenside to guide his pawn through. Sooner or later, Black would have to sacrifice his rook, but since his own king would be cut off from g4, he'd have to resign.

However, a stalemate trick comes to Black's rescue. By playing ...g6 and ...Kh6, the following position could be reached:

click for larger view

Black simply takes the pawn and draws.

Feb-24-09  vanytchouck: <Marmot PFL: < Ivanchuk cried at the end of the game for not winning this beautiful game.> Why do you post crazy things like this? You know Ivanchuk he would never cry over something as trivial as a chess game.>

When he was young, he was well known to knock the pieces over the board when he was upset.

Feb-24-09  Marmot PFL: Hopefully he is more mature now. A man in his 30s who cries has serious emotional problems.
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: <Marmot PFL> Or a man who doesn't is a borderline sociopath.
Feb-24-09  Jim Bartle: A certain tennis player cried after losing the Australian Open final.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: After his game with Grischuk, this is the second time in the tournament in which Ivanchuk has followed a game from the recent WC match - this time the 7th one (Anand vs Kramnik, 2008). A bit strange that Anand, for his part, chose to play it as Black, since things didn't look so great for Black in that game; and Anand's 23...a5 (instead of Kramnik's g5 followed by Kf7) doesn't turn out to be an improvement.
Feb-24-09  Marmot PFL: I don't understand either game. I like black's king bishop and i would keep it with 17...Be7.
Feb-24-09  blacksburg: Karpov vs Unzicker, 1974

check out 24.Ba7! in this famous game, with the same idea as ivanchuk's 24.Bc7! - temporarily blocking the file with the bishop, to gain time to double up rooks behind the screen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: If someone can explain why 48 Rc6 does not work, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

click for larger view

Feb-24-09  yalie: <jimprovidence> from Rogozenko's annotations on

<48...Rg3 49.Kc5 (49.a7 Ra3 50.Rc7 Kh6 51.Kc6 g6

and now Black escapes thanks to the idea Rxa7 stalemate! The only move to prevent that is 52.Kd7 but then just 52...Ra1 and Black waits until white king leaves the seventh rank, after which he takes on a7 with stalemate.) 49...Rxg4 With the rook on e6 White would have played here 50.Re5, remember? See 47.Kd4. 50.a7 (50.Kb5 Rf4 51.a7 Rf8 52.Ra6 Ra8 53.Kc6 g4 54.Kb7 Rf8 55.a8Q Rxa8 56.Rxa8 Kg6 57.Kc6 Kf5 58.Kd5 g3=) 50...Ra4 51.Kb6 g4 52.Rc4 (or 52.Kb7 g3 53.a8Q Rxa8 54.Kxa8 g5 55.Kb7 g2 56.Rc1 Kg6 57.Kc6 Kf5 58.Rg1 Kf4 59.Rxg2 g4=) 52...Rxc4 53.a8Q Rf4 here Black places the rook on f6, gives up the g4-pawn and achieves a theoretical draw.; 48.Kd4 achieves nothing due to 48...Rc1.


Feb-24-09  slomarko: well one variation i see is this: 48...Rg3 and then if 49.a7 Ra3 50.Rc7 Kh6 51.Kc6 g6! 52.Kb7

click for larger view

52...Ra7!! 53.Ka7 stalemate

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Thanks <yalie> and <slomarko>.

The variation 48...Rg3 49 Kc5 50 a7 Ra4 51 Kb6 g4 52 Kb7 g3 53.a8Q Rxa8 54.Kxa8 g5 55.Kb7 g2 56.Rc1 Kg6 57.Kc6 Kf5 58.Rg1 Kf4 59.Rxg2 g4= is incredibly complex;

nevertheless, the position after 53…Rxa8 is indeed a table base draw.

click for larger view

Black has the opposition and cannot lose.

Feb-25-09  anandrulez: Ivanchuk deserved to win this as much as Anand deserved to draw ! It was a good fight , but I am not sure why Anand chose to play this infeior line .His a5 idea simply looked terrible , I thought Anand had some idea of whats happening but that was not true .
Feb-25-09  Ishaan: I think Anand has to raise his game a bit...not a very impressive line of games from a Champ.
Feb-25-09  outplayer: <Marmot PFL> I mean Ivanchuk shouted. That was what Leontxo Garcia told in the live transmission in the official website. To cry is synonymous of shout.
Feb-25-09  bramdas: i cried when i heard that Ivanchuk cried...wait a minute...its NOT true? <outplayer> grrr...
Feb-25-09  Udit Narayan: <outplayer> I think you meant to write "cried out" instead of "cried".
Feb-26-09  outplayer: <Udit Narayan>Yes Ivanchuk vociferated.
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