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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Viswanathan Anand
Tata Steel Group A (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-15
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation Traditional Line (B92)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Given 19 times; par: 58 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-15-11  Chessinfinite: Nice game from the World Champion!!. Pono blundered unfortunately for him,but it seems to have been a thorough grind by Anand to complete a win.

40. Qc8? was terrible leading to beautiful trap set by Anand !

Jan-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It would appear to be a miscalculation by Pono.
Jan-15-11  bharatiy: 32.. f4 would have been more direct and easy. I dont think it was that difficult to find for Annad, I thought he tried to use Pono's time pressure to his advantage and lost advantage on board, Pono blundered and Anand won, but it was reasonable equal before Pono blundered. But very nice middle game by WC!
Jan-15-11  picard: im thinking Ponomariov just mixed up the move order here. My very old engine suggests 40. Rc2 Ra3 41. Qc8 and white is ok. Pono played Qc8 first and then Rc2, which was in fact the real killer mistake. if he played 41. Qb8 instead of 41. Rc2 white would be losing but not that badly. for example 41. Qb8 Rfb7 42. Qe8 Qf7 (if 42... Re7 then the Queen escapes to b5) 43. Qd8 Qe7 44. Qxe7+ Rxe7. So basically Qc8 only forced a queen trade; the queen was not truely lost until Rc2. The queen trade would have definately hurt white but its possible he could have fought for a draw. I think when people write things like <Qc8? was terrible leading to a beautiful trap> they are misreading data from chessbomb when they watch the game live.
Jan-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <32.. f4 would have been more direct and easy.>

So (well, at least more direct...) would have been 38...Rxf2! with the idea 39.Kxf2 Qd4 followed by f4. It looks like Black's pressure on the K-side, with the white queen away, should have been enough for a win even before Pono allowed his queen to get trapped.

Jan-15-11  Ezzy: Ponomariov,Ruslan - Anand,Viswanathan [B92]
73rd Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (1), 15.01.2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6< Anand hasn't lost a classical game with the Najdorf (Playing black) since the world championship tournament 2005 when he lost to Kazimndzhanov.> 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.00 00 9.Be3 Be6 10.Nd5 Nbd7 11.Qd3 Bxd5 12.exd5 Nc5 13.Qd2 Nfe4 14.Qb4 a5 15.Qb5 Qc7 16.Qc4 <Novelty. Other moves that have been played here are 16 f3 16 Rfd1 16 Rad1 >16...Rac8 17.Rfd1< 17 f3 Nf6 would prevent black's space gaining 17...f5 >17...f5 18.c3 Qd8 19.Qb5< Whites eyeing the b7 pawn with 20 Nxc5 Nxc5 21 Bxc5 dxc5 22 Qxb7. >19...b6 20.Nd2< Threatening 21 Nxe4 fxe4 22 b4 Nd3 (22...Nd7 23 Bg4 With a great position) 23 Bxb6 winning a pawn.> 20...Nxd2 21.Bxd2 Bf6 22.Rab1 e4 23.b4 Nd7 24.Rb3 Be5 25.a3 Rf7 26.c4 axb4 27.axb4< White now would love to play 28 Ra3 - a6 >27...Ra8< But Anand's having none of that.> 28.Bc3 <Such a complex position. I was busy, so I left this position to be analysed for 2 hours, and my computer couldn't find a definate plan for white. So many moves from 28 f4 28 h4 28 Qc6 28 Bc1 28 Rh3, and it still can't make it's mind up what is the best move. Black does have the momentum though in all lines it seems.> 28...Bxc3< [28...Ra2 Anand probably gave this move serious consideration, but it is massively complex. 29.Bxe5 Nxe5 30.c5 f4 31.f3 Qg5 32.cxb6 exf3 33.Rxf3 Nxf3+ 34.Bxf3 Qd8 35.b7 Qb8 36.Re1 Qa7+ 37.Kh1 Qxb7 38.Qe8+ Rf8 39.Qe6+ Kh8 40.Qxd6 Qb8 and black is probably better, but it's all scary in the minds eye.]> 29.Rxc3 Ra2 30.Re3 g6< [30...Qe7 Theatening 31...f4 may be better.] >31.Bf1 Qf6 32.Rde1 Kg7< [32...f4 Seems very strong. 33.R3e2 Rxe2 34.Rxe2 f3 35.Ra2 fxg2 36.Bxg2 Qd4 37.Re2 Ne5 38.Qa4 e3 39.fxe3 Qxc4 and black is in all sorts of trouble.] >33.R3e2 Ra3 34.Qc6 h5< [34...Ne5 Seems pretty good. 35.Qxb6 Nxc4 36.Qb8 e3 37.fxe3 f4 38.Rf2 Nxe3]> 35.Re3 Ra7 36.h3 h4 <[36...Ne5 Still looks tasty.]> 37.Rb3 Ra2< Threatening 38...Qd4 39 Rbe3 Rxf2 40 Kxf2 f4!> 38.Rbe3 g5< [38...Rxf2! 39.Kxf2 Qd4 40.Qxd6 f4 41.Kg1 fxe3 42.Kh2 Nf6 43.Qf4 Nxd5 44.Qxh4 Nxb4 45.Be2 will probably seal it for black]> 39.R3e2 Ra7< I must say, this is one of the most complex games my computer has had to deal with. The players minds must be frazzled.> 40.Qc8?< This is putting the queen in extreme danger. There are virtually no squares for it to go.> 40...Ne5 <Threatening 41...Rf8 and the queen is getting trapped.> 41.Rc2??< Now the queen is doomed. 41 Qe8 was necessary.> 41...Rf8 42.Qe6 Qd8 43.c5 bxc5 44.bxc5 Rf6 45.Qxe5 dxe5 46.d6 g4 47.hxg4 fxg4 48.g3 hxg3 49.fxg3 Qa5 50.Rec1 Qa3 51.Rc3 Qb2 52.R1c2 Qb4 01

Well it seems the World Champion means business at this tournament. Everyone keeps saying that the Sicilian is out of fashion at the top level, but Anand seems to be in a mean mood.

The game was extremely complex, and my computer was freaking out most of the time. Anand had many opportunites to crash through on the kingside, but kept patiently trying to slowly increase his advantage. Ponomariov had problems trying to find a concrete plan until he decided to go on a foray with his queen which proved disastrous.

Seems like the World Champion is hungry for his 6th Tata/Corus/Hoogaven title. I wouldn't bet against him. Well actually I did, I put 200 chessbucks on Kramnik. :-)

Ponomariov has never beat Anand in classical chess. Nothing to be ashamed of - Not many Grandmasters have.

Jan-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Everyone keeps saying that the Sicilian is out of fashion at the top level, but Anand seems to be in a mean mood.>

"Everyone" also keeps saying that Anand should revert more to the Sicilian if he wants to start winning tournaments again... Actually, he already did it in London, where he played the Sicilian in all of his 3 games with Black (vs. Howell, Adams & Short). His opponents - assuming they play 1.e4 in the first place - usually don't go for the sharpest lines, though.

Jan-15-11  kingfu: Six Queen moves in the first 20 cannot be good against anybody.

And you were playing The Chess Champion?

Jan-15-11  Hesam7: <Eyal: Actually, he already did it in London, where he played the Sicilian in all of his 3 games with Black (vs. Howell, Adams & Short). His opponents - assuming they play 1.e4 in the first place - usually don't go for the sharpest lines, though.>

I am not so sure, prior to today's game he had never won with 6. Be2 e5 in Najdorf. The Scheveningen set up (6. ... e6) promises more winning chances as reflected in Anand's own record.

Jan-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Hesam7> How dare you have an opinion contrary to a pronouncement by Eyal? One must not disagree with the source of all goodness, who's always right!
Jan-16-11  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 11 Qd3 is 11 Nxe7+ gaining the bishop pair.

Instead of 13 Qd2, 13 Nxc5 dxc5 14 c4 gains a protected passed pawn on d5, and White has not relinquished the option of opening the Queen side by b4.

14 Qb4 places the White Queen in front of White's Queen side pawn majority, thus obstructing it. This suggests withdrawing the Queen to the back rank instead.

Jan-16-11  Marmot PFL: <Hesam7> The stats look so similar that I would say its a matter of taste, and also what line your opponent finds more difficult or is less prepared for.
Jan-16-11  KingG: I've always thought this line was quite comfortable for Black, and I'm surprised Ponomariov went into it without anything specific prepared. Actually, from what I recall both players took quite some time in the opening, so perhaps neither remembered the theory so well(which would be strange since it is a well-known line).

Another nice game in this line was Svidler vs Judit Polgar, 1999, and if White plays 13.Nxc5, then D King vs Browne, 1990 is a good example of Black's possibilities.

Jan-16-11  Hesam7: <Marmot PFL: <Hesam7> The stats look so similar that I would say its a matter of taste, and also what line your opponent finds more difficult or is less prepared for.>

I meant in classical games.

Jan-16-11  Hesam7: <KingG: I've always thought this line was quite comfortable for Black, and I'm surprised Ponomariov went into it without anything specific prepared>

That is true. Actually given Ponomariov's style of play I was expecting 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Qd3 Nc6 11. O-O-O


click for larger view

as played 7 years ago in the same tournament: Kramnik vs Anand, 2004.

Jan-23-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: TRAPPED PIECES: LACK OF MOBILITY, NO RETREAT
Jan-23-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: TRAPPED PIECES! TRAPPED PIECES! TRAPPED PIECES!
Feb-03-11  Texas Skybear: The itchy Q ended up taking on a horse.
Feb-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: As Ezzy's excellent analysis observes, after 40...Ne5!, White had to play 41. Qe8 to avoid getting his Queen trapped.
Feb-29-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-move score = 85

Par = 59

LTJ

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