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Viswanathan Anand vs Hao Wang
Tata Steel Group A (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-18
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch. Keres Variation (E25)  ·  1-0



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sac: 16.Nd4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-18-11  Hesam7: Also note that Anand followed yesterday's game: Kramnik vs Wang Hao, 2011 for 12 moves and then deviated with 13. Qb4 instead of Kramnik's 13. Qa4.
Jan-19-11  sevenseaman: Anand in cruise control, and I'd say, a workmanlike win.
Jan-19-11  Eyal: <Also note that Anand followed yesterday's game: Kramnik vs Wang Hao, 2011 for 12 [13] moves and then deviated with 13.[14] Qb4 instead of Kramnik's Qa4.>

Yeah, an important difference between the two moves is that after 14.Qa4 a6 the bishop can't stay on the a4-e8 diagonal, and then Black can play ...Nd7 and immediately regain the c5 pawn, with what seems to be a more comfortable position.

Wang Hao was really pushing his luck repeating the same line against both Kramnik and Anand...

Jan-19-11  nariga: How about black plays 17...b6?
The idea is to break the chain of white pawns. Follow this up with 18...Na6
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 16.Nd4 is *very* impressive. I like how Anand "trades" sacrifices, in the sense that his piece sac for a massive pawn center becomes a Topalov Sacrifice (Rook for Bishop and powerful extra center pawn).
Jan-19-11  The Chess Express: <<<<<BobCrisp>>>> Beware of Indians bearing gifts.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: 'Anand shows his win against Wang Hao' -
Jan-19-11  Ragh: Excellent YouTube video on the analysis of this game by Daniel King:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: How about 20...Nac6 as an alternative?

click for larger view

Now, if 21 d5, black can give back the sacrificed material and equalize structurally as well after something like 21...Bxd5 22 Bg3 Qc8 23 exd5 Nxd5.

click for larger view

Or, if 21 Bg3 then 21...Qa5 seems to force a queen exchange.

click for larger view

Jan-19-11  Eyal: <if [20...Nac6] 21 Bg3 then 21...Qa5 seems to force a queen exchange.>

Yes, but it still looks terrible for Black after 22.Qxa5 Nxa5 23.Bd6! e.g., 23...a6 24.Bf1! Rfe8 25.d5.

(On a related note, Anand mentions in his review of the game that a couple of moves later, 22...Nac6 would be met by 23.Bd6! before d5.)

But indeed, if a real improvement can be found for Black it should probably be on move 20. Anand mentions 20...b6 (which is also an engine favorite) - he thinks that White still has a big advantage after 21.d5 and Black giving back the piece for two pawns because of the strong bishop pair, or alternatively 21.c6.

Jan-19-11  Eyal: Btw, engines enthusiastically endorse the piece sac – in the position after 15…Be6, a strong engine would very shortly show 16.Nd4 as the strongest move, with a rather big advantage to White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: This has to be the best game for Round 4.
Jan-19-11  poorpatzer: <Anand seemed to enjoy beating Wang> Really, cuz just about every man does.
Jan-19-11  yalie: <polarmis: Anand said afterwards he'd prepared this for the Kramnik match! As Shipov said in his round-up of the day's play, if 16. Nd4! had been played by e.g. Bronstein you'd have said "brilliant play" and so on, but nowadays it's just the computer's first line - so it's hard to be overly impressed :)>

what Anand actually said was that he looked briefly at the move briefly while preparing for Kramnik. At that time, his assessment was that it is pleasant for white. He then moved on to other areas.

It is only OTB yesterday that he analyzed the move in detail (after he played it) that Anand realized how good it really was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Eyal> Thanks for the comments about the position at move 20 with black to play.

If 20...Nac6, then after 21 Bg3 Qa5 22 Qxa5 Nxa5 Bd6!, black has not really done anything to disrupt white's formidable pawn structure and the threat of 23 Bxe7 (since the e8 square is covered), makes it that more unpleasant for black.

click for larger view

And, if 20...b6, I liked your 21 c6, below, which keeps the strategic vision of the original sacrifice intact.

click for larger view

So, unless it's best play, it looks like white can't be forced to take back material at this point of the match.

Jan-21-11  Rob Morrison: Wow!! 16. Nd4. What a really gutsy move. Of course it's tempting, but to do it over the board against a world-class player. I'd imagine the computers by now have decided whether or not it was sound.
Jan-22-11  talisman: game of the year...move of the year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

Feb-02-11  pablo333: I reckon that more is learned from Grandmasters by what they DON'T play, rather than what they DO. This Samisch line (E25) of the Nimzo-Indian Defence was used only once by Anand in world championship play (game two vs. Kramnik in 2008), and after that game fizzled out to a draw he never repeated it (switching to 4 Qc2 for said match's remainder & 4 e3 vs. Topalov in 2010). I am convinced that the Samisch leads to nothing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: First sacrifice of the tournament.
Apr-14-11  qqdos: In a number of comments posted above there are direct or indirect references to Anand's sacrifice 16.Nd4! as "home-brew" rather as though this implies something faintly unethical or devious. What else is a GM supposed to do if an opponent repeats 13 moves from a drawn game played the day before against a former World Champion? The GM cannot be expected not to play his improvement (in the case of this game it was in fact 14 Qb4! as distinct from Kramnik's 14. Qa4?!). Surely the night before he (Anand) would research his next opponent and note what he had just played and work out how to respond if Wang Hao were to repeat his (I would contend) "home-brew" variation. Perhaps the true objection of the critics, which I hope they may now be willing to admit, is the use of a computer to find the new move. In any event Wang Hao set up the position for Anand by choosing the inferior 15....Be6 instead of 15....Na6. After 16. Nd4 exd4; 17. cxd4 that White pawn chain is impressively menacing. He is down a Knight for 2 pawns but look at all that space and the awkward BN on a5. Black must be getting the worst of the bargain. Hence 16. Nd4! might not have been so difficult to find OTB!
Apr-14-11  sevenseaman: Analysing this game has been a privileged peep into Vishy's complex mind.

We do not need to slate home preparation as though it were something snide. My mind goes back to GK-Anand WC match, 1996, NY (perhaps). GK came up with some daring novelties that looked impressive. Nothing like OTB bravado about them; these were 'home-brew', too.

Giving up a N just to repair one's structure looks OTT but you reap the returns, soon enough.

For an amateur follower of the game like me, it has been enough, and very instructive, to try and understand why Wang resigned when he did (no time pressure, presumably).

Piece de resistance of the year so far!

Jun-02-11  SetNoEscapeOn: <qqdos>

Outstanding job of revealing the holes in the whole silly notion. As <Eyal> said

<Wang Hao was really pushing his luck repeating the same line against both Kramnik and Anand...>

Jan-05-14  nummerzwei: More of the same:

Uhlmann vs Robatsch, 1963

Feb-20-15  FairyPromotion: GOTD: Wang's Loss is Anandther's Gain
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