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Viswanathan Anand vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Grand Slam Chess Final (2011), Sao Paulo BRA, rd 3, Sep-28
Spanish Game: Schliemann Defense (C63)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-29-11  frogbert: <Also, I'm not sure what "opportunities" you're referring to.>

let me show you two of the clearer ones, then:

1) the move sequence 29 to 32

black could have played: 29... Qxa2 after which black is two pawns up with white only having slight compensation for one of them. play might continue 30. Kg1 Qe2 31. h3 Bg8 32. Rd8 Qe3 33. Kh2 (there's nothing better) Qf4+ 34. Qxf4 exf4 and black's simply winning:

click for larger view

instead play continued 29... Qe2!? 30. h3 h6?! (snatching the 2nd pawn with Bxa2 is still better) 31. Kh2 and now the lemon 31... Qe3? and white draws with 32. Rd6! which wins back the pawn:

click for larger view

so, from a winning position on move 29 to a very drawish one 3 moves later. to me that's a clear case of a "missed opportunity".

after 32. Rd6! black doesn't have anything better than 32... Qf4+ (or 32... Qg5, or moves that lead to immediate repetition and draw) due to white's threat of Rxe6 follwed by Qd8+ and picking up the rook with the next check. after 32... Qf4+ 33. exf4 exf4 34. Nd3 we've reached a very drawish end game (black's f-pawn drops in the very next moves).

click for larger view

2) move 36, where it looks like ivanchuk simply forgot to exchange on e4 first:

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instead of 36... Bxa2?! as played, black wins comfortably with 36... Qxe4 37. Nxe4 <Bxa2> 38. Re8 a5! 39. Ra8 b6 40. Ra6 Rf7! 41. Rxb6 Bd5 42. Nd6 Rf2+ etc. eating white's remaining pawns and heading for a winning R+2P versus R ending:

click for larger view

in addition to being practically won, the ending is much easier to play for black <without> the queens on. as we saw in the game, anand could keep making things difficult for ivanchuk due to the white queen and the possibility for perpetuals (or even mate cheepos if black became really careless).

i'm not sure at which point anand made the supposedly "crucial mistake" in the queen ending - it seemed won for black no matter what white did in the end...

Sep-29-11  madlydeeply: Chucky Shliemanns! that says it all. Chucky's the most fearless player yet agian!
Sep-29-11  frogbert: <Ivanchuk took advantage of some inaccuracies by Anand in the middlegame, seized the advantage and never looked back.>

uhm, no. he gave up his entire advantage at least a couple of times, but anand failed to exploit it.

< If you mean Rybka/Houdini's eval shifted by 0.20 in White's favour when Black played a slightly inferior queen move, I would hardly call that an opportunity.>

no, i'm talking result-changing errors, like the two series of moves pointed out above - which both turned a win to a draw (from ivanchuk's point of view), and a loss to a draw to a loss (from anand's, when he got and then failed to take advantage of the opportunity).

i wouldn't refer to any of the above as blunders, but they were still potentially result-changing errors.

Sep-29-11  frogbert: also, black's move 40 offered anand an opportunity (which he wasted straight away - seemingly he played his 41st move a tempo, which may have cost him the game):

click for larger view

here 40... Kg8 seems to win for black, while after the played 40... Kg7? white has active options (the game continued 41. Nd3?! which is natural but which probably loses). instead the following is very interesting:

41. Qe5+ Qf6 42. Qc7+ Qg6 43. Nd3!

click for larger view

white is now much more active than after the slightly passive 41. Nd3?! and we can consider one line that emphasize the importance of "fast pawns" compared to "many pawns":

43... Bd5!? 44. c4! Bxc4 45. Ne5+ Kg5 46. Nxc4 Qf2+ 47. Kh1 Qf1+ 48. Kh2 Qxc4

click for larger view

looking promising for black? less than it seems: 47. Qe5+ Kg6 (Kh4 would be unfortunate ;o) 48. Qh5+ Kg7 49. Qe5+ Kf7 50. Qh5+ Qe7 51. Qh4+ Kd7 52. Qxh6

click for larger view

black's extra pawn is less important than white's "fast pawn" on g4. compare this position to some of the comfortably winning end games (without queens on) that black could've chosen earlier on. my guess is that the above position would've been drawn (there is no "true answer" available).

of course, black has other options than 43... Bd5, but it's very hard for black to win regardless.

Sep-30-11  visayanbraindoctor: When I checked on the Schliemann in CG, it seems that GM Radjabov is its main practitioner among present GMs. See <FSR's> post above.

It's all time greatest practitioner was the great American champion Marshall.

Both Raja and Marshall have good results with it. Raja has employed it 3x this year alone.

Marshall used it 5x in the famed 1903 Monte Carlo tournament scoring wins against GM caliber players Taubenhaus and Teichmann (who is probably a 2700 player by today's standards). Marshall kept on employing it regularly until 1909, when he lost 3 games with it, one to then reigning US champion Showalter and two to Capablanca, in his 1909 matches with them, after which he stopped playing it against high level opposition. Both Showalter and Capa played the more aggressive 4. Nc3 variation instead of Anand's conservative 4. d3.

Perhaps Anand should have played more aggressively from the beginning instead of see-sawing from a conservative opening option to an unsound middle game attack that fell flat.

The endgame was a nice grind by Ivanchuk, who kept on finding ways to retain his advantage.

Sep-30-11  scormus: <frogbert> very nice analysis, a lot of work you put into that. Yes, there were mistakes on both sides but such was the tension in the position, the player who doesn't slip under the pressure problably isn't human.

Even so, ... Kg8 had the great merit of avoiding check next move so slightly surprising Chuky played Kg7. In these situations I would be guided by the priciple "when in doubt, give check" So again surprising Vishy didnt play Qe5+. These alternative moves for both players seem too obvious to have been overlooked, so maybe they considered and rejected them.

Whatever, a great heavyweight battle that kept me up till after 1 a.m. here in Europe.

Sep-30-11  arkansaw: days of Anand's imminent retirement are not far off :(
Sep-30-11  sevenseaman: This loss is going to rankle as Anand got outplayed in the opening, a much favored one for Anand I think.
Oct-01-11  frogbert: <very nice analysis, a lot of work you put into that.>

thanks, scormus.

<Yes, there were mistakes on both sides but such was the tension in the position, the player who doesn't slip under the pressure problably isn't human.>

certainly. i simply couldn't agree that anand was not given some opportunities to counter after he first found himself in a losing position. both against aronian in round 4 and anand in round 3 ivanchuk nearly let the win slip. but while aronian only got one chance (due to Rxf7?! where Bc3 or Bc5 was clearly stronger), anand was given several chances to get inside the drawing range.

still, ivanchuk deservedly won both games, of course. it's more a reflexion of the games (in particular the anand one) being far from "flawless". still, i have to admit being impressed with how extremely precisely ivanchuk (and aronian) played for several moves in a pretty crazy middlegame position in round 4. one thing is the complications that actually were played out on the board, another the additional and even "worse" side-lines that didn't materialize.

but aronian's two most serious mistakes were probably both worse than the worst mistake by anand - if it even makes sense to pass such judgements. :o)

Oct-01-11  anandrulez: Frogbert this is actually an over optimism from anand. Just like chessbase report points. Out ng3 started a seiries of over optimistic move frm vishy.he had the game very much in hand till a very miscalculated and over enthusiastic if I could use ur own yardstick it It is anandb trying too much to win more than chucky outplaying vishy though I appreciate how chucky played this game
Oct-01-11  bronkenstein: Its tough when you have to keep your d4 novelties , playing e4 and letting people choose from the series of equalisers they have ;)

And yea , he gambled by attacking Chucky in excellent form , but thatīs how you have to play in 3-1-0 i guess =)

Oct-01-11  anandrulez: I have to apprciate Anand tried to win - that is a great effort. Ng3 was an attempt but what dissapoints me is that his calculation was not like typical Vishy .
Oct-01-11  WiseWizard: This superficial play is similar to when he almost lost against Giri.
Oct-01-11  anandrulez: I think you mean almost lost to - yes quite like that game. Anand was clueless from the start and he said that "something just didnt feel right and you knew you would play a good game" about that game. In this game , Anand just doesnt seem to be in elements . You dont see Anand sacrificing e5 like he did here. Unless he sees something clear.Infact this game he was bluffing a pawn to Ivanchuk - very rare to see Anand bluffing and not ready to accept that he is worse and need to start defense .
Oct-01-11  Ulhumbrus: The position after 5 ...Nf6 is, with colours reversed, similar to that arising out of a King's Gambit declined, except that White's KB is on b5 instead of on c4. This suggests the question of whether the B on b5 can help White in any way or whether White has nothing better than 6 Nc3 Bc5 7 Bc4
Oct-03-11  frogbert: <he had the game very much in hand till a very miscalculated and over enthusiastic e5>

not sure what you mean with "having the game in hand" - he was no better before the mistake e5, so in which way did he have the game "in hand"?

Oct-03-11  Ulhumbrus: <frogbert: <he had the game very much in hand till a very miscalculated and over enthusiastic e5> not sure what you mean with "having the game in hand" - he was no better before the mistake e5, so in which way did he have the game "in hand"?> An alternative to 22 e5? which lets Black open the centre is 22 c4 which keeps the centre closed, and now White's King side prospects can be seen, his ability to play Nf5 for example
Oct-03-11  anandrulez: If you look at the engines it screams e5 as an outright blunder . It was a miscalculation ,clearly . He could have dont damage control measures , but Anand was optimistic about the position - I am sure there are people who agree on that . Basically the position was eqaulised i.e Black negated the opening advantage after Anand played a slight inaccurate ng3 .
Oct-03-11  anandrulez: Anand seems to have overlooked the simple bg4 , after that he is a pawn down . I am sure he could have avoided going to that line if he miscalculate - it was not a forced pawn sacrifice . Any its not clear if Anand sacrificed it for any advntage but even to me patzer eyes there is no advantage there for white - but to play for a draw .
Oct-10-11  notyetagm: Anand vs Ivanchuk, 2011

Game Collection: DRAWBACK CHESS: LEFT BEHIND 32 a2-a4?? leaves behind b3-square for winning 32 .. Qf7-b3+!

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <notyetagm: Anand vs Ivanchuk, 2011 Game Collection: DRAWBACK CHESS: LEFT BEHIND 32 a2-a4?? leaves behind b3-square for winning 32 .. Qf7-b3+!>

I don't understand. White never played a4, Black doesn't have a queen or any other piece on f7, and 32...Qb3 would not have been a legal response if White had played 32.a4.

Apr-04-13  LIFE Master AJ: One of the more complex games of chess that I have ever had the pleasure to go over ... also a definite "in your face" to all those who claim that the Schliemann Defense is completely unsound.
Apr-04-13  morfishine: <FSR> On your comment: <...I don't understand. White never played a4, Black doesn't have a queen or any other piece on f7, and 32...Qb3 would not have been a legal response if White had played 32.a4> Excellent point
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Anyone who thinks the Schliemann is unsound obviously hasn't looked at Radjabov's games:
Apr-04-13  LIFE Master AJ: It would be interesting to analyze this game in depth, there is more content than most GM encounters ... many, many, many branches.
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