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Levon Aronian vs Viswanathan Anand
"Nerves of Steel" (game of the day Jan-16-2013)
Tata Steel Group A (2013), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-15
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  0-1



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Given 52 times; par: 25 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <CowChewCud: More like Cyborg Anand.>

It is true that silicon monsters were used in preparation for this game, but it is also at least highly probable that you or one of your number would be first to flay Anand for his naivete if he were not to employ computers in his preparation, as do all top players nowadays.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "A true masterpiece by Anand and perhaps the best game on the theme of <ignoring the threat and imposing you own (higher-degree) threat> I have ever seen!"

-- Ivan Sokolov

Feb-14-17  newzild: I'm a pretty decent player and I don't understand this game.

Kudos to Anand and Kramnik - it's way above my head.

Nov-11-17  talhal20: Beautiful game by Anand. Where did Aronian go wrong?
Nov-23-17  Pasker: I didn't understand whay's going on so I decided to run it on my chess engine. But even chess engine doesn't understand this. Well not that they don't understand but the key moves in this game such bd5, ne5 etc took long time for the engine to find. What a genius Anand is.
Mar-23-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 27 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 15.Nxf8 Bxf8 16.h3 dxc3 17.hxg4 Qh4 18.g5 cxb2 19.Qxb2 Nc5 20.Bc2 Qg3 21.Rf2 Bxg2 22.Rxg2 Qe1+ 23.Kh2 Qh4+ 24.Kg1 Qe1+ 25.Kh2

2. = (-0.25): 15.h3 dxc3 16.Nxf8 cxb2 17.Qxb2 Nc5 18.Bh7+ Kxf8 19.hxg4 Qh4 20.Bc2 Rd8 21.Bd1 g5 22.Qf2 Qxf2+ 23.Kxf2 Ne4+ 24.Ke1 Bc7 25.Bf3 Ba5+ 26.Ke2 Ng3+ 27.Kf2 Nxf1 28.Bxb7 Nd2 29.Bb2 Nb3 30.Rb1 gxf4 31.exf4 Nc5 32.Bf3 Nd3+ 33.Kf1 Nxb2 34.Rxb2 a6 35.Rc2 Rd4 36.Rc6 Rxf4 37.Rxa6 Bc3 38.Ke2 Kg7 39.Kd3 Bb2 40.g5 Kg6

3. ⩱ (-0.30): 15.Qe2 Qh4 16.h3 dxc3 17.Nxf8 Nc5 18.hxg4 Kxf8 19.Bc2 Ke7 20.b4 Ne4 21.Qxb5 Bd5 22.Bxe4 Bxe4 23.Qh5 Qxh5 24.gxh5 Rh8 25.g4 f5 26.Ra2 fxg4 27.Rh2 Kf6 28.Kf2 Kf5 29.b5 Bf3 30.a4 Ke4 31.Kg3 e5 32.Re1 Rh6 33.Rf1 Re6 34.Ra2 Kd3 35.a5 exf4+ 36.exf4 Bc5 37.f5 Re4

Apr-05-18  Toribio3: I hope Vishy can go back to his old form where his attacking style is akin to Tal's tsunami.
Aug-04-18  vigneshanand: 15....Bc5 and 16..... Ne5!!!!!! There's just not enough exclaims to describe the moves. After 15...Bc5, Aronian cannot take the bishop because Nxc5 hit the bishop with the threat of Qd4+ to follow.
Aug-18-18  Mramire1: Anand considera que esta es su mejor partida.Mario Otilio Ramirez, agosto 2018.
Dec-11-18  GlennOliver: The measure of this game is that it will still be studied decades from now and still be yielding tactical insights.

A complete masterclass from Anand.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Anand's murderous twin Guns>

-- Arthur van de Oudeweetering, Improve Your Chess Pattern Recognition

Feb-13-19  EGarrett: Anand himself said that just being able to ask the computer evaluation of one move in the middle of a game would make a player 100 points stronger. Without even knowing what the computer's preferred moves were. This game is a perfect demonstration, as Anand himself said that he didn't remember the moves, only that the computer rated this attack as favorable for black.
Jun-16-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

14.h3 Bh2+ 15.Kh1 Qh4 16.d5 Rfd8 17.Be2 f5 18.Bxg4 Bb8 19.Bf3 Qxh7 20.e4 exd5 21.exd5 Qg6 22.Rd1 Ne5 23.Be2 a6 24.Bf4 Re8 25.h4 Bd6 26.Rac1 c4 27.Qd2 Qf6 28.Bg5 Qf7 29.Qf4 Bc5 + / = (0.40) Depth: 21 dpa done

Jun-16-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 25 dpa done

1. + / = (0.42): 13...c4 14.Nxf6+ Nxf6 15.Be2 Qa5 16.Rb1 Qd8 17.Bd2 Be7 18.Rbc1 Qd7 19.f3 Rfd8 20.Be1 Nd5 21.Bf2 a6 22.Qd2 Nxc3 23.Qxc3 Qd5 24.Bg3 Bd6 25.Bxd6 Qxd6 26.f4 Bd5 27.Bf3 Rd7 28.Rf2 Qc6 29.Qc2 Bxf3 30.Rxf3

2. + / = (0.46): 13...Re8 14.Nxf6+ Nxf6 15.Bxb5 Ng4 16.f4 cxd4 17.exd4 Re7 18.Qe2 Nh6 19.Be3 Nf5 20.Bd3 Bc7 21.Bxf5 exf5 22.Qd2 Qd6 23.Rfe1 Rce8 24.Bf2 Qxf4 25.Qxf4 Rxe1+ 26.Bxe1 Bxf4 27.Bg3 Bxg3 28.hxg3 Rd8 29.d5 Kf8 30.Re1 f6 31.Kf2 a6 32.Re6 Kf7

3. + / = (0.57): 13...Nxh7 14.Bxh7+ Kh8 15.Be4 Qc7 16.Rd1 Rfd8 17.h3 cxd4 18.exd4 Nf6 19.Bxb7 Qxb7 20.Qd3 a6 21.Bg5 Be7 22.Rac1 Kg8 23.Bf4 Nh5 24.Be5 Bg5 25.Rc2 Bf4 26.Qe2 Bxe5 27.Qxe5 Nf6 28.Rdc1 Rc4 29.Ne2 Rdc8 30.Rxc4 bxc4 31.Rc2 Qb3 32.Rd2 Nd5 33.h4 Rd8

Jun-16-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 <d 25 dpa done

1. = (0.13): 8.Be2> b4 9.Na4 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.a3 a5 12.Qc2 Bb7 13.Rd1 Qc7 14.axb4 axb4 15.Bd2 Ra5 16.h3 h6 17.b3 Rc8 18.Rac1 Ba6 19.Bxa6 Rxa6 20.Qc4 Qb7 21.Qd3 c5 22.dxc5 Nxc5 23.Nxc5 Bxc5 24.Ne5 Ne4

2. = (0.07): 8.Bd3 a6 9.a4 Bb7 10.0-0 b4 11.Ne4 c5 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Qe2 h6 14.b3 cxd4 15.exd4 Bd6 16.Be4 Bxe4 17.Qxe4 0-0 18.Be3 Qe7 19.Rac1 Nf6 20.Qd3 Qb7 21.Ne5 Bxe5 22.dxe5 Rad8 23.Qe2 Ne4 24.Rc4 Rc8 25.Rfc1 Nc3

Jun-16-19  cormier: 1

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 26 dpa done

1. = (0.18): 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 <8.Be2> b4 9.Na4 Be7 10.a3 bxa3 11.0-0 axb2 12.Bxb2 0-0 13.Qc2 a5 14.Qxc6 Rb8 15.Qc2 Bb7 16.Rfc1 h6 17.h3 Rc8 18.Nc3 Bb4 19.Qd3 Nb6 20.Na2 Na4 21.Nxb4 Nxb2 22.Qd2 Rxc1+ 23.Rxc1 axb4 24.Qxb2 Nd5 25.Bd3 Qd6

2. = (0.16): 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 h6 8.0-0 0-0 9.b3 b6 10.a4 Bb4 11.Na2 Be7 12.a5 bxa5 13.Nc3 c5 14.Ne2 Bb7 15.Bd2 a4 16.Rxa4 Ne4 17.Ba5 Qc8 18.Raa1 Rb8 19.Nc3 f5 20.cxd5 exd5 21.Ne5

Jul-09-20  Playchess1vn: Here's my short analysic of the game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Anand discusses this game:

"I was drawing a blank, I didn't remember any of the variations...And based on the smallest fragments of memory I had to reconstruct."

"This became the current version of Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907."

"There are other games I am equally proud of, but there is a strong case to be made that this is the most beautiful game I've played in my life."

Jun-18-21  cormier: sf Depth 43

-4.37 16....Nde5 17.Bxg4 Bxd4+ 18.Kh1 Nxg4 19.Nxf8 f5 20.Ng6 Kh7 21.Ne5 Nxh2 22.Rf3 Qh4 23.g3 Nxf3+ 24.gxh4 Ne1+

Jun-18-21  cormier: sf Depth 40

-0.58 16.dxc5 Nxc5 17.Nxf8 Nxd3 18.h3 Qd4+ 19.Kh1 Ndf2+ 20.Rxf2 Nxf2+ 21.Kh2 Kxf8 22.Qh7 Nd3 23.Qh8+ Ke7 24.Qh4+

-1.95 16.Ng5 Bxd4+ 17.Kh1 Ndf6 18.h3 Nf2+ 19.Rxf2 Bxf2 20.Bh7+ Kh8 21.Qxf2 Nxh7 22.Qxa7 Qe7 23.Qf2 Nxg5 24.fxg5

Jun-18-21  cormier: sf Depth 40
-0.58 15... Bc5 16.dxc5 Nxc5 17.Nxf8 Nxd3 18.h3 Qd4+ 19.Kh1 Ndf2+ 20.Rxf2 Nxf2+ 21.Kh2 Kxf8 22.Qh7 Nd3 23.Qh8+ Ke7 24.Qh4+
Jun-18-21  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4: d 27 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 15.Nxf8 Bxf8 16.h3 dxc3 17.hxg4 Qh4 18.g5


sf Depth 38

0.00 15.Nxf8 Bxf8 16.h3 dxc3 17.hxg4 Qh4 18.g5


sf Depth 38

0.00 18....Nc5 19.Be2 cxb2 20.Qxb2 g6 21.Bd2 Bg7 22.Qb1 Bxa1 23.Qxa1 Ne4 24.Be1 Ng3 25.Bxg3 Qxg3 26.Bf3 Be4

0.00 18....cxb2 19.Qxb2 Nc5 20.Qe2 Nxd3 21.Qxd3 Qg3 22.Ra2 Bd5 23.Rc2 a5 24.Rff2 Rxc2 25.Rxc2 Be4 26.Qxe4 Qe1+

Sep-21-21  Gollum: Greatest game I have ever seen, makes my head explode.
Sep-21-21  hashtag: <Gollum: ... makes my head explode.> #MeToo Movement
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Anand's complete description of this game:

<TRULY, I WAS IN A FIX. ON THE BOARD BEFORE ME, WAITING TO be unlocked, lay the variation over which I’d put myself and the team through the grind during my World Championship match against Gelfand a year ago. It hadn’t come into use then, but here it was now, ready to be played in the fourth round of the Wijk aan Zee tournament, 2013. The problem was I couldn’t remember anything about the work we’d done a year ago except one niggling detail.

I imagined my trainer, Nielsen, scowling in a corner of the hall. It was the last tournament in which Nielsen would be working with me, after having been a part of my team and indeed my family for close to a decade. He was to join Carlsen’s team shortly. Despite that, when I proposed the idea of working together for a final time for the Wijk aan Zee tournament, he had happily agreed. The understanding between us was that if Carlsen qualified for the World Championship against me that year, Nielsen would stay neutral and step away from any preparatory work for or against me.

Aronian, the defending champion of the annual competition, sat across me, listening to me breathe, waiting for my hand to push a piece. I had two choices: To back down and move somewhere else on the board, or press down the main line, trying to trace out the sketchy notes from a forgotten training session. Although I couldn’t draw up the exact positions I’d worked on, I knew that sticking to the main line was good for Black. It was like knowing about a treasure hidden in a forest and setting out to look for it with just a few snippets of information available – such as that it’s under a tree with three fruits hanging from its branches and the tree itself is not far from a waterbody. There could be two trees that meet the description, but after considering all the information available you have to refine your decision and make the best guess you can. Without those bits of information, the forest is like any other forest, and you wouldn’t want to waste your time poking around in it.

Similarly, in chess, in a scenario where you don’t know if there’s something useful buried in a position, prudence would suggest that you simply stick to what you know. At the board, I initially felt lost. The information I had from my team and our past work on the position was that the main line was good for Black, and yet it seemed contradictory to what I saw before me now. <All I could remember was one little nuance – that my knight had eventually got to d3. Nothing else.> I sat there, my brain turning into mulch, my mind screaming that there must be a better way and trying to work out the line.

The parallels between the game that had me flummoxed and a classic game that I had read about as a child – played in Łódž, Poland, between Gersz Rotlewi and Akiba Rubinstein – were manifest. It was the same knight whipping up the attack and the White king was being browbeaten by the bishop duo on the exact diagonals.

With no other cues to hang on to, I looked hard at the board, drilling deeper and deeper into my mind, going over the line again and again to make sure the positions matched the one thing I remembered, while I tried to mentally stencil out a plausible line before setting off on my wild scavenger hunt.

I remember thinking at one stage how worried Nielsen must be. Some part of him may have been shocked at my amnesiac behaviour at the board, while the other wondered what I was getting at. At the end of my prolonged musing – over a whole 30 minutes – the bishop sacrifice I offered up to gain the diagonal with Bc5 wiped the colour off Aronian’s face. I then abandoned my knight, offering it up to be taken by a pawn with Nde5. It cleared the path for my queen and Aronian went on to walk right into a mate. Every player goes on to create that one thing of absolute, peerless beauty. This one was mine; one of the finest games of my life. I’d managed to piece together the half-memory of a classic game, my own preparatory data in the area and trusted my intuition to stay persistent in the hope of crawling to the other end of the tunnel where I’d find light and vindication.>

Interesting how he remembered there was a strong variation but couldn't remember the sequence of moves.

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