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Viswanathan Anand vs Veselin Topalov
World Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 9, Mar-23
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Adams Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-23-14  csmath: 6. h3
["Improved" Keres Attack idea from Sheveningen.]

11. Bd7!?

[out of theory.]

19. ...Qe7

[19. Engine advises 19. ...0-0 but that does not seem to be a great idea and I do not know too many GMs that would play such a move.]

22. ...0-0
[Now it is safer but white is slightly better due to weak and fixed black central pawns.]

31. ...h6?

[Serious error since opening his king and in need to defend weakness on e6 is not a great idea. Black is obviously nervous. Some other waiting move was probably better idea.]

35. a5

Black is strategically lost but it is now up to Anand to find the winning plan.

36. c3!
[Zugzwang! 36. ...Qd7 37. Qf4+ and black loses h6 pawn.]

37. c4!

and white plays on a pawn ending that is lost for black. Black is not able to exchange the queens because of that.

42. ...Kg7
[...Qe6? 43. Kc3! and it is over. On the other hand 42. ...Ke8 43. Qc8 Kf7 44. Kc2! and since black is tied up to defence of b7 there is nothing better here.]

48. Kd5!
[Astonishing how powerless the black queen is for the rest of the game. The game is effectively over at this point and Anand proves that.]


Positional advantage since opening and nervous reaction of Topalov [31. ...h6?] was enough to win. This is not a complicated game but Anand played it nicely.

Mar-23-14  play2win: Wow...Anand took Topalov to school here.
Mar-23-14  manojelanjickal: well played Anand !
Mar-23-14  csmath: This game is a good school for particular type of ending with pawns on wings and one central pawn Q vs. Q. It is amazing how dominating white queen is with the help of a pawn.

It is a known fact that queen endings with a passer are usually decisive if there is any protection for the stronger king. Here however king does not need protection since central pawn obstructs black queen to the fullest. Good ending to remember and to strive to achieve.

Mar-23-14  devere: Topalov's problems started with 16...fxe4? Was there a rush to capture the pinned pawn? Then 31...h6? was of course the decisive error. Anand maneuvered skillfully to

click for larger view

Black to move was in zugzwang, and on 36...Bf5 37.Qf4 Qg5 38.Qxg5 hxg5 39.Bxf5 exf5 40.h6 White would queen a pawn.

After winning a pawn, Anand handled the queen and pawn ending beautifully. This was world-championship caliber play, and Carlsen better not take Anand lightly, or he could even lose his title.

Mar-23-14  MelvinDoucet: oh man that king walk down the board was pretty ballsy, great play by Anand
Mar-23-14  csmath: Another interesting line to lost pawn ending:

36. ...Be4

[ 36. ...Qg5??
37. Qxg5 hxg5
38. Bxf5 exf5
39. h6!

and black is powerless to stop promotion while his own pawn is too slow.]

Mar-23-14  LIFE Master AJ: 36.c3! ('!!')

Black is in Zugzwang.

Mar-23-14  LIFE Master AJ: 36...Be4 may have been an error, although it is clear Black already had severe problems.
Mar-23-14  john barleycorn: <LmAjay> pay a little respect to other posters and read some before posting.


Black to move was in zugzwang, and on 36...Bf5 37.Qf4 Qg5 38.Qxg5 hxg5 39.Bxf5 exf5 40.h6 White would queen a pawn.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <john barleycorn: <LmAjay> pay a little respect to other posters and read some before posting.>

Reading threads is not so easy to do as one may imagine, given his always-full iggy list.

The disdain I first saw, years ago, was always off-putting; there is an underlying attitude that he is the only poster on these boards who has got the vaguest notion how to play well. Most unfortunate, for he is actually a competent player-though not quite so strong as he imagines.

Mar-23-14  john barleycorn: <perfidious> same for me - his attitude is the issue.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: <whiteshark: One passer to bring them all, And in the darkness bind them...> A good Ring indeed.
Mar-23-14  swissfed: We need more of this , Sicilian / Najdorf contest
Mar-23-14  SirRuthless: <Csmath> Strong analysis. Thanks. I failed to understand why Topalov decided to exchange the B pair away and allow white to get in Qd4. By doing so he essentially gave up on one result and admitted he would have to struggle for the draw. I wonder if Anand was strategically winning if he found the Qa7 maneuver.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I very much like this alternative move 44 Qd6!, seeing 44...Qxd6 45 exd6, simplifying everything.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: 21...BxN was Topalov's premature Christmas gift to Anand.
Mar-23-14  ChemMac: <Jimfromprovidence> Yes: after 44.Qd6 QXd6 45 eXd Ke8 46.Kc3 Kd7 47.Kd3 KXd6 48. Kd4 with the opposition, although 47. Kd4 KXd6 48. b4 also works. Now; whichever way the Black King goes, the White King goes the other way, and Queens a pawn earlier on a diagonal, either a8-h1 or h8-a1, in 8 moves. HOWEVER, keeping the Queens on wins just as clearly, and was perhaps more pleasurable for Anand! Yes; he is a gentleman, but I am sure, just like Fischer, and most of us too on rarer occasions, he "likes to see them squirm"!
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Granted, <ChemMac>. Nobody gets to the top in chess without a killer instinct.
Mar-24-14  Makavelli II: @maxi. Hard to imagine what a killer instinct in chess actually is really? I think you just need to be able to see deeper and further than your opponents and you won't go far wrong :)

In this game h6 by black seems to have been "the blunder". I guess Anand just saw further than Topalov.

Mar-24-14  benjinathan: Really- h6 was just an incredibly stupid move. It must have spawned from a need to take chances in order to win in a drawn position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: For all the criticism levelled at Topalov's 31....h6, we have <all> been in such a situation at one time or another: our opponent has played a sound strategical game and we are in a slightly inferior position.

Then, a look into the position reveals a small possibility of breaking out of the coils in which the python opposite has enveloped us. 'Aha', we say, 'time to do something, even if it's wrong!'

As <ChemMac> will doubtless also be able to tell you through experience, the last thing any top player wants is to give one of their colleagues a position where they can play for a win while risking nothing. Most probably, Topalov saw those coils tightening and resolved to break free.

Alas, it was not to be with his chosen method.

Mar-24-14  Marmot PFL: Nobody can be good at everything, and Topalov is not known as a great defender. usually he finds creative counter-attacking plans, but here he was uncharacteristically passive, and also Anand played very well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <Makavelli II> The will to win, to humiliate the opponent, "to see him squirm" (Fischer) even after many hours (days) of exhausting play, when you are tired, with a headache, and when most people would want to resign if only just to be able to go home. It does not have to do with intelligence or natural ability.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Why does 38...Qg5 not work?
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