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Anish Giri vs Peter Svidler
World Cup (2015), Baku AZE, rd 6, Sep-27
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Flohr System (C92)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-27-15  Ulhumbrus: 21...Bxg4?! concedes both the bishop pair and the h file to White. It looks at first sight like a losing strategic mistake.

After 22 hxg4 White has available a well known plan of g3, Kg2, Rh1, Nf5 and eventually checkmate on h8, a plan that may have brought White many victories.

How is Black to answer this threat?

Svidler's answer is to open the a file.

23 Nf5 may be premature. Instead of 23 Nf5, 23 Qe2 prepares Be3 in the event that Black replies to f4 with ...Bd4+

Is 24 Ne3 necessary? 24 g3 continues the plan of Kg2 and Rh1. Perhaps Giri wants to avoid exchanging pieces too soon. However as Miroshnichenko indicated Black's N on e7 turns out to be very useful for defence, as in the event of ...Kf1 it may go to g8 if a White rook or queen lands on h8.

However does White have to play for a king side attack? An alternative plan is to play for a central pawn advance of f4 and e5 and from e3 White's knight may be able to blockade Black's c pawn

After 24...b4, 25...a5 and 26...a4 Giri exposes his a pawn by 27 ba. Svidler said that if White were to allow the invasion ...Ra2 that would make f4 more dangerous. However White does not manage to keep his a pawn after 27 ba.

Does White need to play for a king side attack at this point? Instead of 27 ba, 27 Bd3 prepares to blockade Black's c pawn by Nc4 getting ready for a central pawn advance. This also seems consistent with Ne3.

30 Bxa4 concedes the bishop pair although Black is on the verge of playing ...Nc3.

Svidler's explanation was that Giri miscalculated something.

It may be that there was something that Giri saw too late.

Another possible explanation is that after 22 hxg4 Giri thought that he had an automatic attack and that Black had no defence, and Svidler's plan of opening the a file created greater difficulties for White that Giri had foreseen.

This begins to suggest that Giri underestimated the difficulties in the way of White's attack in the event that Svidler were to find a brilliant defence as Svidler did, the plan of opening the a file.

If we consider that the move 17 b3 creates a target for Black's a pawn this suggests that the move 17 b3 makes the king side attack more difficult for White and that after 17 b3 White acquires increased justification for thinking of an alternative plan eg that of a central pawn advance

So the result of the game suggests that 17 b3 gives Black a target for his counterattack and so makes the plan of a king side attack more difficult to follow so that any alternative plans for White become correspondingly more attractive

We can imagine that when the true answer which represents the best play is found eventually it will be something like this: after 22 hxg4 White does not have available an automatic attack but rather an extremely difficult plan of attack which will appear to an ordinary player to be an automatic attack, so that one can quote the saying <An expert makes it look easy>

Sep-27-15  SirRuthless: I wonder if Anish forgot his preparation today. Either way, good game.
Sep-27-15  devere: Giri's last chance to equalize was with 29.a3!

After missing that it was a downhill slide for White.

Sep-27-15  Marmot PFL: Svidler seems peaceful and complacent sometimes, until he is attacked. then you see what a strong player he really is.

The white knight sac is unsound, but white was already two pawns down and losing the queen side battle so he had to try something. 30 Bxa4 just seems to help black and 32 g5 throws away a pawn, so by then white can't even play for a draw with much hope of success.

Sep-27-15  Karposian: Like Svidler said, Giri must have miscalculated something. Giri's rather crude and primitive kingside attack, he must have miscalculated and really thought he could mate Svidler.

Because such reckless attacking play is definitely not something you would want to get into if you haven't calculated it down to the decisive mating attack. But Giri must have got his calculations all wrong.

Giri is usually a very cool customer, but this time he must have lost his cool a bit. I suspect Kramnik and Grischuk are very disappointed with Giri's play today..

Sep-27-15  Karposian: <MarmotPFL: The white knight sac is unsound, but white was already two pawns down and losing the queen side battle so he had to try something.>

Yes, but Giri had already showed an (unusal for him) lack of cool head. I think 28.Qd3 showed that he overestimated his position. 28.a3 would have been a better choice, I think. Or 20.Rb3, focusing on defending the queenside.

Sep-27-15  RandomVisitor: After 24...b4

click for larger view


[+0.36] d=28 25.a3 a5 26.Bd3 Qc7 27.a4 Ng6 28.Qc2 c4 29.Bxc4 Rac8 30.Qe2 Rxe4 31.Bd3 Ree8 32.Ba6 Rcd8 33.Bb5 Re4 34.g3 Bc3 35.Qc2 Re5 36.f4 Re7 37.Nf5 Nxd5 38.Nxe7+ Ngxe7 39.Kg2 Qc5 40.g5 Ne3+ 41.Bxe3

Sep-27-15  1971: You see, it's ok to fight with the black pieces, you don't have to cower out with out the Berlin every time.
Sep-27-15  houtenton: Let's say it honest, this is a very weak game of Anish Giri, on the level of an amateur. Of course he had to defend the queenside to avoid the two connected freepawns. I'm a fan of Anish Giri. He is still very young (21) against Svidler almost 40. Maybe the tournement is very exhausting for him.
Sep-27-15  CountryGirl: I didn't understand what either player was doing for most of this game :( Complexity squared... The opening looked like some weird combination of the Zaitsev and the Keres variations.
Sep-27-15  ozu: <latvalatvian> Very very funny. And a well calculated attack ;o)
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: P.S. analysis and post-game interview
Sep-27-15  Karposian: *28.Rb3
Sep-28-15  Atking: Svidler played a great game. That's all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  pilobolus: Could not whote sacrifize a night or bishop
on h5 at move 32 and create attacking chances?
Sep-28-15  Ulhumbrus: One question is whether the plan of playing a knight to g4 is the best after Black has played the pair of moves ...exd4 and ...c5.

Three alternatives to 16 d5 are 16 dxc5 or 16 Ng3 and 16 Bf4.

One alternative to 17 b3 is 17 Nfd2 avoiding disturbing the queen side pawns eg 17...Nde5 18 f4

We can assume that Giri will examine the game in order to seek improvements for White if he has not done so already.

Sep-28-15  Everett: <Premium Chessgames MemberSep-27-15 Marmot PFL: Svidler seems peaceful and complacent sometimes, until he is attacked. then you see what a strong player he really is.>

I don't think the Russians are the only ones with this style, but they are exactly like this in wrestling as well.

Sep-28-15  Everett: <Ulhumbrus: 21...Bxg4?! concedes both the bishop pair and the h file to White. It looks at first sight like a losing strategic mistake.>

It is interesting to note that the piece placement and most of the pawn structure is a Benoni, where Black is often happy exchanging his LSB for a white N. The h-file is one thing, but this particular exchange of minors makes perfect sense for Black.

Sep-28-15  columbeau: " Svidler is threatening Kramnik's Candidates' spot. He may be a compatriot and former second, but needs must - Kram has to get on the blower and share with Giri some wicked analysis that'll blow Peter out of the water."

Barking scarlett always ready to give good advices to top players

Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Greenplatt 1.25: 24.R-QNN!.⸦*⸧

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <RandomVisitor> Komodo 9.2??? Say it ain't so!
Sep-28-15  apexin: i wonder if 31.f4 could be an inprovement. it rules out Ne5. something like ...Bd4 (or with bishop on f6) g5 hxg and Giri can play f5,f6,h6 to blast open Svidlers kingside. Thats what i would play. But im not a GM, of course. can someone analize that move with a decent engine?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Thanks for the link, <whiteshark>. It is always very rewarding to listen to Svidler. He is fast and erudite, but also quite objective and humble in his approach to the game.
Sep-30-15  Ulhumbrus: Suppose that at move 27 White ignores Svidler's plan to open the a file and instead of 27 bxa4 plays 27 f4. Then on 27...axb3 28 axb3 Ra2 29 Kh1 Black has occupied the second rank.

In addition to this Black's rook and bishop cover the square b2 and so prevent the move Bb2.

Suppose that White does not want to make these two concessions to Black.

In that case on 27 Bb2 Bxb2 28 Rxb2 axb3 29 axb3 White has the second rank covered.

However the king on g2 obstructs the way to h2 for the rook on b2. Suppose that White wants to keep this option. In that case he can delay 26 Kg2 by eg 26 Bb2 Bxb2 27 Rxb2 a4 28 f4 axb3 29 axb3 and after Bd3 the rook on b2 can go to h2.

After 22...h6 23 f4 invites 23...Bd4+ and if we evaluate Black's KB on the long diagonal as more valuable (instead of less valuable) than White's QB as valuable on the c1-h6 diagonal, this suggests 23 Bb2 but on 23...Bxb2 24 Rxb2 Nf4 preempts f4.

However after 23 Nf5 Ne7 24 Bb2 Bxb2 25 Rxb2 Nxf5 26 gxf5 White threatens a pawn avalanche on the king side

Oct-01-15  Caissanist: Svidler didn't exactly brag about this victory: <He was completely in control of this game [...] All of the major decisions were taken by him and I was just sitting there waiting for the moment where I have to make some hard choices. Eventually when I was forced to make them I think I made decent ones. But it's more that he lost the game than that I won.>
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