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Viswanathan Anand vs Jan Timman
Hoogovens Group A (1999), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-24
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio de Janeiro Variation (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 5..Be7 was the variation of the Berlin Defense favored by Lasker. Anand was critical of 12 Nxe6?!; 12 Be3 is considered to be Whites best chance at obtaining an edge. 14 Bb2 was played in Spassky-Smyslov Tilburg 1979 (short draw); 14 Be3 was new. Timman had the opportunity to reach equality with 15..Qf8 16 Bd4..c5 17 Bb2..Bb7 18 f3; after the slower 15..a5?! Anand was able to develop a positional advantage with 20 c5!. 21..Bh4?! looks like a waste of time; 21..Bb5 is an alternative. 23..axb would have at least maintained material equality. Anand thought that the simplest win would have been 31 Nxh5..Qxh5 32 Qxd3..Qxg5 33 Re3; after 31 Qh4? Timman developed some counterplay. Black could have held out longer with 38..Rxa2 39 Rb1..Rxf4 40 Rxb3..Kf8 41 Rb8+..Ke7 42 f3..Rc4 43 Rg8 although White should still win. 40..Rxf4 would have been answered by 41 Rxd7 with the unstoppable threat of 42 Rf7+ so Timman resigned.

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