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Viswanathan Anand vs Miguel Illescas Cordoba
Linares (1992), Linares ESP, rd 7, Mar-03
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0



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Given 38 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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sac: 32.Nxb6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Got the Nxb6 idea as initial move, but wanted to exploit Rs on b8 and c7 by e5 to get my B to e5, but couldn't see that idea as very decisive. Missed Na5 concept driving Q to a7 completely; then B and Q battery on g1 to a7 diagonal combined with Rb1 is really decisive. Also looked at thematic c5 push immediately, but couldn't make anything work. Didn't spend too much time, but I doubt I would have worked it out correctly even if I had. I've seen Vishy play blitz and analyze afterwards: he sees in 10 seconds what I can't see even in 10 minutes of concentrated effort.
Jan-08-12  sevenseaman: <erniecohen: 2EZ4 Sunday> That formula for brevity must have been cooked in a laboratory. For a moment I thought it was something akin to Einstein's equation.
Jan-08-12  Patriot: Material is even.

After 7 minutes I'm thinking 32.Nxb6. Here's my test lines:

32...Nxb6 33.Na5 Qc8 34.Bxb6 winning the exchange.

32...Nxb6 33.Na5 Qa7 34.c5 (threatening a fork on queen and rook or if the knight moves then 35.cxd6 at least wins the piece back with an attack) dxc5 35.bxc5 Bxc5 36.Bxc5 and perhaps 37.Nc4 next.

32...e5 33.Na5 wins the queen. 33...Qa7 34.Nxd7 should win easily.

After a lot more looking, I'm not sure how the second line pans out after 35...Nc8 36.c6 Nb6. I think 37.Rb1 is the answer.

Jan-08-12  lost in space: Got Nxb6 but was not able to find the remaining key moves to win. 0 point for me today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Initally, I thought Anand wouldn't mind getting away for a draw, but when I saw the solution, I figured he would mind!
Jan-08-12  James D Flynn: Material is even, both sides have potential back rank weakness, white has more space and pressure on b6. My analysis went 32.Nxb6 Nxb6 33.Na5 (if Qc8 white takes the N and the wins the exchange) Qa7 34.c5 d6xc5 35.b4xc5 N moves(d7or a4) 36.c6 Nb6 37.Nc4 Rxc6 38.Nxb6 R(either)xb6 39.Bxb6 Rxb6 40.Rc8ch Bf8 41.Qc5 Nd7 42.Rxd7 and the only defense to the mate is h6 or h5 when the Q falls if instead 41..h6 42 Rxf8ch and Rxh8. Unfortunately I can't see the game: the java plugin seems to be incompatible with my McAfee security.
Jan-08-12  checkmateyourmove: How many players here go through the moves before the puzzle position or do you try to solve without prior moves? I notice it seems alittle eaiser looking at prior moves for the lead up combos.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I went with 32. Nxb6 Nxb6 33. Na5 Qc8 34 Bxb6 Rd7, trying to minimize the loss to just a pawn.

click for larger view

But 35 Ba7 puts that hope to rest.

click for larger view

Jan-08-12  James D Flynn: I went back in and left the plugin on. I saw the game: Anand's 37.Rb1 was clearer than my 37.Nc4 but gave no opportunity for the reply Rxc6 which lead to the neat back rank mating threats.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I looked at eight ball sid epocket nxb6 na4 should
Get in on the actions it yonder hill again c5
Too soon white thrills my friend cloth alive being na5 In as card slow plug I gane short yes, <nxb6>.

Turn I ah you price dieu tricky too investigate in
Time handles it nice in grasping leash it was pink
Of course it is hopes in snappy it niche collar
You guess rest in tot see head like a7 coffee.

Jan-08-12  dumbgai: That's a lot of material still on the board after 31 moves!
Jan-08-12  Patriot: <Jimfromprovidence> Good point! The exchange isn't won just yet, which I inaccurately stated. 34...Rd7 35.Ba7 is necessary.
Jan-08-12  neenu: How about:

35. bxc5 Bxc5 (giving back the piece)

followed by
36. ... Nd7 or Rd7

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Pretty staright forward.

All of White's pieces are aimed at the Q-side, it has to be there. I found the first move fairly quickly and in 3-4 minutes, I got the game continuation, except I thought 36...Nb6; 37.Rb1, and wins. (Same thing, I guess.)

Jan-08-12  ajile:

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 3 32-bit : 20 ply

1. (2.37): 1...Nxb6 2.Na5 Qc8 3.Bxb6 h5 4.Bxc7 Qxc7 5.Qd2 h4 6.Nb3 Bc6 7.c5 d5 8.exd5 Bxd5 9.Nd4 Ra8 10.Bc4 Bxc4 11.Rxc4 Nd5 12.Qe1 Qf4 13.Rdc1 Qg5

2. (2.45): 1...Re8 2.Na5 Qb8 3.Nxa8 Qxa8 4.c5 dxc5 5.bxc5 e5 6.Be3 Nb8 7.Nc4 Nc6 8.Nd6 Rb8 9.Bc4 Bf8 10.Qa2 Bxd6

Jan-08-12  agb2002: The material is even.

The white pieces aim at Black's queen side, in particular, the square b6. This suggests 32.Nxb6:

A) 32... Nxb6 33.Na5 Qa7 (33... Qc8 34.Bxb6 +/ - [P]) 34.c5 dxc5 (34... Nbd7 35.cxd6 looks losing for Black) 35.bxc5

A.1) 35... Nbd7 36.c6 Nb6 (36... Nc5 37.Rxc5 Bxc5 38.Bxc5 seems to win) 37.Nb7 Rxc6 38.Rxc6 Qxb7 39.Rxb6 + - [R vs N].

A.2) 35... Na4 36.c6 looks similar to A.1.

B) 32... e5 33.Be3 doesn't seem to change anything.

Jan-08-12  James D Flynn: Alas my 37.Nc4 is a mistake losing 2 pawns 37......Rxc6 38.Nxb6 Rxc1 39,Rxc1 Bxa3 40.Nc4 Qe7 41.Ra1 Bb4 42.Rxa6 and material is even. 37.Rb1 is clearly better.
Jan-08-12  Patriot: <agb2002> Good job on the POTD! Line A.1 has an interesting and equally winning twist (37.Nb7 instead of 37.Rb1).

I agree in line B that 33.Be3 doesn't seem to change anything but Houdini says that black has a slight advantage!

click for larger view

1. (-0.35): 2...Nxb6 3.Na5 Qa7 4.c5 dxc5 5.bxc5 Nbd5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.a4 Nxe3 8.Qxe3 e4 9.fxe4 Rxc5 10.Rxc5 Qxc5 11.Qxc5 Bxc5 12.Bxa6 Bxe4 13.Bb5 Kf8 14.Nc4 Rc8 15.Rd7 Bb4 16.Kg1 Bf5 17.Rd1 Bc2 18.Rc1

Jan-08-12  Refused: <neenu: How about:
35. bxc5 Bxc5 (giving back the piece)

followed by
36. ... Nd7 or Rd7>

The problem is the weak back backrank.
if 35... Bxc5
36.Bxc5 (what else) Nfd7
37.Rxd7 Rxd7
38.Bxb6 (and now the black queen is out of squares)
39.Qxb6 Rxb6

37.Bxb6 (same song different chorus)
38.Bxa7 Rxc1
39.Bxb8 material advantage should be enough to win.
37.Nc4 looks good enough.

And white is an exchange up.

Oh since everybody says, got it. I must admit, I missed it, I thought 32.Nxb6 was the starter, but failed to come up with 33.Na5 (which is the key to make it work)

Just some raw ideas without engines, maybe there are some stronger lines for white.

Jan-08-12  Robespierre: Unlike some of the other more insightful posters' ideas, the farthest I got was, "I'd wager that the first move will be an attack from the WB located on d4 or from the WN located on a4. Other than that my ponderings ended up with little else. Does that give me 3 points out of 100?

And, as far as <Refused> is concerned, I'm certain that he was not the only one (except for me) stymied by this puzzle.

Jan-08-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even in this middlegame position, with white enjoying a big space advantage. This is typical of the Kan and related Sicilians, where black does not advance any pawns beyond the sixth rank in the opening and optimistically looks for counterpunching opportunities. But this black position is simply too cramped, the queen, LSB, and two rooks totalling only 12 available legal moves. With the white's pieces focussed on b6 and the low mobility of the BQ, white has a way to cash in.

32.Nxb6!! Nxb6 (otherwise white wins a pawn with ongoing initiative) 33.Na5 forces black into an unpleasant self-pin:

A) 33... Qc8 34.Bxb6 regains the piece and picks up the exchange because the Rc7 is trapped (R+P for bishop).

B) 33... Qa7 34.c5! (stronger than e5 - white must keep the focus on b6-a7) dc 35.bc Nc8(/d7/a4) 36.c6 Nb6 (forced because Q is trapped) 37.Rb1 Bxc6 38.Bxb6 Rxb6 39.Qxb6 and white again wins the exchange.

B.1) 34... Nc8(/d7/a4) 35.cxd6 Nb6 (Rxc1 36.Bxa7 wins) 36.dxc7 wins

B.2) 35... Bxc5 36.Bxc5 (regaining piece) and Rb1 winning the pinned knight is not preventable.

B.3) 35... R7c8 36.cxb6 Qd7 37.Bxa6 Rxc1 38.Rxc1 and the advanced pawns win quickly.

More could be analyzed, but this looks good enough. Time for review...

Jan-08-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: B.1 almost nails it, but does not consider Rb6 (which is met by the same response anyway).
Jan-08-12  stst: Late in the game - pretty insane.
I only see Choice between the two moves:
32.Nxb6 or e5
but e5 meets the refutation dxe5, Bxe5 meets NxB etc... no clear advantage while Nxb6 leaves Bk pondering what's best next.
... bed time!
Dec-09-22  ChessIsLife159753: Great game. I like Black's manoeuvre of 10...Nb8-Nbd7 because d7 is simply the correct square for the knight in the Hedgehog.

But Anand's play was simply incredible. The whole game was simply about prophylaxis: 21.Nd4! discouraging ...d5 (22.exd5.exd5 23.Nf5!?) and 22.Re1!, once more against ...d5. The idea of Nc3-a4-b2! is great too, safeguarding c4. 28.Bd4!-Qf2! followed by Nxb6 is a beautiful finish to this great game.

Dec-12-22  Schwartz: It looks like Miguel Illescas Cordoba played very directly. Perhaps he avoided an attack to his king. The Hedgehog tends to look less coordinated when vs. e4. Anand stifled him quick enough.
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