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Viswanathan Anand vs Alexey Shirov
Groningen Candidates (1997), Groningen NED, rd 5, Dec-20
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This was the first game from their fifth round match in the World Championship tournament. A draw in the second game clinched the match for Anand who went on to defeat Gelfand and Adams to qualify for the final against Karpov. A month after this game at Wijk-Aan-Zee Piket played the improvement 14..Nxe4 against Nijboer though he eventually went on to lose the game. 15 h3 was new; 15 Ba4 had been played previously. After 18..Qc8 Black had not equalized as the bishop on b6 was passive and vulnerable to attack by c5. 19 c4! and 20 Re2! threatened 21 c5 while enabling White to answer ..Ba5 with d5. Shirov's attempt to break free with 20..Na5 and 21..c5 left him with an even weaker minor piece, the knight, after 22 d5!. The consequence to Black's misplaced pieces on the queenside opened up the opportunity for a decisive attack on the kingside. The answer to 28..Bd7 would have been 29 Re7!..Rad8 30 Bb1..Qb6 31 Bxh7+..Kh7 32 Qh5+..Kg8
33 Ng6 and wins. 30 Qxa4 liquidated to a winning ending but Anand pointed out that 30 Bb3!..Qd7 31 Rxa8..Rxa8 32 f5..Bxf5 33 Ba4!..Rxa4 34 Nxf5..Ra8
35 Nxg7 would have been quicker. 36 h6! was crushing; the rest was not difficult.

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