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Viswanathan Anand vs Sergei Rublevsky
Dortmund Sparkassen (2004), Dortmund GER, rd 5, Jul-26
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Knight Variation (B43)  ·  1-0



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Given 18 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-03-04  themindset: talk about domination
Aug-04-04  acirce: I'm not sure if I'd <talk about domination>, without the blunder 31..f5 Anand could even have risked losing. I remember that Rublevsky was in time trouble here but not how bad it was, if it was bad enough maybe Anand was never in real danger.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Appearances can be deceptive. I had initially thought Anand had a dominating and deep winning position after 15. e5!?, which sets up the sacrifice 17. Nxf6!?

However, Black defends very well and only commits an error after 31...f5? Instead, Black should have played 31...Be4! with a small but clear advantage.

So, it turns out Anand does not always prefer clarity and can play like Tal afterall, creating deep and unclear complications with a speculative exchange sacrifice. Also in Tal-like fashion, Anand swindles a win after a small defensive error on the part of his opponent.

Aug-04-04  PieceOffer: I found the game interesting in the fact that Black's mobility is severely curtailed and most of his moves are forced right from the 18th move. Besides the humor with the black a-file rook, I found it of interest that even on the 26th move black cannot move the rook e.g. through ...Rc7. That makes the white knight active with Nd5. And the black King and h-file Rook stay trapped for the length of the game. Though 31...Be4 gives black even chances as per some commentaries, 31. Ne2 looks so innocuous that the mate enforcing move Nf5 or Nh5 is just not apparent leading to the blunder by black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zenchess: I don't understand something here. Where does White mess up between move 17 and move 31 (where Black is slightly better)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Zenchess> The play from both sides is of outstanding quality from moves 17 to 31, at least until Black's error with 31...f5? It may well be that Anand figured out a way to hold for at least a draw after best play with 31...Be4!, in which case the entire variation beginning with 15. e5!? would be justified.

In other words, Anand may have prepared a variation with lots of winning chances in the event of a slight Black error, and with no worse than a draw in the event of best play by Black.

It is unfortunate that his opponent missed 31...Be4! so we could see how Anand planned to defend his position in that event.

Aug-05-04  rags: I think Anand must have enticed Rublevesky in playing f5 ? by playing the pawn sacrifice 29. b4 ...not sure how these Super GM's brains work!
Aug-05-04  arjunkakar: patzer your point of anand prefering unclear position sis well taken. he is a sharp tactician often going for unbalanced situations and coming out on trumps by out calculating the opnonet. I think he wears them down because all that is required is one mistake. aAnd againt lesser players he is so overwhelming. For those who had followed his carrer when he was just coming up - this explains why he used to win so many games against higher players. Kasparov is the one player who (given enough time) is able to out manouver him and therefore is able to read through anand and defeat him so so often. Everuyone else including kramnik can be thrown off with this special anand style - which frankly is most attractive to behold. This is what i call an attractive game - its fabulous - i wish anand would continue this style and take more risks againt kramnik too in classical format. Of late i think takes less of a chance againt kramnik.
Aug-05-04  arjunkakar: the mind set - i am not so sure about the total domination stuff but yes - he was super aggressive and took a lot of risks in this game and came out on trumps. To me the balck bishop at b6 was just too strong. Even without the rook sacrifice i guess anand would have won playing precisely - but ah - i am not complaining about that extra bit of flair. Mkes it so attractive to follow anand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zenchess: Not only that, he hardly takes any time on the clock at all. That means the opponent has to think on their time rather than try to think on his. He used to take only 30 minutes for the whole game until he had a candidate's match with Karpov where he squandered a ton of won positions and lost the match. So now he takes 60-90 minutes.
Nov-11-08  notyetagm: <notyetagm: In an article entitled "The Best Game of 2004" in the August 2005 issue of the British Chess Magazine, this victory by Ivanchuk was the runaway winner. A panel of GMs, inlcuding Kasparov, voted on a selection of games. <<<Gary's top three choices were Anand vs Rublevsky, 2004 (#1)>>>, Sutovsky vs A Kovacevic, 2004 (#2), and this game third. Sutovsky's win is really very nice.>

This magnificient Anand win was Kasparov's choice as <Best Game Of 2004>.

Jun-17-11  wordfunph: "Ok, Anand-Rublevsky from Dortmund 2004 is something that comes to mind."

- Alexey Shirov (when asked for the best chess game he ever saw)

Source: NIC Magazine 2004/08

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9 f4 is the main line; after Anand's 9 Be3 and 10 a4 a new position had been reached. 15..Nxb6 16 axb..Qxb6 17 Kh1 would have led to complications that would have been promising for White. 17..Nxd3!? was suggested as an improvement though after 18 Rxf7..Kxf7 19 Qxd3..Bf6 20 Ne4..Qd5 White would have had good compensation for the exchange. 23 Qh6+ at once would have been more accurate. Again 26 Bf2 would have been an improvement keeping the third rank open for the rook. Black lost quickly after 31..f5?; Anand provided exhaustive analysis outlining many dangerous attacking possibilities for White but also a drawing line for Black if he was able to avoid all the minefields: 31..Qg4 32 Ng3..Bc6 (32..Bc8 33 Nh5..Qg6 34 Rd6!) 33 Nf5..Qxf5 34 Rd8+..Bxd8 35 Bc5..Be7 36 Bxe7..Qc8 37 h3..Be4 38 c3..Bg6 39 Bxf6..Qf8 40 Qxf8+..Kxf8 41 Bxh8.

Voted the 4th best game in Informant 91 (2 of the 9 voters voted it the best game in the volume while 3 others didn't included it in their top 10). Anand must have has mixed feelings as he did not include in in his book of best games and did not even annotate it for New in Chess. Still it is certainly a great fighting game.

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