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Viswanathan Anand vs Loek van Wely
Corus Group A (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 9, Jan-24
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Chelyabinsk Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-24-06  dfelix: Nice finish! Black's rook will end up trapped on h8 by a pawn on h7 and a bishop on g8, and he'll have to trade his own bishop for the b7 pawn.
Jan-24-06  Mameluk: Beautiful game. I am still full of that Re2 move where everyone would take a pawn, then h5 creating decisive passed pawn. Anand definitely doesn´t have Fritz in the pocket, this is human chess at its best. Can´t wait for some analysis, too.
Jan-24-06  Maroczy: I'm not a Sveshnikov player so why is Bg5 played by black after 11. c3?
Jan-24-06  you vs yourself: <Maroczy> I don't know much openings. But I can guess that black doesn't want to lose the dark square bishop and also wants to prevent black from moving the Rook to c1.
Jan-24-06  euripides: <Maroczy> I'm not either but I think MCO says that Kasparov vs Lautier, 1994 demonstrates some difficulties if Black allows h4 confining the bishop.
Jan-24-06  chessbond: Can someone explain why not 34. Rc2 and 35. Rc8 to win the Rook at this point the black bishop has no open fil to b8 either.
Jan-24-06  chessic eric: Its amazing that both Anand and Topalov won their games playing different sides of the exact same opening today up until Anand's 14.Ndb4. Karjakin chose 14.Rxa4 playing this line against Topalov...
Jan-24-06  Mameluk: <chessbond> The defense is still the same, e3 (with e2 threat) and then e4. But this game must have been completely horrible, because on the official site it is not among 4 best games of the round. Gelfand-Sokolov, Karjakin-Topalov (where Fritz seems to find clear blunders) and even that one-sided Kamsky-Adams are supposed to be better?!?
Jan-24-06  euripides: <chessbond> I think Black has e3 and either e4 or if White plays fxe3 then Bxe3 and Ba7. Or even 34 Rc2 e3 35 Rc8 e2 36 Rc7+ Ke6 37 Bxe2 Kd6 38 Rxh7 Kc6 39 Ba6 Kb6 40 Rh6+, which may win but looks messy ( the bishop is tied to the b pawn and the rook to the bishop). White is going to need a second threat as well as the b pawn; hence h5, which prepares the establishment of the passed h pawn.
Jan-24-06  Phoenix: <I'm not a Sveshnikov player so why is Bg5 played by black after 11. c3?>

The bishop is more active on g5 than on f6. From g5, it controls a lot of squares inside White's camp, it discourages f4 moves, and always has the possibility to take a white knight should one land on e3. Also of equal importance is that the bishop gets out of the way of the pawn, enabling the usual Svesh counterplay with ...f5 later on.

I'm not a Sveshnikov player either (in fact, I have this in common with Yasser Seirawan; I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole!), so I may be missing out on a couple more things.

Jan-24-06  Maroczy: Thanks for the input to all who responded, appreciated!
Jan-24-06  Ulhumbrus: Instead of accepting the exchange sacrifice by 18...Bxa4, 18...Bxd5 19 exd5 f5 may be adequate.
Jan-24-06  Ulhumbrus: After 21 b5 one of the points of the exchange sacrifice appears to be that it is much easier for White's minor pieces to support the advance of the b pawn than it is easy for Black's KB to oppose the advance. For example, the N on d5 covers both b6 and c7, a square which the black KB might use otherwise to go to b8 from.
Jan-24-06  whatthefat: <chessic eric>
It is interesting that both games went into the sveshnikov - maybe we'll see one when the two meet. But I should point out that they actually deviated at the 12th when black unusually chose not to castle here.
Jan-24-06  supertimchan: <I'm not a Sveshnikov player so why is Bg5 played by black after 11. c3?>

Most importantly the bishop at g5 helps defending the important d5 square by removing one of the knights controlling d5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: I was wondering if Van Wely could have payed 23... Bh4. After 24. Rc1!, there is a variation that shows the danger: 24... Rf8 25. g3 Bg5 26. Rc6 (26. Rc2?! e3!) Bd2 27. b7 Be1 28. Rc2 (now) Kf7 29. Kf1! Ba5 30. b4 Ke6 31. ba Kd5 32. Bb5, White wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <euripides: even 34 Rc2 e3 35 Rc8 e2 36 Rc7+ Ke6 37 Bxe2 Kd6 38 Rxh7 Kc6 39 Ba6 Kb6 40 Rh6+, which may win> If 34. Rc2 e3 35. Rc8?? Rb7!, Black wins.
Jan-27-06  jamesmaskell: Anand having a great game today.
Jan-29-06  Loisp: 23...Bxh4 24.b7 is also interesting
Feb-06-06  thathwamasi: shouldnt the 27th move be nc6+ instead of nd5+? wouldnt it be a better move? or am I missing something here?
Feb-21-06  patzer2: Here's an analysis with Fritz 8, the Opening Explorer and four other sources:

<1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5> Entering the Sveshnikov Sicilian (B33), a.k.a. Lasker-Pelican. Kasparov and Keene in BCO note "Black accepts a big hole in his position at d5" in exchange for the Bishop pair and hopes of counterplay. <6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5> An equally popular alternative is 9. Bxf6 as in Anand vs Van Wely, 2005. <9...Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3> More frequently played is 11...0-0 as in
Kasimdzhanov vs Leko, 2005.<11...Bg5 12. Nc2 Rb8> The more popular alternative is 12...0-0 as in Leko vs Radjabov, 2006. <13. a4 bxa4 14. Ncb4 Bd7> OK for White is 14... Nxb4 15. Nxb4 Bb7 16. Qxa4+ Kf8 17. Bd3 f5 18. O-O . <15. Bxa6 Nxb4 16. cxb4> A playable option is 16. Nb4 as in
M Palac vs Van Wely, 2005. <16...O-O 17. O-O Bc6 18. Rxa4!> This strong exchange sacrifice puts a lot of positional pressure on Black. In post game analysis, Anand described this move as giving White "a risk free position." I suspect Anand knew this had been previously played as in M Ahn vs O Bewersdorff, 2001, and was well prepared with a little home analysis. <18...Bxa4 19. Qxa4 Qe8?!> This is a novel but dubious move. Per the Corus tournament report at, "...Black's try to exchange Queens left him with an unpleasant position." Van Wely might have doen better with 19...Kh8 as in A Zapata vs C M Lopez, 2001 or 19...g6 as suggested by Mark Crowther at

Feb-21-06  patzer2: <20. Qxe8 Rfxe8 21. b5> Per the official tournament report, "It is practically impossible to stop the winning plan of pushing the passed b pawn to the seventh rank, activating the Rook and engaging the Knight." <21...f5 22. b6> According to the Tournament report, Anand indicates he could have played 22. h4!? here instead of a move later. However, Fritz 8 indicates it gets a little messy for White after 22. h4 Bxh4 . <22... fxe4 23. h4 Bd2> Perhaps Black should have played the Fritz 8 suggestion 23... Bxh4 24. Rc1 Rf8 25. g3 Bg5 26. Rc7 h6 27. b7 h5 28. Nb4 e3 =. <24. b7 Kf7 25. Rd1 Bh6 26. Nb4 Ke7 27. Nd5+ Kf7 28. g4 Bf4 29. Re1 g5 30. Re2!> Anand is "Planning Rc2 with penetration" per the tournament report. Mark Crowther at says, "taking on e4 would allow more counterchances later." <30...Red8> Black puts up more resistance with 30... gxh4 but White may be able to get the upper hand after 31. Rxe4 Rg8 32. Kh1 Bd2 33. Re2 Bg5 34. Rc2 Ke6 35. Nc7+ Kd7 36. Bb5+ =. <31. Nb4 d5 32. Nc6 Rg8 33. Nxb8 Rxb8 34. h5!> Per Mark Crowther at, "Preserving the h-pawn means white will win the ending." <34...Ke7> Black is lost. Putting up a bit more resistance, but still losing is 34... d4 35. Rc2 d3 36. Rc7+ Ke6 37. Kf1! d2 38. Ke2 e3 39. fxe3 . <35. Kf1 d4 36. Rc2 e3 37. fxe3 dxe3 38. Rc7+ Kf6 39. Rxh7 e4 40. Bc4 Rd8 41. Rf7+ Ke5 42.Rd7! 1-0> Black resigns as 42...Rb8 43. h6 is clearly decisive
Apr-24-06  Bob726: Two questions:

1)why in the world did black play f5 on move 21 and

2)what what the point 23. h4??

Thank you.

Apr-24-06  blingice: For the first: that move destroys white's remaining pawn center, and makes the center controlled by his own two connected pawns. Furthermore, black probably had no other logical move to play, and his pieces were in the places he wanted them, so he played a move to make his pawns active.

For the second: it was likely to move the bishop off of that diagonal, so the knight could be placed somewhere along it without being taken for a move. But, Anand ended up going the opposite direction with the piece. I can't see any logical reason other than that.

Sep-12-08  SetNoEscapeOn: h4 gains space on the kingside. White can't really take on h4, because after Rc1! the Rook on the seventh rank in conjunction with the passed pawn will quickly prove to be decisive.
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