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Alexander Grischuk vs Peter Svidler
World Championship Tournament (2007), Mexico City MEX, rd 6, Sep-19
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Sep-20-07  Ezzy: The most exciting game of the tournament so far. What an incredible game!! This could go down as the draw of the year. Grischuk did seem to miss a win, but in time trouble was not easy. Had he of found the win, then it would have been one of his best ever wins.

I’m in awe of both these players calculating abilty Some of the moves they both had to find were totally amazing. 24 Bxc4!! Is the move of the tournament for me, and then to understand the subtle moves like 29 b3! Is way beyond most mortal’

I have had my money’s worth already. This was just a sensational game to watch. Real credit to both players. Mexico will be proud of this draw.

SUPPORT THE DRAW –That’s what I say.

Sep-20-07  cn1ght: I went to house of chess Wednesday, gm Shabalov was going over the game, and neither he, I, nor any of the other 12 people were able to find why 37. N-h7 does not win for white. Well, actually there was a continuation in which Shablov said it was a draw, but I think he changed that stance to white still winning although he had begun going over it mentally and not telling us the moves or moving the pieces by that point... If someone can confirm this via computer I'd appreciate it, because as I said none of us after looking at it for about 15 minutes, could explain why my move was not superior to the move played, with the possible exeption of time trouble.
Sep-20-07  ganstaman: <Jim Bartle: <Also white didn't have to accept the draw offer, but he did.> Don't know who offered the draw, but it was white who kept repeating moves, instead of taking a rook.>

Yes, but we seem short 1 move for the draw. That is, after 41...Ke8, white could claim a draw by saying "I'm going to play 42. Qh8+, which bings up the position for the third time."

Note that white made the last move in this game. Proper drawing procedure is to make your move, offer the draw, and then hit your clock. So here, white must have offered the draw, and black accepted instead of moving. If black had offered a draw, white would have simply accepted and could not make his last move.

Also, both players had nearly no time to make their 40th moves (but got that extra hour after moves 40 were made). I doubt either had time to consider a draw offer on move 40. But there was plenty of time to consider making a draw offer with move 41.

Sep-20-07  percyblakeney: Grischuk offered the draw almost immediately after the time control. It looks hard to calculate in detail that there is no winning line for white, but after looking at it for no more than 30 seconds Grischuk realised that 42. Qxa7 meant a draw.
Sep-20-07  percyblakeney: <I, nor any of the other 12 people were able to find why 37. N-h7 does not win for white>

I think it does win, but it isn't easy to see all the lines.

Sep-20-07  Ulhumbrus: 24 Bxc4 serves to open the a4-e8 diagonal, making possible then Qa4+ depriving Black's King of the right to castle.
Sep-20-07  Shams: I'm not seeing 37.Nh7, anyone have a line?
Sep-20-07  Mortadulo: I have to admit I was 45 minutes late for work because I was watching this game yesterday. I have not seen Grischuck play with this much vigor in quite some time. Just when I thought he had already reached his peak he comes and throws this gem at us. beautiful game by both players.

It makes me wonder how much of this was home prepared by Grischuck however. It would be hard for me to buy that he blundered two pawns (the opening is a pawn sac so yes he was down three) and just fought back. However due to them both having less than 1 minute on the clock when they reached move 40 it could not have been much beyond Bxc4. Now that I have time I will read the analysis and look for improvements!

Easilly one of the best draws I have seen in recent top-level play.

Sep-20-07  progrock64: Maybe 33... Rd7 to immediately support the passer is an improvement for black. OK white wins the pawn on g3 but how can white make further progress?
Sep-20-07  progrock64: I wonder if 31...g3 is a good move at all. I need to check moves like rb7 instead.
Sep-20-07  Scarecrow: A breathtaking game!!
Sep-20-07  arnaud1959: 29.b3!! is an amazing move. I didn't see it at all. I wonder if Grischuk saw it when he played 24.Bxc4 which would be almost unsound without 29.b3. Whatever the answer, this guys got very far in intuition and in calculation. This is also true for Svidler who deliberately gets into this kind of position very often.
Sep-20-07  cheski: <Ezzy>
Don't want to burst your CAPITAL bubble, but aren't you glossing over move 27...* for Black? I may be wrong, but last night I had already moved 27.Rd1 Rg8, when I noticed my board looked different from the live lines.

Looking closer, 27.Rd1 Rg8 28.RxQ RxR, may make for a rather tedious left-over Queen shuffling drawing line for White, but it is better for Black up to that point.

It all hinges on what we as spectators demand from games in a competition like this.

Pure entertainment?

A perfect endproduct to mull over afterwards?

I have been speculating on aesthetics and who produces what type of aesthetics. Rereading Elie Agur's "Fischer's approach to Chess" for the umpteenth time. Pity I am not allowed to quote.

Fischer is praised by him for having his games flow smoothly from beginning to end, creating a 'satisfying whole'.

I suppose that is as good a standard as any. Dynamically pleasing, rather than statically perfect. This would preclude nit-picking on every move in the game. Which might be restful as well.

Doesn't take anything away from your commentary nor the game, which was thoroughly entertaining.

Sep-20-07  Ezzy: This is a great video of the game. It shows the tension the players were experiencing in this fascinating complex game. A must see video. This why it would be excellent to have camera's on each board during the live game.

Sep-20-07  eristoff: I don't see any winning line with 37.Qh8+.
For example
37. Qh8+ Ke7 38. Qxh5 Rad7 39. Qxf7+ Kd6 40. Qxe6+ Kc7 41. Qxa6 d3 42. Qa7+ Kd6 43. Qd4+ Kc7 44. Ne6+ Kc8 45. Qc5+ Kb8 46. Qb5+ Kc8 47. a6 d2 48. Qc5+ Kb8 49. a7+ Kb7 50.Nxd8+ Rxd8 51. Qb5+ Kc7 52. Qe5+ Kb7 53. Qe7+ Kc8 54. Qe6+ Kb7 55. Qf7+ Kc8 56. Qf5+ Kb7 57. Qb1+ Kxa7 58. Qd1 Be4=

37. Qh8+ Ke7 38. Qg7 Rad7 39. Nxf7 d3 40. Nxd8+ Kxd8 41. Qf8+ Kc7 42. Qf4+ Kc8 43. Qd2 e5 44. Kf2 e4 45. g4 hxg4 46. h5 Bc6 47. h6 e3+ 48. Kxe3 g3 49. h7 Rxh7 50. Qxd3 g2= Any ideas?

Sep-20-07  ganstaman: From <Ezzy>'s video: Grischuk was hard to understand, but I think that he and Svidler were saying that they had considered b2-b3 but in different move orders, eventually settling on what was played.

Interviewer: "Are there any concrete steps that you're going to try to take for the rest of the tournament to improve the time managament?"

Grischuk: "Uh, maybe you advise me."


Sep-20-07  square dance: <ezzy> thanks for providing the link. its always interesting to hear what the players were thinking about during the games.
Sep-21-07  cn1ght: I would analyze the move myself, but since I don't have a chess program, and those seem to have last say nowadays so, is anyone going to look at 37.Nh7 for me, please? Or if you can find a source explaining why it does/does not work, that would work just as well probably. Keep in mind that a gm has looked at it already like I said, so just putting the program on a easy setting to get a quick answer, won't do obviously.
Sep-21-07  cn1ght: As to why this is a draw, black has no moves other than what he played, if he moves in front of the rook he drops the pawn and a rook, and if he moves to not guard the rook, white grabs that rook followed by the possible queening pawn. Does it really matter if the scoresheet has 1 more move listed or not when it makes absolutely no difference in the game after it has already been made clear it is a draw by repetition?
Sep-22-07  eristoff: I have analyzed 37.Nh7 and I don't see any clear win for white. I will only give a sample line, but of course there are lot of ramifications:

37. Nh7 Rad7 38. Nf6+ (38. c5 d3 39. Nf6+ Kf8 40. Nxd7+ Rxd7 41. c6 d2 42. Qc5+ Kg7 43. Qg5+ Kf8=) 38... Ke7 39. Nxd7 Rxd7 40. Qg5+ (40. Qc5+ Ke8 41. Qc8+ Rd8 42. Qxa6 d3 43. Qb5+ Rd7 44. Qxh5 d2 45. Qd1 Bc6 46. a6 Ba4 47. a7 Bxd1 48. a8=Q+ Ke7 49. Qa3+ =) 40... Kf8 41. Qxh5 d3 42. Qh6+ Ke7 43. Qd2 Rd4 44. h5 e5 45. h6 Be4 46. c5 Kf6 47. c6 Bxc6 48. Qf2+ (48. h7 Kg7 49. h8=Q+ Kxh8 50. Qh6+ Kg8 51. Qxc6 d2 52. Qe8+ Kh7 53. Qxf7+ Kh6 54. Qf6+ Kh7=) 48... Kg6 49. h7 Kxh7 50. Qxf7+ Kh6 51. Qf6+ Kh7 52. Qxc6 d2 53. Qc2+ Kh6 54. Qd1 e4 55. Kf2 Rd3 56. Ke2 Kg5=

Also interesting is 37... Rb7. One of the lines that I have found is particularly beautiful:

37. Nh7 Rb7 38. Nf6+ Ke7 39. Nxh5 (39. Qc5+ may be better) 39... d3? (39... Rbd7 may draw) 40. Qc5+ Rd6 41. Qg5+ Kf8 42. c5 Rdd7 (42... Rd5 and 42... Rb1+ also lose) 43. c6 d2 44. Qc5+ Ke8 45. c7!! (45.cxd7+ Rxd7=) d1=Q+ 46. Kh2 and Black loses because he can not prevent the coronation (if 46... Rxc7 47.Nf6+ Kd8 18.Qf8 mates).

Sep-23-07  cn1ght: Ah, thank you very much eristoff. Looks like it's more intereting than what happened atleast I guess...
Oct-03-07  mrbiggs: Great game!

I found it vaguely reminiscent in both play and outcome to Anand vs Topalov, 2005

Jul-29-11  kluto: Perhaps Svidler will play 21...O-O-O the next time. Maybe just as fun.
Oct-28-11  AVRO38: Since when is this opening called the Anti-Moscow Gambit rather than the Anti-Meran Gambit?
Jul-10-12  fisayo123: Grischuk says its his favorite game ever.
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