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Viswanathan Anand vs Veselin Topalov
Corus Group A (2008), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-20
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-21-08  arjunkakar: A win or A loss can have such an effect on successive games. The first game loss lead to some really shaky and ordinary games from anand and a win, although not very convincing against polgar, now ledas to an outstanding game. Perhaps this is where Kasparov was different. When he hwas defeated he came back ith a vengence. Being an indian i am partisan towrads Anand, but i would be lying if inside my heart i wasent rooting for carlsen. At this age if he wins it would be such an outstanding achievement also good for future of game.
Jan-21-08  shintaro go: A passive Najdorf from Topalov to say the least..
Jan-21-08  aazqua: Topalov sucks. If that guy doesn't cheat he can't compete. Looks like they stopped him from cheating at Corus. What a loser.
Jan-22-08  squlpt: <aazqua> I dunno. Maybe he'll pull out the handshake gambit or the restroom gambit against Kramnik today...
Jan-22-08  Landzhev: Although not exactly humane, I honestly believe that anyone who truly thinks these super elite players (no matter Topalov, Kramnik, whoever) are "cheating" deserves cane strokes:) As a way to deal with sickening ignorance. But maybe a better way is to just ignore it, though I couldn'r resist. OMG, the chess geniuses of our time are "cheating" - say it isn't so!
Jan-22-08  Eyal: Topalov certainly doesn't appear at his best in this game, but I think a lot of the credit for that goes to Anand, for outplaying him so completely and making him look bad...

Gregory Kaidanov, in his analysis of the game on ICC (, notes that this is a very instructive example of a player having the flexibility to switch plans (and the way Anand described the course of the game in the press conference supports that). After realizing on moves 21-22 that the plan of the c5-break wouldn't work, Anand started maneuvering his pieces on moves 23-25 in order to shift his attack to the kingside, and by move 26 the new plan is already clear. And yet, it's interesting to note that at the end of the game, White would win the knight endgame (following the exchange of rooks) by pushing a passer on the queenside.

Jan-22-08  micahtuhy: <arnaud1959>

For the most part I agree with you on the way Anand handles the sicilian with white, but, don't forget what Kasparov did to him with the Dragon in 1995. Granted, taht was more than ten years ago, but Anand was top three back then and Garry still smashed him with it.

Jan-23-08  hitman84: <Granted, taht was more than ten years ago, but Anand was top three back then and Garry still smashed him with it.>

<micahtuhy>You learn by losing! Anand contributed very much to the development of Dragon theory after that match.

Speaking of Anand beating Topalov's Najdorf..Anand has owned him even if you leave out his rapid victories.

The fact that Anand beat Topalov's preparation OTB is what makes this game great. He gave some logical explanations during his post game conference. His moves were based more on logic than deep analysis; He played the game Karpovesque.

Jan-23-08  hitman84: 22.a3 and 37.Ka2 are trademark Karpovlike moves.
Mar-09-08  notyetagm: This game is annotated by World Champion Anand in the latest New In Chess magazine, 2008/2.
Mar-09-08  euripides: B-R3 is sometimes played in the KID and the French to get rid of Black's bad bishop. But White can sometimes exploit the loss of time and the weakening of the squares that the 'bad' bishop was protecting - particularly if (as in the comment <Eyal> reports from Kaidanov) he is willing to play flexibly. One particularly dramatic case is

Seirawan vs Ivanchuk, 1997

Mar-09-08  euripides: Whether sound or not, Topalov's approach was no doubt an attempt to improve on previous experiences in this line. In the first game with 9.Nd5 in the database, Svidler tries to exchange the dark-squared bishops off without the weakening g6. He draws after making quite nice play on the dark squares:

Adams vs Svidler, 1999

In a rapid game against Anand, which Topalov probably looked closely at, Kramnik played g6 but didn't exchange the dark-squared bishops. He got murdered, though perhaps not because of the opening:

Anand vs Kramnik, 2004

Mar-09-08  euripides: Another nice example of how to play against B-R3:

Bacrot vs J Sikora-Lerch, 2003

Jul-10-08  SetNoEscapeOn: <euripides>

Anand vs Kramnik, 2004 does not appear to be a rapid game, as it was played at Dortmund.

Jul-10-08  cannibal: <SetNoEscapeOn>
It was rapid. They had a combined group- and knockout system that year, and Anand won the final in the rapid tiebreak (in fact, Kramnik made it to 2nd place with all-draws in the classical games).
Aug-10-08  SetNoEscapeOn: <cannibal>

Yup, it was rapid- thanks.

As for this game, for those with ICC memberships, Kaidanov gave a very nice "game of the day" presentation. I really like his instructive style, explaining how top players think.

Nov-22-08  VaselineTopLove: The latter part of this game appears to be a bit too positional for a Sicilian...
Jan-25-09  notyetagm: <notyetagm: This game is annotated by World Champion Anand in the latest New In Chess magazine, 2008/2.>

Thanks, I was just wondering if Anand annotated this game anywhere.

Jan-25-09  fromoort: Did you just reply to yourself? :-)
Jan-26-09  notyetagm: <arnaud1959: I think nobody handles the Sicilian better than Anand with white pi├Ęces. <<<Somehow he finds the correct balance between attacking on the Kingside and defending on the Queenside while keeping an eye on the center.>>>>

Very well said.

Most patzers like myself just want to go nuts on the kingside in positions like this.

Like you said, understanding the proper *balance* between the three sectors (center, kingside, queenside) of the board is the key to understanding why Anand is superb on the White side of the Open Sicilian.

Anand vs Morozevich, 2007 is another stupendous example of Anand keeping all three sectors of the board under control in an Open Sicilian.

Jan-26-09  notyetagm: <fromoort: Did you just reply to yourself? :-)>

I was wondering if anyone would notice that. :-)

May-29-13  himadri: nice joke <notyetagm>
May-31-15  jith1207: nice ploy <notyetagm>
May-31-15  jith1207: that is, answering the question yourself some one year back before coming year with the question in mind and appreciating yourself. ;-)
May-31-15  jith1207: **coming here
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