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Viswanathan Anand vs Larry Christiansen
"The Perfect Pawnstorm" (game of the day Jan-25-2013)
Munich Blitz (1991) (blitz), Munich DEU, rd 8, May-05
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Polugaevsky Variation (B42)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Gorgeous.
Jan-25-13  haydn20: What a little gem.
Jan-25-13  Naniwazu: Christiansen might have been a master of attack, but he doesn't seem to have been a master of blitz. I find it unbelievable that Christiansen wasn't able to finish Anand off in this game. 24. Qf2 is just a blunder when 24...a3! leads to a winning attack for Black. At one point Christiansen had a mate in 8! Kudos to Anand for saving the game though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: These paeans to Anand's brilliance are misplaced. Christiansen got a crushing position out of the opening, and missed many, many opportunities to end this blitz game in his favor. These start with 24...a3!, pointed out by <sofouuk>. Houdini also points out 38...Nd5+! forcing mate in 6, and 38...Qa7+, mating in 8. 44...Qxh7+! 45.Kxh7 Rb1!, with an extra rook, also would have won trivially, since 46.g6? would have run into 46...Rh1#. On move 46, 46...Ng2! 47.Kf5 Nh4+ 48.Kxe5 Rg1 would have won easily. Et cetera, et cetera.

This is a comedy of errors, not a masterpiece. Sort of the blitz equivalent of J L Burden vs Christiansen, 1992, but this time with Christiansen in the role of the guy who is up gobs of material, misses gazillions of wins, and ends up losing. These sorts of things happen in blitz, even to a great blitz player like Christiansen. We've all been there.

Jan-25-13  morfishine: <FSR> I would add 38...Nd1+ forcing 39.Rxd1 Qxd1 and Black has to win

Well it was blitz. I have lots of blitz brilliancies just like this one: loaded with errors :)

Jan-25-13  goodevans: I played through this at almost blitz speed and even then I was able to spot that Larry missed a win with <44...Qxh7>. I see from other posts he also missed several other winning opportunities.

I don't think either player can be particularly proud of this game.

Jan-25-13  shakespeare: lol - never give up the fight :-)
Jan-25-13  kevin86: A fantastic one! Black has two queens but cannot stop mate by a knight and three pawns that did their maximum without queening or even threatening to queen.
Jan-25-13  pericles of athens: in my very humble opinion, i think a better pun might be "curb your enthusiasm" [re: larry]
Jan-25-13  drinksbottle: Wow this is a fantastic game !
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <FSR: This is a comedy of errors, not a masterpiece.>

Sounds like Monty Python - I approve!

Jan-25-13  jovack: <FSR> cut down on the pretentious prattle. the game is entertaining. if i wanted to see what the engine recommends, i would have booted up houdini 3 myself.

the game of the day is meant to serve up a variety of games: both precise play, and entertaining play.

please don't think you're the only one who can see the "horrendous inaccuracies".

Jan-25-13  RookFile: Obviously we need to make allowances for the fact that this was a 5 minute game. Having said that, I think both players had more good ideas in this game than many players do with two hours to think.
Jan-25-13  talsqueen: incredible. Anand never gets ruffled does he? even when the wolves are charging at his king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: I'm surprised Christiansen didn't bring another piece into the attack with 40...Rb3+ - even if he didn't see the mate in 60 at move 38.
Jan-25-13  solskytz: What a game!!

The balls to play hxg6 when faced with a queen check on the a-file... then the capacity to let Christianssen make a second Q and let it stay on the board although you can capture it with two different pieces, and you have not even one Q...

And all the time we see the white mating attack, which still isn't immediate, which still needs several tempi to become decisive, and when black is defending against it, does have plenty of extra material, is willing to shed a lot of it generously and in good timing just to fend it off, but still, to no avail - the pawns and king (the weakest and most vulnerable units in chess) prevail. Just pure amazement from the ageless master.

Jan-25-13  solskytz: A true modern immortal, certainly destined to become and all-time classic of attacking, and part of the timeless legacy of the Sicilian attacking and counter-attacking game.

I'm actually quite surprised that I'm meeting this astonishing game for the first time. Special thanks for for bringing it out as GOTD today. This is truly wonderful.

Jan-25-13  solskytz: <sofouuk> as I watched the game, 24...Rb8 seemed to me to be a great, resourceful and practical move - not insisting on defense, black counter attacks, bringing another piece to bear where it counts.

Are you sure that you, when playing against Anand in blitz time control, would have found and played 24...a3 in real time, with an understanding of the underlying variations?

Jan-25-13  solskytz: <Naniwazu> really amazing!! How could Anand ever miss a mate in 8? And especially in blitz! A scandal, if you ask me.
Jan-25-13  sofouuk: <solskytz>of course I probably wouldn't have, what does that have to do with anything? read my post, I wasn't criticising anyone, it just seemed unlikely to me that white wasn't lost at some point, which is why I checked the engine. and bcz I thought the pattern had a4-a3 been played was instructive and quite likely to arise in other games, I highlighted it. well, and, compared to the other winning moves, it really wasn't that hard to see, for a strong gm, even in blitz. but hey, they're human
Jan-25-13  waustad: Oh yes! How many "who gets there first" Sicilians have I played? This is what chess is about!
Jan-25-13  Mudphudder: I can't believe black had two queens on the board at one point...and still loses at the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Mudphudder> If can't believe a player can lose with two queens on the board, take a look at this game:

Franz vs Mayet, 1858

Jan-26-13  Mudphudder: I was being rhetorical in that statement.
Feb-01-13  cm84: An interesting pun I feel, with the other "Perfect Storm" hitting the East Coast about 5 months after this game.
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