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Viswanathan Anand vs Wesley So
Gashimov Memorial (2015), Shamkir AZE, rd 5, Apr-21
Spanish Game: Closed. Martinez Variation (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-21-15  BeerBrand: <Sally Simpson: 8. Bb3 *
We get the same position after 8 moves that we saw in the Anand - SO game after 9 moves except here the big difference is that it is Black's move!>

Good point. Pointing out that this is really a Philidor's opening transposed from a Ruy. I guess the 9... Nb8 move is an obvious loss of tempo, that could work in a spanish if there's c3 pawn. I was expecting So to play a Sicilian against Vishy and a difficult struggle from both sides.

Apr-21-15  Hesam7: <patzer2: Instead of capturing the Knight, the computers suggest 14...exf4 (-0.74 @ 25 depth, deep Fritz 14).>

I wondered that too. I haven't seen the players analysis but I am wondering whether Anand's idea was sound or not. White has three options after 14...ef4. The most critical being: 15 Nf7 Rf7 16 Bf7 Kf7 17 Bf4 Kg8 18 h3 Bb7

click for larger view

It is hard to see how Black is not better here. That leaves 15 Nh3 & 15 Nf3 both of which can be met by 15...g5!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi BeerBrand,

It's really just an observation and piece of chessboard trickery ( Nc6-b8 figures in a few Lopez mainlines.) though that position was actually reached in a game on RHP.

Some may be interested in the grade of the players concerned?

Wait for it....

Black was 1115 White was 980! (Black won.)

Everyone else appears to be giving young Wes advice, I might as well jump on the band wagon.

Start nicking some ideas from the under 1200 players. Team Anand and the rest of those top 10 crews won't know whats hit them.

Good Luck.

Apr-22-15  anandrulez: <Hesam7> Yeah and even the author thinks exf4 is bad though computer gives a slight advantage. He says he doesn't believe the comp evals .. really strange. Probably need to check it.
Apr-22-15  Hesam7: <anandrulez: <Hesam7> Yeah and even the author thinks exf4 is bad though computer gives a slight advantage.>

Thanks for this I actually looked up the commentary you are referring to:

<14... exf4 could once again be met calmly with 15. Nf3 and although the engine shows 15... g5 with an edge for Black, this time I don't believe it! White can prepare to break open the black kingside and I know which side I'd rather be on.>

This is very weak, I think the commentator simply bought into Anand's bluff here. Here is the position after 14...ef4 15 Nf3 g5:

click for larger view

How is White going to break open the Black K-side?? 16 h4? is nearly losing after 16...Nh5; The c1-Bishop is shut in; from now on White will have to make sure ...Bg4 or ...Ng4 don't work for Black.

16 g3 appears to be the trickiest continuation for Black: 16...fg3 17 hg3 d5! 18 e5 Nh5 19 Qh2 Bg4 20 Be3 Qd7 21 Rae1 c6!

click for larger view

The a2-Bishop is completely out of play and it is hard to see White's compensation for the pawn.

Apr-22-15  anandrulez: I also tried these type of variations with the engine, especially the g3 break, nothing seems promising for white! It reminds me of Anand Aronian from the Candidates where Anand was much worse after Nf4 had Levon found it.

I hope Anand (and his myriad of seconds) goes back and re-assess this opening. Vs opponents like MC you can't take things for granted.

Apr-22-15  Ulhumbrus: 9...Nb8 undevelops the knight and invites the attack 10 Ng5. This may work not as well in the main line of the Breyer defence for at least one reason: After 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 0-0 9 h3 Nb8 10 Ng5 White has played c3 instead of Nc3 and d3 and the latter frees White's queen's bishop to support the advance f4
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Hesam 7> Thanks for the deeper look at 14...exf4! I think it tests the soundness for Anand's 14. f4!?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi anandrulez,

"I hope Anand (and his myriad of seconds) goes back and re-assess this opening. Vs opponents like MC you can't take things for granted."

They most likely know it's possibly a one off throw away line.

Anand's team will have access to some very advanced software. (is Anand still being sponsored by a computer company or did he lose that when Carlsen won the World Title?) The difference being they will be looking at the board and not just the number.

If they thought the position required some key and good moves from the opponent to find OTB with a few attractive looking ways to go wrong then as long it kept the draw in hand go for it.

Chess players have been thinking like this for the past 100+ years. Some, the Tal and Larsen breed, would not have been too worried about keeping the draw in hand.

There would have been some very experienced eyes looking at the resulting positions after Ng5 and making decisions, not the silicon chip which would have been chugging away in the background keeping an eye on them. If it suddenly jumped to +3 or #8 then they would look at it.

The good guys use it as a tool, not a crutch. Remember Ng5 came from a human seeking OTB problems - it's not a computer suggestion. (all the more reason to look at it in depth.)

What they are looking for are middle game positions they know their man can play and feel comfortable in.

Unlike Carlsen who seems to look for positions he feels his opponent is uncomfortable in confident in himself he can handle it. Not always, his style is more universal than that but he does have a healthy knack of putting his opponents off their stride.

Apr-22-15  tmc: based on my [very limited] analysis, anand seems to lose concentration and makes sub optimal moves starting around the 3hr mark (move 30 or so). this is where carlsen got him in WC 2014. if anand finishes the game (or gets almost winning position) before that, he seems to be ok. this is probably due to age and fitness.
Apr-22-15  paavoh: @Sally Simpson: Spot on.
Apr-23-15  SmoothSkinnedLeper: One of Anand's masterpieces.
Apr-23-15  310metaltrader: I have to give Anand props. I view his tenure as world champion as kind of a disaster for the marketing of chess. His match against Gelfand was terrible, in the words of Charles Barkley. The only game really of any value was the Gelfand win.

He popularized chess in India, I guess, but it appears to me that India is part of different civilization under the Huntington analysis, and not real critcial.

the match against Carlsen in some Hyatt in Chennai was pathetic - the "truth triumphs" mascot and such was nonsense and the whole wrapping in sarongs was silly.

It is just a shame that Norway is such a small country that cannot afford a kick ass venue for magnus,but india has no such excuse.

But having dumped on Anand and India, it is my belief that Anand is a baller when it comes to tournament chess. To not lose a game so far, well, the only other person who did that was MC. Anand's win in the candidates to get a shot at a rematch was an awesome performance. This game was sublime.

So he has it. I just wish someone a little more glamorous would have it like Nakamura, So, or Caruana, or Giri. Anand is not good for glamorizing chess but g-d-m can he play tournament chess.

Apr-25-15  Hesam7: <Sally Simpson: There would have been some very experienced eyes looking at the resulting positions after Ng5 and making decisions, not the silicon chip which would have been chugging away in the background keeping an eye on them. If it suddenly jumped to +3 or #8 then they would look at it.

The good guys use it as a tool, not a crutch. Remember Ng5 came from a human seeking OTB problems - it's not a computer suggestion. (all the more reason to look at it in depth.)>

I don't understand why the engines have to be wrong here. Anand's idea was unsound, it is quite possible that he and his team missed something, made a mistake, or that he was simply bluffing (unless I see analysis that shows White is not worse after 14...ef4!).

Apr-25-15  newton296: I don't think anand missed anything here after 14)...exf4

white looks about = to me and engines seem to agree.

Apr-26-15  Ulhumbrus: In the position after 11 Ba2 if Black does nothing White is going to play f4 and start a king side attack.

Black can do at least three things to answer the threat. He can challenge the N on f5, he can obstruct the a2-g8 diagonal for White's king's bishop and he can advance in the centre by ...d5.

12 f4 seems consistent, otherwise why has White played Ng5? However it may be not easy or possible for Black to drive away quickly the N on g5 .

12...Nxe2+ moves the N a third time to exchange it for a N moves twice. Moreover the recapture 13 Qxe2 places indirect pressure on e5 and hinders the advance ...d5. Instead of 12...Nxe2, 12...Ne6 challenges the N on g5.

13...h6 disturbs the king side pawns wuthout necessity. Instead of this 13...Nd7 discovers an attack on the N. On 14 f4 Bxg5 15 fxg5 Nc5 16 Qh5 Be6 obstructs White's king's bishop and defends the f7 pawn.

If the commentator doubted that 14...ef was good for Black we may think it possible that if the computer will conclude eventually that White has the advantage instead of Black.

May-01-15  QueentakesKing: 14)....hxg5 really? Wesley was not able to calculate precisely the outcome of such move. Therefore, he fell into a trap. Unforgivable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <QueentakesKing: 14)....hxg5 really? Wesley was not able to calculate precisely the outcome of such move. Therefore, he fell into a trap. Unforgivable.>

Every serious chess player has fallen into a trap at some point in his/her career.

I suppose we are all unforgiven.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: You'll find this masterpiece annotated by Lubomir Kavalek here: (scroll down)
May-07-15  anandrulez: <whiteshark> You beat me to it. 14.f4!? @Hesam and all, An amazing piece sacrifice with a nice geommetry: the pawn on f7 is being attacked diagonally (Ba2), in a straight line (Rf1) and eventually by a pawn from g6. hxg5 So takes the piece. After 14...exf4 15.f3 g5 16.g3 g4 16...fxg3 17.hxg3 c6 18.d4 White lands his pieces on the weak light squares. Now if all experts say nice piece sac then probably I will check with engines again.
May-08-15  Hesam7: Finally some concrete analysis on 14...ef4.

1. Kavalek: <14...ef4 15 Nf3 g5 16 g3 g4 17 fg3 17 hg3 c6 18 Nd4, White lands his pieces on the weak light squares.> Here 17...c6? is a mistake, as I have posted before Black should play 17...d5! which prevents 18 Nd4? which loses on the spot after 18...ed4!.

2. Monokroussos: <14...ef4 15 Nh3 g5 16 Nf4 gf4 17 Bf4 Kh7 18 e5 de5 19 Be5 with compensation.> Again Black can defend better: 17...Kg7!

click for larger view

The point is that 18 e5? de5 19 Be5? Bc5! 20 Kh1 Bd4 and Black is winning; 18 Bh6? loses as well; the best engine line is: 18 Rf3 Kh7 19 Raf1 Bg4 20 Bd2 Bf3 21 Qf3 Qd7 22 Bc3 Ne8 23 e5 Ng7 24 Qe4 Kg8

click for larger view

White has "some" compensation but it is not enough to cover his material investment in the attack (one pawn for a full Rook).

Aug-30-15  Pulo y Gata: Anand at his best.
Oct-30-15  epistle: Let's have another one like this tonight.
Oct-30-15  epistle: The game of his life.
Oct-31-15  epistle: <Master Exploder: ... Anand who seems to be ... showing signs of wear and tear. >

I hope this is true. He'll wear his wig toupee again and tear his opponent to pieces.

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