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Vishy Anand will take on Wesley So in the finals at Leon Masters 2017

by Sagar Shah - 09/07/2017

Viswanathan Anand had his back against the wall against the young and talented Spanish IM Jaime Santos at the semi-finals of the XXX Leon Masters 2017. After trailing 1.5-0.5 in the match, he was able to win a game and tie the scores in the rapid section, before taking the match in the blitz. In the other semi-finals Wesley So defeated Jan- Krzysztof Duda and qualified to the finals. This sets up a title clash between Vishy Anand and Wesley So which will take place today at 11 p.m. IST. You can watch the game live here.

Anand beat Jaime Santos and Wesley So defeats Jan Krzysztof Duda to setup a final clash at XXX Leon Masters 2017

 

After a not so successful show at the Leuven leg of Grand Prix, Vishy Anand travelled to the city of Leon to take part in the XXX Leon Masters 2017. It is an event that Anand has relished playing in his chess career. He has won the title nine times in the past! In this 30th edition, he would be looking to make it a perfect tenth victory. However, the very strong Wesley So is in his paths.

 

The XXX Leon Masters is a four player knock- out event. Two World Class players in the form of Wesley So and Vishy Anand have been invited. Wesley takes on the Polish talent Jan Krzysztof Duda while Anand was going to face local talent Jaime Santos in a four game rapid match of 20 minutes + 10 seconds of increment.

In the first semi-finals Wesley So came back from a deficit of one point and beat Jan - Krzysztof Duda with a score of 2.5-1.5

Vishy Anand was up against IM Jaime Santos rated 2542

Game one:

Game one was a Breyer where Anand with the white pieces couldn't really get any advantage. The game ended in a draw. A good result for the young Spanish player.

[Event "Magistral Ciudad Leon XXX"]
[Site "Leon"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Viswanathan, Anand"]
[Black "Santos Latasa, Jaime"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C95"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2542"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3
O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 g6 15.
a4 Bg7 16. Bd3 d5 {[%emt 0:00:10] C95: Closed Ruy Lopez: Breyer Variation with
d4} 17. Bg5 b4 18. cxb4 h6 19. Bxf6 Qxf6 {LiveBook: 3 Games} 20. Rc1 Qd6 {[#]}
21. exd5 $146 ({Predecessor:} 21. b5 axb5 22. Bxb5 c6 23. Bf1 exd4 24. Nxd4 {
0-1 (71) Shirov,A (2739)-Mamedyarov,S (2761) Moscow 2010}) 21... exd4 22. Ne4
Qxb4 23. Rxc7 Ne5 24. Nxe5 Rxe5 25. f4 Ree8 $1 26. d6 Rad8 27. Nd2 Bd5 28.
Rxe8+ Rxe8 29. d7 Rd8 30. Qe2 (30. f5 $14) 30... Be6 (30... Qb8 $5 31. Rc2 Rxd7
$11) 31. Nf3 ({Don't go for} 31. Bxa6 $2 d3 $19) (31. Rc8 $5 Rxc8 32. dxc8=B (
32. dxc8=R+ Bxc8 33. Qe8+ Qf8 $11) (32. dxc8=N Qc5 $11) 32... Bxc8 33. Qe8+ Qf8
34. Qc6 $11) 31... Qb6 32. Rc8 1/2-1/2

Game two:

Game two was an absolute shock for the chess world. Anand was outplayed from a relatively equal endgame by his opponent. Jaime had the double bishops and pressed admirably in the position to come out with the full point.

Beating Anand in any format is a great achievement for a player ranked 250 points below him
[Event "Magistral Ciudad Leon XXX"]
[Site "Leon"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Santos Latasa, Jaime"]
[Black "Viswanathan, Anand"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E08"]
[WhiteElo "2542"]
[BlackElo "2783"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "109"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8.
Qc2 c6 9. Bf4 b6 10. Rd1 Bb7 11. Ne5 Nh5 {[%emt 0:00:07] E08: Closed Catalan:
Main Line: Qc2} 12. Bc1 (12. Bd2 Nhf6 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Nc6 Bxc6 15. Qxc6 Rc8
16. Qb5 Ne8 17. Qd3 Nd6 18. Nc3 Nf6 19. b3 Qd7 20. Rac1 Rfd8 21. Rc2 Nde4 22.
Be1 {1/2-1/2 (22) Radjabov,T (2710)-Gelfand,B (2724) Moscow 2017}) 12... Nhf6
13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Nc6 Bxc6 15. Qxc6 {LiveBook: 12 Games} Qc8 16. Qxc8 Rfxc8
$146 ({Predecessor:} 16... Raxc8 17. Nc3 Bb4 18. Bd2 Rc4 19. e3 Bxc3 20. Bxc3 {
1-0 (35) Fessler, S-Adler,H (2074) Baden 2010}) 17. Nc3 a6 18. e4 dxe4 19. Nxe4
Nd5 20. Bd2 (20. Nc3 $5) 20... N7f6 (20... Rc2 {is interesting.} 21. Rab1 b5
22. Bf1 N7b6 23. Bd3 Rc7) 21. Nc3 Nxc3 22. bxc3 Nd5 23. Rdb1 Rab8 24. Rb3 h6
25. a4 Bg5 26. f4 Bf6 {[#]} 27. Kf1 $1 g6 28. Ke1 Bd8 29. Bf1 Ra8 30. Rab1 Ne7
31. Bd3 Nc6 32. Ke2 h5 33. Be4 Ra7 34. Kd3 Na5 35. Rb4 Rd7 36. Be1 Kf8 37. Bf3
Nc6 ({Black should try} 37... Ke7 $14) 38. Rc4 $16 Rdc7 39. Rxb6 Ne5+ 40. fxe5
Rxc4 41. Rxa6 {Threatens to win with Bb7.} R4c7 42. a5 Ke8 43. Rd6 Ra7 44. a6
Bc7 $2 {[#]} (44... Rb8 {was called for.} 45. Bf2 Bb6) 45. Bc6+ $1 $18 Kf8 46.
Rd7 Rb8 {Now ...Rb6 and Black clings on.} 47. d5 {White is clearly winning.}
Bb6 48. Rxa7 Bxa7 {Endgame KRB-KB} 49. d6 Rb6 50. Bb7 Rb5 51. Bd2 Rxe5 52. Bh6+
Ke8 53. Bc6+ Kd8 {...Rc5 would now be nice for Black.} 54. Bg7 Rf5 55. Bf8 {
Precision: White = 77%, Black = 36%.} 1-0

 

The final position of game two where Anand resigned

Game three:

This was going to be Anand's last white in the rapid time control. He had to make it count. That explains his choice of playing 1.Nf3 followed by 2.e3. But very soon we ended up in the Exchange Caro Kann system. Anand was able to slowly build up the pressure and won the game, thus levelling the scores.

Making the second white count!
[Event "Magistral Ciudad Leon XXX"]
[Site "Leon"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Viswanathan, Anand"]
[Black "Santos Latasa, Jaime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2542"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. e3 c5 3. d4 cxd4 4. exd4 d5 5. Bf4 Nc6 6. c3 Bg4 7. Qb3 {B13:
Caro-Kann: Exchange Variation and Panov-Botvinnik Attack} (7. Nbd2 e6 8. Qb3
Qc8 9. Bd3 Be7 10. O-O Bh5 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. Bxe5 O-O 13. Rac1 Bg6 14. Bxg6 hxg6
15. c4 Qd7 16. c5 Rfc8 17. Qd3 a5 18. Rc3 Qc6 19. Rfc1 Ne4 20. Nxe4 dxe4 {
1/2-1/2 (50) Wei,Y (2696)-Zhou,J (2620) Wuxi 2016}) 7... Na5 8. Qa4+ Bd7 9. Qc2
{White is slightly better.} Nc6 10. Nbd2 Rc8 11. Qb3 $146 ({Predecessor:} 11.
Nb3 e6 12. Be2 Be7 13. O-O Nh5 14. Qd2 Nxf4 15. Qxf4 {0-1 (25) Braun,I (2004)
-Seipel,A (2051) IECG email 2000}) 11... Na5 12. Qd1 Nc6 13. h3 g6 14. Bd3 $36
{White is more active.} Bg7 15. O-O O-O 16. Re1 Qb6 17. Rb1 Rfe8 18. Ne5 Be6
19. a4 Red8 20. Nxc6 Qxc6 21. a5 Qd7 22. Qb3 a6 23. Qb4 Bf8 24. Nf3 Ra8 25.
Rbc1 Bf5 26. Ne5 Qc8 {[#] aiming for ...Bxd3.} 27. Bf1 Be6 28. Qb3 Ne4 29. c4
dxc4 30. Bxc4 Bxc4 31. Nxc4 Qf5 {[#]} 32. Qf3 $1 ({Much worse is} 32. Qxb7 $6
Nxf2 33. Be5 Nd3 $11) 32... Nd6 $2 (32... Ng5 $16 33. Bxg5 Qxg5) 33. Re5 $18
Qf6 34. Nb6 Rab8 $2 (34... Nb5 35. Nxa8 Rxa8) 35. Nd5 Qh4 36. g4 Bh6 (36... e6
$142 37. Bg5 Qxg5 38. Rxg5 exd5) 37. Rxe7 {Threatens to win with Bxd6.} Bxf4
38. Qxf4 Qxh3 39. Rcc7 {White wants to mate with Rxf7.} h5 40. Rxf7 {Precision:
White = 72%, Black = 44%.} 1-0

 

Game four:

We saw the same opening as in game three, but this time the colours were reversed. Jaime had a pleasant edge and even in the final position where the players agreed to a draw the Spanish player had an edge. But Anand had defended quite well in the last few moves and hence the players agreed to a draw.

[Event "Magistral Ciudad Leon XXX"]
[Site "Leon"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Santos Latasa, Jaime"]
[Black "Viswanathan, Anand"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "2542"]
[BlackElo "2783"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. O-O {B13:
Caro-Kann: Exchange Variation and Panov-Botvinnik Attack} e6 8. Qe1 Bd6 (8...
Bxe2 9. Qxe2 Nf6 10. Nd2 Bd6 11. g3 O-O 12. f4 Rae8 13. Nf3 Nd7 14. Bd2 f5 {
1-0 (34) Yu,Y (2729)-Dreev,A (2652) Doha 2016}) 9. f3 Bh5 ({Not} 9... Bxh2+ $2
10. Kh1 $18) 10. Qh4 Nf6 11. Nf4 $146 (11. Bg5 $16 Bg6 12. Bxg6 fxg6 13. Bxf6
gxf6 14. Qxf6) ({Predecessor:} 11. Bg5 Bg6 12. Bxg6 fxg6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Qxf6
Kd7 {0-1 (32) Torres Sanchez,J (2205)-Starostits,I (2453) La Roda 2015}) 11...
Bxf4 $1 $11 12. Bxf4 Qe7 (12... Qb6 $11 {keeps the balance.} 13. Rf2 O-O) 13.
Bg5 {[#] Strongly threatening Bxf6.} Bg6 14. Bxg6 fxg6 15. Nd2 h6 16. Rae1 O-O
17. Bxf6 Rxf6 18. Qg3 a5 19. Nb3 a4 20. Nc5 b6 21. Nd3 g5 22. a3 Na5 23. Ne5
Rc8 24. Qf2 Nc4 25. Nd3 Qc7 26. Qc2 Qc6 27. Re2 Qd7 28. Rfe1 Re8 29. h3 Re7 30.
Nf2 Kh8 31. Ng4 Rf8 32. Ne5 Nxe5 33. Rxe5 Rf6 34. Qe2 Qc6 35. Qa6 Kg8 36. R1e3
Rd7 37. Qe2 Rd6 38. Qf2 Qb5 39. Kh2 Kh8 40. Re2 Qe8 41. Qg3 Qd7 42. Qg4 Rf4 43.
Qg3 (43. Qh5 $14) 43... Kg8 ({Better is} 43... Rf6 $1 $11) 44. Qe1 $14 {
White is slightly better.} Kf7 45. Qb1 Kg8 46. Qc2 {Precision: White = 65%,
Black = 70%.} 1/2-1/2

 

The scores were thus tied at 2-2. And the focus now shifted to the blitz section of the match.

Game five (blitz game one):

Anand continued his strategy of playing offbeat openings, this time it was the Vienna. He played a good game and took the lead for the first time in the match.

[Event "Magistral Ciudad Leon XXX"]
[Site "Leon"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "1.5"]
[White "Viswanathan, Anand"]
[Black "Santos Latasa, Jaime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C28"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2542"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Na5 5. Nge2 Be7 6. O-O O-O {C28: Vienna
Game: 2...Nf6 3 Bc4 Nc6} (6... c6 7. a4 Nxc4 8. dxc4 O-O 9. b3 d6 10. Ba3 Qc7
11. Ng3 Be6 12. Qe2 Rad8 13. Rad1 Rfe8 14. Rfe1 {0-1 (59) Piorun,K (2681)
-Banusz,T (2613) Monzon 2016}) 7. a4 Nxc4 8. dxc4 d6 9. Qd3 Be6 10. b3 c6 {
LiveBook: 4 Games} 11. Ba3 Qc7 12. Rfd1 Rfd8 13. Qe3 $146 ({Predecessor:} 13.
Qf3 b6 14. h3 {1/2-1/2 (83) Lillo Castany,V (2314)-Delorme,A (2434) Arinsal
2009}) 13... h6 14. h3 Bf8 15. Rd3 a6 16. Rad1 b5 $1 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Bb2 (18.
f4 $11 {keeps the balance.}) 18... bxa4 19. Nxa4 Nd7 20. Nec3 Rdb8 21. Bc1 Nb6
(21... d5 $5 22. Qg3 Kh8 $15) 22. Nxb6 Qxb6 23. Qg3 Kh8 24. Kh2 Qc7 25. f4 f6
26. Be3 Rd8 27. Qf2 {And now f5 would win.} Rab8 28. fxe5 fxe5 {[#]} 29. Bxh6
$1 Qf7 (29... gxh6 30. Qf6+) 30. Be3 Qxf2 31. Bxf2 {Threatens to win with Bc5!}
Rdc8 32. R3d2 Be7 33. Bg3 Rd8 34. Na4 Kg8 35. Nb2 Kf7 36. Nd3 Ke8 37. Ra1 Ra8
38. Rdd1 c5 39. Nb2 Bd7 40. Rxa8 Rxa8 41. Nc4 Ra6 42. Kg1 Bb5 43. Ne3 Ra2 (
43... Bc6 $5) 44. Kf2 Bc6 45. Kf3 Kd7 $2 {[#]} (45... Kf7 $14) 46. Bxe5 $1 $18
Ke6 47. Bxg7 Bg5 {If only Black now had time for ...Bxe3....} 48. Ra1 {
Precision: White = 60%, Black = 46%.} 1-0

 

Game six (blitz game two):

Although Santos had the white pieces, playing for a win against the Berlin turned out to be too difficult. He over pressed and lost the game. Thus Anand was able to win the match with a score of 4-2.

[Event "Magistral Ciudad Leon XXX"]
[Site "Leon"]
[Date "2017.07.08"]
[Round "1.6"]
[White "Santos Latasa, Jaime"]
[Black "Viswanathan, Anand"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2542"]
[BlackElo "2783"]
[Annotator "TA"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 O-O {
C67: Ruy Lopez: Berlin Defence: 4 0-0 Nxe4} 8. d4 Nf5 9. c3 Nxe5 {The position
is equal.} 10. Rxe5 d6 11. Re1 d5 12. Bd3 Bd6 13. Nd2 Re8 14. Rxe8+ Qxe8 15.
Nf3 {[#]} Ne7 $146 16. Bg5 f6 17. Bd2 Bf5 18. Bxf5 Nxf5 19. Qb3 Qc6 20. Re1 a5
21. a4 Ne7 22. g3 Kf7 23. Kg2 Rb8 24. Qc2 g6 25. b3 b5 26. axb5 Rxb5 27. c4 {
[#] aiming for Qa2.} Bb4 $1 28. Qd3 (28. Qa2 $5 Rb8 29. Bxb4 Rxb4 30. Qxa5 (30.
Qe2 Qd7 $11) 30... Rxb3 31. c5 $14) 28... Rb8 29. Qe2 Qd7 30. Qd3 $36 {White
fights for an advantage.} Nc6 31. Bxb4 Rxb4 32. cxd5 Qxd5 33. Qe3 (33. Qe2 $11
{remains equal.}) 33... Rxb3 $17 34. Qe8+ Kg7 35. Re4 $2 {[#]} (35. Qe4 $17
Qxe4 36. Rxe4) 35... Rxf3 $1 {Precision: White = 46%, Black = 84%.} 0-1

It was a pretty difficult match for Anand. Considering that he was the favourite to win the match by a huge margin, his opponent Jaime Santos did a great job.

Finals:

Finals will take place between Vishy Anand and Wesley So on the 9th of July at 11 p.m. IST

Wesley will not be an easy opponent for Anand to beat. Let's see how the India number one fares.

Watch the finals live on 9th July at 11 p.m. IST:


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