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Candidates R06: Vintage Vishy!

by Sagar Shah - 18/03/2016

After Vishy lost his fourth round game against Karjakin, it seemed as if this tournament was not going to be nothing special. But his detractors just don't learn from their past experience! It's true and he proved it once again - It's impossible to write Vishy off! In the sixth round of the Candidates 2016, Anand played a sublime attacking game to dispatch Peter Svidler in just 24 moves. What makes this even more amazing is the fact that Peter was so well prepared in this tournament and in some of the games he played theory until the 24th move mark! But he couldn't withstand the roar of the Madras Tiger. We have indepth analysis for you by IM Sagar Shah from Moscow!

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[Event "Candidates 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.03.17"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2762"]
[BlackElo "2757"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "47"]
{What a victory for Vishy Anand! Completely emphatic. Let's have a look at the
game to see what really went right for him and wrong for Svidler.} 1. e4 e5 2.
Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Bb7 {
Although this is the main move in the position, yet Anand thought for a good
ten minutes, why? Because Svidler has got the position 13 times in his games
and all the times he has chosen this move.} (8... b4 {is Svidler's move.}) 9.
d3 Re8 10. Nbd2 Bf8 11. c3 Na5 12. Bc2 c5 {This is all very standard Ruy Lopez
stuff. Now White must remain consistent and break in the centre with d4.} 13.
d4 exd4 {This came as a bit of a surprise to Anand. But Peter was mainly
trying to play very concrete chess.} 14. cxd4 d5 $6 {Although this is very
thematic. It is extremely dangerous. The main reason being that the two
bishops on c1 and c2 are opened up against the black king.} (14... cxd4 {
Looks like the best way for Black to proceed.} 15. e5 Nd5 16. axb5 axb5 17.
Nxd4 Nb4 18. Bb1 $13 {is an interesting game.}) 15. e5 Ne4 {This was a
critical position where Anand took a lot of time. There are a lot of captures.
As Anand correctly pointed out that the main question to him was whether to
take on b5 or not. On one hand keeping the a-file closed keeps the rook on the
back rank safeguarding it. On the other hand the rook doesn't take part in the
game. It is a very difficult decision to make and almost impossible to see
what possibilites may arise after say eight to ten moves. But this is where
intuition comes into picture and Anand felt that bringing the a1 rook into the
game was more important and that explains his next move.} 16. axb5 (16. Nxe4
dxe4 17. Rxe4 {Now this exchange sacrifice is not as effective as in the game.}
(17. Bxe4 Bxe4 18. Rxe4 Qd5 $1 {Important to blockade the d-pawn before
attacking it.} 19. Re3 (19. Qe2 Nb3 $17) 19... Nc6 $15) 17... Nb3 $1 18. Ng5 (
18. Rh4 Bxf3 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20. Rh3 Bxd1 21. Bg6+ $11 {All of these analyses
leads us to the fact that Anand's decision of taking axb5 was better than not
taking.}) 18... Nxa1 19. Qh5 Qxg5 $1 20. Bxg5 g6 (20... Nxc2 21. Rh4 h6 22.
Bxh6 g6 23. Rg4 Nxd4 24. Rxg6+ fxg6 25. Qxg6+ Kh8 $11) 21. Qd1 Nxc2 22. Qxc2
Bxe4 23. Qxe4 cxd4 $15 {Only Black can be better here.}) 16... axb5 (16... Nxd2
$2 17. Bxd2 axb5 18. Bxh7+ $1 {wins! It's a standard Greek Gift!} Kxh7 19. Ng5+
Kg8 (19... Kg6 20. Qg4 $18) 20. Qh5 $18) (16... cxd4 $6 17. bxa6 Rxa6 18. Nxe4
dxe4 19. Bxe4 Bxe4 20. Rxe4 Bc5 21. b4 $1 Bxb4 22. Rxd4 Qb8 23. Qd3 $18) 17.
Nxe4 dxe4 18. Rxe4 $1 {This move might be as natural for a player like Anand
but for us who are taught about the relative value of the pieces since a young
age, it is not easy to consider a move like this. But once you see it you
realize that the bishop on e4 would be a complete monster breathing fire in
both directions. Hence, this move is an excellent one.} (18. Bxe4 Bxe4 19. Rxe4
Qd5 $11 {Gives Black excellent chances to hold.}) 18... Nb3 (18... Bxe4 19.
Bxe4 Ra7 (19... Rb8 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Ng5+ Kg8 22. Qh5 $18) (19... g6 20. Bxa8
Qxa8 21. Bd2 b4 22. Qa4 $18) 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Ng5+ $18) 19. Rxa8 Bxa8 {
At this point I went to the playing hall to see how it looked like. Svidler
was pacing around confidently. Anand was sitting in his chair. He looked
nervous biting his nails, and being fidgety with his hands. Well mainly it was
the neervousness of seeing a huge attack. Svidler on the other hand was trying
to bluff it. He knew that he was in trouble but there is no point in showing
it, right?! But still there was only one winning move in this position - Ng5.
Anand lifted his hand and my heart was in my mouth. He touched his hand on the
knight, and I knew he had seen it. He had seen everything until the end! The
knight went to g5 and off Anand went!} 20. Ng5 $1 {Svidler came back and saw
this move. I thought that the Russian would think for a while before he would
make his move but he blitzed it out. He was showing that he had it under
control.} (20. Rh4 Bxf3 21. Bxh7+ Kh8 22. Rh3 Bxd1 23. Bg6+) 20... Nxc1 21. Qh5
$1 {Once again the only move. There is an attack on both the h7 and f7 pawns.}
h6 {This move was also made quickly.} (21... Qxg5 {was an way to avoid an
immediate defeat but doesn't really serve any purpose as after} 22. Qxg5 Bxe4
23. Qxc1 $1 Bxc2 24. Qxc2 $18 {This position is technically winning. It won't
be so difficult for a player of Anand's calibre to turn this into a win.}) (
21... Bxe4 22. Bxe4 h6 23. Qxf7+ Kh8 24. Qg6 $18) 22. Qxf7+ Kh8 {At this point
Peter once again stood up from the board and started walking around. Anand was
making his final calculations, the other players were all coming to the board
and making faces of disbelief. Nakamura stood right next to Svidler's seat for
almost a minute. He just didn't want to leave. He checked the scoresheet, then
the board and couldn't believe that Anand was just winning. He went back to
his board, Anand lifted his hand and once again made the only winning move in
the position.} 23. Rg4 $1 {The rook defends the knight and now the threat is
Qg6. Black doesn't really have a way to stop the attack.} (23. Rf4 Ne2+ $19)
23... Qa5 {And once again Anand has the only move to win.} (23... Ne2+ 24. Kf1
$1 {Wins!} (24. Kh1 $4 {However loses in an amazing fashion.} Qa5 $3 {Suddenly
the back rank weakness turns out to be the critical factor in the game.} 25. h4
Qe1+ 26. Kh2 Qg1+ 27. Kh3 Qh1#)) 24. h4 $1 {Svidler resigned as he saw no
point in continuing. His bluff of playing quickly had not worked. But like a
gentleman he analyzed the game with Anand, kept a very calm face in the press
conference and showed great sportsman spirit. Many of you might be wondering
why this is the only move. Wouldn't h3 also win? The point is subtle. The h3
square has to be kept for the knight to control g1.} (24. h3 Qe1+ 25. Kh2 Ne2
26. Nf3 Bxf3 27. gxf3 Nxd4 $17) (24. h4 Qe1+ 25. Kh2 Ne2 26. Nh3 $18 {A
fantastic win for Anand who dispatched the super solid Svidler in just 24
moves. Just shows what this man is capable of.}) 1-0

 

Round six article in the popular online news website : Firstpost 

Click on the image below to read the entire article

 

 

Anand on his win against Peter Svidler