Games

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014 (Sochi)"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.11.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Viswanathan Anand (2792)"] [Black "Magnus Carlsen (2863)"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D97"] [Annotator "Grunfeld defence (Game 10)"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] {I like this game for 2 reasons: (a) It updates my repertoire for Black, and (b) the defence itself puts White's skill to the test.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 {The Grunfeld.} 4. Nf3 {A remark from a famous GM follows the premise that the joy of playing White here is that he can opt for several, solid systems of which Black has to prepare against. For Black, he stands by the principle that the standard approach, mainly the pressure on the central dark squares, is the universal remedy to all problems that White poses} (4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bd2 Bg7 6. e4 Nxc3 7. Bxc3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Nf3 Bg4 {[%emt 0:00:01] is the nerve-wracking game}) 4... Bg7 5. Qb3 {"Russian system".} dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Na6 {Gary Kasparov's choice. "Knight on the rim is NOT always grim". From 1986-2001 Gary had a total of 17 high-level games played from this position. 8 games of which were wins, 7 draws with only 2 losses. One loss from Anatoly Karpov and another from Jeroen Piket which was famously known as Kasparov never moved his queen to the very end of the game (41 moves)! How much information did Magnus gather from their famous collaboration in 2009-10? Only Magnus, himself, knows} 8. Be2 ({A game of historical importance is} 8. Bg5 c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O-O Qa5 11. Qb5 Qxb5 12. Bxb5 Nc7 13. Be2 exd5 14. exd5 Rd8 15. d6 Nce8 {Z. Azmaiparashvili (2658) - M. Carlsen (2570), FIDE World Cup 28.11.2005. White won in 53 moves. I'm sure there are lots of improvement over this line}) 8... c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O exd5 11. exd5 Re8 12. Bg5 h6 13. Be3 Bf5 { Try to pause here and test yourself. What is the general plan for Black? Or if your White, how do you create an advantage?} 14. Rad1 Ne4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 { Magnus plays it cool.} ({Consider if Magnus the one catching up with the score. We could have seen} 15... Rxe4 {.If you can get the lion's share of the prizemoney ($750,000) by playing it safe, i.e., drawing the rest of the match while still on the lead, "Would you, honestly, go for broke at this point?"}) 16. Qc1 ({Critical is} 16. d6 Bc6 17. Qc1 Re6 (17... Qd7 18. Rfe1 {looks strong for Anand according to WGM Soumya Swaminathan's online analysis at hindustimes.com}) 18. Bxa6 bxa6 19. Qxc5 Bxf3 {Anand may have rejected this for if he loses the d-pawn it may only be a matter of time before Magnus equalises fully}) 16... Qf6 {[%eval 27,0] making ....Rad8 available. Stockfish 0.38, Houdini , Komodo 0.27} 17. Bxh6 Qxb2 {Magnus takes on b2 very quickly. Right about here, Anand starts to think quite heavily. From a basic level of understanding , each exchange of pieces gets closer to a simplified position. Not good for Anand who is hard-pressed for a win. Carlsen 1hr 38min 17sec on his clock} 18. Qxb2 {at 1hr 20minutes Anand decides to swap queens} Bxb2 { Magnus does not look comfortable. After the exchange of queens, contrary to conventional thinking, the position has remains complex. Why? There are several imbalances here which makes this anything but simple. Such as pawn structure and distribution. Most significantly the impending exchange of knight to a bishop. These are good signs for Vishy who we expect to put up a fight. Meanwhile, it's half an hour before Magnus makes his move} 19. Ng5 Bd4 {the "envelopmen t of the d-pawn". Black seizes the passed d-pawn by cutting its support of the rook from d1} ({On live commentary telecast (Firstpost), GM Peter Svidler and WGM Sopiko Guramishvili were surprised when the video feedback on screen showed the move} 19... Bxg2 $2 { Obviously a glitch}) 20. Nxe4 (20. Bc4 Nb4 21. d6 Bd5 {Black is doing very good }) 20... Rxe4 {Parting with the two bishops in an open position is not an easy decision to make. Such is the dilemma I faced from a recent game in the Durham league against Ken Neat (See game by clicking at "Game of the day" tab. Not at the same level as these two giants but quite important for me as a developing chessplayer} 21. Bf3 Re7 22. d6 Rd7 23. Bf4 Nb4 24. Rd2 ({pushing the knight to where it wants to go looks counterintuitive} 24. a3 Nc6 25. Rfe1 $1 {but it can be good because it does not give up control of the e-file. Magnus is really concerned over this move.}) 24... Re8 {Anand 21minutes and 30 seconds still thinking. Carlsen 47 minutes and 30 seconds. So far, so good, both for the players and for theviewers} 25. Rc1 ({"What happens if Anand just maintains control of his d-pawn with} 25. Rfd1 {?"}) 25... Re6 26. h4 {Now again, pause here and think. It looks like the last move did not really made an impact.} ({How about} 26. Bg3 {, if now} Be5 27. a3 Nc6 (27... Bxg3 28. fxg3 $1 {creates a passed pawn on the h-file}) 28. Bxc6 bxc6 {White has a better pawn structure}) 26... Be5 {Perhaps Magnus thinks that he has achieved all he wanted from this game and thus, opts for further simplification} 27. Bxe5 Rxe5 28. Bxb7 Rxb7 (28... Nxa2 $2 29. Ra1 Nc3 30. Bc8 Rd8 31. d7 Nb5 {is very shaky for Black.}) 29. d7 Nc6 30. d8=Q+ Nxd8 31. Rxd8+ Kg7 32. Rd2 {Post-game conference. Magnus admits that Gary Kasparov and himself were looking at some variations of the Grunfeld back in 2009-10. He also mentions about his relief when Anand decided not to control the e-file with a rook on move 24. Magnus didn't really struggle much as both bishops come off the board. Overall impression is that, Vishy has not fully tested Magnus to his breaking point on this game. Initially it seems Anand is on to a great start but it soon fizzles out quite quickly into the late middlegame. A result perhaps of some quiet decisions on the 16th and 26th move. It's just an opinion. Where is the promise of greater fire? Bring in some more fuel. Deep down in the hearts of hopeless fanatics, such as yours truly, yearn for more than a just a fleeting kaleidoscope of pyrotechnics.... Annotations by Gefer B. Imbuido} 1/2-1/2