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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Anand, V (2792) - Van Wely, L (2647)

Anand,V (2792) - Van Wely,L (2647)
[B33] - Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (9), 24.01.2006
By GM Alex Finkel

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bg5 12.Nc2 Rb8

It's interesting that in the other game of the round Topalov opted for more common 12...0-0 and finally won! [12...0-0 13.a4 bxa4 14.Rxa4 a5 15.Bc4 Rb8 16.Ra2 Kh8 17.Nce3 Bxe3 18.Nxe3 Ne7 19.b3+- Karjakin,S-Topalov,V/Wijk aan Zee NED 2006]

13.a4 bxa4 14.Ncb4 Bd7 15.Bxa6 Nxb4 16.cxb4 0-0 17.0-0 Bc6 18.Rxa4 Bxa4 19.Qxa4 Qe8?!

It's clear that Van Wely prepared this mvoe for the game hoping to survive in the arising endgame, but Anand played very strong, while Loek didn't use all his chances... [19...g6!? 20.Qc6 Bd2! 21.b5 Ba5 22.Bb7 f6 23.b4 Bb6 24.Nxb6 Rf7 25.Rd1 Rfxb7 Barua,D-Lalic,B/Ubeda 1998;

19...Kh8 20.Qc6 Bd2 21.b5 Ba5 22.Bb7 Qh4 23.b4 Bd8 24.Qxd6* Zapata,A-Lopez,C/Cali 2001;

19...f5 20.exf5 Rxf5 21.Bd3 Rf8 22.b5 Qd7 23.Qe4 g6 24.g3+- L'Ami,E-Moser,E/Augsburg 2002]

20.Qxe8 Rfxe8 21.b5 f5!?

[It was possible to bring the bishop to d4, but White would keep better chances anyway. 21...Bd8 22.Rc1 Bb6 23.Rc6 Bd4 24.b4± followed by Kf1, f3 and a march of the king to c4.]


[There was no need to let Black bring the rook to e5. 22.exf5?! e4 23.b6 Re5 24.b7 Kf8+-]

22...fxe4 23.h4!?

A first crucial position in the game. Anand is ready to give up a couple of pawns to penetrate on c8, but may be it was Black's chance to get off the hook...


Trusting the opponent isn't always a wise decision. It seems that Black would be very close to a draw after [23...Bxh4 24.Rc1 Rf8 25.g3 Bg5 26.Rc6 Bd2 27.b7 Be1 28.Rc8 Bxf2+ 29.Kg2 Bd4 30.Ne7+ Kf7 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.Nc6 Rxb7 33.Bxb7 Bxb2+- even though White keeps some winning chances in this position.]

24.b7 Kf7 25.Rd1 Bh6?!

Once again Van Wely avoids a forced line with unclear consequances.
[Very serious attention deserved 25...Ba5!?
A) 26.b4?! Bd8 27.Nc3 (27.b5?! Ke6 28.Nb4 Bxh4 29.Nc6 Bg5µ) 27...Ke6 28.Nxe4 d5=; B) 26.Rc1 26...Ke6 (26...Bd8) 27.b4 Kxd5 28.bxa5 Re7 29.Bc4+ Kc6 30.a6 Kb6 31.Ra1 Ka7 32.Bd5± and despite of a strong pawns it's not clear if White can win this endgame.]

26.Nb4 Ke7! 27.Nd5+

[27.Nc6+ Kd7 28.Nxb8+ Rxb8=]

27...Kf7 28.g4 Bf4 29.Re1 g5
[29...Ke6?! 30.Nc7+ Kd7 31.Nxe8 Kxe8 32.Bb5+ Kd8 33.Bc6+-;
29...Red8!? 30.Rxe4 Rd7 31.Nxf4 exf4 32.Rxf4+ Ke6 33.Rb4 (33.Rc4 d5 34.Rc8 Rdxb7 35.Bxb7 Rxb7 36.Rc2 Ke5+-) 33...d5 34.Kf1 Kd6 35.Ke2 Kc7+-]



This move could be regarded as the decisive mistake. It was necessary to take on f4 looking for active counterplay... [30...gxh4 31.Rc2 h3 32.Rc8 Bd2 (32...Kg7 33.Rxe8 Rxe8 34.Ne7 Rb8 35.Nc6 Rf8 36.b8Q Rxb8 37.Nxb8+-) 33.Kh2 (33.Nc7 Rf8 34.Bc4+ Kg6 35.Rxf8 Rxf8 36.Na6 e3 37.f3 e2 38.Bxe2 Be3+ 39.Kh2 Ba7±) 33...Be1 34.Kxh3 Bxf2 35.Kg2 Bd4 36.b3 Ba7=]

31.Nb4! d5 32.Nc6 Rg8

Black is one tempo short in the pawns race. 32...d4 33.Nxd8+ Rxd8 34.Rc2 d3 35.Rc8+-

33.Nxb8 Rxb8 34.h5!+-

The bishop is stuck on f4 so White easily decides the game in his favor. [34.Rc2 e3 35.f3 e2 36.Rxe2 gxh4 37.Rc2 h3 38.Rc8 e4]
34...Ke7 35.Kf1

[35.Rc2? e3]

35...d4 36.Rc2 e3 37.fxe3 dxe3 38.Rc7+ Kf6 39.Rxh7 e4 40.Bc4 Rd8 41.Rf7+ Ke5 42.Rd7 1-0
This article is an example of the excellent instructional material that can be found twice a month in the pages of Chess Chronicle, the First Ever Semi-Monthly Online Chess e-zine! It contains theoretical analysis, opening survey, chess novelties and well annotated games, plus instructive articles by Grandmasters and International Masters. Chess Chronicle is delivered right to your email inbox in PDF file format; you can read it on your computer screen or print it out and take it with you. Chess Chronicle also provides the PGN of all the games in each issue.

This article is a part of the regular monthly column "32 Square" by GM Alex Finkel, in which GM Finkel present ten highly annotated games of the latest chess events.

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