Anand's Pleasant Excitement

Время публикации: 18.02.2015 04:41 | Последнее обновление: 18.02.2015 07:23

Zurich Chess Challenge: the classical part is approaching its culmination

In the 4th round, Viswanathan Anand has convincingly outplayed Hikaru Nakamura, overtaking the latter and seizing the lead. The play shown by Nakamura yesterday was very far from his best chess which we had been able to watch during the previous rounds as well as in Gibraltar earlier. On the contrary, the Indian has obviously gained his optimal shape after the poor performance in the GRENKE Chess Classic. Anand has shown once again his excellent knowledge of openings theory, and after the opening stage had finished Nakamura allowed him to carry out all the key ideas of the position. As a result, the game turned out to be a perfect example for a positional play manual.

Round 4: photo report by Evgeny Surov (in Russian)

The opening chosen by Nakamura was a solid line of the Queen's Gambit Declined. This time, its 'fireproof' reputation hasn't been confirmed.


14.Re1. White chooses a calm strategy, counting on his long-term positional trumps such as his space advantage and the potentially weak c6-pawn. The more forced 14.Bxa6 Rxa6 15.Qe2 Rfa8 16.b5 cxb5 17.c6 Qxc6 18.Nxb5 Rc8 19.Rac1 Qxc1 20.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 22.Kg2 had been recently played a couple of times at the highest level (Leko - Kramnik, Moscow 2014, and Vachier-Lagrave - Radjabov, Wijk aan Zee 2015; both game were drawn).
As to how Black should react now, the best examples are perhaps the games Onischuk A. - Jakovenko (Poikovsky 2013) and Jakovenko - Andreikin (Grand Prix, Tashkent 2014). Although White had played 14.Kg2 instead of 14.Re1 in both, this fact shouldn't make a big difference.
14...Bf6 15.Kg2 Bxd3 16.Qxd3. From now on, Nakamura starts to play weakly and quite randomly, without a clear plan.
16...Rfb8 17.h4! (this move will always be useful) 17...Qa7 (usually the a-file is used here for doubling or exchanging the rooks) 18.Ne2 g6?! Both players condemned this move during the press conference. As Anand has explained, it locks the black knight in his cage on d7, since the Nf8-g6-e7 maneuver becomes impossible: 'After g7-g6, I'm much happier to play Ne5'. 18...axb4 19.axb4 Qxa1 20.Rxa1 Rxa1 might be also in White's favour due to 21.b5, but the annotator thinks it wasn't too late to play something like 18...Qb7, returning to one of the typical plans of either doubling along the a-file or exchanging all the rooks.
19.Rab1 axb4 20.axb4 Qa2 21.Rec1 bxc5 (21...Ra3? leads to nowhere due to 22.Qd1!) 22.bxc5 h5. Another disputable pawn advance which deprives Black of the eventual f7-f6 idea, as Nakamura admitted himself.

23...Nxe5. Anand: 'If Black takes with the bishop that is what I meant: the d7-knight is now dead'. During the press conference, the opponents have come to the conclusion that 23...Bxe5 24.fxe5 Rxb1 25.Rxb1 Rb8 26.Rxb8 Nxb8 27.Nf4 is bad due to 27...Kg7 (the threats were 28.Nxg6 or 28.Nxe6) 28.g4! hxg4 29.h5 intending 30.Nxe6+. However, Stockfish finds a more tenacious defence which requires finding a series of only moves: 27...Na6! 28.Nxe6 (28.Nxg6 Nb4 29.Qc3 Qc4) 28...Nb4! 29.Qc3! Qc4 30.Qxc4 dxc4 31.Nf4 c3 32.Ne2 Na2!, although the ending after 33.d5 Kf8 34.dxc6 Ke7 35.Kf3 c2 36.Kf4 is very promising for White anyway.
24.dxe5 Bg7? This submissive move is probably losing. As Anand pointed out, 24...Bd8 would have been much better. White's advantage is already serious but Black is still alive since he at least keeps his bishop in the game. During the press conference, Nakamura was having hard time trying to explain why he refrained from it (25.Nf4 Kg7 26.g4? Bxh4), mostly shaking his head with the wry face.
25.Rb6! 'I just started to get excited after this' - Anand. Having analysed the lines after 25...Rxb6 26.cxb6, the opponents agreed that the powerful passed b-pawn leaves little chances for Black, but of course the total passivity can't bring anything good either.
25...Rc8 26.Nc3 Qa7 27.Rdb1. From now on, one shouldn't necessarily be Anand to convert the advantage. White penetrates easily to the queenside, surroundind and capturing the c6-pawn.
27...Qd7 28.R1b4 (preparing the next move) 28...Bh6 29.Na4 Qd8 30.Ra6 Kg7 31.Rb7 Rxa6 32.Qxa6 g5 33.Qe2! g4 34.Qa6 Qg8 35.Nb6 Rf8 36.Nd7.

The last interesting moment. It would have made sense to try 36...Ra8 (Anand) with a nice trap: 37.Qxc6? Ra2 38.Nf6 Be3! with the sudden perpetual in case White takes the queen. However, Vishy was intending to play just 37.Ra7! Rxa7 38.Qxa7 with the easy win (if 38...Qh7 then the knight controls the e4-square after 39.Nf6).
36...Qh7 37.Nxf8 Qe4+ 38.Kh2 (38.Kg1 was also possible) 38...Kxf8 39.Rb8+ Kg7 40.Qc8 Kg6 41. Qh8. Nakamura resigned, as the king cannot escape from the mating net: 41...Qf3 42.Rg8+ Kf5 43.Qh7#! 1-0 (Annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

Two other games of the 4th round were quite even and ended in a draw. The standings before the final round of the classical part are: 1. Anand - 6 points out of 8; 2. Nakamura - 5; 3. Kramnik - 4; 4-6. Aronian, Caruana, Karjakin - 3 points each.

Zurich Chess Challenge 2015: the crosstable, pairings, results, games, etc.

 [Event "4th Zurich CC Classical"] [Site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2015.02.17"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "classical variation (5.Bf4)"] [EventDate "2015.02.14"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 b6 10. b4 a5 11. a3 c6 12. O-O Qc7 13. g3 Ba6 14. Re1 Bf6 15. Kg2 Bxd3 16. Qxd3 Rfb8 17. h4 Qa7 18. Ne2 g6 19. Rab1 axb4 20. axb4 Qa2 21. Rec1 bxc5 22. bxc5 h5 23. Ne5 Nxe5 24. fxe5 Bg7 25. Rb6 Rc8 26. Nc3 Qa7 27. Rcb1 Qd7 28. R1b4 Bh6 29. Na4 Qd8 30. Ra6 Kg7 31. Rb7 Rxa6 32. Qxa6 g5 33. Qe2 g4 34. Qa6 Qg8 35. Nb6 Rf8 36. Nd7 Qh7 37. Nxf8 Qe4+ 38. Kh2 Kxf8 39. Rb8+ Kg7 40. Qc8 Kg6 41. Qh8 1-0[Event "4th Zurich CC Classical"] [Site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2015.02.17"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A05"] [Opening "Reti opening"] [EventDate "2015.02.14"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. O-O e5 5. e4 Be7 6. Nc3 d6 7. d3 O-O 8. h3 Bd7 9. Nd2 Nd4 10. a4 Nc6 11. Nc4 Nb4 12. f4 exf4 13. Bxf4 Be6 14. Ne3 d5 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. exf5 Bd6 17. Ne2 h6 18. c3 Nc6 19. g4 Re8 20. Qd2 Bxf4 21. Nxf4 d4 22. Qf2 Qd6 23. Rae1 Rad8 24. c4 b6 25. Bxc6 Qxc6 26. b3 a6 27. Qg3 Rxe1 28. Rxe1 Re8 29. Rxe8+ Qxe8 30. Kf2 b5 31. axb5 axb5 32. Qf3 bxc4 33. bxc4 Qe5 34. Qg3 Qb8 35. Ne2 Qb1 36. Qf3 Kh7 37. h4 h5 38. gxh5 Qc2 39. Ke1 Qb1+ 40. Kf2 Qb2 41. Kg3 Kh6 42. Qf4+ Kh7 43. Qf3 Kh6 1/2-1/2 [Event "4th Zurich CC Classical"] [Site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2015.02.17"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D56"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "Lasker defence"] [EventDate "2015.02.14"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Rc1 c6 10. Be2 Nd7 11. O-O Nxc3 12. Rxc3 dxc4 13. Rxc4 e5 14. Qc2 a5 15. Rc1 Re8 16. a3 Nb6 17. Rc5 Nd7 18. Rc3 exd4 19. Nxd4 Nf6 20. Rc4 Bd7 21. Bf3 Red8 22. Qb3 Be8 23. Nf5 Qe6 24. Nd4 Qe7 25. Qc3 Nd7 26. Be2 g6 27. Qb3 Rab8 28. Nf3 Ne5 29. Nxe5 Qxe5 30. Qc2 b6 31. b4 axb4 32. axb4 Rd6 33. h3 Rbd8 34. Qc3 Qxc3 35. R4xc3 1/2-1/2 


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