GOTM; (Game # 16)  January, 2005.   

Welcome to my  "Game of The Month"  feature!  (For January, 2005.)  (Games considered, file.)  

This is a game, that is annotated in a  <light-to-medium>  fashion. Hopefully it is done in a way that is both entertaining and also informative. The main purpose {and thrust} of this column is to try and educate the general chess public. 

I have deeply annotated this game on my hard drive, you are welcome to contact me if you would like to try and obtain a copy. (I no longer wish to try and put in the effort to be able to offer a deeply annotated game here.)  [ Read why. ]  

This is a feature where I will try to pick a game that was recently played at the GM level. Then I will annotate it and try to basically explain what happened.  ---> This column is aimed primarily at lower-rated players.  (Say 1600 & below.) 

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  GM Viswanathan Anand (2781) - GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (2687)  
  German (National) Team Competition / Bundesliga 2004-2005  
  Porz, GER(Round # 6) / 12,12,2004.  

  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

This is a game played in the recent "Bundesliga," (The German Team competition). 

It features really great play ... and one incredibly spectacular move by GM Viswanathan Anand.  (From the LCC / TWIC # 528.)  


 1.e4 e5; 2.Nf3 d6;  {Diagram?}  
The very venerable "Phildor's Defense." (This opening has a somewhat suspect reputation according to modern theory.) 

In the Philidor, Black gets very cramped and compact positions, but hopes for counter-play based on a clean and solid Pawn structure.  

     [ More normal is: (>/=) 2...Nc6; which will probably lead to a more <standard> opening. ]  


 3.d4 exd4!?;  (hmmm)    
Black surrenders the center ... for free piece play.  

[This whole approach was pioneered and popularized by the great Danish Player, ... GM Bent Larsen.]  

Black has a whole array of responses on move three.  
(3...Nd7!?; 3...Qe7!?; 3...f5?!; the text move, and 3...Nf6!)  

See  MCO-14  for more information on all of Black's alternatives here.  

     [ Or Black can play:  3...Nd7 which is "The Hanham Variation."  
        (This is the old, main line.) ]  


 4.Nxd4 Nf6;  5.f3!?,  (Maybe - '!')  (TN?)  
A rather odd-looking move ... wouldn't you say? 
(This move is slow, and simply appears to weaken White's dark-squares.)  

     [ I expected something like:  5.Nc3, "+/="  (center)  {Diagram?}  
        when White maintains a small, but solid edge here. ]  


Both sides continue to develop.  
 5...Be7;  6.c4! 0-0;  7.Nc3,  (center, space)     {See the diagram ... just below.}   
White's strategy has been revealed. GM Anand has a clamp on d5, and although White is a little behind   
in development, Black must take care that he is not slowly suffocated.  



gotm_jan-2005_pos1.gif, 10 KB



This is a very interesting idea, there certainly has not been a lot of games (or master-level experience); 
 with the idea of f2-f3!? on move five.  {We are already out of book here.}   


     [ Another idea was:  7.Bd3!?,  "~"  ]   


 7...c6!?;  (square-control)  
This keeps all of his opponent's pieces off the d5-square here ...  
but it does weaken Black's foot soldier on the d-file quite a bit.  


 8.Be3 Re8;  9.Qd2 d5!?;  (hmmm)  
Black attempts to solve his problems ... all at once. (Risky?)  

     [ Maybe safer was: 
       (>/=) 9...Nbd710.Nf5 Ne511.Nxe7+ Qxe712.Rd1,  "+/="  {D?}   
       but White still holds an edge. ]   


 10.cxd5! cxd5;  11.Bb5! Bd7;  12.e5 Bxb5;  13.Ndxb5 a6!;     
An inventive attempt by Black to try and stir up some counterplay.  

     [ Or  13...Nfd7!?14.f4,  "+/="  ('')  {Diagram?}   
        and White is solidly better. ]   


 14.Nd4!,  (Nice!)   
White soberly retreats ... he does not allow his optimism or his pride to get the better of him.  

Now Black is left less space, an isolated d-Pawn and White's N on d4 ... radiates power in all directions.  
(Additionally, White managed to trade off an undeveloped, - possibly bad - Bishop; and he did so with a 
 gain of time!)  

     [ </= 14.exf6?! Bxf6! "~"  (<=>) ]  


 14...Nfd7;  15.f4 Nb6!?;  
Checking on h4 with the Bishop was another idea here.  


 16.b3 N8d7;  17.0-0 Rc8;  18.Nf5 Bb4;  19.Bd4 Nc5;  20.Qe3[] Rc6;  21.Rac1!?,   
A natural response.  

     [ Also - the try of:  (>/=) 21.a3!?, "+/="  {Diag?}   
        was worth a look here. ]   


 21...Qc8;  (hmmm)   [ Maybe - '?!' ]     {See the diagram ... just below.}      
At first this appears to be a very natural type of move, doubling on the file - and also hitting the White Knight (on f5).  



gotm_jan-2005_pos2.gif, 10 KB



Take a close look at this position. Which side would you rather play?  

     [ Probably better was:  >/=  21...Nc8[]22.Qf3 Ne6!; ("<=>") {Diagram?}   
        which gives Black a fairly good game. ]   


 22.Nxg7!!,  (Maybe - '!!!')   
A truly astounding move ... that had to have come as a rude shock to Black.  

     [ Of course not: </= 22.Nd6? Rxd6!; "=/+" ]  


 22...Kxg7;  23.f5! h6[];  
This is pretty much forced.
(Black needed an escape square for his King ... and also desperately wanted to prevent Qg5+ as well.  
 White's big threat was to play f5-f6+, followed by either Qh6 or Qg5+, when it would have been 
 difficult for Black to prevent mate.)  

     [ Maybe worse was:  (</=) 23...Bxc3!?; ('?!')  24.Rxc3 Ne4  
       25.Rxc6 bxc626.e6+ f627.Bxb6,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}  
       with a dominating position for White. ]   


The rest is basically a mop-up operation.  
 24.e6+ Kh7;  25.Qe5! Rg8;  26.exf7 Rg5?;  (ugh)  
A blunder ... but one that comes in a completely lost position. (The move,  ...Nd3[];  was forced.)  

 27.Qe7, "+/-"  Black Resigns.  (1-0)   
White's main threat is to promote his pawn on f7 with (a discovered) check.  
{Black is powerless to prevent this.}  

An amazing show by Anand. He made a player - rated close to 2700 - look bad, polishing him off in less than thirty moves!   
The Knight sack on g7 was unbelievable  ...  really Tal-like! {The highest compliment that I could bestow on ANY player!!}    


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2005. All rights reserved.  


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  This page was first posted on:  Wednesday; January 12th, 2005.     This page was last updated on 03/18/15 .  

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