Chess Moves

One person's short journey into the world of Australian chess

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Karjakin Feels The Wrath Of Anand

I was up in the wee hours of the morning watching this match and true enough, Anand didn't disappoint. In fact, not only did he didn't disappoint, he played what is probably one of the best games involving sacrificial play. Tal will be so proud of him.

Corus Chess 2006, Wijk aan Zee Round 1 Kajarkin - Anand, 2006.01.13

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 b4 13. Ne2 Ne8 14. f4 a5 15. f5 a4 16. Nbd4 exd4 17. Nxd4 b3 18. Kb1 bxc2+ 19. Nxc2 Bb3 20. axb3 axb3 21. Na3 Ne5 22. h4 (see diagram on right)

At this stage, Black's pieces are horribly hemmed in. White's pieces are active and White's kingside pawn structure is fast closing in on the Black king looks dangerous indeed.

Black's only active piece is that undisturbed rook on a8.

If Black doesn't do something soon, White will overwhelm and storm through Black's barricades like a hot knife through butter.

Karjakin at this point must have thought he can safely write 1-0 on his scoresheet.....

At this point, Anand goes into deep thinking mode for the next 15 minutes and suddenly pulls the rug out from under the young GM with .... Ra5 23. Qc3 Qa8 24. Bg2 Nc7! (see diagram below) sacrificing the Knight



Play continues...... 25. Qxc7 Rc8 (now Black sacrifices his Bishop!) 26. Qxe7 .... at this point we're wondering if Anand is losing it (maybe coming in second in San Luis has affected him) but he pulls off the stunning move Nc4!

White is stunned! Suddenly, the roles are reversed. White is looking extremely vulnerable. The White Queen has been lured away from the protection of the King to gobble up Black's 2 most inactive pieces on the board. A fatal mistake!

27. g6 hxg6 28. fxg6 Nxa3+ 29. bxa3 Rxa3 30. gxf7+ Kh7 31. f8=N+ Rxf8 32. Qxf8 Ra1+ 33. Kb2 Ra2+ 34. Kc3 (see diagram on left)

At this point, most players would have thought of the followup move .... Qxf8 but not Vishy Anand. He ponders over this for a good 10 minutes and comes out with a mate in 6!!! Starting with Qa5+! 35. Kd3 Qb5+ 36. Kd4 Ra4+ 37. Kc3 Qc4+ . At this point, Karjakin is another 2 moves from mate and promptly resigns. 0-1

A fanatastic first round display by the lightning "kid" from India.

This game play was similar to the one played by Peter Leko vs Francisco Vallejo-Pons at the 14th Amber Tournament: Rapid 2005 but that game was a blitz game and it petered out to a draw. It is clear that Anand saw potential in this game and developed it further. Great homework done by Anand nonetheless!

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