Sunday, November 17, 2013

Anand Vs Carlsen Game 6: Masterly Handling of Rook!

(6) Anand,V (2775) - Carlsen,M (2870) [C65]
FWCM2013 (6), 16.11.2013
[Sagar Shah]

We join the game after 37 moves. Its white to play!
Sit back and enjoy Carlsen's superb Technique!

The opening phase of the 6th game wasnt really very interesting. Anand had lost the 5th game and hence it was expected of him to play more fighting chess. However Anand was not in his best form as he exchanged pieces at regular intervals. It seemed as if he just wanted to draw the game. However once he made a few inaccuracies, the Norwegian wonderkid became ambitious! He started to push in the position and he got the following position where he has pressure on the e pawn. Anand can keep on defending it and I think black cannot make much headway but Anand chose for an active defense by giving up a pawn. This seemed like not a good decision against Carlsen who once has a material advantage really makes use of each and every opportunity. 38.Qg3?! Rxe4 39.Qxd6 Rxe3 40.Qxe7 Rxe7 So black has won a pawn but now white forces the black rook into a passive position. 41.Rd5 Rb7 So what do we have here? Black is a pawn down and he really cannot do much. He cannot move his rook from b7 because then the b5 pawn will hang. On the other hand he cannot push b4 as then after Rc6 he will lose his pawn. All he can do is to bring his king towards the center that is on e6. But really white shouldnt be worrying too much over here. He has excellent drawing chances. 42.Rd6 f6! an interesting move by Carlsen. He would like to plonk his rook on e5 square and hence he plays this move f6. 43.h4! Anand also is very alert. He sense that if it is possible he can play h5 and break blacks structure and have excellent drawing chances inspite of being 2 pawns down because the pawns will be very weak. 43...Kf7 [43...h5 in the press conference Carlsen suggested that he should have gone for his move as he completely underestimated the strength of the move h4-h5.; 43...Re7 44.Rb6 Re5 could be blacks idea but now white will push the black king to the 8th rank. 45.Rb7+ Kf8 with the king cut off on the 8th and the rook stuck to defending b5, black doesnt have much chances here.] 44.h5! very brave play by Vishy Anand who being a pawn down sacrifices another pawn. But the world champion has seen that he can defend the resulting position. 44...gxh5 45.Rd5 Kg6 46.Kg3 after this position is reached I think black has only 1 plan now. i.e to play f5. In order to play f5 black will need his rook to be on b6. As soon as black plays f5, white will have to prevent Kg5 and hence he will play either Kf4 or Kh4. Now the only way to make progress would be to give up the b pawn and continue with Re6 followed by Re4+ and pushing the white king behind and then coming in with black king to g5. All of this happens in the game but white is still very much within the drawing zone. 46...Rb6 47.Rc5 just waiting. 47...f5 threatening Kg5 48.Kh4 [48.Kf4 I was wondering if this move made any sense. Now we are attacking the f5 pawn. 48...Re6 (48...h4!? Might also be an excellent move! 49.Rd5 b4!? requires some accurate calculation 50.Rc5 Rd6 51.Rxc4 Rd2! 52.Rxb4 Rxg2 53.Kf3 Rg3+ 54.Kf2 Kg5 just an illustrative line to show that black sill has chances to win as his pawn on h4 is close to the queening square.) 49.Rxb5 (49.Rxf5 Rf6! the rooks will have to be exchanged. 50.Rxf6+ Kxf6 51.g3 Kg6 52.Ke4 Kg5 53.Kf3 h4–+ and black wins.) 49...Re4+ 50.Kf3 would transpose to something like the game continuation but the king is better placed on f3 than on h3.] 48...Re6! carlsen sees that the only way to make progress is to give up the b pawn. 49.Rxb5 Re4+ 50.Kh3?! But why not bring the king to a better square on g3? [50.Kg3 would have surely reduced Anand's woes. 50...Kg5 51.Rb8 h4+ 52.Kf3 Rf4+ 53.Ke2 Kg4 54.Rg8+ Kh5 and we get a similar position as in the game just that the white king is better placed on e2 than on h3 as in the game.] 50...Kg5 51.Rb8 [51.b3 Re3+ 52.Kh2 Rxc3 53.bxc4 Rxc4 this should still be within a draw because black will be left with f and h pawns which is a draw in rook endgames. But of course as a defender why would you like to give up another pawn? But then why to give up e4 and h5 you may ask!! I have no answer for that! :)] 51...h4 52.Rg8+ Kh5 53.Rf8 Making moves from white side is easy here. He just has to keep attacking whichever pawn is undefended and whenever the black king comes outside, he must start checking. 53...Rf4 54.Rc8 Rg4 55.Rf8 Rg3+ 56.Kh2 Kg5 57.Rg8+ everyone condemned this move saying, why to give black the chance to go to f4. Well it doesnt matter really because it still is a draw. However instead of this check, direct Rc8 would have been much easier. [57.Rc8 would have been simpler of course 57...Rg4 58.Kh3 and now to make progress black must try to get his king to f4 so he can try 58...Re4 59.Rg8+ Kf4 60.Rc8 Ke3 61.Rh8 Kd3 62.Rxh6 Kc2 63.Rb6 Rg4 64.Rb4 Kd3 65.b3 Kxc3 66.Rxc4+ Rxc4 67.bxc4 Kxc4 68.Kxh4 Kd5 69.Kg5 Ke6= would be a way to draw the game] 57...Kf4 58.Rc8 Now the c4 pawn cannot be saved but Carlsen has seen an interesting idea 58...Ke3! 59.Rxc4 f4! The idea is now to play h3 and the f pawn will be a passed pawn. You can see that all theese problems would have happened if Anand would have kept his king on f3 instead of h3. 60.Ra4? The critical mistake of the game. Infact there is only 1 move in this position which draws the game. its not surprising that Anand missed it inspite having time on his clock because I think he hadnt anticipated this Kf4-e3 idea and when Carlsen played it he was simply astounded and submitted himself to defeat. However we must note the idea and keep it in mind as it will be useful in future. All the moves that leave the contact of f4 pawn are bad because black can play Kf2 [60.Rc6? Kf2 61.Rf6 (61.Rxh6 Rxg2+ 62.Kh3 f3–+) 61...Rxg2+ 62.Kh3 (62.Kh1 f3 63.b4 Rg5 64.c4 Kg3 65.c5 f2 66.c6 Re5 and its game over.) 62...f3 63.Kxh4 Rh2+ 64.Kg4 h5+ 65.Kg5 Kg2 66.b4 f2 67.b5 f1Q 68.Rxf1 Kxf1 69.c4 Rc2 and black just wins.; 60.Rc8 meets a similar fate as Rc6 move; 60.b4! was the very counterintuitive move to make. The point is that for the moment we keep an eye on f4 so that the king cannot go to f2 and at the same time he starts pushing the pawn. These white pawns will make it difficult for black rook to manoeuvre. Thus this is the right move! Of course to give an explanation after the move is made is easy. But you really are a good player if you can understand all of this and then make the right move! 60...h3 61.gxh3 Rg6 62.Rc8 f3 63.Re8+! The neat point. 63...Kd2 64.b5 (64.Rf8 Rg2+ 65.Kh1 Ke3 allows black rook to be activated.) 64...f2 65.Rf8 Ke2 66.Re8+ Kf1 and now you see that the black king cannot move out. 67.c4 the only winning plan for black is to play Rd6-d8-e8 but its very slow and in that time the white pawns will start to queen. Hence it makes sense to just accept the draw here with perpetual checks. 67...Rg2+ 68.Kh1 Rg1+ 69.Kh2 Rg2+=] 60...h3! 61.gxh3 Rg6 the position here would have been a dead draw if white didnt have the b2 and c3 pawns as then the white rook could have given a lot of horizontal checks. But here these pawns exist and they create the barriers from checking the black king. 62.c4 f3 63.Ra3+ Ke2 64.b4 f2 65.Ra2+ Ke3 66.Ra3+ Kf4 67.Ra8 [67.Ra1 Re6! it could be possible that this is the idea that Anand missed. 68.Kg2 Re1–+] 67...Rg1! the queen cannot be stopped! Phenomenal endgame play by Carlsen and more than that look at his mindset. After winning game 5 any person would think about consolidating his lead with a draw with black pieces. But Carlsen played the game as per the position on the board. He had a small edge and decided to torture Anand. The point that he got was a reqard for his hardwork and perseverance! A lot that we can learn from this attitude! You can learn more about chess from my blog: www.sagarteacheschess.blogspot. com 0–1

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