Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Vishy!!

Today the great Indian Chess Maestro Vishy Anand who was born on 11th December 1969, turns 44!! I wish him a very happy birthday and hope to see him on the chess board very soon!

Vishy with his wife Aruna on his birthday, a few years ago.

Vishy has won so many prestigious awards like  Padma VibhushanChess OscarRajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna,Padma ShriPadma BhushanArjuna Award for Chess, but I think Vishy would love to be known by his great games that he has played over the years rather than these awards. 

I haven't seen many of Vishy's games but this game which I show you now, has just stuck in my memory as one of the best positional gems that one can see. I recommend everyone to go through this game and get a glimpse of what a genius this player was even when he was just 23 years old.

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2720) - Anand,Viswanathan (2690) [B66]
Linares m Linares (1), 1992
[Anand and Sagar in italics.]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 a6 8.0–0–0 h6
I had prepared this variation for the match. I can't recall having played it before so I can hardly imagine Ivanchuk preparing this variation deeply. Still Ivanchuk blitzed his next few moves out and in fact the whole game!
9.Be3 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 b5 11.f3 Qa5 12.a3N [12.Qf2 b4 13.Bb6 Qg5+ 14.Be3 Qa5 Is a popular variation for players who feel like an early dinner!; 12.Kb1 b4 13.Bxf6 (13.Ne2 e5 14.Be3 Be6 15.Nc1 d5 And Black was better in Anand-Dlugy 1986!) 13...gxf6 14.Ne2 Bb7 Cheshkovsky-Khalifman] 
12...e5 13.Be3 Be6 14.Kb1 Be7 15.g4 [¹15.h4 Rb8 16.Nd5 Qxd2 17.Nxf6+ gxf6 18.Rxd2 f5÷] 15...Rb8 [15...b4!? 16.Na2 (16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Rb8; 16.axb4 Qxb4 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.exd5 Qxd2 19.Rxd2 Bd7) 16...d5 17.axb4 Qc7© I wasn't feeling quite awake at this point and so I played the `solid'15...¦b8] 16.Nd5 Qxd2 17.Nxf6+?
In conjunction with 15.g4 this is a terrible move. I suspect Ivanchuk hadn't woken up either! [17.Rxd2!=] 17...gxf6!!

The first antipositional decision by Vishy Anand. He takes back with the pawn, makes his e7 bishop into a poor piece. But i am sure you have heard of the saying that chess is a game of one tempo. Here the main reason that black takes with the pawn is because his d6 pawn remains defended and he gets an extra move to do what he wants to!! A very fine feel for dynamic vs static advantages is required to take such a decision.

But now we were both wide awake! [17...Bxf6 18.Rxd2 Ke7 19.h4²] 18.Rxd2 h5! 19.Rg1 [19.Be2 hxg4 20.fxg4 Rh3-/+] 19...hxg4 20.fxg4

Its blacks move here. Take your time and try to find what amazing move did Vishy make?!!

 Bc4!!-/+ In time to stop white getting some sort of fortress in the kingside. Black's `bad' bishop will protect his pawns while he exchanges towards connected e and f passers

Often we learn that we must not exchange our good bishop with our opponents bad bishop. Here Vishy Anand not only exchanges his good bishop but also make his remaining bishop completely bad. yet this is sound and excellent positional move. You ask me how can it be possible, that such an antipositional move is a positional move?!!! Well here Vishy figures out that the most important thing is not to allow white to play h3. If white cannot play h3 and if black can plonk his rook on that square then both g4 and h2 pawns will be weak. This is known as feel for the position. You make one antipositional move to gain other positional advantages!! One of the best moves I have ever seen!

 [20...Kd7? 21.h3] 21.b3 [21.Bxc4 bxc4 22.Rd5 Rb5-/+] 21...Bxf1 22.Rxf1 Rh3 

You can now see Vishy's idea is full flow. He exchanged the light squared bishops and plonked his rook on h3!! Both h2 and g4 are weaknesses now! Later Vishy was able to create central e and f passers and won the game!

23.Re2 [23.Bg1! Kd7 24.Rd3 Rh4! (24...Rxd3 25.cxd3 Rh8 26.Rf3 d5÷) 25.Rg3 (25.h3 Rbh8 26.Rff3 f5! 27.Rxf5 Rxh3-/+) 25...Rg8 26.h3 Rgh8 27.Rff3 f5! 28.exf5 (28.Rxf5 Rxh3 29.Rxh3 Rxh3 30.Bf2 (30.Rxf7? Rh1 31.Rf1 Bg5 32.Re1 Bd2–+) 30...Ke6-/+ × §e4,g4) 28...e4 29.Re3 (29.Rc3? Bf6) 29...d5ยต] 23...Kd7 24.g5 Ke6 25.gxf6 Bxf6 26.Bd2 Be7! simple and best [26...Bh4 27.Bb4; 26...Rg8 27.Ref2 Be7 28.Rxf7 Rg4] 27.Be1 f6 28.Bg3 d5 29.exd5+ Kxd5 30.Rf5! forces Black to lose some time 30...Kc6™ [30...Ke6? 31.Bxe5 Re8 32.Rxf6+; 30...Rb7? 31.Bxe5 Ke6 (31...fxe5 32.Rfxe5+ Kd6 33.Re6+ Kd5 34.Rxe7) 32.Bxf6+ Kxf5 33.Bxe7=] 31.Ref2? [31.Rf3! Rh7 32.Rc3+ Kb7 The king belongs on e6 and Black would have a hard technical task ahead] 31...Rh6 32.Kb2 Kd7 33.Re2 Bd6 34.Rf3 Rc8! [34...Ke6 35.Rc3 …¦c6] 35.Be1 Ke6 Mission accomplished! 36.Rd3 Rh7 37.Rg3 Bc5 38.Ka2 Rd7 39.Rc3 Rcc7 [39...Rd1? 40.Bf2 Bxf2 41.Rxc8 Bd4 42.c3±] 40.h4 Rd1 41.Bf2 Bd6 42.Rg3 e4!–+ 43.Rxe4+ [43.Rg1 Rxg1 44.Bxg1 f5] 43...Be5 44.Rxe5+ [44.c3 Rd2+ 45.Kb1 Rxf2–+] 44...fxe5 45.Kb2 Rd2 0–1

Though Anand made two antipositional moves with gf6 and Bc4, I will rate this as one of the best positional games ever played. Its all about prioritizing. More than pawn structure Anand gave importance to one tempo with gf6 and more than good bishop and bad bishop, Anand gave importance to preventing opponents h3 idea! Such great positional feel can only be developed by looking at such great games by great masters!!



  1. Happy your Birthday wish your success and good health
    Engineer Jamshedy from Afghanistan

  2. Rh3 idea thats very deep prophylaxis... love u vishy!