Monday 26 February 2018

Six of the world's best players competed in the Zurich Chess Classic last week.

Six of the world's best players competed in the Zurich Chess Classic last week.

This tournament was a combination of classical and rapid chess. Vishy Anand and Hikaru Nakamura tied for first with 9 points, with the latter winning the tie-break blitz game. Vladimir Kramnik came third with 8.5 points.

Today I would like to show one of Anand's wins in the 'classical' portion of the tournament.

Anand - Aronian

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6

3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7

5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0

7.e4 Na6 8.Be2 c5

9.d5 e6 10.0-0 exd5

11.exd5 Re8 12.Rd1

This is the main line; last year in the World Championship match in Sochi Anand played 12.Bg5.


13.d6 h6 14.Be3 Ng4

This move is the first choice of the best chess software, so presumably both players had studied this line in great detail.

15.Bf4! Bxc3 16.bxc3 Re4

17.Qb5 Rxf4 18.Qxb7 Ra4


White has full compensation for a piece, but after 19...Nc7 20.h3 Nf6 21.Ne5 Nxd7 22.Nxf7 Kxf7 23.Qb3+ Kg7 24.Qxa4 Qe7 chances would be about equal. However, Aronian went astray:

19...Be4?! 20.Qb3 Bc6? (D)

Here it looks like Black has got everything under control - but Anand's next powerful move dispelled that illusion:

21.Rd6! Bxd7

Black is also doomed after 21...Qc7 22.Rxg6+ Kf8 23.Rxc6! Qxc6 24.Bb5.

22.Rad1! Qb8

23.Rxd7 Qxb3 24.axb3 Ra2

25.Bc4 Rf8 26.R7d6 Kg7

27.Rxa6 Rxf2 28.Re1 1-0

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