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Tuesday, 10 Dec 2019 20:42
Anand's 50th anniversary: Five chess gems

Vishwanathan Anand is celebrating his 50th anniversary. The entire chess world congratulates the legendary grandmaster but first and foremost his homeland India extols the greatest chess player in the history of the country. At the end of November 2019 our colleagues from ChessBase India handpicked nine positions from Anand's best games and asked Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Vidit Gujrathi and Erwin l'Ami about them. Then they talked with Anand about these very games and recorded a video in which Vishy shared his memories and stories behind each of them. FIDE.com presents five best fragments, five real chess gems by Vishy Anand. 

Aronian - Anand (Wijk aan Zee, 2013)


16...Nde5!! 17. Bxg4 Bxd4+ 18. Kh1 Nxg4 19. Nxf8 f5 20. Ng6 Qf6 21. h3 Qxg6 22. Qe2 Qh5 23. Qd3 Be3 0-1

"As everyone knows, it became a current version of Rotlevi - Rubinstein. There are other games that I am equally proud of but that is the strong case to say that it was the most beautiful game I have played in my life." (Vishwanathan Anand)

Ivanchuk - Anand (Linares, 1992)


20...Bc4!! 21. b3 Bxf1 22. Rxf1 Rh3! 23. Re2 Kd7 24. g5 Ke6 25. gxf6 Bxf6 26. Bd2 Be7! 27. Be1 f6 28. Bg3 d5 29. exd5+ Kxd5 30. Rf5 Kc6 31. Ref2 Rh6 32. Kb2 Kd7 33. Re2 Bd6 34. Rf3 Rc8 35. Be1 Ke6! 36. Rd3 Rh7 37. Rg3 Bc5 38. Ka2 Rd7 39. Rc3 Rcc7 40. h4 Rd1 41. Bf2 Bd6 42. Rg3 e4 43. Rxe4+ Be5 44. Rxe5+ fxe5 45. Kb2 Rd2 0-1

Anand smoothly executed a very long plan based on a brilliant positional concept. After unforgettable moves 20...Bc4!! and 22...Rh3!! he managed to clear the way for the central paws and triumphally advanced his infantry. 

Karjakin - Anand (Wijk aan Zee, 2006)


24... Nc7!! 25. Qxc7 Rc8! 26. Qxe7 Nc4! 27. g6 hxg6 28. fxg6 Nxa3+ 29. bxa3 Rxa3 30. gxf7+ Kh7 31. f8=N+ Rxf8 32. Qxf8 Ra1+ 33. Kb2 Ra2+ 34. Kc3 Qa5+ 35. Kd3 Qb5+ 36. Kd4 Ra4+ 37. Kc3 Qc4+ 0-1

Even a relatively powerful computer does not find Anand's combination immediately. In the actual game, Vishy spotted it straight away but spent some time hesitating, fearing the opponent's home preparation. Finally, Vishy trusted his intuition and calculations and got to the white king. 

Anand - Lautier (Biel, 1997)


20. h6!! gxh6 21. Bg6!! Ne7 22. Qxd4 Rxd4 23. Rd3! Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Kxd8 25. Bd3 1-0

Probably the most popular and spectacular combination by Anand, his trademark, that crescendoes in the beautiful line featuring a queen sacrifice 21...Qxd1 22.Rxe6+ Kf8 23.Bxh6+ Kg8 24.Bxf7#

Anand - Caruana (Sinquefield Cup, 2017)

26. Qd4!! Qg5 27. Rc5! Rxd4 28. f8=Q+ Kg6 29. Qf7+ 1-0

Sometimes a player sees a brilliant combination in advance (Anand in this case) and hopes that the unsuspecting opponent will go for a particular sequence. Fabiano Caruana was not particularly happy about the arising position but hardly did he know that the game would last only four moves. Anand brilliantly employed the ideas of distraction and pin to dismantle Black's defense.