6 May 2010

WCC 2010 game 9

Goodbye Catalan
Hello Rubinstein Nimzo E54 main line

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nf3 d5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 b6 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Re1 Nbd7 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Bd3

Gligoric liked this line but was not too successful with it. Two wins, two draws and three losses.
He had 13...Re8 played against him in his game versus Portisch in 1968 (1-0) and Browne in 1979 (0-1).How's that for a bit of ancient history ;-)
Others played 13...Bxc3 or Be7.
I would have chosen 13...h6. For what it's worth.

A different Anand had Re8 played against him in 2005 in Czech Pardubice, 68 moves for a draw.

Ah, I'm not alone. Andersson played h6 one move later, against Spassky in 1979, draw.

The lovely, capable Judith played 14...Nf8 against Lautier and won in 2002 in Moscow in 74 moves, no less.

So far:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nf3 d5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 b6 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Re1 Nbd7 making room for the LSB and supporting the other Knight. 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Bd3 On it's way to =b1=? It shrugs off responsibility for the center square =d5=. Seems a daring move somehow. Maybe I'm just a bit squeamish about Anand's chances in this match. Safety first and all that. But that would mean aiming for a draw, and in Tal's opinion that is the pits:

"To play for a draw, at any rate with White, is to some degree a crime against chess."

I was in Hammersmith for the KK2000 match ten years ago, and remember a similar position with the Q slightly differently placed. Probably can't find that now.

Got it. 13.Qb3 from Kramnik, who won in 25 moves.
Back to the present.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nf3 d5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 b6 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Re1 Nbd7 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Bd3 Re8 14. Qe2 Bxc3 15. bxc3 Qc7 16. Bh4 Nh5 17. Ng5


Now Qc2 I suppose.
Actually Qd1 might be nicer. And then h6 or Nf4 or another Knight move from Black

oops. Wrong again. Anand plays

18. Nh3 e5
19. f3 Qd6 20. Bf2 exd4 21. Qxe8+ Rxe8 22. Rxe8+ Nf8 23. cxd4 24. Ree1 Ne6 25. Bc4 Bd5

and it begins to feel like another draw for Anand as White.
Can't see any brilliancies arising from this position.

It looks like Anand played 18.Nh3 simply because it was possible. Topalov's black kingside squares being weak, it was possible for Anand to go to =h3= safely.
Not a good enough reason. He seems to have lost his energy. Almost as if his state of health is below par.
Maybe my expectations and hopes were too high.
maybe he is just tired. Tired of chess?
It's been a long time. And there is more to life than chess. Even if you are that good.

Topalov plays a less-than-optimum move and his Queen seems to be going the wrong way.

26.Bg3 Qb4 when retreating to say =d7= might have been safer.

27.Be5 almost as if Anand had expected this.


As long as Anand does play 28.a3, this brinkmanship might lead somewhere.
But he must deal with the Bishops first.

Blown it. He does play a3.
Back to square one.

Stroke of luck. Topalov moves his Queen to =a4= rather than the better move Qb2 !!!.

28.a3 Qa4 29. Bxd5 Nxe5 30.Bxe6 Qxd4+ 31. Kh1

White now has a Bishop + 2 Rooks for a Queen + an extra pawn.
Not for long though.

26 versus 33 minutes.
And all to play for again thank goodness.
There may be a very volatile endgame coming up.
One wrong step and you're down and out.

Enthralling endgame but Topalov chooses 46....gxh5 rather than 46...g5 which had better chances. Still, slightly less than best moves from either side extend the game in zigzagging fashion.

40. Rh8+
(40. Re2 40... a5 41. Nxe6 b4 42. Rc7 Qa1+ 43. Kh2 b3 44. Re4 a4
(40. Re4 b4 41. Rxa7 b3 42. Rb7 b2 43. Kh2 Qc1 44. Ra4 Nd7 45. Rab4 Qe1 46. Rxb2 Qxh4+
Kd7 41. Rh7+ Kc6 42. Re4 b4
(42... a5 43. Nxe6 Kb6 44. Nd4 Qc1+ 45. Kh2 Qc5 )
43. Nxe6 Kb6 44. Nf4 Qa1+
(44... Qc1+ 45. Kh2 Nc6 46. Rh6 b3 47. Rxg6 Qd2 48. Rc4 b2 49. Rgxc6+ Kb7 50. Rc7+ Kb8 )
45. Kh2 a5
(45... b3 46. Rb4+ Kc6 47. Rxb3 )
46. h5 gxh5
(46... g5 47. Nd5+ Kc6 48. Ne7+
47. Rxh5 Nc6 48. Nd5+
(48. Re6 48... Kb7 49. Rh7+ Kb6 50. Rhh6 b3 51. Rxc6+
Kb7 49. Rh7+ Ka6 50. Re6
(50... Kb5 51. Rh5 Nd8 52. Nb6+ Ka6 53. Rg6 Qd4 54. Nc8+ Kb7 55. Nd6+ Kb8 56. Rb5+ Ka8 57. Rxa5+ Kb8 58. Rb5+ Ka8 59. Nf5 Qa1 60. Rxb4 Qe5+ 61. f4 Qa5 62. Rgb6 Nc6 63. R4b5 Qa4 64. Kg3 Ka7 65. Rb7+ Ka8

Kb5 51. Rh5 Nd4 52. Nb6+ Ka6 53. *

Let's hope Anand makes the correct Rook move: Rd6 rather than Rg6

and he does. Phew.


Game is all over the place.
They are lurching home like drunken sailors and it is leaving me dizzy.

53. Rd6 Kb7 54. Nc4 Nxf3+ 55. gxf3 Qa2+ 56. Nd2 Kc7 57. Rhd5 b3 58. Rd7+ Kc8 59. Rd8+ Kc7 60. R8d7+ Kc8 61. Rg7 a4

Can't stand the suspense...

"It's not over till the fat lady sings"

Well, I sure hope she starts singing soon.
You can wring me out.

And so on for another 22 moves into yet another draw for Anand as White.

Nobody can accuse them of not trying their darndest.
I had handed the win to Anand at move 48.Re6
But he played 48.Nd5+
I wonder what difference Re6 would have made. Probably none.
What a game. How worn out they must be.

Game 9 play through with further commentary

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