Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Vishy misses a clear advantage ? - Game 3 World Chess Championship 2013

It is very rare that a position of this nature comes forth in a World Championship game, especially when both the players are known to be sharp.

The position is after the 29th move of Game 3 of the ongoing World Chess Championships being played in Chennai between Vishwanathan Anand, the reigning world champion and Magnus Carlsen, the World no.1 and the challenger to the crown.

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. c4 dxc4 4. Qa4+ Nc6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. Nc3 e5 7. Qxc4 Nge7 8. O-O O-O 9. d3 h6 10. Bd2 Nd4 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Ne4 c6 13. Bb4 Be6 14. Qc1 Bd5 15. a4 b6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. a5 Rab8 18. Re1 Rfc8 19. axb6 axb6 20. Qf4 Rd8 21. h4 Kh7 22. Nd2 Be5 23. Qg4 h5 24. Qh3 Be6 25. Qh1 c5 26. Ne4 Kg7 27. Ng5 b5 28. e3  (the adjacent image has analysis by Fritz, barring the first line, which is quite a bizarre suggestion all the other lines of variations shows ...dxe3 29. Rxe3 Bxb2) 

but Anand played 29...Bd4 !?

So, I thought of analyzing the ...Bxb2 line and the results were + all the way for Black even though a draw, forced by White through a Bishop sacrifice (resulting from a sharp-ish Ra6 line for White, annotated below), does look the most likely result, the way to the draw shows a lot of interesting plus-es for Black that might have led to a pressure situation for White! Maybe what Carlsen meant by "survived a scare"!

Here is the 29....Bxb2 line

At the press conference, Anand mentioned "Re1 and White had enough compensation" but not really as the below position shows after 30. Nxe6+ fxe6 31. Re1

31...e5 32. Rb1 Bd4 33. Re2 Qf7 34. Bc6 b4 35. Qe4  Rd6 36. Qf3 b3   -+

Below is a sharp-ish variation that Carlsen may have played with the above assumption that Carlsen would be only too eager to release his Queen from the 'h' square quickly and bring it into play.

30. Nxe6 fxe6 31. Ra6 e5 32. Be4 Rd6 33. Bc6! (allowing for Qe4 to come into play, freeing the Queen, and at the same time threatening the b5 pawn. 

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