Karjakin – Anand, Corus 2006

Sergey Karjakin (2660)
Viswanathan Anand (2792)
Sicilian: Najdorf English Attack
Corus 2006, Wijk aan Zee, Round 1
ECO Code

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4 b5
Both sides need to be fully commited with their plans. Its a game of chicken, the first player to back down will lose.
12. g5 b4 13. Ne2 Ne8 14. f4
14. Ng3 a5 15. Kb1 a4 16. Nc1 Qb8 17. f4 exf4 18. Bxf4 b3 19. cxb3 axb3 20. a3=/+ Svidler – Kasimdzhanov, WCh-FIDE, San Luis 2005, 1/2 (34)
14… a5 15. f5 a4 16. Nbd4
16. fxe6 axb3 17. exf7+ Rxf7 18. Kb1 bxc2+ 19. Kxc2=/+ Topalov -Vallejo Pons, Linares 2005, 1-0 (32)
16… exd4 17. Nxd4 b3 18. Kb1
18. cxb3 axb3 19. a3 Rc8+ 20. Kb1 Bc4 21. f6 Nexf6 22. gxf6 Bxf6 23. Bxc4 Rxc4 24. Nxb3 Rxe4-+ Boriss – Gallagher, Bundesliga 2003, 1/2 (39)
18… bxc2+ 19. Nxc2 Bb3 20. axb3 axb3 21. Na3 Ne5 22. h4 Ra5 23. Qc3N?!
This is Karjakin’s attempted improvement, but it leaves the queen a little exposed on the c-file.
23. Qe2 d5 24. Rxd5 Rxd5 25. exd5 Bxa3 26. bxa3 Nd6= Leko – Vallejo Pons, Melody Amber Rapid 2005, 1/2 (67)
23… Qa8 24. Bg2?
24. Rd4
24… Nc7!!
Position after 24...Nc7!!. An amazing concept, the idea is to bring the f8-rook and the e5-knight quickly into the attack.
25. Qxc7
Essentially forced. White cannot allow …Nb5 where Black’s attack is far too strong to defend.
25… Rc8! 26. Qxe7 Nc4!
With the sacrifice of two pieces Black has whipped up a mating net around the White king. Black’s position has reached its zenith, and White temporarily has the initiative. Its a question of whether White has a sequence that either mates or perpetuals the Black king.
27. g6 hxg6!
Creating a potential escape square for his king. In lines after gxf7+ Black king has the handy h7 square, where it is almost out of reach from the White pieces.
28. fxg6 Nxa3+ 29. bxa3 Rxa3 30. gxf7+ Kh7 31. f8=N+!
A determined attempt to get at the Black king, but after Black’s next its clear that Anand has things well under control.
31… Rxf8!
Anand would have to have seen this possibility all the way back on his 24th move where he initially sacrificed two pieces. Anand discards another rook, which gives him the initiative to finish off his attack.
32. Qxf8 Ra1+!
It isn’t safe for Black to take the White queen yet.
33. Kb2 Ra2+ 34. Kc3
34. Kb1 Now it is safe to accept White’s gift. The Black rook does a sterling job on the seventh rank, locking in the White king as well as interfering with the co-ordination of White’s pieces. Qxf8
34… Qa5+!
Shredder 7 announces mate in 5.
35. Kd3 Qb5+ 36. Kd4 Ra4+ 37. Kc3 Qc4+ 0-1
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