Anand – van Wely, Corus 2006

Viswanathan Anand (2792)
Loek van Wely (2647)
Sicilian: Sveshnikov
Corus 2006, Wijk aan Zee, Round 9
ECO Code

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 Bg5 12. Nc2 Rb8 13. a4 bxa4 14. Ncb4 Bd7 15. Bxa6 Nxb4 16. cxb4 O-O 17. O-O Bc6 18. Rxa4
Position after 18.Rxa4. Not a new idea, but nevertheless very difficult to combat over the board.
18… Bxa4 19. Qxa4
White’s compensation for the pawn lies in the mobility of his passed b-pawn. Advancing this quickly will result in the Black rook being tied down to the potential queening square, and White will then have a little time to generate a manoeuvre to eject the rook from the …b8 square.
19… Qe8
19… g6 20. Qc6 Bd2! 21. b5 Ba5 Strongpointing the b6 square as a prelude to a blockade. 22. Bb7 f6 23. b4 Bb6 24. Nxb6 Rf7! Regaining the piece. 25. Rd1 Rfxb7 26. Rxd6 Qxd6 27. Qxd6 Rxb6 28. Qd5+ Kf8 29. h4 R8b7 30. g4 Rxb5 31. Qd6+ Kg7 32. g5 fxg5 33. hxg5 h6 34. Qf6+ Kh7 35. gxh6 Rxb4 36. Qxe5 Rf7 37. Kg2 Rb6 38. Qd4 Rbf6 39. e5 Rxf2+ 40. Qxf2 Rxf2+ Barua – Lalic, Ubeda 1998, 1/2 (40)
20. Qxe8 Rfxe8 21. b5
The exchange of queens has not made Black’s defence any easier.
21… f5 22. b6 fxe4 23. h4!
Offering a pawn for the sake of decoying Black’s dark-squared bishop from getting to the queenside quickly.
23… Bd2
Better is 23… Bxh4 24. Re1 Rf8 -/+
24. b7 = Kf7 25. Rd1 Bh6 26. Nb4 Ke7 27. Nd5+!
A comfortable square for the white knight. Black can’t bring his king nearer to the queenside via d7 because of Bb5+.
27. Nc6+ Kd7 28. Nxb8+ Rxb8 = White’s attack is repulsed because his rook has no easy way of reaching the c-file.
27… Kf7
The Black king has no easy way to approach the White b7-pawn, so he has to meekly withdraw.
27… Kd7 28. Bb5+ +-
27… Kd8 The c7-square is guarded by the White knight.
28. g4
Threatening to cut the bishop’s watch on the c1-square, thus expediting the White rook’s entry down the c-file.
28… Bf4 29. Re1
Manoeuvring to the c-file, using the light-squares.
29… g5 30. Re2
30. Rxe4 Red8 31. Rc4 Rd7 =
30… Red8
Trying to prevent the threatened entry of the White rook on the c-file with Rd8-d7, thus exchanging off the rooks if White infiltrates to the c7-square.
31. Nb4 d5 32. Nc6 Rg8 33. Nxb8 Rxb8 34. h5 +/- Ke7??
solves nothing. 34… d4 35. Rc2 e3 36. fxe3 Bxe3+ 37. Kf1 e4 38. Bc4+ Ke7 +/-
35. Kf1 +- d4
Black intends e3
36. Rc2
36. Rxe4?! is the less attractive alternative Kd6 +/=
36… e3 37. fxe3 dxe3 38. Rc7+
The white rook eventually arrives.
38… Kf6 39. Rxh7 e4 40. Bc4 Rd8 41. Rf7+ Ke5 42. Rd7!!
a sacrifice that ends the game
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