"This All Is Well-Known". Anand Crushes Vachier-Lagrave in the Najdorf

Время публикации: 23.06.2015 06:00 | Последнее обновление: 23.06.2015 06:06

In the 6th round of Norway Chess 2015, Viswanathan Anand crushed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, once again demonstrating how dangerous he is for anyone as White. With three rounds to go, he still retains a little hope to catch up with the leader, Veselin Topalov.

Viswanathan ANAND - Maxime VACHIER-LAGRAVE
Stavanger 2015, round 6

The Sicilian Defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.Bg2 Nc6 9.Be3 Be7 10.f4 Nd7 11.0-0 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 0-0 13.Qd2 Rb8 14.Ne2 b5 15.Rad1 Qc7 16.f5 Nf6 17.Ng3 Bb7

Anish Giri, when asked about the position after Anand's 23.g6, pointed out instantly that this all is well-known and the opponents were repeating Navara - Grischuk game from the Tromso Olympiad 2014. Grischuk had played 17...Re8 but had also suffered from the sacrifice on h6: 17...Re8 18.Bd4 e5 19.Be3 Bb7 20.Bxh6! gxh6 21.Qxh6 Nh7 22.f6 Bf8 23.Qh5 Qc5+ 24.Kh2 Qe3 25.h4 Qh6 26.Qxh6 Bxh6 27.g5 Bf8 28.g6 and so on. In Giri's opinion, Vachier-Lagrave knew all that and came prepared but might have forgotten his preparation.
18. Kh1! Rbd8? Instead of this careless move, Levon Aronian suggested 18...Kh7. Now if 19.g5 then 19...hxg5 20.Bxg5 Rh8! with the idea of regrouping by Kg8-Rh7.
19.Bxh6 gxh6 20.Qxh6 The main threat is very simple: 21.g5 and 22.f6. If 20...Nh7 then 21.Nh5 wins.
20...d5 21.g5 Qxg3 22.Rd3! Of course not 22.gxf6? Bd6 and it's Black who wins.
22...Nh5 The best defence is 22...Ne4! 23.f6! (23.Bxe4 Qe5! 24.f6 Qxe4+ 25.Rdf3 Qg6 is roughly equal) 23...Bxf6! (23...Qxg5+ loses after 24.Qxg5 Nxg5 25.fxe7 Nh7 26.Rg3+ Kh8 27.exd8Q Rxd8 28.Rxf7) 24.Bxe4! dxe4 25.Rg3 Bg7 26.Qh5 Rd2. Black has a pair of strong bishops for a queen, all his pieces are active, and the attack has been extinquished. The win for White is not easy if possible at all.

23.g6! (Vachier-Lagrave must have missed this) 23...fxg6 24.fxg6 Rxf1+ 25.Bxf1 Now Black has no checks and can avoid checkmate at the cost of the whole queen only: 25...Nf6 26.Rxg3 dxe4 27.Be2 e3+ 28.Kg1 Bc5 29. Kf1 1-0

"It's been a nice attack but nothing extraordinary, it's just what you do in the Sicilian", observed the winner after the game.

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.22"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2804"] [BlackElo "2723"] [ECO "B90"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Najdorf, Adams attack"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 h6 8. Bg2 Nc6 9. Be3 Be7 10. f4 Nd7 11. O-O Nxd4 12. Qxd4 O-O 13. Qd2 Rb8 14. Ne2 b5 15. Rad1 Qc7 16. f5 Nf6 17. Ng3 Bb7 18. Kh1 Rbd8 19. Bxh6 gxh6 20. Qxh6 d5 21. g5 Qxg3 22. Rd3 Nh5 23. g6 fxg6 24. fxg6 Rxf1+ 25. Bxf1 Nf6 26. Rxg3 dxe4 27. Be2 e3+ 28. Kg1 Bc5 29. Kf1 1-0 


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