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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vishy Anand Crushes Alexey Shirov.

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Vishy Anand crushes Alexey Shirov with bravura performance

3195 How did Anand (White, to play) finish the game quickly? 

Vishy Anand, the world champion, has responded to the limp draws in the candidates matches and the surprise victory there of Israel's Boris Gelfand by restating his own credentials with a bravura performance.
Anand's match in Leon against Spain's ex-Latvian No1 Alexey Shirov was only one-hour rapid chess but the Indian won it in style, 4.5-1.5. His three wins included the brilliancy below plus a move six novelty as Black in the solid Caro-Kann which proved so strong that the demoralised Shirov resigned his wretched position as early as move 17.
At 41 Anand keeps himself in excellent professional shape. Spain is his European base and he splits his time between training there with his grandmaster aides and commuting to his wife and newborn son at his family home in Chennai/Madras.
It might seem natural for Anand to defend his world title in India but, although he won a knock-out championship at New Delhi in 2000, he still feels the mental scars of his 1994 match at Sanghi Naghar where the home fan pressure was huge and he collapsed from two up against Gata Kamsky and lost 6-4.
He would rather play in Spain, and his crush of Shirov could be taken as an invitation for sponsors to emerge there for his 2012 match. Spain is one of the few Western countries still with major chess events, including Bilbao and Linares as well as Leon.
Shirov's defeat below began with the blunder 13...Qb6? (Bg7) mixing up two systems. His king was caught in mid-board and 21 b4! set up the climax in today's puzzle.
V Anand v A Shirov
1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 dxc4 7 e4 g5 8 Bg3 b5 9 Be2 Bb7 10 Qc2 Nbd7 11 Rd1 Nh5 12 d5 Nxg3 13 hxg3 Qb6? 14 dxe6 fxe6 15 Nxg5 Bc5 16 Bh5+ Ke7 17 Nxe6 Ne5 18 Nxc5 Qxc5 19 Be2 Raf8 20 O-O Rhg8 21 b4! Qxb4 22 Qd2 Qc5 23 Qxh6 Bc8 24 Qh4+ Ke6 25 Qh6+ Ke7 26 Qh5 Kf6 27 Qh4+ Ke6 28 Nd5 cxd5 29 Rxd5 Qb6 30 Qh5 Qb8 31 Rfd1 Rf6 (see diagram)
A classic psychological crush where White was awed by the opening bomb 6...c5! There is no immediate win at the end but the WK is trapped in the centre and his e5 pawn soon falls.

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