Vishy Anand is the best player in the world, playing vibrant and exciting chess. In the past two years, the results of the top two Russians, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik, are pale in comparison with the achievements of the Indian grandmaster.
Anand is the current world champion in rapid play and dominates opponents with his legendary quickness. It brought him success in two events in Germany recently. Yesterday in Mainz, Anand defeated Alexei Shirov in a rapid match 5 to 3. And in Dortmund, he scored the tournament victory with a rapid game win over Kramnik in the Sicilian Najdorf.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5?! (Preventing g2-g4, but at the same time it weakens the kingside.) 9.Nd5! (Anand plays exactly, postponing Qd1-d2. The difference is clear when black meets 9.Nd5 with 9...Nxd5 10.exd5 Bf5 and now 11.Bd3! Bxd3 12.Qxd3 saves white one queen move.) 9...Bxd5 10.exd5 Nbd7 11.Qd2 g6 (Supporting the h-pawn, black hopes to find a good fortune for his bishop on the long diagonal.)
12.Na5!? (The knight leap paralyzes black's queenside and prevents the counterplay 12.c4 a5!?) 12...Qc7 13.Be2 Bg7 (After 13...b6 14.Nc6 Nb8 15.Nxb8 Rxb8 16.c4, white is better.) 14.0-0-0 Rc8 15.Kb1 0-0 (It is too risky to leave the king in the center and play 15...Nxd5? because after 16.Qxd5 Qxc2+ 17.Ka1 Qxe2 18.Qxd6 Qb5 19.Bg5! Bf8, white has the fancy 20.Nc4! that finishes the game in Paul Morphy's style after 20...Rxc4? 21.Qb8+! Nxb8 22.Rd8 mate. On 20...Qxc4? 21.Qxd7 mates; and after 20...Bxd6 21.Nxd6+ Kf8 22.Nxb5 wins a piece.) 16.Rc1 e4 (One can understand Kramnik's desire to open the long diagonal for his bishop, but it plays to Anand's hand. Waiting with 16...Rfe8 seems better. ) 17.f4 Nc5 (It was worth considering the immediate 17...Ng4 18.Bxg4 hxg4, hoping to slow white on the kingside.) 18.Nb3 (Challenging the troublesome knight.) 18...Na4?! (Hoping to spark an attack, but it loses time.) 19.c3 Rfe8 20.Rhf1 (Methodically preparing f4-f5.) 20...Nb6?! 21.c4! Ng4 (Going after the dark bishop.)
22.f5! (Anand correctly judges that he could destroy black's kingside before Kramnik does something on the long dark diagonal.) 22...Nxe3 (After 22...Nxh2? 23.Rh1 Ng4 24.Bxg4 hxg4 25.Qf2!, white threatens 26.f6 or 26.Qh4.) 23.Qxe3 Nd7 24.g4!? (The black pawn wall collapses. It was possible to play first 24.fxg6 fxg6 and only now 25.g4.) 24...Qb6 25.Qh3 Nc5 (Blocking the attack with 25...g5 works nicely after 26.Qxh5?? [On 26.gxh5 comes 26...Bf6!] 26...Qe3! 27.Rce1 Nf6 and black wins. But after 25...g5 the pawn sacrifice 26.f6! opens lines to the black king, for example 26...Nxf6 27.gxh5 Nh7 28.h6 Be5 29.Qh5 Rc7 30.h4 and white succeeds.) 26.fxg6 fxg6 27.gxh5 Nxb3 28.axb3 Qd4 (Black finally controls the long diagonal, but his kingside is ruined.) 29.Rc2 Rf8 30.Rd1 Qf6 31.Bg4! (After 31...Rce8 32.hxg6 Qxg6 33.Be6+ wins the exchange.) Black resigned.
Crushing the Champion
Irina Krush scored 50 percent at the Second North Urals Cup in Krasnoturinsk, Russia, this month. But the American International Master got satisfaction by defeating the new women's world champion, Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria, with a splendid attack in the Slav defense. Almira Skripchenko of France won the 10-woman super-tournament with 6 points.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Qb3 Qc7 6.Ne5 Be6 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Nxd7!? (Another good choice is 8.f4.) 8...Qxd7 9.cxd5 Nxd5 (Black has to surrender the center since 9...cxd5?? 10.Bb5 wins the black queen.) 10.e4! Nxc3 11.Qxc3 f5 (Hoping to find some freedom for her pieces and weaken white's pawn center.) 12.f3 Bf7 13.Bc4! (Developing quickly, white can exploit the weak light squares after the bishop exchange.) 13...Bxc4 14.Qxc4 fxe4 15.fxe4 Rd8? (Black is jamming her king in the center, leaving the kingside not developed. But after 15...0-0-0 16.Be3 Qg4 17.d5! Qxg2 [On 17...Rxd5 comes 18.0-0!] 18.0-0-0, white has a powerful pressure. The immediate 15...e5!? at least attempts to wake up the kingside.) 16.Be3 Qg4 17.Qc2 e5 18.0-0! exd4 19.Qc4! (Threatening 20.Qf7 mate, white gains an important tempo for the attack.) 19...Qd7 (After 19...Be7 both 20.Rad1 and 20.Bxd4 give white a clear advantage.)
20.Bg5! (White gets a decisive advantage with three power strokes.) 20...Rc8 21.Rf5! (The threat is 22.Re5+.) 21...Bd6 22.Raf1 (Preparing an invasion to the seventh rank. It can't be stopped.) 22...b5 (After 22...Rf8? 23.Rxf8+ Bxf8 24.Qg8 wins.) 23.Qb3 h6 24.Bh4 g5 25.Rf7! gxh4 (Black had to give up the queen. After 25...Qg4 26.Rxa7 wins.) 26.Rxd7 Kxd7 27.Rf7+ Be7 28.Qb4 c5 (After 28...Rhe8 29.Qxd4+ Ke6 30.Qg7 wins.) 29.Qxb5+ Kd8 30.e5! (The pawn helps to create a mating net.) 30...Re8 31.e6 Rc7 32.Qb8+ Rc8 33.Qd6+!! (A beautiful mating finale. After 33...Bxd6 34.Rd7 is an epaulet mate.) Black resigned.
Solution to today's problem by A. G. Ojanen (White: Kf6,Qc6, Rh1; Black: Kh6,Rh2,P:f5,h3): 1.Qg2! hxg2 2.Rxh2 mate; or 1...Rxg2 2.Rxh3 mate; or 1...Rxh1 2.Qg6 mate; or 1...Kh7 2.Qg7 mate.