26 October 2008

Anand's Golden Games, Part I

Each issue of Chess Informant highlights the best game from the previous volume. Through the first 101 issues (volume 102 was released earlier in October), Viswanathan Anand has seven golden games, including the best of Informant 101. His latest golden game puts him third on the all time list with half the number of second place Anatoly Karpov. Garry Kasparov has fifteen.

Anand’s golden games:

Informant 58: Anand – Ftáčnik, Biel 1993
Informant 68: Anand – Karpov, Las Palmas 1996
Informant 70: Anand – Lautier, Biel 1997
Informant 88: Anand – Bologan, Dortmund 2003
Informant 94: Anand – Adams, San Luis 2005
Informant 99: Anand – Carlsen, Morelia/Linares 2007
Informant 101: Aronian – Anand, Mexico City 2007

Anand – Ftáčnik

Ľubomír Ftáčnik played an early b-pawn push in a Sicilian Scheveningen. Anand struck back on the kingside and both players castled on the queenside. After 20…Nxb2, the position is a jungle of pieces.

Here Anand played 21.fxe6. After the bloodbath, this pawn was on f7 where another pawn on g6 supported it. The knight remained on f4, now with a decisive endgame role.

Anand – Karpov

Anand’s 1.Nf3 led to a Queen’s Gambit Accepted and 10.Be2, which Anand’s Informant annotations identify as a novelty despite having been played in Lutz – Schlosser, 1989. The move next appeared in an Opening Survey in ChessBase Magazine 57, and has been played at least fifteen times since. This bishop moved back to e2 on move seventeen, then to its ordinary d3 on move twenty. When it sacrificed itself on h7 on the next move, Karpov was already in great difficulty.

In the ensuing melee, Anand had three connected passed pawns for a knight and Karpov’s king was without shelter.

Anand – Lautier

Anand’s 15.f3 appears to be a novelty in this position from the Scandinavian Opening.

After 15…Bb4 16.Kf2!, Black’s light-squared bishop was trapped. It was a fast loss for Joel Lautier, ending a mere ten moves later.

Anand – Bologan

Seven of the nine judges picked this game as the best of Informant 88. Bologan played the Devil’s Opening (AKA Caro-Kann).

In a correspondence game, Frank Gerhardt was the first to play 14.Re1 to reach this position.

Fourteen other games have reached this position, and almost everyone playing Black has answered with 14…g4 and gone on to lose. The only other game to feature Victor Bologan’s 14…Bf8! was a low level player that won an email game that way—the only Black win. Bologan lost this game, but finished ahead of Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, and Peter Leko to win the tournament.

…to be continued…

1 comment:

  1. Hiya James,

    This is a very helpful post indeed.

    I see your anniversary is coming up soon. Well done with such a productive year. So many interesting articles for us to read.I have a lot of catching up to do.

    Don't I just wish that the complete set of Informant wasn't quite so expensive.

    Enjoy the (last?) game today.