Etcetera: Chess

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The Independent Culture
Take Care of the pawns and the pieces will take care of themselves, I always say. And it is clear that the young Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand understands that precept. Just look at his 26th move in this game, and you will see what I mean.

White: Vladimir Kramnik

Black: Viswanathan Anand

Belgrade 1997

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 c6 5.Bg5 h6!

A move designed to irritate the man who is the world's greatest authority on the complexities of 5...dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5. Now 6.Bxf6 is correct, but Kramnik sticks to his guns.

6.Bh4?! dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.e5 Nh5 11.a4 a6 12.Nxg5?!

An extraordinary concoction.

12...Nxg3 13.Nxf7 Kxf7 14.fxg3 Kg8 15.0-0

For his piece White has only one pawn, but the open spaces around the black king guarantee a long-lasting initiative.

15...Nd7 16.Bg4 Qe7 17.Ne4 Rh7 18.Nd6 Rb8 19.b4

Apparently stifling Black's hopes of ever freeing his game with ...c5, since 19...cxb3 20.Qxb3 loses the e6-pawn.

19...h5 20.Bh3 Bh6 21.Kh1 Bg5 22.Qc2 Rg7 23.Qe2 Ba8 24.Qxh5 Rf8 25.Ne4 (Diagram.)

Now 25...Be3 26.Rxf8+ leaves no way to recapture: Nxf8 loses to Nf6+, Qxf8 to Bxe6+ and Kxf8 to 27.Qh8+ Kf7 28.Rf1+ Kg6 29.Nf6.

25...c5! 26.Nxg5 Bd5!!

Taking care of the pawn on e6. Instead 26...Rxg5 27.Qh6 would have left White having all the fun.

27.Nf3 cxb4

Black is now a pawn behind - but just look at those monsters on b4 and c4.

28.axb5 axb5 29.Nh4 Qg5 30.Rxf8+ Nxf8 31.Qe8 Rf7 32.Nf3 Qg6 33.Qxb5 b3 34.Rf1 Qd3 35.Kg1 Qe3+ 36.Kh1 c3

On they roll. White is now reduced to desperate tactics.

37.Bxe6!? Bxe6 38.d5 Rxf3! 39.gxf3 Bh3

The white rook cannot move without allowing mate after Qxf3+.

40.Qc4 Bxf1 41.Qg4+ Kh7 42.e6

White hopes for 42...c2 43.Qh5+ Kg7 44.Qf7+, but Black sees it coming.


Killing all hopes of perpetual check.

White resigned.