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Viswanathan Anand started the tournament in Biel, Switzerland in fine style with a splendid win over Joel Lautier. In a curious line of the Centre Counter Defence, Lautier took up the challenge of Anand's 12.Rh3 (12.f3 is the normal move) by chasing the rook into the centre of the board, then pursuing it with Nb6 and Nd5.

The price of this, however, was having his bishop incarcerated on g2. At first sight, it looked as though White would win two pieces for his rook, but Lautier's idea of Bb4, then eating his way with the queen via c3 to d4, left the situation less clear. White's rook on e3 could not escape, and White could not capture the bishop on g2 without abandoning his defence to the rook.

After 23...Rd8, Black probably expected Anand to go after the bishop with 24.Qg1, but he came up with something far more powerful. His 24.h6! set up a fine combination after 24...gxh6 (see diagram) when he played 25.Bg6!! Black's queen is threatened and 21...Qxd1 leads to mate after 22.Rxe6+ Kf8 23.Bxh6+ Kg8 24.Bxf7. If Black had played 20...g6 instead of gxh6, then a similar mate follows after 21.Bxg6 Qxd1 22.Rxe6+ Kf8 23.Rxf7+ Kg8 24.Rg7+ Kf8 25.Ba3+.

Black's only defence was 21...Ne7, leaving his queen defended, and blocking the attack to f7, but it also renounced the attack on e3. As a result White was able to exchange queens then go back to his plan of rounding up the stray bishop on g2. In the final position, White threatens not only Kxg2, but also Bb2 followed by Bf6. After 25...Bh1, the most efficient way to win is 26.Bb2 Re8 27.Bf6, then letting Black run out of moves until he has to surrender his knight. Meanwhile, the bishop in the corner is going nowhere. But how much of all this had Anand seen when playing 13.Re3?

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Joel Lautier

1 e4 d5 14 Bd3 Nd5

2 exd5 Qxd5 15 f3 Bb4

3 Nc3 Qa5 16 Kf2 Bxc3

4 d4 Nf6 17 bxc3 Qxc3

5 Nf3 c6 18 Rb1 Qxd4

6 Bc4 Bf5 19 Rxb7 Rd8

7 Ne5 e6 20 h6 gxh6

8 g4 Bg6 21 Bg6 Ne7

9 h4 Nbd7 22 Qxd4 Rxd4

10 Nxd7 Nd7 23 Rd3 Rd8

11 h5 Be4 24 Rxd8+ Kd8

12 Rh3 Bg2 25 Bd3 resigns

13 Re3 Nb6

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