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"When you get a position like this," Viswanathan Anand writes of the position in the diagram, "you go away feeling very pleased and have a warm glow for the next few games." The comment comes from a new book My Best Games of Chess (Gambit Publications, pounds 15.99) by Anand and is typical of the irrepressible spirit of enjoyment that Anand conveys both by his moves and his comments.

In its 240 pages, the book includes 40 games and 30 combinations, played between 1986 and 1997. The annotations are a delightfully revealing mixture of deep analysis and honest reminiscences that convey a rare insight into what Anand was thinking at the time.

The diagram position comes from near the end of one of the earliest game in the book, in which Anand played White against Ninov on his way to winning the 1987 world junior championship. Black survived only one more move, resigning after 24...fxg6 25.fxg7 (25...Rxf1 26.Qh8+ Kf7 27.Rxf1+ or 25...Kxg7 26.Nxe6+ are equally hopeless).

This is the first of several games in the book in which Anand, while knowing the theory of an opening, thought up an innovation at the board. In this case it was the move 11.g4! which he says should have been answered by 11...Nxg4 12.Qg3 Nf6 13.Qxg7 Rg8 14.Qh6 when White has the advantage, but not as much as in the game.

As play went, Black had to play 20...g6 leading to a poor endgame after 21.Nf5 Qxe3+ 22.Nxe3. After 21.Bxh7+! he was lost. 22...fxg6 would have been met by 24.Rxf8+ Kxf8 25.Nxe6+.

White: V Anand

Black: K Ninov

1 e4 c5 14 f4 b4

2 Nf3 e6 15 Ne2 a5

3 d4 cxd4 16 Nbd4 Nxd4

4 Nxd4 a6 17 Nxd4 Qb6

5 Bd3 Bc5 18 e5 Bb7

6 Nb3 Ba7 19 Rhf1 dxe5

7 Nc3 Nc6 20 fxe5 Rd8

8 Qe2 d6 21 Bxh7+ Kxh7

9 Be3 Bxe3 22 g6+ Kg8

10 Qxe3 Nf6 23 Qh3 Nf6

11 g4 b5 24 exf6 fxg6

12 0-0-0 0-0 25 fxg7 resigns

13 g5 Ne8

"The following day," Anand writes, "I was facing Agdestein" (who was the highest-rated player in the event). "I prepared as well as I could ... and sat down hoping to play a good game." Not "hoping to win", note, but "hoping to play a good game".