Vishy Wins!

Photo © John Saunders

The former world champion Vishy Anand said it right at the after-game analyzes: "I knew that with the soccer system the tournament definitely cannot be won. But there is a very high probability to end on last place." Which already speaks a lot about his attitude towards the last game at the LCC. Still, a silent Berlin quickly appeared on the board:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "6th London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2014.12.14"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Anand , Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2745"]
[BlackElo "2793"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 {I can almost hear the sigh of disbelief from
Anand's admirers when the Berlin appeared on the board. It has the reputation
of a very solid and drawish opening, but like I mentioned this many times
already it is also played for a win at the highest level.} 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4
Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 {Vishy had tried many
sublines in the Berlin and today he opted for the "modern" positioning of the
king.} 10. Nc3 h5 11. Rd1 {Diagram [#] I read somewhere that Mickey was the
secret Anti-Berlin weapon for Magnus Carlsen in the WCC in Sochi this year.} ({
Adams deviates from a game that was played less than a month ago} 11. Ne2 b6
12. Rd1 Ba6 13. Nf4 Bb7 {This was an excellent novelty which solved Black's
problems at once.} 14. e6 Bd6 15. exf7+ Kxf7 16. Ng5+ Kf6 17. Ne4+ Kf7 18. Ng5+
Kf6 19. Ne4+ Kf7 20. Ng5+ {1/2 (20) Carlsen,M (2863)-Anand,V (2792) Sochi 2014}
) 11... Be7 12. g3 b6 13. a4 Bb7 $146 {Curiously, it is once again Anand who
produces a novelty and once more it is the Bb7 move!} ({Previously} 13... a5 {
had been played by a great expert of the Berlin wall} 14. Bf4 Rg8 15. Ng5 Bb7
16. Rd3 Ba6 17. Rd2 Rd8 18. Rad1 Bc8 19. Kh2 Rxd2 20. Rxd2 Bd8 $11 {Efimenko,Z
(2689)-Bacrot,E (2705) Germany 2012}) 14. a5 ({The generally desirable trade
of the dark-squared bishops allows a fine square for the black king} 14. Bg5
Bxg5 15. Nxg5 Ke7 $11) 14... c5 {Vishy believes that the pawn thrust is not as
dangerous and that the long diagonal is of a greater importance,} 15. Nd5 Bd8 (
{The curious pawn sacrifice} 15... Rd8 16. Nxc7+ Kf8 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 {where the
two white knights are hanging is not that appealing once that Black spots the
line} 18. axb6 axb6 19. Ne1 Bxc7 20. Ra7 $1) 16. Bg5 ({However Mickey could
have tried} 16. c4 $5 {at once with his knight controlling the d4 square.}) ({
Nothing gives} 16. axb6 axb6 17. Rxa8 Bxa8 $11) 16... Rf8 $1 {Diagram [#]
"This move was very important and I still have that counterplay along the
diagonal if he takes the pawn"- Vishy} ({he former world champion was also
considering} 16... Bxd5 17. Rxd5 Bxg5 18. Nxg5 Ke7 {but he was not sure that
the pawn sacrifice will be sound after} 19. Rad1 ({However, there was also the
typical central strike} 19. e6 $1 fxe6 20. Re1 $16 {with the tactical point}
Kf6 21. Rxe6+ Kxg5 22. f4#) 19... Rhd8 (19... Nd4 20. c3 $1 {wins for White})
20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Rxd8 Kxd8 22. Nxf7+ Ke7 {Sometimes this is enogh for an
equality stated Anand, but maybe not here, for instance} 23. Ng5 Nd4 24. c3
Ne2+ 25. Kf1 Nc1 26. a6 $1 (26. axb6 cxb6 $1) 26... Nd3 27. f4 Nxb2 ({Or} 27...
h4 28. Ke2 c4 29. gxh4 Nxf4+ 30. Ke3 Nd3 31. Nf3 Nxb2 32. Nd4 $16) 28. Ke2 $16)
17. c4 {Vishy did not like this move as it weakens the d4 square. This is an
excellent outpost for the black knight.} ({If White wants equality he could go
for} 17. Bxd8 {but Adams was still hoping for something more} Bxd5 18. Rxd5
Rxd8 19. Rxd8+ Kxd8 20. axb6 axb6 21. Ra8+ Ke7 $11) 17... Bxd5 18. Rxd5 ({
Nobody mentioned the other capture} 18. cxd5 $5 {but my feeling is that it was
good for White thanks to this little tactics} Bxg5 19. axb6 $1 {and if Black
keeps the bishop} Be7 (19... cxb6 {might be better but now Black will not be
able to undermine the white pawn center with c7-c6 like in the game.} 20. Nxg5
Nd4 21. Kg2 (21. f4 $5) 21... f6 22. exf6 gxf6 23. Re1+ Kd7 24. Ne6 $36) 20.
bxc7 {he is definitely in trouble. Just look at the white pawn mass in the
center!}) 18... Bxg5 19. Nxg5 Ke7 {[%cal Ga8d8] Diagram [#] Now Black
equalizes ad starts thinking of something more.} 20. Kg2 ({This time} 20. Rad1
{does not work to} Nd4 $1 {as there is no c2-c3 resource.}) 20... Nd4 21. Rd1 (
{One little nice trick was pointed by Vishy} 21. b4 Ne6 $1 {wins a pawn for
Black.}) 21... Rad8 {The knight on d4 holds black's position together until he
trades a pair of rooks. Once that the penetration on the seventh rank is out
of the question, Black can start attacking the overexposed pawn(s) on e5 and
possible d5.} ({Another idea was} 21... c6 22. Rd6 f6 23. Ne4 fxe5 24. Rg6 {"I
did not see Black getting anywhere" Anand.}) 22. Nf3 ({If} 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23.
axb6 axb6 24. Ne4 {Black can go for the e5 pawn at once} Ke6 25. Ng5+ Kf5 26.
Nxf7 Rf8) 22... c6 ({Vishy was also considering the move} 22... Rxd5 {with the
idea to attack the white pawns later, but saw a nice idea for Mickey} 23. cxd5
Nxf3 (23... Nb3 24. axb6 axb6 25. d6+ (25. Nh4) 25... Kd7 26. Ng5 Nd4 27. dxc7
Kxc7 28. Ra1 $132) 24. Kxf3 f6 25. e6 Rd8 26. Ke4 {[%cal Gf2f4,Gf4f5] Diagram
[#] with the idea of a fast f2-f4-f5, when the undermining move} c6 $2 {fails
to} 27. dxc6 $1 Rxd1 28. c7 {and White wins.}) 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Ng5 ({They
both agreed that White was holding after} 24. axb6 axb6 25. Rd3 Nxf3 26. Rxd8
Nh4+ 27. gxh4 Kxd8 28. f4 g6 29. Kf3 Ke7 30. b3 Ke6 31. Ke4 b5 32. Kd3 Kf5 33.
Ke3 $11) 24... b5 ({The play along the b file is not fast enough} 24... bxa5
25. Ne4 Rb8 26. Nxc5 Ne6 {(Anand) and here strong is} 27. Rd7+ $1 Ke8 28. Rb7)
25. cxb5 cxb5 {Black achieved a lot. He has a very strong knight in the center,
active king and pawn majority on the queenside. It is not pleasant for Adams
at all but it was hard to believe that his position will collapse that soon.}
26. Ne4 Nc6 $1 {A nice winning try.} 27. Rxd8 Kxd8 {[%csl Ya5,Rc5,Ye5] Diagram
[#]} 28. e6 $2 {A mistake. Mickey did not trust his kingside pawns and this
lost the game for him.} ({Also dubious is} 28. a6 $6 Nxe5 29. Nxc5 Kc7 $17) ({
However} 28. f4 $1 {was strong when White has enough counterplay after both}
Nxa5 ({Or} 28... c4 29. Nd6 a6 30. Nxf7+ Kd7 31. Kf3 Nxa5 32. Nd6) 29. Nxc5 Kc7
30. e6 $1 {The key move!} fxe6 (30... f6 $4 31. e7) 31. Nxe6+ Kd6 32. Nxg7 Nc4
33. Nf5+ Kd5 34. Kf3 Nxb2 35. Ne3+ Kd4 (35... Ke6 36. Ke4) 36. g4 hxg4+ 37.
hxg4 {and it should be a draw after say} Nc4 38. Nxc4 Kxc4 39. g5 Kd5 40. g6
Ke6 41. f5+ Kf6 42. Ke4 a5 43. Kd4 b4 $11) 28... fxe6 29. Nxc5 Ke7 $17 {[%csl
Ya5,Yb2][%cal Ge7d6,Gd6d5,Gd5c4,Gc4b3,Yc6a5] Diagram [#] Now that the game
gets one-sided it is the activity of the kings that decides.} 30. Nb3 Kd6 31.
Kf3 Kd5 32. Kf4 Kc4 33. Nc1 ({Anand had already seen the win after the more
resilent} 33. Nd2+ Kd3 34. Nf3 (34. Ne4 e5+ 35. Kf5 g6+ $19) 34... b4 $1 $19 ({
Rather than} 34... Nxa5 35. Ne5+ Kc2 36. b4 Nc4 37. Nc6)) 33... Nxa5 34. Kg5
Nb3 35. Ne2 b4 $1 36. Kxh5 a5 {The rook pawns are most unpleasant for the
knights and this one is unstoppable! This was the only win for the black
pieces at the LCC and it gave the best tie break to Vishy Anand who won the
tournament!} 0-1

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