Sergey Ivanov Sergey Ivanov,
International Grandmaster

FIDE World Chess Championship,
India, 15 December.

(1) Grischuk,A (2606) - Shirov,A (2746) [B90]
FIDE WCh KO New Delhi IND (6.4), 15.12.2000
[Ivanov Sergey]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6
Probably, Shirov was not satisfied of the course of 2nd game (in which was outplayed Sicilian) and he turns his look to other opening - Russian game, which has significant drawn tendency. To a certain extent Shirov who always plays actively and sharply "pressed on his own windpipe", but when a draw in the game gives an admission in the final - nobody can condemn him for this decision. However we will not run ahead but look what turned out from this opening.
3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 At the WC in New Delhi enjoyed wide popularity the variant 6...Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf5 or 10...Be6.
7.0-0 0-0 8.c4 c6 9.cxd5 Others often meet continuations - 9.Nc3 and 9.Re1.
9...cxd5 10.Nc3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Bg4 12.Rb1 Nd7 A long time Black tried to defence with 12...b6 , but later was proved that after 13.Rb5 Bc7 14.h3 a6 15.hxg4! axb5 16.Qc2 g6 17.Bxb5 Qd6 (17...Qc8!?) 18.g3 Nc6 19.Kg2 f5 20.Bf4 Qd7 21.g5 Bxf4 22.gxf4 Qc7 23.Bxc6 Qxc6 24.Ne5 Qd6 25.a4 White gains a long initiative for the Exchange (A.Sokolov-Nickcevic, Yugoslavia 1998)
13.h3 Bh5 14.Rb5 White hardly has to expect for a success in case of 14.Rxb7 Nb6 15.Bd2 h6 16.Re1 Qc8 17.Ba6 Qc6 (Nadyrkhanov-Raetsky, Krasnodar 1995
14...Nb6 15.c4 Bxf3 It is doubtfully 15...Nxc4 16.Rxd5 Bh2+ 17.Nxh2 Qxd5 18.Bxc4 Qxc4 19.Qxh5 Qxd4 20.Nf3 , and the presence of the Queens on the board promotes White to create an attack on the King
16.Qxf3 dxc4 17.Bc2 One of the most actual positions in Russian game. The position which has arose on the board is hardly typical of a contemporary approach of outplaying an opening: in exchange for a sacrificed pawn White has gained two formidable Bishops aimed to the black King's position. The white Rook also is ready to join this action over the 5th rank. Meanwhile in the Black's position there are no weaknesses and the passing c-pawn can further become very dangerous. Whose trumps will turned out more ponderable - this one will win the opening's battle.
17...Qd7 18.a4 g6 This position is a very familiar to Shirov: in 2000 he asserted it three times (and it is necessary to recognize that not unsuccessfully). In the blitz-game Khalifman-Leko (New-Delhi 2000) the Hungarian GM decided to manage without a move g6 and played 18...Rfe8 Here what happened from this: 19.Be3!? (was tested 19.Bf5 ) 19...Rad8 20.Rfb1 Bc7 21.Be4 Nxa4 22.Rd5! Bd6 23.Rh5 g6 24.Rxb7 Bc7 25.Rd5 Qc8 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Bd5 Rd7 28.Qf6! , and White has gained a decisive advantage. As well White has the advantage in case of 18...Bc7 19.Rc5! Bd6 20.a5! Bxc5 21.dxc5 Nc8 22.a6
19.Be3 Was met 19.Bh6 Rfe8 20.Rfb1 Rad8 21.Bg5 Be7 22.a5 (Svidler-Akopian, Yerevan 1996), and now by the way of 22...Bxg5! 23.axb6 Be7! 24.bxa7 b6 Black has equalized the chances (P.Svidler); Kasparov in Linares-2000 has applied against Shirov 19.Bd2 , and in spite of he won the game the opening's advantage he has not gained: 19...c3! 20.Bxc3 (or 20.Qxc3 Rac8 21.Qb3 Bb8 22.Bd1 Qxd4 23.Be3 Qg7 with an approximately equal game, Topalov-Shirov, Monaco 2000) 20...Rac8 21.Be4 Rc4 22.Rbb1 Rxa4 23.Bxb7 Ra3! 24.Rfc1 Qc7! 25.Ra1 Rb8 26.Be4 Rb3 27.Bd2 Bh2+ 28.Kh1 Rxf3 29.Rxc7 Rxf2 30.Kxh2 Rxd2=
19...Rac8 20.Rfb1 c3 Not only delivering c4-square for the Knight but also reminding to White that is not so far for the passing c-pawn to the square of the transformation...
21.a5 Nc4 22.Rxb7 Qe6 Weaker 22...Rc7 23.Bh6! Re8 24.Rxc7 (24.Rb8!?) 24...Qxc7 25.Qxc3 with White's advantage, Motylev-N.Ristic, Yugoslavia 2000
23.Bb3 In the meeting Anand-Shirov (Linares 2000) Anand played 23.Ra1 Bb8 24.Bb3 Qd6 25.g3 Nxe3 26.Bxf7+ Kh8 27.Qxe3 Qf6 28.Be6 Rce8 29.d5 Be5 , and here instead of happened in the game 30.Ra2? by the way of 30.Ra4! White has strengthened his advantage
23...Qf5!? A novelty. Black of his own free will goes to a worsening of the pawn structure but at that takes into account that it is very hard to use this circumstance but the f-pawn will strongly restrain the White's position. Also the strength of the passing c-pawn in the endgame will increase essentially. It is passive 23...Bb8 24.Bh6 c2 , as now instead of 25.Bxc2 (25.Rc1 Rfd8 26.d5) 25...Nxa5! 26.Bxf8 Nxb7 27.Bb3 Qd7 28.Bh6 Nd6 29.Bf4 Qf5 30.Ba2 Nb5 (1/2-1/2 Nijboer-Piket, Rotterdam 2000) by the way of 25.Rc1! with an idea of 25...Rfd8 26.d5 White could put before his rival the hard solved problems.
24.Qxf5 gxf5 25.Ra1! A correct move. Worse is 25.Rxa7 Rb8 and Black has a countr-play
25...f4 A surprise. Is it possible that Shirov plays for victory?! The most simple equalized the chances 25...Nxe3 26.fxe3 Rc7 27.a6 Re8 28.Kf2 f4 29.exf4 Bxf4 and the different colored Bishops should secure to Black a necessary result. But Shirov reasonably consider believes that a restrained position of the white King gives him sufficient counter-chances
26.Bc1 Rfe8 27.f3 It was risky for White 27.Kf1 Nd2+! 28.Bxd2 cxd2 (unexpectedly the Black's threats became very dangerous) 29.Bxf7+ Kf8 30.Rd1 (30.Bxe8? Rc1+-+) 30...Rc1 31.Bxe8 (31.Bb3? Re1+-+) 31...Rxd1+ 32.Ke2 Ra1 33.Kxd2 Kxe8 Black has gained an extra piece but nevertheless the activity of the White's Rook is sufficient for a draw: 34.Rxa7 Rxa5 35.Rxa5 Bb4+ 36.Ke2 Bxa5 37.Kf3 Bc7 38.g3=
27...c2 It was deserved a rapt attention 27...Re1+!? 28.Kf2 Rh1 Now White should play very accurately, since in case of a careless 29.Rxa7? Ne5! 30.Bc2 (or 30.Ke2 Nc6 31.Rb7 Nxd4+ 32.Kd3 Nxb3 33.Rxb3 c2) 30...Nc6! 31.Rd7 Nxd4 32.Rxd6 Nxc2 33.Rb1 Re8 Black pass to a decisive counter-attack. Right is 29.a6 but without a careful analysis it is hard to give an evaluation
28.Kf2! Not allowing the rival's Rook on the 1st rank. Obviously that nothing could be gained from 28.Bxc2 Nxa5!; or 28.Rxa7 Re1+ 29.Kf2 Bb4!
28...a6 But what else could do Black? In case of 28...Re7 29.Rxe7 Bxe7 30.Ke2! following by Kd3 the white King has transformed from a pitiful anchorite in a powerful piece, securing to his army an obvious superiority.
29.Ra4 For the first glance it seems that White wins but the rival finds a disguised counter-blow. More chances for victory kept 29.Ra2 Be7 30.Bxf4 c1Q 31.Bxc1 Nd6 32.Rxe7 Rxe7 33.Ba3 or (what possible more stronger) 30.Re7!? Re7 31.Rc2.
29...Nb2! An only move which allows Black to hold out. In case of 29...Be7 30.Rxe7 Rxe7 31.Bxc4 Rb8 32.Bxa6 Rb1 33.Bxf4 c1Q 34.Bxc1 Rxc1 35.Bd3 White should win.
30.Bxf7+? Alas, Alexander Grischuk failed to orient in a changed situation and has permitted an error. One could keep the advantage by indicated by Kasparov 30.Bxb2! Be7! 31.g3! (31.Rxe7 Rxe7 32.Bc1 Rb7) 31...c1Q 32.Bxc1 Rxc1 33.Ra2
30...Kf8 31.Bxb2 The continuation supposed by some commentators 31.Rxb2 Kxf7 32.Raa2 also has no prospects in viw of 32...Be7! (weaker 32...Rc4 33.Rxc2 Rxd4 34.Ba3) 33.g3 (reliably 33.Rxc2 Bh4+ 34.g3 Bxg3+ 35.Kg2 Ke6 36.Rxc8 Rxc8 37.Re2+ Kd5 but Black's activity should be enough for a draw ) 33...fxg3+ 34.Kxg3 Rc6! 35.Rxc2 Rg6+ 36.Kh2 Bd6+ 37.f4 Re1 38.Bd2 Re2+ 39.Kh1 Rgg2 and in spite of the two extra pawns only White could have problems.
31...c1Q 32.Bxc1 Rc2+! To all appearance, this intermediate check from far away escaped White's attention. However if would not be this check Black had to resign.
33.Kf1 It's not late to lose - 33.Kg1?? Re1+ 34.Kh2 Rcxc1 with an inevitable mate.
33...Rxc1+ 34.Kf2 Rc2+ White should humble with a perpetual check.
35.Kf1 Rc1+ A fascinating, tense struggle which crowned with dignity a very interesting match. Even such an outwardly boring opening as Russian game one could "sharpen" - as they say let would be a desire:Both rivals were up to the mark and deserved of all kinds of praises but the winner could be - alas - only one.
Our congratulation to Alexei Shirov and wishes to as well sharp and non compromised play in the final duel with Visvanathan Anand. 1/2-1/2

(2) Anand,V (2762) - Adams,M (2755) [C78]
FIDE WCh KO New Delhi IND (6.4), 15.12.2000
[Ivanov Sergey]

To win the match Anand who plays White needs only to drawn the last game. Taking into account the nature of their previous games the situation for Adams looks practically hopeless... 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.c3 b5 The rivals still repeat the 2nd game of the match.
7.d4 Anand first goes away from the mentioned game desiring no to check where the partner has prepared a strengthening. In the 2nd game he continued 7.Bc2.
7...bxa4 8.dxc5 Qe7 The other possibility - 8...Nxe4 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.Qd5 Bb7 11.Qxe5+ Qe7 12.Qxe7+ Kxe7 13.Re1 Kd8 14.Be3 Re8 15.Na3 Rb8 with an equal endgame, Ivanchuk-Shirov, Monaco 1997
9.Qxa4 Qxc5 10.Be3 Qe7 11.h3 White plays too much academically. In his last move it was not any necessity as the black Bishop couldn't reach on g4 (it's impossible to play d7-d6 because the c6-Knight is under a blow) and a Knight's lunge on g4 easily parry by Nc4 following by h3. More naturally looks 11.Nbd2 0-0 12.Rfe1 Bb7 13.Nf1 d6 14.Ng3 Qd7 15.Qc2 Ne7 (Peng-Kostenko, Istanbul 2000), although in this case Black also has not any problems.
11...0-0 12.Nbd2 Bb7 13.b4
13...h6 14.Rab1 d6 15.c4 Qe6 16.Qc2 Ne7 Black managed to regroup his forces and are ready by himself to evince an activity.
17.a4 Would White has now the Bishop on c3 - how joyfully he play Nd5 and launched the exchanges. But White's Knights are placed not very successfully and it is far for the c3-point for them. Therefore White has to wait what will launch the rival.
17...Nxe4 This temporary piece's sacrifice in an exceptionally chess evaluation may be is not bad but from a psychological point of view it is nevertheless unhappy. It is absolutely obvious that Anand would be happy to any simplifications and now it is arise a rather simple endgame although with some Black's initiative. It was much more 17...Nd7! , planning f7-f5. At that this undermining could follow even after 18.g4 : 18...f5! 19.gxf5 Nxf5! 20.exf5 Rxf5 21.Ne1 Rh5 , and Black develops a very strong attack a huge role in which plays the "terrible" whitecolored Bishop on b7, who has no an opponent. It is clear one thing - after 17...Nd7! the result of the game (and the match in the hole) could be the other.
18.Nxe4 Qg6?! Black blindly goes down stream. The last chance to sharp the fight was 18...f5! At least on the board have been remained the Queens and White should find a right reply. And he consisted in an immediate return of the piece - 19.Ned2 (mistakenly 19.Nc3 f4 20.Bd2? Bxf3 21.gxf3 Qxh3-+ , and there is no defence from threats Rf5-g5 or Nf5-h4 or 19.Nfd2? fxe4 20.Nxe4 Qg6 21.f3 Rxf3! 22.Rxf3 Bxe4-+ - it is funny how the Black Bishop has stringed all white hard pieces on one ramrod) 19...f4 20.Bd4 exd4 21.Nxd4 Qf6 The position is equal but possibilities for a fight still remain.
19.Nfd2 f5 20.Ng3 f4 It seems that Black are able not to be in a hurry with this move but how he can strengthening the position? Alas, as soon as the Queen goes away from g6 White will play f2-f4 by himself and the pieces already not regains. 21.Qxg6 Nxg6 22.Nge4 fxe3 23.fxe3 Has arisen a desired for White endgame. Even if Black has an advantage it carry out an exceptionally temporary disposition - thanks to the active b7-Bishop. But when White will play Nc3 (at least!), e4 and Nd5 from this activity will remain nothing.
23...Nh4 Attacking the g2-pawn and preventing White in proceeding the mentioned maneuver.
24.Rxf8+ Kxf8 on 24...Rxf8 not bad looks 25.b5 followed by b6.
25.Rf1+ Now 25.b5 is bad since 25...axb5 26.axb5 Ra2 , but at the same time White can throw off the black Knight.
25...Ke8 In case of 25...Ke7 26.g3 Ng6 27.Nc3! Ke6 28.e4 White would achieve a sought placing.
26.g3 Ng6 27.Kf2 Now after 27.Nc3 it is not so simple - 27...Ne7!? 28.e4 Nc6 29.Nd5 Rc8 30.Nb3 Nd4
27...Nf8 28.Ke2 Nd7 29.Rc1 White already think by himself about any active actions: c4-c5. The position is equal.
29...Nf6 Black spends too much time for the Knight's maneuvers. Better was a little to keep the tension: 29...Ke7!? with an idea 30.c5 Bd5 31.cxd6+ cxd6 32.Nc3 Be6
30.Kd3 The white King had time to come to the aid of his horse - Black fails to take off the Knight from e4-square...
30...Nxe4 And here also better was 30...Ke7 If one needs to win a game he has to avoid a symmetric pawn's structure. Let the Knight's exchange would proceed the rival - 31.Nxf6 gxf6 and on the opened g-file the black Rook would be able to trouble black pawns.
31.Nxe4 Kd7 32.Rf1 Ke6 33.Rf2 The preventive measures. It is impossible at once 33.Nc3? Bg2
33...Bc6 The Rooks endgame after 33...Bxe4+ 34.Kxe4 c6 35.Rb2 d5+ 36.Kd3 Rf8 most likely would ended in a draw, but now the chances could have only White.
34.Nc3! Be8 35.e4! Bg6 36.Nd5 An optimal placing is over. The powerful Knight on d5 secure the advantage for White.
36...Rc8 37.a5 c6 And in this position has followed an agreement for a draw, which ensured Anand victory in the match. One has to recognize that the last agme of the match has proceeded for the Indian grandmaster not cloudless. A sluggish play in the opening led to a position where Black was able to capture initiative. But Adams has launched a change combination which has took down the game to a simple endgame, where an excellent technician Anand gave not to his rival any chances. 1/2-1/2

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