Mark Taimanov Mark Taimanov,
International Grandmaster

FIDE World Chess Championship,
India, 21 December.

A powerful Anand's step.

A cherished dream of each pragmatic chess player there is to play according to a formula "with White to win, with Black - to make a draw". It seems that during this Championship Anand manage this victorious rhythm without special efforts.
I would like to remind that just so were defeated in turn Bologan, Lputian, Macieja and Adams. Only Khalifman firstly succeed to stand up with black and also not for a long time: Under this fatal for Anand's partners sign has started also the final match of the Championship. Shirov has not used the advantage of the first step in the 1st duel and in the second he was befallen the same fate as his hapless predecessors: However the circumstances in this meeting developed extremely fascinatingly.
All has began from this fact that in a sharp variation of Ruy Lopez Shirov playing with black has chose a continuation, which he already tested two years ago aginst Ivanchuk in Monaco and quite recently against Onischuk in China. True with a principal different, that in both those games he played :with white! Probably he felt that in the complications which arise after 8.d4 dxe 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.dxe Qxd1 11.Rxd1 Ng4 12.Be4 (as he own played) Black has a sufficient counter-play and he was ready to follow this way. However an unpleasant surprise awaited him - on the 8th move Anand has prepared a novelty (8.a4), which has turned at once the fight in an unexplored course. Before Shirov has arose an alternative - whether to give away initiative with a preventive maneuver 8:Rb8 or capturing the rival's central pawn to run into a gulf of complications. To Shirov's honor in such positions he do not hesitates and prefer a battle with an open visor. And really at the cost of a pawn Shirov obtained a significant activity of his forces and seems felt by himself in his own element. But to Anand also the position with an extra pawn was to his liking:
Seizing the opportunity of an inexact move 15...Qd6?! (right was 15...Nxc3 16.bxc Qd5), he with a strong reply 16.d5 stimulated simplified the play exchanges of two couple of lights pieces and the game rather unexpected passed to a technical rails.
It became clear that White has better chances and the question is only - does Shirov will manage to get a counter-play. Alas, this was not happened. And although Shirov has retake the important d5-pawn and has created in the White's camp a complex of the isolated pawns his affairs after the exchange of the Queens became from bad to worse:
Ought to to give Anand his due. In this complicated phase he has played very accurately. His maneuvers from 21th to 24th moves opened a vulnerability of Black's construction, at that especially uncomfortable felt itself his Bishop. And in spite of the desperate Shirov's attempts to find a rescue in the Rooks endgame (note, that instead of 25:Re4 was not possible 25:Rxc4 since 26. Nxf5!), this time the S.Tartakover's well-known aphorism "The Rooks endgames are not winning" turned out to be not realized. After 27.Re7! Black was forced to renounce the durability of his pawn structure (instead of 27:Bf5 was not possible 27:Bxc6 since 28.Rc7!) and the endgame even with the material equality (3 to 3) became for him absolutely unhappy. The technical phase Anand processed excellently. With elegant Rook's maneuvers (37-39 moves) and using the zugzvang's motives he obtained a profitable regrouping of the forces and confidently has realized his advantage.
Exciting victory!

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