(1) Radjabov,T (2735) - Anand,V (2799) [D43]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (1), 12.01.2008
[Mihail Marin]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6

This modestly looking developing move is a novelty. White usually advances one of his a-, d-, or e-pawns here.

14...Bf8 15.Bg3 Bg7 16.Bd6 Bf8 17.Bxf8 Rxf8 18.b3 b4 19.Na4 c3

Now that he has made significant progress on the scale of development (he only needs to connect rooks, while Black has lost the right to castle and faces problems of coordination), White finally starts advancing all the aforementioned pawns.

20...a5 21.d5 Qe7 22.d6 Qf6 23.e5
White has achieved huge advance of space with shocking ease. The e5-pawn is taboo, because the knight has to guard the c5-square while the queen cannot expose herself to discovered attacks such as Ba6. Here we can see that Re1 is not as inocent as it might have looked a couple of moves ago. We can state that the novelty has been quite successful.

23...Qf4 24.Bd3 bxa3 25.Qe2 Qd2 26.Rxa3 Qxe2 27.Rxe2 g4

Anand designes a plan to eliminate the e5-pawn, but this will increae the chaos reigning in his camp.

28.Nxc3 Rg8 29.Ne4 Kd8 30.Nd2 c5 31.Bb5 Bd5 32.Nc4 Rg5 33.Rea2 Nxe5

Black has achieved his partial aim, but White launches a very powerful attack in mutual time trouble.

34.Nb6 Rb8 35.Rxa5 Be4 36.Ra7 f6

[Black's rather shaky defence relies mainly on the strong centralized knight. Therefore, White should try to exchange it. This would have been a good moment to try accomplishing that with 37.Nd7 , because after 37...Rxb5 38.Nxf6 the threat Ra8!+ followed by mate wins the bishop back, after having spoiled Black's structure.]

37...Rg8 38.Rc7
[Here, he could have prepared Nd7 with 38.Ba4 ]

38...Rf8 39.Rxc5 Rf7 40.d7 Nxd7 41.Nxd7 Rxd7 42.Bxd7 Kxd7 43.Rc3

Compared with the position he had, White has achieved relatively little. Black's better structure offer him chances to resist for a long time. However, Radjabov dealt with the technical part quite well.

43...f5 44.Ra7+ Kd6 45.Rh7 Bd5 46.Rxh6 Bxb3 47.h3 gxh3 48.Rhxh3

Now, Black's structural advantage has vanished, but the reduced number of pawns and the bishop's stability in the centre still offers him some hope.

48...Bd5 49.Rc2 Ke5 50.f3 Kf6 51.Kf2 Rb4 52.Re2 Kg6 53.Kg3 Ra4 54.Rh4 Ra7 55.Rb2 Kf6 56.Rhb4 Ke5 57.Re2+ Kf6 58.Rd2 Ke5 59.Re2+ Kf6 60.Kf4 Ra3 61.Rd2 Ra5 62.Re2 Ra3 63.Kg3

If I am not mistaken Anand could have claimed a draw by repetition by playing 63.Ra7! The same position occurs after 57...Kf6 and 59...Kf6

64.Rc2 Ke5 65.Rh4 Rg8+ 66.Kh2 Ra8 67.Re2+ Kf6 68.f4 Ke7 69.Rh7+ Kd6 70.Kg3 Rg8+ 71.Kh3 Rg4 72.g3 Rg8 73.Rd2 Rc8 74.Kh4 Rc3 75.Rg7 Ra3 76.Rc2 Bc6 77.Rc1 Rb3 78.Rg1 Bd5 79.Kg5 Kc5 80.Kf6 Kd4 81.Re1 Rb6 82.Rd7 Rc6 83.Ke7 Ra6 84.Rd6 Ra7+ 85.Kf6

White will soon sacrifice the exchange on e6, with a won rook ending. 1-0