Saturday, March 16, 2013

Semi-Slav Defense, Meran Variation

Tata steel, 2013

This game is considered one of the most brilliant chess games ever played.  Vishy Anand, 2012 FIDE World Chess Champion, handled the black pieces real well.

1. d4, d5
2. c4, c6
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. Nc3, e6
5. e3, Nd7
6. Bd3, dxc4
7. Bxc4, b5
8. Bd3 ....

The Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Slav Defense, Meran Variation.

8. .... Bd6
9. 0-0, 0-0
10. Qc2, Bb7
11. a3, Rc8
12. Ng5, c5!
13. Nxh7 ....

If 13.....Bxh7, Black simply moves his King to h8.

13. .... Ng4!!
14. f4 ....

White's only hope.  Game is lost after 14. h3 Bh2+, 15. Kh1 Qh4, and Black threatens 16. Qxh3 ....

Neither can White survive after 14. g3 Qh4, 15. gxh4 Bxh2 mate.

14. .... cxd4!
15. exd4, Bc5!!

A surprise move!  Black's intention is to activate the sleeping Knight on d7 and to post his Queen on d4.

16. Be2, Nde5!

Another surprise.  Now, if 17. dxc5, Qd4+, 18. Kh1 Nf2+, 19. Rxf2 Qxf2 and Black wins the game.

If 17. fxe5 Bxd4+, 18. Kh1 Qh4 and Black threatens mate.

17. Bxg4, Bxd4+
18. Kh1, Nxg4
19. Nxf8, f5

Taking the wandering Knight would prolong the game.  If 19....Kxf8, then 20. Qh7 ....  Black's Queen is too valuable to stray away from her intended square, which is h4.   Now, if 19....Qh4, then 20. Qh7+ and the exchange of Queens would favor White.

20. Ng6, Qf6
21. h3, Qxg6
22. Qe2, Qh5

Black threatens 23....Qxh3 mate.

23. Qd3, Be3!

A fantastic cover!  White resigns since he cannot prevent the impending mate without tremendous loss of materials.

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