An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bad Bishop Defends good pawns - Van Wely - Anand, 1997

Loek Van Wely - Viswanathan Anand, Amber-blind 6th 1997

Loek Van Wely (2645) - Viswanathan Anand (2765) [D20]

Amber-blind 6th/Monte Carlo (9) 1997

Studying opening variations from your repertoir may also point you at some interesting positional concepts from the middlegame and endgame. Here is a game I was looking at in the Queen's Gambit Accepted.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 e5 4. Nf3 exd4 5. Bxc4 Nc6 6. O-O Be6 7. Bb5 Bc5

8. Qc2 Apparently 8. b4 is more popular now. 8... Bb6 9. a4 a5 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. Qxc6+ Bd7 12. Qc2 Ne7 13. Na3 O-O 14. Nc4 Nc6 15. Rd1 Nb4 16. Qb3 c5 17. Bd2 Bc7 18. Bxb4 Rb8 19. Qc2 Rxb4 20. Nce5 Bd6 21. Nxd7 Qxd7 22. b3 Qe6 23. Nd2

23... Rfb8 It may appear that the bishop is hopelessly bad, and the White Knight is dominating the light squares. However the remaining black pieces are much better coordinated (pressure on the b file), and it turns out that the bishop eventually has no trouble finding a good diagonal. 24. Rab1 h5 25. Nc4

25... Bc7 For the moment - bad bishops defend good pawns! 26. Qd3 g6 27. h4 Qc6 28. g3 Qb7 29. Nd2 Bd6 30. Rdc1 Be7 31. Rc4

31... Rb6! In general Black wants to avoid trading off heavy pieces - then the bishop would indeed become inferior to the knight 32. Kf1 Bf8 33. Ke2

33... Re8 34. Kd1 Perhaps under illusion of having a positional advantage, White decided to transfer the king to c2, in order to free up the pieces from defence of 'b3'. Anand quickly opens up the files and the bishop becomes the key piece in the attack agains White king. 34... Rbe6 35. Kc2 f5 36. exf5 Re2 37. fxg6

37... Bh6! 38. Rd1 Qd5 39. Kb1 Rxf2 40. Qc2

40... d3! 41. Qc3 Rxd2 42. Rxd2 Re1+ 43. Ka2 Bxd2 44. Qf6 Re2 0-1

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