Anand’s Best Chess Games – GM Eugene Perelshteyn
When we talk about the greatest chess players of all time, we often cite Magnus Carlsen or Garry Kasparov and compare their weaknesses and strengths. But Vishy Anand from India, the undisputed World Champion from 2007 to 2013, also must be considered. Indeed, no study of the classics would be complete without Anand’s best chess games!
Not long ago, however, Magnus Carlsen was very young and still on his way to become one of the world’s strongest grandmasters. At that time, Anand, a Super-Grandmaster from India, was already dominating the chess world, winning the World Championship and defending his title against various challengers such as Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand and Veselin Topalov.
Although today Vishy Anand lives in the shadow of Magnus Carlsen, we should not forget that Anand has won almost every title a professional chess player could wish to win. Moreover, it is important to note that, with a FIDE rating close to 2800 Vishy Anand is still very much among the top chess players in the world. And his longevity as a chess great is also indisputable – Vishy became India’s first ever grandmaster when he was 18 years old.
In this video, GM Eugene Perelshteyn takes a closer look at the “Tiger of Madras” and an outstanding game he played against GM Veselin Topalov in their World Championship Match in 2010. Eugene sheds light on this game and shows us one of Anand’s best chess games.
Sofia 2010: Anand, Vishy (2787) – Topalov, Veselin (2805)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 – Anand plays the Catalan opening in this game with White. 4…dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Qc2 (see the diagram on the right).
The game starts with a trendy line in the Catalan. In this opening, White builds his strategy mainly around the bishop on g2, which is usually far better placed than his Black counterpart on c8. In this game, Topalov decided not to go for a quiet line where White usually has a very small edge and Black has to defend accurately to neutralize White’s initiative, but to to grab the pawn on c4 and try to hold on to it.
7…Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 – This is an interesting move by Anand. Probably most chess players would take back with the knight as this contributes to White’s development and Black’s pawn on c4 is attacked twice. However, after 8. Nbxd2 b5, it is not clear how White can proceed and his knight is not ideally placed on d2.
8…c6 – Topalov shows his intentions to protect his extra pawn on c4. 9.a4 b5 10.Na3!? (see the diagram on the left). Due to the fact that this is a game played in a World Championship Match, it is likely that Anand prepared all this at home.
At first glance, the knight on a3 looks odd, but it puts pressure on c4 and b5, while White’s queen sets up pressure along the d-file after 0-0 and Rfd1. Black is forced to place all his pieces on passive squares in order to defend his extra pawn.
10…Bd7 11.Ne5 (threatening axb5 in the next move as Black can’t take back with his c-pawn due to the pin along the against his rook) 11…Nd5 (see the diagram on the right).
Topalov’s move looks logical as it stops the pressure along the diagonal. However, by moving the knight, Black’s kingside defenses are weakened. Moreover, the knight move does not contribute to Black’s development. Anand continues his aggressive play:
12.e4 Nb4 13.0-0 0-0 14.Rfd1 (threatening to play break in the center with d5 as Black is not prepared for the position to be opened up). 14…Be8 15.d5! Qd6 16. Ng4 (see the diagram on the left).
Black is now in deep trouble. White not only threatens to play e5 and d6, but also has good prospects of starting an attack on the kingside. Most of Black’s pieces are too far away to protect the king.
Of course, this was only the beginning of one of Anand’s best chess games. It started with some very deep opening preparation and it ends with a crushing kingside attack.
If you want to enjoy this brilliant attacking game, we definitely recommend that you to watch the whole free video with great insights by GM Eugene Perelshteyn.
Conclusion – Anand’s Best Chess Games
Anand invests a lot of time in opening preparation, and is well known for his many subtle novelties and fighting for an opening advantage. In this game, we witnessed his deep preparation. On top of that, Anand is a creative chess player who is very strong in the middlegame. When he was young, he was known for his aggressive style. In this game, he builds up a strong attack against Topalov and finds the final blow in the middlegame.
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