Anish Giri’s Best Chess Game
It is always a great source of inspiration to see some of the best games from the world’s strongest chess players. Today, GM Eugene Perelshteyn takes a closer look at a masterpiece played by the young Dutch Super Grandmaster Anish Giri. Anish Giri is only 23 years old and became a grandmaster at the age of 14. His peak rating was 2798 in January 2016. At that time, rumors circulated that he would soon be the one to kick the current World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen, off his throne.
Nowadays, the chess world mistakenly considers Anish Giri to be the “draw-master” because he drew every single game in the Candidates Tournament 2016. In this video, Eugene Perelshteyn shows us that Anish Giri is an extremely strong chess player with superb tactical skills and opening knowledge.
Let’s take a look at Anish Giri’s best chess game against another young prodigy – Super Grandmaster Ding Liren from China.
Wenzhou 2017: Ding, Liren (2777) – Giri, Anish (2772)
The game started quite calmly as Ding Liren played the Italian Opening with White. The first interesting position in the game occurred after ten moves in the following position (see the diagram on the right):
It is White to move and Ding Liren decided to double Black’s pawns with 11.Bxe6 fxe6. On the one hand, this weakens Black’s pawn structure, but on the other hand, it’s not easy to attack the doubled pawns immediately. Moreover, this exchange gives Black the half open f-file which enables him to launch an attack on the queenside.
Note that 12.Qb3 (attacking e6 and b7) is not good as Black simply plays 12…Qd7 and if 13.Qxb7, then 13…Rfb8 14.Qxa6 Bxf2+ and Black wins the White queen on a6 with a discovered check.
Over the course of the next moves, both players followed very logical plans. Black started to bring his pieces to the kingside in order to attack the White king. In the meantime, White managed to isolate the Black pawns on the e-file and now has a clear target for the endgame (see the diagram on the left).
In this position, Ding Liren is already under great pressure. He always has to consider various sacrifices by Black (Rxg3, Nf4, Rf4, …). It is not easy to build up a solid defensive setup here. After some thought, he decided to play 28. Kh3 which is a decisive mistake. Giri didn’t hesitate and sacrificed a whole rook for a very strong attacking position. He went 28…Rxg3 29.Nxg3 Nf4+ 30.Kh2 Qxh4+ 31.Kg1 (see the diagram on the right).
Ding Liren probably had this position in mind when calculating this variation and thought that it’s not easy for Black to support his attack. In fact, it looks like that White can defend himself by bringing one rook back to the second rank and cover all the weak squares around his king.
Giri, however, was one step ahead of his opponent. He simply started to bring another piece into the attack with the move 31…Rf6.
White loses his knight. The game continued 32.Rd8+ Kh7 (it’s important that Black has a safe escape square for his king on h7) 33.Rd2 Rg6 34.Rg2. Due to the fact that White is a whole rook up, Ding Liren would have no problem giving back an exchange here in order to get rid of the Black knight on f4. However, Giri has other plans. He still opts for winning the White knight on g3 and so he played the strong move 34…h5!
Black brings another attacking unit into the attack and White is in trouble. He can’t stop Black from playing …Qh3 followed by …h5-h4. Ding Liren decided to give up his knight directly in order to find a safe place for his king on h1. The game continued 35.Rh2 Rxg3+ 36.Kh1 (see the diagram on the left).
The material is balanced now. Black has a knight and two pawns against a rook. However, it wouldn’t have been Anish Giri’s best chess game if his attack was over! Over the rest of the game, Giri showed brilliant technique in order to finally squeeze a win out of the position.
If you want to see how he did it, you’ll need to watch the video and let yourself be inspired by Anish Giri’s best chess game.
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