c/o Max Vitek

c/o Max Vitek, Staff Writer

Viswanathan Anand is considered one of the world’s best chess players, being the first grandmaster from India, holding the world champion title from 2007 to 2013, and maintaining an Elo rating above 2700 for nearly 30 years. However, this game shows that playing at such a high level doesn’t always mean playing the flashiest moves.

In the seventh round of the Linares International Chess Tournament, a now discontinued annual tournament held in Linares Spain, Anand with the white pieces is playing against Miguel Illescas Córdoba, a Spanish grandmaster. After a Taimanov, Szen variation in the Sicilian Defense, the game became very positional, with both players slowly moving their pieces, avoiding trades, and trying to find an opening in the opponent’s position. Eventually, in the following position, Anand was able to find an opportunity to seize a considerable advantage. (White to move)

Last Week’s Solution:

  1. Nf6+ gxf6 25. Qxg6+ Bg7 26. Bxf7+ Kh8 27. Qh7#

Thanks to the knight’s sacrifice on f6, Kasparov is able to force open Larsen’s defenses, allowing his queen to go straight for the king. Moreover, the bishop on a2 proves to be instrumental in the attack, pinning the pawn on f7, and thus protecting the queen’s attack. In the actual game, Kasparov played Qxg6 before the knight sacrifice. This sequence leads to a mate in 5 and shares all the same ideas as the mate in 4. With this, Kasparov was able to make beating Larsen seem elementary.


Max Vitek can be reached at mvitek@wesleyan.edu.

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