You voted and Anand – Svidler and Leko – Kramnik won handily. So these are the 2 main games I will discuss. However, I will brush through the other 2 games at exciting moments.

Anand – Svidler

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 (Finally! No Petrov!)

4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 (We have a Marshall instead.)

10…Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.g3 (The idea behind the Marshall is simple. Black sacrifices a pawn to have a big advantage in development and a dangerous attack on the Kingside. This is the compensation for the pawn. The problem is the Marshall is so deeply analyzed and many lines lead to draws.)

13…Bf5 14.d4 Qd7 15.Be3 Rae8 16.Nd2 (Black has to be very agressive on the Kingside. Otherwise, his pawn sac would become unsound and Black would reach a far inferior endgame.)

16…Bg4 17.Qc2 (White’s idea is very simple. Survive Black’s onslaught on the Kingside and get to the endgame with a pawn up. Of course it is not as simple as I described but that is the key focus.)

17…Bf5 18.Qc1 (Of course Svidler as Black would not mind repeating moves against the #1 seed Anand. But Anand would not agree to waste a game with White like this.)

18…Re7 (Svidler spent a lot of time for this move. Quite logical to double up the Rooks.)

19.Nf3 Bg4 20.Nh4 Rfe8 (Black has good control of the e file and very coordinated pieces. This is enough compensation for the pawn sac.)

21.Qd2 h6 22.Qd3 g6 (I would try to break the position up on the Queenside with 23.a4.)

23.Bd1 (I certainly did not expect this move. I do not think it is too ambitious. I would still prefer 23.a4. Black now can take the Bishop on e3 or d1. Both are interesting. Anand is up by about 50 minutes on the clock.)

23…Bh3 (Svilder decided not to trade pieces as he is down a pawn. The problem with this move is White can play Ng2 defending the e3 Bishop. Anand is finally taking his time for his 24th move. This is a critical moment as he has to decide on which direction to go. He is a pawn up and if he can simplify the position, he will be in great shape for the endgame. Svidler’s job is to keep the pieces on the board and make the position as sharp and complicated as possible to justify the pawn sac.)

24.Bf3 g5 25.Ng2 Bf5 (Keeping the position sharp. Svidler has 35 minutes left to make 14 moves.)

26.Qd1 Nf6 27.a4 (Finally! I would have played this move a few moves back. But it is also good here. White must do something if he wants to have a chance to have a decisive result.)

27…Ne4 28.axb5 axb5 29.Ra6 Qb7 30.Qa1 Bc8 31.Ra8 Bb8 32.Bc1 Nf6 33.Rxe7 Rxe7 (This is now a decisive position for White. As I stated above, White needed to open up the a file to have a chance and Anand did just that. Possible moves for White include Bxc6 and Ne3 sealing the e file.)

34.Qa3 (The idea is to play Rxb8 winning a piece.)

34…Rd7 35.Ra5 (I do not like this move. I prefer to keep the Rook on a8.)

35…Ba7? (35…Bd6 is more accurate. The Bishop does not belong on a7.)

36.Ne3 Qc7?? (The final mistake. This allows 37.Nf5 and Black’s position is busted.)

37.Nf5 c5 38.Nxh6+ Kh7 39.Bxg5 1-0

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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