Monday, September 04, 2017

Anand - Li Tian - Game 2, Round 1, World Cup 2017

Analyzed by Centaur (Hairulov+Stockfish 8)

Anand  - Yeoh Li Tian
Round 1.2, 4.9.2017
World Cup 2017

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5

The Caro Kann Advance Variation. Li Tian once again play his pet opening. Recently he did play he Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense as black but probably he did want to "fight" against world's elite powerful opening database. 

4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Nd7 6. O-O Bg6 7. Nbd2 Nh6 8. c3 Be7 9. Nb3 O-O 10. Bd3 c5 

Compare to the French Advance variation, black has manged to solve his light square bishop problem by playing Bf5 early in the game and eventually exchange it with white's minor piece. However, in this line, black spend to tempi to play c5. 

11. Bxg6 hxg6 12. h3 Rc8 13. g4 c4 

Decades before this  move is taboo and label anti positional because in this type of structure, black usually will not" lock " the queen side where he has more space. Computer later   proved that this type of move is playable and humankind "follow". 

14. Nbd2 f6 

In a must win situation, Li Tian need to create some counter play, he can't sit tight and do nothing. Black open  the f-file for his rook at a cost of slightly damaging his pawn structure . Black's e6 and g6 pawn can be a potential target later. 

15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Re1 Rc6 17. Nf1 Nf7 18. Bf4 Re8 

It seems that Li Tian's is not interested with the half open f-file for time being. 

19. Re3  Be7 20. Qc2 g5 21. Bg3 b5 22. Rae1 Nf8 23. R3e2 

I don't  understand this move. Probably Anand want to play Ne3 later. 

23...b4  24. Qa4 Qb6  25. Ne3 Rd8 26. Rc1

 Qb7 27. Qd1 Rdc8 

After 27th move, the engine evaluate this position as equal which i think is quite an achievement for Li Tian against former world champ and don't forget... Li Tian is playing black! Now Li Tian can probably look for more especially on the queen side where he has more space. 

 28.cxb4 Bxb4 29. b3 Ba3 30. Rb1 c3 31. Qd3 Qa6 32. Qxa6 Rxa6 33. Rc2 Nd7

Probably i'm too excited but it seems that Li Tian is on the driving sit...he has a strong passer on c-file!

 34. Ne1 Bd6 35. Rbc1 Rac6 36. Nd3  Ba3 37. Re1 a5 38. Ree2 Kf8 39. f3 ?! 

This weaken the a7-g1 diagonal which can be exploit later by black.   39... Be7 39... Nd6! Li Tian miss this strong move 40. Bxd6+ (40. Bf2 Nb5 41. Ng2 Be7  and Bf6 later- again attacking the d4 pawn.) 40... Bxd6  with the plan of Bb8 and Ba7 later...attacking the d4 pawn.  40. Rc1 Ba3 41. Rcc2 Nd6 42. Bxd6+ Bxd6 White's d4 pawn looks vulnerable. 43. Re1 Bb8  

Black bishop is heading to a7 - to attack the d4 pawn! 44.Rcc1 White's rook  vacate the c2 square and pass the blocking task to his knight  44...Kf7 45.Nc2 Nf8 46. Kf2 Ng6 47. a3 Rh8 48. Kg2 Nh4+ 49. Kf2 Ng6 50. Kg2 Nf4+ 51. Nxf4 Bxf4 52. Rb1 e5 53. dxe5 Rxh3 54. Rh1 54. Kxh3 Rh6+ 55. Kg2 Rh2+ 56. Kf1 Rxc2 54... Rxh1 55. Rxh1 Bxe5 55... Rb6! 56. Kf2 Rb6 57. b4 axb4 58. axb4 Bd6?! 58... Rh6! 59. Ke2 Bxb4 60. Kd3 Be7 61. Kxc3 Bf6+ 62. Kd2 Rb3 63. Ke2 Ke6 64. Rd1 Ke5 65. Ne1 Rb2+ 66. Rd2 Rb8 67. Nd3+ Kd6 68. Ra2 Rh8 69. Ra6+ Kc7 70. Nb4 Rd8 71. Ra5 Kb6 1/2-1/2

A tough fight and  Anand nearly succumb  against Li Tian pressure. Bravo Li Tian. 

The official tournament commentator - GM Ivan Sokolov said during the Live broadcast  when Li Tian had a winning position that " the Malaysian boy is showing bravery!

You make Malaysia proud  Yeoh Li Tian !

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