Back to Back Issues Page
LCB, Issue #103 --, Keep Cool Under Pressure
January 01, 2024

Keep Cool Under Pressure

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #103 -- GOTM #73

learn and play online chess
You maybe heard of things like spatial strategy and Kingside Attacks. If you're facing a double pronged sword like this you better defend carefully. Don't get overwhelmed. If your position does not contain positional weaknesses, accurate play should give you a successful defense.

Construct a defense around your King and then attack on the opposite wing. This will force him to redeploy his pieces away from his attack to repel your attack.

Let's take a look at these ideas in the field. Vishy Anand played Magnus Carlsen in Chennai, China in 2013. Anand had the White pieces and Carlsen had Black.

Keep Cool Under Pressure

Anand,Viswanathan (2775) - Carlsen,Magnus (2870) [E25]

GotM #73, Chennai, 2013
[Gutman, L]


"I should have played 1.d4 from the start. That was one of my greatest mistakes in my preparation", Viswanathan Anand said after the match.

1...Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.cxd5 exd5

(In the match Anand - Kramnik, Bonn 2008, 7...Nxd5 was played.)

8.e3 c4!?

Game position after 8...c4!?

In any case the choice of opening by Carlsen should have been no surprise, since his previous trainer and confidant GM Simen Agdestein had already played this at the start of the year and even revealed after the game, "that the Norwegian national team had recently been looking into this variation", Ian Rogers.


(9.g4 Nc6 10.Ne2 leads to the game by transposition. For Bezüglich 9.g3 Nc6 10.Nh3 see Biolek-Agdestein, Prague 2013; Once can hardly recommend 9.e4?! dxe4 10.Bxc4 (10.Bg5 Qa5 11.Qc1 (11.Qd2!? Nbd7 12.Bxc4 0-0 13.Ne2 b5 14.Ba2 exf3 15.gxf3 Bb7 16.0-0 Bd5=/+) 11...Nbd7 12.Bxc4 0-0 13.Ne2 Re8 (13...b5!? 14.Ba2 exf3 15.gxf3 Bb7) 14.Rb1 Qc7 15.Bb3?! (15.Bb5 a6 16.Bxd7 Nxd7=/+) 15...exf3 16.gxf3 b6 17.Kf2 Ba6-/+ Grover-Zhou Weigi, Dubai 2012) 10...0-0 11.fxe4 (11.Ne2 exf3 12.gxf3 Bf5 13.0-0 Nbd7 14.Bb3 Rc8 15.c4 Re8 16.Rf2 Nh5 17.Ng3 Bg6 18.Ne4 Ndf6 19.Nc3 h6=/+ Jambrich-Nemchenko, email 2010) 11...Nxe4 12.Nf3 Qc7 13.Qb3 Nd7 14.0-0 Nb6 15.Bd3 Be6 (15...Qxc3 16.Qb1) 16.Qc2 f5 17.Ng5 Bc4 18.Bd2 Bxd3 19.Qxd3 Qc4 20.Qh3 Nxg5 21.Bxg5 Nd5 22.Bd2 g6 23.Rae1 Nf6 24.Bh6 Rfe8 25.Qf3 Re4=/+ Gerola-Kunzelmann, corr 2012] 9...Nc6 [9...0-0 10.g4 (10.Qc2?! Nc6 11.e4 dxe4 12.fxe4 Qa5 13.e5 Re8-/+) 10...Nc6 is a transposition of moves.)


(10.Ng3 cannot be advised: 10...h5!? (Michail Krasenkow, (Michail Krasenkow, 11.h4 a) Compare: Man sehe: 11.Qc2 h4 12.Ne2 Qe7 13.Kf2 g6 (13...b5!?-/+) 14.g4 hxg3+ 15.Nxg3 Be6 16.a4 Na5 17.Ba3 Qc7 18.Bg2 Nb3 19.Rae1 0-0-0-/+ Joergensen-Sadowski, email 2006; b) 11.e4 h4 12.exd5 hxg3 13.dxc6 Rxh2 14.Rg1 Kf8-/+; 11...Qc7!? (11...Na5 12.e4 Nb3 13.Rb1 Qa5=/+ Marusenko-Pavlov, Kiev 2010) 12.Kf2 Na5 13.Qe1 (13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 Nd5=/+) 13...Nb3=/+)


(10...Na5!? is perhaps somewhat more flexible (Krasenkow), see Kortschnoj-O'Kelly and Aghasuryan-Mekumyan. ist vielleicht etwas flexibler (Krasenkow), siehe Kortschnoj-O'Kelly und Aghasuryan-Mekumyan.; 10...h6 leads to Kasparov-Polgar. führt zu Kasparov-Polgar.)

11.Bg2 Na5

(11...Qe7?! would be a waste of time: 12.Nf4 (12.0-0!?) 12...b5 (12...Na5 13.0-0 Nb3 14.Ra2) 13.0-0 h6 14.h4 (14.e4!? dxe4 15.fxe4 Bxg4 16.Qe1+/=) 14...Rd8?! (14...Qd8!? 15.e4 Ne7 would be more solid) 15.g5 hxg5 16.hxg5 Ne8 17.e4 Nc7 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 Na5 20.f4 Nb3 21.Ra2 Bb7 22.Re2 Qd7 23.Re5+/- Nikitin-Belinkov, Moskau 1966)

12.0-0 Nb3

Game position after 12...Nb3

Anand must have been satisfied with his choice of opening; he obtained exactly the sort of position he needed since he was trailing in the match - complicated and sharp.


In contrast to the Botvinnik Variation White does not need a rook on e2 in order to get in e3-e4.

(The move 13.Rb1!? has been less explored, but in view of the counterplay for Black on the b-file it looks to make more sense and would perhaps have been less pleasant for Carlsen to face.)


(13...h6 see Kasparov- Polgar; 13...Qa5 14.g5 Nd7 (14...Nh5 (Krasenkow) 15.Qe1 Bd7 16.Qh4 g6 17.e4 Rae8 18.Bf4 Nxf4 19.Qxf4 Bc6 20.h4+/=) 15.e4 Nb6 16.Qe1!? (16.h3 Na4!? (16...Nxc1 17.Qxc1 Bd7 18.Ng3 Nc8 19.Re2 Ne7 Bernasek-Hera, Austrian League 2012/13 20.f4 dxe4 21.Nxe4 Nd5 22.Nc5 Bc6 23.Bxd5 Bxd5 24.Rfe1=) 17.Qe1 f6 18.gxf6 Nxc1 19.Qxc1 Rxf6=/+) 16...f6 (16...Nxc1 17.Qxc1 Bd7 18.Ng3; 16...Na4 17.Rc2 Bd7 18.Ng3) 17.gxf6 Nxc1 18.Qxc1 Rxf6 19.Ng3 Na4 20.Rc2 Be6 21.e5 Rf7 22.f4 Raf8 23.Qe3+/=)


(14.a4 hardly fits in here 14...bxa4 15.Ng3 (15.Rxa4 a5 16.g5 Ne8 17.e4 Nc7 18.Ng3 Bd7 19.Ra2 Nxc1 20.Qxc1 a4 21.e5 Rb8 22.f4 Rb3=/+ (Pavel Maletin, ruchess); 15.Nf4 Bb7 16.Rxa4 Re8 17.g5 Nd7 18.h4 a5=/+) 15...Nxc1 16.Qxc1 Qa5 17.e4 Rb8 18.g5 Ne8=/+; 14.g5 seems to make more sense: 14...Nd7 (14...Nh5 15.e4 f6 16.gxf6 Qxf6 17.Be3 a5 18.Nc1 Nxc1 19.Qxc1 Rb8 20.Rb2 Qe7 21.Qd2 Rb6 22.e5 Bf5 23.Kh1 Bd3 24.Rg1 Rf7 25.Bg5= Fessler-Vozda, corr 2012) 15.e4 Nb6 16.Bf4 (16.e5? Bf5-/+ Gardner-Shabalov, Calgary 2012) 16...a5 (16...f6 17.gxf6 Qxf6 18.Qe1=) 17.Qe1 Ra7 18.Qg3=)

14...a5 15.g5

(15.e4 would hardly be any better, see Volkov-Smirnov, Khanty Mansiysk 2013.)

15...Ne8 16.e4 Nxc1

(After 16...Nc7 then 17.Be3 Rb8 18.Qe1 b4 19.axb4 axb4 20.Ne2 bxc3 21.Nxc3 Bb7 22.Qg3 Ra8 23.Rxa8 Bxa8 24.Rd1 Bc6= is possible (Maletin).)

17.Qxc1 Ra6

Game position after 17...Ra6

(17...Rb8 18.Qd2 Nc7 19.e5 Qe7 20.Rb1=)

18.e5 Nc7?!

Carlsen is too optimistic. He wants to maintain the tension and over-estimates his position.

(Two alternatives appear more prudent: 18...b4 19.axb4 axb4 20.Rxa6 Bxa6 21.cxb4 Qb6 22.Qc3 Nc7 23.f4 Nb5 (23...Rb8 24.Ra1) 24.Qe3 Qxd4 25.Qxd4 Nxd4 26.Bxd5 c3 (Krasenkow) 27.Rc1 c2 28.Be4 Rc8 29.Kf2 g6 30.Ke3 Rc4 31.Bd3 Rc3 32.Kxd4 Rxd3+ 33.Kc5 Rc3+=; 18...g6 19.f4 Ng7 20.Rb2 Rb6 21.Qb1 (Krasenkow) 21...Qd7! 22.f5 Nxf5 23.Nxf5 (23.Rxf5 gxf5 24.Nh5 Qe7 25.Nf6+ Rxf6 26.gxf6 Qxa3 (Maletin) 27.Qc2 b4 28.Bxd5 Kh8 29.Ra2 b3 30.Rxa3 bxc2 31.Ra1 Be6 32.Bxe6 fxe6 33.Rc1 Ra8 34.Rxc2 Kg8 35.Ra2+/-) 23...gxf5 24.h4 h6 25.Bh3 Qe7 26.Bxf5 Qxa3 (Maletin) 27.Rg2 Qxc3 28.Bxc8 Qxd4+ 29.Rff2 Qxe5 30.Bf5 Kh8 31.Qc1 Re8 32.g6=)


(The critical moment! Black had more difficulties after 19.Rb2!? Qe7 20.Rb1 (Krasenkow), so as to finally bring this rook to b1: 20...Rb6 21.f4 b4 22.axb4 axb4 23.cxb4 Rxb4 (23...g6 24.Qe3!? Bd7 25.f5 Bxf5 26.Nxf5 gxf5 27.Rxf5 Rxb4 28.Rbf1+/= (Maletin)) 24.Qa3 Na6 25.Bxd5!? (25.Rb2 Qb7 26.Rfb1 Rxb2 27.Qxb2 Qd7 28.Qb6+/= (Maletin)) 25...Qd8 26.Rxb4 Nxb4 27.Qxb4 Qxd5 28.Qc5+/=)

19...b4 20.axb4

(For equality 20.a4 was sufficient, to deprive Black of the b5-square for his knight: 20...b3 (20...Rb6 21.f5 bxc3 22.Raf2 Na6 (22...Rb3 23.e6 fxe6 24.f6 Rb2 25.Rf3 (Maletin) 25...e5 26.Rxc3 exd4 27.Qxb2 dxc3 28.Qxc3 Ne6 29.Nf5 gxf6 30.Bxd5 Kh8 31.gxf6 Qxd5 32.f7+ Nd4 33.Qxd4+ Qxd4+ 34.Nxd4 Kg7 35.Nf5+ Bxf5 36.Rxf5 Rxf7 37.Rxa5 Rc7 38.Kf2 c3 39.Rg5+ Kf6 40.Rg1=) 23.f6 Nb4 24.fxg7 Kxg7 25.Nh5+ Kh8 26.Rxf7 (Maletin) 26...Rxf7 27.Rxf7 Be6 28.Rf6 Nd3 29.Qxc3 Rb1+ 30.Bf1 Bh3 31.Qxa5 Rxf1+ 32.Rxf1 Qxg5+ 33.Ng3 Bxf1 34.Qa8+ Kg7 35.Qa7+=) 21.Raf2 Bd7 22.f5 Bxa4 23.f6 Bd7! (23...g6? 24.Qf4 Re8 (24...Ne6? 25.Qh4 Kh8 26.Bh3) 25.Qh4 Ree6 26.Nf5 gxf5 (26...Qf8 27.Ne7+ Kh8 28.Rf3 h5 29.Bh3 Be8 30.Bg4+-) 27.Bh3 Kh8 28.Bxf5 Qg8 29.Rf3 Ne8 30.Rh3 Nxf6 31.exf6 Rxf6 32.Qxh7+ Qxh7 33.Rxh7+ Kg8 34.gxf6+- (Maletin)) 24.fxg7 Kxg7 25.Nh5+ Kh8 26.Rxf7 (26.Nf6 Ne8 27.Nxd5 Be6 28.Nf6 Nxf6 29.Rxf6 Rg8= (Maletin)) 26...Rxf7 27.Rxf7 Be6 28.Rf6 Qg8 (Maletin) 29.g6 hxg6 30.Nf4 (30.Qh6+ Qh7 31.Qf8+ Qg8 32.Qh6+ Qh7=) 30...Bf7 31.Nxd5 Rxf6 32.Nxf6 Qf8 33.Qg5 Kg7 34.Nh5+ Kh8 35.Nf6 Kg7=; A more energetic move seems to be 20.f5!? (Boris Gelfand, chesspro) 20...bxc3!? a) 20...b3 21.Raf2->; b) 20...Nb5 21.axb4 axb4 22.Rxa6 Bxa6 23.f6 g6 24.Qf4! (24.e6 fxe6 25.Qe3 Bc8 26.cxb4 Nd6= (Krasenkow)) 24...Qb6 25.Qh4 h5 26.Nxh5 bxc3 27.Kh1! Nxd4 28.Ng3 Ne6 29.Nf5! gxf5 30.Qh5! Qb7 31.Bh3 d4+ 32.Bg2+-; 21.f6 g6 22.Qxc3 (22.Qf4 Ne6 23.Qh4 Qb6 24.Ne2 Qb3 25.Nc1 Qb6 26.Ne2=) 22...Rb6 23.Qxa5 Rb3= (Maletin); And 20.Raf2!? is also interesting, so as to mobilise all his resources: 20...Nb5 a) 20...bxc3 21.Qxc3 a4 22.Qe3 Rb6 23.f5 Rb3 24.Qf4 Rd3 (24...c3 25.f6 Ne6 26.Qh4 Ba6 27.Bh3+/-) 25.Nh5 Nb5 26.e6 Rxd4 27.Qe5 Qxg5 28.Nf4+/-; b) 20...b3 21.f5 Kh8 22.Nh5 Rb6 23.Qe3+/-; 21.axb4 axb4 22.cxb4 Nxd4 23.f5 Bb7 (23...Nb3 24.Qd1 Bb7 25.Qh5) 24.Nh5 (Maletin) 24...Qb6 25.Qe3 Qa7 26.e6 fxe6 27.Qe5 Bc8 28.b5 Nxb5 29.f6 Ra2 (29...Qd4 30.fxg7 Rf5 31.Qb8 Qc5 32.Kh1+-) 30.Bxd5 Qb6 31.Bxc4 Rxf2 32.Rxf2 Nd4=)

20...axb4 21.Rxa6 Nxa6 22.f5

(22.cxb4 Nxb4 23.f5 g6 24.Qd2 Nc6=)


(22...bxc3 23.Qxc3 g6 24.Qe3 (24.f6 Nc7 25.Rb1 Ne6 26.Qd2 Qc7 27.Ne2= (Maletin)) 24...Nc7 25.h4 Bxf5 26.Nxf5 gxf5 27.Rxf5 Ne6 28.Rf6 Qa5 29.Kh2=)


(23.f6 g6 24.Qf4 Kh8!? 25.Qh4 b2 26.Qh6 Rg8 27.Rf4 b1Q+ 28.Bf1 Qd1! 29.Rh4 Qh5 30.Nxh5 gxh5 31.Qxh5 Bf5 32.Qxf7 Nc7=/+; 23.Nh5 Nc7 24.Qe3 Kh8 25.h4=; 23.h4!? (Alexej Dreev, 23...Nc7 24.h5 Ne8 (24...Nb5?! 25.f6 Be6 26.g6 hxg6 27.hxg6 fxg6 28.Qg5 Nxc3 29.Qxg6 Qc7 30.Nh5+-) 25.Qf4 (25.f6 gxf6 26.gxf6 Kh8 27.Ne2 Rg8 28.Nf4 Nc7=/+) 25...Qa5 26.h6 g6 27.fxg6 hxg6 28.Nh5 Bf5 29.Bh3 Bxh3 30.Nf6+ Kh8 31.Nxe8 f6 32.e6 Qa2 33.Rf2 Qb1+ 34.Kh2 Qe1 35.Nxf6 Bxe6= (Maletin))


(23...Kh8?! 24.Nh5 Nc7 25.e6 Ne8 (25...fxe6 26.Nxg7 Kxg7 27.f6+ Kg8 28.f7+) 26.exf7 Rxf7 27.f6 g6 28.Re1 Nc7 29.Ng7 Kg8 30.h4+/=)


(24.Qh4 Kh8 25.Nh5 Nb5 (25...b2 26.f6 g6 27.Ng7 Nb5 (Mikhail Golubev, chess today) 28.Qf2 Nxc3 29.Qxb2 Ne4 30.h4 Kg8 31.Qb4 Qc7=) 26.e6 fxe6 27.f6 gxf6 28.Nxf6 Qe7 29.Rf2 Rf7 30.g6 Rg7 31.Nh5 Kg8=)


(24...gxf6 25.Qh4 f5 (25...Kh8 26.Rxf6 Ne6 27.Bxd5 Qxd5 28.Rh6 Nxg5 29.Qxg5 Qf3 30.Rf6 Qg4 31.Qh6 Kg8 32.Rb6 Be6 33.Kf2 Qg6 34.Qxg6+ hxg6 35.Ke3 Kg7 36.Rb5=) 26.Nh5 Ne8 27.Nf4 Be6 28.Rf3 Ng7 29.Rh3 Re8 30.Nxd5 Bxd5 31.Qxh7+ Kf8 32.Qh8+ Ke7 33.Qxg7 b2 34.Qf6+ Kd7 35.Qd6+ Kc8 36.Qa6+ Kc7=)

25.Qh4 Ne8

Game position after 25...Ne8

Magnus Carlsen has defended more or less accurately and is hoping for the best.


(26.Ne2 Be6 27.Nf4 Qa5 28.Nxe6 (Maletin gives 28.Bh3 Bxh3 29.Qxh3 b2 30.e6 (30.Ne6 Qa1 31.Nxf8 Kxf8 32.e6 Nd6 33.Qh6+ Ke8 34.exf7+ Nxf7 35.Qh3 Kd8 36.Qg2 b1Q 37.Qxd5+=; 30.Nxg6 hxg6 31.e6 Qa1 32.e7 Nxf6 33.exf8Q+ Kxf8 34.gxf6 Kg8=) 30...Nd6 (30...Qa1 31.e7 b1Q 32.exf8Q+ Kxf8 33.Nxd5) 31.Nxg6 hxg6 32.Qh6 Nf5 33.Rxf5 b1Q+ 34.Rf1 Qxf1+ 35.Kxf1= with equality in each case.) 28...fxe6 29.Bh3 Nc7 (29...Qa6 30.Qf2 Rf7 31.Qb2 Ra7 32.Bg4 Kf8 33.Qf2 Qb6 34.Qh4 b2 35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.Qh3 Kf8=) 30.f7+ Rxf7 31.Rxf7 Kxf7 32.Qxh7+ Kf8 33.Qh8+ Ke7 34.Qf6+ Kd7 35.Bxe6+ Nxe6 36.Qf7+ Kd8 37.Qf6+ Kc7 38.Qe7+ Kb8 39.Qxe6=)

26...b2 27.Rf4!?

(27.Ne2 Be6 28.Nf4 Qa5 29.Nxe6 fxe6 30.Bh3 Qa6 31.Bg4 Rf7 32.Qh3 Nc7 33.Qg2 Qa2 34.Qc2 Rf8 35.f7+ Kg7 36.Qf2=)

27...b1Q+ 28.Nf1??

(Anand overlooks Black's reply. 28.Bf1 was enough for equality: 28...Qd1! 29.Rh4 Qh5 30.Nxh5 gxh5 31.Rxh5 Bf5 32.g6! (32.Bh3 Bg6 33.e6 Nxf6 34.gxf6 Qxf6=/+) 32...Bxg6 33.Rg5 Nxf6 (33...Qa5 34.Rg3 Qa3 35.h4) 34.exf6 Qxf6 35.Rxd5 Qf3 36.Rc5 Qxc3 37.Rxc4= (Krasenkow))


Game position after 28...Qe1!

(But not 28...Qd1?? 29.Rh4 Qh5 30.Rxh5 gxh5 31.Ne3 Be6 32.Bxd5+-)


Anand, Viswanathan (2775) - Carlsen, Magnus (2870) [E25]

If you do not have html based email software and you're using a text only system, you may find that the links are only partially highlighted and may not work. If this is the case, simply copy and paste the entire link into the browser and hit Enter. That should get you where you want to go.
Comments, ideas, feedback? I'd be stoked to hear from you.

Get in touch

See you next month.


Back to Back Issues Page