Power of the common Pawn – Chennai (Tiger) Express

Power of the common Pawn – Chennai (Tiger) Express


Power of the common PawnThis was one brilliant game of technique played by Vishy Anand, that shows how positional understanding is the foundation of all tactics. Its not often you get to see a game that literally keeps you mesmerized. There was some inefficiency by Wesley So but that does not take the credit away from Anand. A champion has to be brave and this is what Anand demonstrated – he showed the Power of the common Pawn today in Shamkir 2015.

The 2nd Vugar Gashimov Memorial took place in the Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir from 17th to 26th April 2015. The participating players were: Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Vladimir Kramnik, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Adams Michael and Mamedov Rauf.

Magnus Carlsen won the 2nd Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerhaijan with 7/9 a point clear of Viswanathan Anand.  However Vishy produced some of his best games here and notable is this one as told earlier.

Carlsen finished a point ahead of Viswanathan Anand who had an interesting event. Anand was also impressive as he remained undefeated, though he also had ample chances to win against his arch nemesis Carlsen in the first round.

We can learn how chess is played from up-there. The perspectives are sure to raise your understanding and your elo too. A game that I liked a lot is shown below.

A brutal technical win over Wesley So by the Chennai Tiger Vishy Anand. It was all about endgame finesse and understanding. And the Power of the common man, er… the common pawn.

[Event “Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015”]
[Site “Shamkir AZE”]
[Date “2015.04.21”]
[Round “5.2”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan”]
[Black “So, Wesley”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C77”]
[WhiteElo “2791”]
[BlackElo “2788”]
[Annotator “Kish”]
[PlyCount “89”]
[EventDate “2015.04.17”]
[SourceDate “2015.02.07”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nc3
d6 9. a3 Nb8 10. Ng5 $5 Nc6 {[%csl Gd4,Rg5][%cal Rc6d4,Gf3g5,Yd4f3] Taking
advantage of teh fact that the Knight on f3 is missing in action albiet
temporarily.} 11. Ba2 Nd4 12. Ne2 {Exchanging the Opponent’s active piece.}
Nxe2+ 13. Qxe2 h6 {The courage of a chess player. A very intuitional sacrifice
(that happens only when you look at the position from a bird’s eye view) and
one that is purely positional rather than tactical. Wonder what the engines
must be thinking about this move. It is what I call a human-like move!} 14. f4
$5 hxg5 (14… exf4 {seems to be an idea for another day. However I think
Anand must have simply moved back the Knight to f3.} 15. Nxf7 (15. Bxf4 hxg5
16. Bxg5 $19 {Seems to be bad for White.}) (15. Nh3 $13 Bxh3 16. gxh3) 15…
Rxf7 16. Bxf7+ Kxf7 17. Bxf4 {Nothing tangible for White again. So there seems
to be a lot of ways where Black could have kept White subdued}) 15. fxg5 {
Pawns on the 5th rank and beyond, are powerful and work almost like a piece in
terms of strength. That is what makes a player stand out when he can
understand the fluid nature of how the power-balance can shift subtly.} Ng4 $6
{What is that Knight doing?} 16. g6 {There goes the battering Ram! This pawn
is on steroids and seems unstoppable! That is the ‘Power of the common pawn’.}
Bg5 $5 (16… Nh6 $5) 17. h3 $1 {At first sight this looks like a move that is
kicking the Knight. Look deeply and you will see that the h-pawn is raring to
join its friend on g6! This li’l fella is planning for the future!} (17. Bxf7+
Rxf7 18. gxf7+ Kf8 {gets nothing for White!}) 17… Bxc1 18. Raxc1 Nh6 19. Qh5
$1 {The Queen comes in for the kill. A menacing move that takes adv of the
power of White’s active pieces.} Be6 20. Bxe6 fxe6 21. g4 {There is that pawn
rush to attck and soften Black’s fortress. Poor Black is helpless even though
he is a piece up.} c6 $6 {Anand thought this was a mistake during the press
conference as I guess it is not doing anything about the impending aftermath.}
22. Rxf8+ Qxf8 23. Rf1 Qe7 24. g5 Rf8 25. gxh6 Rxf1+ 26. Kxf1 Qf8+ 27. Ke2 $1 {
No more checks!} gxh6 {Subtle pawn play by White. Conversion from this
position is an entire game altogether. It is here that Anand had to shift
gears and play delicate strokes. No mad rushing here.} 28. Qg4 Qf6 29. h4 d5
30. h5 d4 31. b4 $1 {Bringing the point home. This requires finesse on the
part of the White player.} Kg7 32. Qf3 Qe7 33. Kd1 Kg8 34. Qf2 Kg7 35. c3 dxc3
36. Kc2 Qc7 37. Qc5 Kg8 38. Qe3 a5 39. Qh3 axb4 40. Qxe6+ Kf8 41. axb4 Qa7 42.
Kxc3 Qa3+ 43. Kc2 Qa4+ 44. Qb3 Qa7 45. d4 1-0


Never under-estimate the Power of the common Pawn !

Further Reading –

Kish Kumar is a passionate Chess player and coach at Golden Chess Centre and loves teaching the various aspects of Chess. When not involved with Chess he is busy life-coaching! Connect with him here 🙂

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