Anish Giri in Yearbook 96

During the World Championship match between Topalov and Anand I annotated a game for Chess Today. As my deadline was later than the quickly published annotations on by GM Anish Giri, it would have been unnatural not to relate to these. So, in the two hours at my disposal, I tried to form a personal opinion based on his annotations, and on things I noticed individually. Now, half a year later, Giri has published an open letter for Yearbook 96, where he says I am wrong in almost everything. His lines are very interesting, but not completely accurate.

I will go into details about his claims in our next newsletter, likely to come out in a week or so, when John and Andrew are back and rested, but for now I want to point to a few moments for those that have seen the article.

Line 1 After 18.Nxf5 has a nice improvement with 18…Qf6, but his claim later that I have to show variations to disagree with his reading of a computer evaluation after 18…Qc5 19.axb5 cxb5 20.Qd4 Qc7. I could say 21.Bh3! and the computer is supporting White again. This way we could use a decade to get to the truth, making two full moves a year… I have done some analysis and I cannot see that Black is ever equal. Besides, I think 18.exf5 is maybe the better move.

Line 2 looks strange. What went wrong? What was I thinking? I have no idea.

Line 3 has a nice improvement on move 39. Long analysis often have mistakes. Probably I was too eager to find something that kept Black in the game.

Line 4 is interesting, as he says I am wrong overall, but states that I did improve on his analysis in the details. However, his 24.Qc3 line is not accurate.

In the “final” position after 24…Qd7 25.Rd4 e5 26.Nxh6+ gxh6 27.R4xd3 Nxd3 28.Rxd3 White does have the advantage, but after some analytical work I found a sort of defence for Black with 28…Rfd8 29.Qxe5 Qe6 30.Qf4 f6!?. That the position is winning is not obvious, although it is better for White. But 24…Qd7 is just a howler. 25.Rxd3 leads to a winning advantage if you look deep enough. So, Black has to try 24…Rab8!?, when there are some very complicated variations, clearly favouring White. If this is better than a pawn up in an ending is not obvious to me.

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