Anti Moscow variation by GM Magesh and GM Arun

Anti Moscow variation by GM Magesh and GM Arun‎

GM thamizhan
18 | Opening Theory

Our topic this week has nothing to do with exchanges and slow maneuvering like the ones we saw last week. This week it is all about being imaginative and being able to handle haphazard positions. It is the Anti-Moscow variation. The positions arising out of this opening are so complicated that even strong Grand Masters fail to understand the gist of them. Sometimes I have personally seen games where I have felt the assessment of the position changes every other move.


Paul Morphy always believed that the activity of the pieces should be weighed a lot more than material gain. This is precisely what matters in this opening. White sacrifices a pawn initially to gain a strong center. Black in return tries to consolidate his strong queenside pawn structure and defend his King successfully. Often in the games arising out of this opening one can see many sacrifices and also counter sacrifices emphasizing the importance of piece play.


Our first game today is an astonishing game played between Topalov and Kramnik. Interestingly this was their first encounter after their famous World Championship match, we call it famous for the fantastic games played there and also for the so-called Toiletgate scandal.




For whatever consolation it might provide, Topalov avenged his match loss in style. The knight sacrifice may not be completely accurate, but the interesting idea has nevertheless created plenty of problems in black's camp. Following this model game, several games have been played in the following variation.


Our next again interestingly enough was played the very next day after the Topalov – Kramnik game in the same tournament except in a different section. Ljubojevic displays excellent technique to defend against the imaginative knight sacrifice from Timman.



If you looked carefully you would have noticed that black was not just defending all the time, but also creating his own counterplay. This combination of defense and attack in the right mix gave Ljubojevic enough to complete his task.


Our last game is played between Shirov – Karjakin. Shirov being a creative genius himself and well known for his popular imaginative sacrifices gives a shot at the interesting knight sacrifice introduced by Topalov.






We hope these games were really fascinating. We hope our readers will keep in mind to remain creative and imaginative in playing such complicated positions. We will get back next week with more entertaining games from this opening.

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