Anand's Positional Chess Masterpiece? Ivanchuk vs. Anand, 1992

Anand's Positional Chess Masterpiece? Ivanchuk vs. Anand, 1992

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Once while riding to the Dallas Chess Club I was talking to IM Daniel Fernandez, and I asked him who his favorite player was. He turned the question back on me, and I said Alexander Morozevich was my favorite player. Daniel scoffed and said that I could never learn from Morozevich. The only player who could play in that fashion was Morozevich himself. He then announced that Anand was his favorite player, and he extolled the fluid and instructive qualities of Anand's great chess games.

Since then, I've always had a great appreciation for Anand, and I'm excited today to start a new series on his games!

Despite being World Champion, still being quite active, and having three decades of top-level games in his library, Anand's legacy of brilliance still seems slightly overlooked to me. Perhaps it's the fact that his most famous analysis of his own games was published way back in 1997. "My Best Games of Chess" is a classic, but it's been awhile since Anand annotated a collection of his own games. He often seems to be reluctant to engage in self-promotion, preferring to let his chess do the talking.

In this series, I'll be looking at many of Anand's greatest games. We begin with what I consider his first great masterpiece, a positional victory against Vassily Ivanchuk from Linares 1992. It's rare for a young attacking player to make his mark with a positional gem, but this game is widely considered one of the best games of the 1990s and is one that made a vivid impression on me when I first saw it.

I've annotated this game below in further depth. I heavily relied on Anand's notes (which are incredible and hard to improve on!), but I tried to focus on the perspective, variations, and ideas that stood out to me.

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