- REBEL versus ANAND Day-2 -

main whatisnew download strength features shots subscribe reviews FAQ price list phonelistemail list how to order aegon bench database util epd2diagramj. noomen column DIAZ column misc. older topics comp. profile cartoon mode From July 21 till July 23,1998 REBEL in Italy on the island Ischia played 8 games against World's SECOND BEST chess player VISHY ANAND.

Rebel - Anand 0.5 - 0.5 !

Rebel vs. Anand: Day 2                          by Jeroen Noomen


The first tournament game was scheduled on Wednesday the 22nd of

July. We moved to a better playing table, rightly demanded by 

Anand's delegation. Play started just before 15:00 and we agreed

that in the first tournament game Anand would play White.

The beginning of the game there was a lot of noise. In the same

room the summer tournament of Ischia is being held and the 

organizers had big problems in keeping the people silent. I must

confess that at some points I felt pretty embarrassed by this 

chaos, and I would not be surprised if Vishy wouldn't want to 

play under these conditions any longer.

Luckily after a minute or 10 everything was quiet and play 

was not disturbed anymore. I chose a Chigorin Queen's Gambit 

for Rebel, relying on the surprise value. I didn't trust in 

playing a normal Queen's Gambit or a Queen's Indian, about 

these openings Vishy simply knows too much! And that certainly 

would not be a good choice for Rebel, in my opinion.

We left the opening book after Anand's 5. Nc3, but when the 

game got out of the opening phase, I was feeling quite happy. 

We had an unbalanced position with no weaknesses and a clear 

plan for Rebel: attack on the queen's side. I am quite sure 

that this was not the type of game Anand was aiming for today.

I guess that White was better after the opening, but that is 

not the point: The main point is to get a position that suits 

Rebel and this was such a position!

Rebel managed to manoeuvre a knight to d3. Pretty amazing: 

In two of the seven games Rebel got such an octopus! Also 

watch game 2. Anyway, Anand removed the annoying knight 

immediately by 'sacrificing' an exchange, getting two strong 

bishops and a pawn in return. Actually I expected this 

exchange sac, Rebel didn't. The score went up to +0,60, but 

the main problem for Black was to stop the White pawns from 

marching on and preventing the White bishops getting active 

positions. For a while the nice attacking prospects on the 

queen's side were gone.

In the following moves Anand did not manage to get the pawns 

moving and Rebel also managed to keep the Bc1 out of play. 

After Anand's Be4 I first was not happy that Rebel did not 

think a mere second about replying ... h6, which seemed the 

only right move to me. But, of course, I am just a weak 

player: ... h6 is very bad, because after Bf5, rook moves 

and then e4! the White pawns are rolling very fast. 

So ... Qh6! was the right move, although it would be better 

to have the queen on f6, of course.

Rebel then punched with the nice ... Rc7! followed by ...b3! 

Suddenly Anand seemed to look worried. He tried to hide the 

king on a1 behind the black a2-pawn, but Rebel came up with 

the crushing ... Bc5!, simply planning to get the queen over 

to b6, playing ... Bd4 and it is curtains on b2. Now it was 

all Black in command. Unfortunately, though, Rebel took too

quickly on b2. The ending seemed to be won, but with a fine 

defence Anand turned his passed d-pawn into a major threat. 

After the game we found out that ... Qe6! instead of ... Bxb2 

should have won. Rebel showed a fine line, it was going like 

this: ... Qe6! Bc6,Rc3!! bxc3,Qc4! and it appears that there

is no defence.

Some moves later we were all surprised by ... g5!? instead of

the normal looking ... Qxh5. But the latter move allows Rc1! 

and suddenly there are back rank problems. A win after ... 

Qxh5 could not be found. But also ... g5 was not enough. In 

the end the passed d-pawn is too strong. If Black stops it 

by putting his queen into jail at d8, then White might try 

to defend d7 by the bishop and get the rook to the 8th rank. 

You will notice that the Black f-pawns and a-pawn are completely

harmless. Because I could see no way of making progress and 

knowing Rebel very well, I decided that in the final position 

a draw offer would be justified. Anand also looked convinced 

that nothing could go wrong anymore, so I was absolutely sure 

about the draw offer. People analysed for hours after the game,

but there is no win.

So there came an end to an exciting match, in which Rebel had 

managed as Black to get the number 2 in the world in great 

difficulties. And that under normal tournament conditions! 

After the game I confessed: 'The dream is still continuing'. I 

liked this game a lot!

REBEL Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 ANAND
5 4.5 - 1.5 0.5 - 0.5 0 - 1 3

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