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Veselin Topalov vs Loek van Wely
Corus Group A (2003), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-16
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. General (B30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  Sneaky: Notes by the players themselves, from

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 <To be a little bit less predictable.--Van Wely> 3.Nc3 e5 <I had prepared this line especially for Topalov.> 4.Bc4 Be7 5.d3 d6 6.0-0 <Recently, 6.Nd2 was played, but the move played is more in line with Veselin's style.--Van Wely> 6...Nf6 7.Ng5 0-0 8.f4 exf4 9.Bxf4 Na5 10.Qd2 Nxc4 11.dxc4 Bg4 12.Nf3 Re8 13.Qf2 Qb6?! <I moved my queen too early; it's better to wait for White to play the a-rook and then decide where the queen should go.--Van Wely> 14.b3 Bh5 15.Rae1 Qc6 16.h3 <A tricky move; he wants to play e5, which now would have failed: 16.e5 Bxf3 17.exf6 Bxf6 18.Rxe8+ Rxe8 19.Qxf3 Bd4+ 20.Kh1 Qxf3 21.gxf3 Bxc3--Van Wely> 16...Rad8 17.Nh4 Bg6 18.Nxg6 fxg6 19.Qf3 h6 20.Nd5 Kh7 21.Bd2 Qd7 22.Nf4 g5 23.Ne2 Rf8 24.Qd3 g6 25.Nc3 Qe6 26.Nd5 Nd7 27.Nc7 Qg8 28.Bc3 <28.Qd5 was the most challenging move. It seems that after 28...Qxd5 29.exd5 Rxf1 30.Rxf1 Rf8 Black can just hold, although White is still better of course.--Van Wely> 28...Bf6 29.Bxf6 Rxf6 30.Qd5 <Now I figured I was going to lose one way or another.--Van Wely> 30...b6 31.Qb7 Qg7 32.Qxa7 Rdf8 33.Nb5 R8f7! <I had completely missed this stupid rook move--Topalov> 34.Qc7 g4! <My counter play is getting really serious.--Van Wely> 35.hxg4 Ne5 36.Qxb6? <I didn't see he was going to mate me.--Topalov>. <He could have made a draw with 36.Qc8 Rf8 37.Qc7--Van Wely> 36...Nxg4 <It's already lost; my threat is to simply take on f1.--Van Wely> 37.e5 Rxf1+ 0-1

White resigned in view of 38.Rxf1 Rxf1 39.Kxf1 Qf7 40.Ke2 Qf2 41.Kd1 (41.Kd3 Qe3#) 41...Ne3 42.Kc1

Jan-17-03  ughaibu: "I moved my queen too early", this is nice, even grandmasters make beginner's opening errors.
Jan-17-03  drukenknight: I am a little disappointed no one mentioned the isolated central pawn, that is after all one of the cornerstones of theory.
Jan-17-03  ughaibu: On the pawn structure question I would prefer white's isolated e-pawn to black's backward d-pawn.
Jan-22-07  black knight c6: Interesting that from the comments in move 30 Van Wely considers he is losing, yet by move 35 hes drawing and move 36, winnning! Interesting game, and definetly not perfect.

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