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Veselin Topalov vs Viswanathan Anand
Corus Group A (2004), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 12, Jan-24
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-27-04  MVChesser25: 6. f3????? why would you ever do that in this posistion
Feb-27-04  drukenknight: so where is the blunder?
Feb-27-04  Erwin: nICE TO see,both player fighting for a win,great game,but 8)nfd7 did it ever played before?.for MVChesser25 the move 6, f3 is not a blunder but it was a classic sicilian
Mar-05-04  InspiredByMorphy: Not to mention whites 8th move would leave the king knight pawn hanging.
Jun-29-04  acirce: 6.f3 bizarre?! No way, it's a perfectly reasonable move.
Jun-29-04  Geronimo: 6.f3 is pretty bizarre, but not unheard of. Opening explorer has 334 games as such with a 41.3 chance for white. Its 8.g4 that boggles my mind.
Sep-15-04  Hinchliffe: I really like 6 F3 as it is a move I would play myself. It seems to me that it defensive qualities slightly outweigh its restrictive influence of the Queen and Knight. But this is a personal intuitive matter which frankly makes chess so very appealing. I must confess I am a late arrival to the skill of Topalov but have to admit I am rapidly becoming more and more impressed with his play. For example, his recent treatment in the Petrof opening knight sac f7. Lovely stuff.Could someone please tell me where he stands in the ratings? Thanks guys.
Sep-15-04  Marvol: Why 33. ... Qc8?
I can't see what's wrong with something like 33. ...Qxb3 34 cxb3, Bd7 35 Rg3 and then either Rb8 or Bxh3, pressurising the pawn or winning the h-pawn while not losing a tempo.

Do I miss a white threat or a counterstrike?

Sep-15-04  Marvol: And why 40. ... Rxb6?
OK, there is no other way to get rid of that pawn sooner or later, but can't Black give more of a fight with 40. ... Qe1 41. Bg1, Qd2+, and 42. ...Qxd3 wins a pawn back, or does it?
Sep-15-04  Cyphelium: <Marvol> 40.- Qe1 41. Bxh6 looks good for white; 41.- Qf2+ 42. Kh3 Qf1+ 43. Kg4.
Sep-15-04  Hinchliffe: <Cyphelium> I hear that you met acirce at a tournament last weekend. I was curious to know who took the honours? I am a chess playing Englishman living in Stockholm.
Sep-15-04  acirce: <Could someone please tell me where [Topalov] stands in the ratings?> He's currently #7 on the ELO list with 2737, but on the next list due to Oct 1st he will probably have advanced.
Sep-16-04  Marvol: <Cyphelium> Yes, I admit not having looked too much into the line after 41. Bxh6, Rb7 and I guess 42 Qd8+, Kh7. For a move or two, black looks safe enough, but yes, Bxh6 is a nuisance.

So only my question about 33 ... Qc8 remains...

Sep-16-04  alexandrovm: Topalov played a very nice, beautiful game. Perhaps his style is getting somewhat more colorful.
Sep-29-04  AdrianP: <mvc> <geronimo> 6. f3 is a mainline in the English Attack. Playing 6. f3 then 7. Be3 (rather than the other way around) is to prevent 6...Nfg4 (the Opocensky variation) which is currently theoretically dubious.

The bizarre idea in this game is 10. a4?! I don't know whether it's a novelty (no other games on this database) but it certainly seems a strange move, to open lines on the Q-side, when White almost invariably castles Q-side in the English Attack.

Sep-29-04  AdrianP: Here is the only other game on Chessbase Megabase featuring 10. a4?!

Anand,V (2769) - Kasparov,G (2851) [B80]
Chess@iceland rap f Kopavogur (1), 02.04.2000

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e6 7.Be3 b5 8.g4 Nfd7 9.Qd2 Nb6 10.a4 bxa4 11.Nxa4 Nxa4 12.Rxa4 Be7 13.Be2 0-0 14.0-0 Bb7 15.Rfa1 Nd7 16.Nb3 Rb8 17.Ba7 Rc8 18.Na5 Ba8 19.Bxa6 Ne5 20.Be2 f5 21.gxf5 exf5 22.Nc4 Qe8 23.Nxe5 dxe5 24.Bd3 fxe4 25.fxe4 Qh5 26.Be3 Rc6 27.Qe2 Rg6+ 28.Kh1 Qxe2 29.Bxe2 Bc6 30.Rc4 Bb5 31.Ra5 Bxc4 32.Bxc4+ Kh8 33.Rxe5 Ra8 34.Rf5 Rg4 35.Rf1 Rb8 36.Bd3 Rxb2 37.e5 Rb8 38.Ba7 Rf8 39.Rxf8+ Bxf8 40.Bf2 Rg5 41.Bd4 ½-½

Oct-24-04  apple head: <AdrianP: <mvc> <geronimo> 6. f3 is a mainline in the English Attack. Playing 6. f3 then 7. Be3 (rather than the other way around) is to prevent 6...Nfg4 (the Opocensky variation) which is currently theoretically dubious.> incorrect, The main line of the English Attack is 6. Be3 not 6. f3, but both are the same thing
Oct-24-04  Spassky69: <Topalov wins a pawn and squeezes it to full advantage as a passed pawn in this victory over Anand, the tournament champion in this super GM event at Wijk an Zee.> I don't like how described this win. If you described it as Vishy got his *&* kicked which he did that would be more appropiate. He was down the exchange and a pawn with a bad bishop. How do you call that squeezing the victory?? Oh I see your a patzer so you usually lose by hanging your queen. Nevermind I see where your coming from.
Oct-24-04  clocked: This game ended Vishy's 76 game unbeaten streak at Wijk.
Feb-24-05  AdrianP: <Applehead> That's why I said *a* mainline rather than *the* mainline. There not quite the same thing - on 6. f3 Black can play 6...Qb6; on 6 Be3, Black can play 6...Ng4.
Jun-16-05  aw1988: f3 is bizarre, but certainly a good move.
Dec-01-05  aw1988: Going some of my older kibitzes, I see how terribly wrong I always was. f3 is not bizarre at all, it keeps the knight out of g4, it's the base of the pawn storm on the kingside, and it solidifies White's structure in general. "Bizarre"... pff
May-26-06  suenteus po 147: It's interesting to go back to some pre-2004 World Cup games and see how the ascending Topalov is talked about. I can't imagine a "brilliant" move of Topalov's being questioned as <bizarre> today ;)
Jul-10-09  VaselineTopLove: Does 44...Qb8 hold?
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The game quickly transposed into the English Attack. In a 2000 Rapids game Anand had played 13 Be2 against Kasparov and the game had ended in a draw 13 g5 was Topalov's improvement.

Ian Rogers on 13 g5:
"Topalov explained that, since he plans to take the a-pawn in many variations, there is no point in losing time by moving the f1 bishop, while the plan he chose also has the merit of discouraging Black from playing ..Bb7, as this may leave the e6 pawn vulnerable after a later g6 advance by White."

With 14..Bd7!? Anand was prepared to sacrifice the a6 pawn but despite the explanation given above Topalov still felt that the bishop belonged on b7.

Anand spent considerable time on 16..Qc7?:
after the game the players discussed the variation 16..Rxa6 17 Bxa6..Qa8 18 Nxc6..Bxc6 19 Be2..d5!? 20 exd..Bxd5 21 Kf2..Rd8 22 Qc1. "Black obviously has compensation for the pawn but White is quite solid and will have the idea of c4-c5" said Topalov. "Vishy was afraid that his compensation was insufficient and so decided to play 16..Qc7. However after 16..Qc7, although of course Black is not lost, I don't think Black has enough for the pawn."

23 Be2 at once would have been more accurate. Black cannot play 27..Bxh4? 28 Rxh4..Qxh4 29 Bg5. Topalov thought that 33..Qxb3 34 cxb..Bd7 may have been Black's best chance and if White gives up the exchange to push the b-pawn Black can give back the exchange to reach an opposite-colored bishop ending with good drawing chances. Anand missed the defense 35..Be6! when 36 b7..Qc3! 37 b8(Q)..Qxe3 38 Rg3..Qxe2+ 39 Rg2..Qxf3 gives Black a dangerous attack despite White's two queens; instead after Anand's 35..Qc3? White was in control.

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