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Veselin Topalov vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
XIX Ciudad de Leon (2006) (rapid), Leon ESP, rd 1, Jun-10
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation. Main lines (B18)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-10-06  hellopolgar: the bitter end...
Jun-11-06  acirce: 40.Bxh6! gxh6 (otherwise 41.Bxg7! is the most efficient) 41.g5 won quicker.

Note 41..Ng7 42.gxh6 Nxh5 43.Ke3! (otherwise ..Nf4, ..Ng6)

Jun-12-06  Turkito: If there were f9 square, black would win.
Jun-15-06  notyetagm: <acirce> Yes, I was just about to post that quicker winning line, after I saw Mig point it out at chessninja.com:

<From game one, Topalov-Vallejo. Topalov missed a quick forced win with 40.Bxh6!>

Topalov played the exact same winning tactical idea eight moves later with 48 ♗xg7!, the idea that <KNIGHTS CANNOT STOP PASSED ROOK PAWNS>. With a White pawn on h6 and a Black knight on g7, the White pawn cannot be stopped from promoting.

Jun-15-06  notyetagm: This ending and the two winning moves, 40 ♗xh6! that Topalov missed and 48 ♗xg7! that Topalov actually played, are a great reminder of one of Capablanca's famous principles: <The player who wins the endgame is the first one who makes a sacrifice that queens a pawn>.
Jun-15-06  alicefujimori: hmmm...I think Topalov really need to work more on his endgame in order to increase his chances of defeating Kramnik in September. (Or more speifically, not losing to Kramnik in the endgame in September.)
Jun-15-06  notyetagm: <alicefujimori> I wouldn't be too concerned about Topalov's endgame. This was a rapid game and even strong players miss obvious wins when their clocks are close to expiring.
Jan-23-07  RonB52734: Is it common in the Caro-Kann for neither player to castle like this?
Mar-19-07  jtd200: One of the particular advantages of black in the caro-kann is his king safety... castling kingside, queenside, or not at all are usually options!

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