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Veselin Topalov vs Alexey Shirov
Corus Group A (2007), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-16
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Classical Variation (D86)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-17-07  euripides: I think it's a transposition, though I thought the 'similar games' feature sometimes picks those up. Portisch exchanged earlier on d4 but it reaches the same position.
Jan-17-07  euripides: has more information on the previous games - apparently 25...Rd8 may be the new move.

The whole exchange sacrifice line was out of fashion for a long time but there have been some very aggressive aproaches to reviving it involving extravagant sacrifices. What I like about 16.Qd4 is that its positional logic is very clear and although there are plenty of tactics flying around it doesn't seem essential to bone up on the theory in order to play it.

Jan-17-07  MoonlitKnight: Shirov accepted Topalov's exchange sacrifice? Has he lived in a cave for the last two years??
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Shirov accepted Topalov's exchange sacrifice? Has he lived in a cave for the last two years??> A cave with a cable perhaps :-?
Jan-17-07  s4life: <euripides: <suenteus> I mean the Gligoric game doesn't appear on the 'find similar games' page linked to this game. >

The same reason is valid as "similar to" is an equivalence relation.

Jan-17-07  crazy monk: how about 23..f5?
Jan-17-07  Shams: crazy monk, then maybe 24.d6
Jan-17-07  csmath: Brilliant display of dynamic chess by Topalov. This is definitely the best game so far on Corus. Shirov did not play bad at all, it is rather amazing how Topalov keeps the dynamic initiative throughout. It was bound to happen that such an aggressive player as Shirov cannot keep up the defence for too long.
Jan-18-07  Fisheremon: <Ulhumbrus: 29 Ng3!! prepares to get the N into play by Ne4 long before Black can get his N into play and make it count. The result is that Topalov enjoys some of the benefits of playing with two minor pieces against a Rook, instead of suffering the effects of playing the exchange down. By the time Black can do anything useful with Black's N, it is too late. The lesson is that a piece out of play may be as bad as a piece lost if the position is dangerous and the opponent can make all of his pieces count soon enough.> 29...Re8 could be enough for defense ?!
Jan-18-07  ahmadov: says this game is the most exciting game of the tournament so far, but I think Shirov vs Radjabov, 2007 can also claim to be the best game of the tournament four the past 4 rounds.
Jan-18-07  Fisheremon: <ahmadov: says this game is the most exciting game of the tournament so far, but I think Shirov vs Radjabov, 2007 can also claim to be the best game of the tournament four the past 4 rounds.> Teimour played in the Bronstein style (quite rare nowadays!).
Jan-18-07  csmath: If you go over this game with engine you will see amazing accuracy of the white. Keep in mind that he has to play exactly that way because of the sacrifice. The whole idea of having domination over the black fields around black king was played amazingly precise and computer-like. Shirov kept up pretty good most of the game but at no point he had easy equalizing meaning this whole variation sacrifice might have been critical variation for black to work on.

Eventually Shirov missed Re8 but even with that it is still a continuing defence. Shirov is aggressive player and those do not stay well too long under pressure. Proper decision by Topalov and extraordinary accuracy in execution. For me this is the best game so far in 2007.

Somebody has been blabbing here how Topalov is on decline. Is he really?

Jan-19-07  shr0pshire: Topalov gives a post mortem of this game in the press conference.

It can be viewed at the Dutch chess web site Chessvibes via Youtube.

Jan-20-07  dehanne: Does anyone still play the 12.Bxf7+ line or is that one refuted?
Jan-20-07  euripides: I'm reminded of another game where Topalov wins by elegant queen play in a somehat simplified position reached straight from the opening (premsumably quite thoroughly prepared in both cases):

Topalov vs Naiditsch, 2005

Jan-30-07  positionalgenius: This could be the best game that Corus 2007 has to offer. Kramnik-Anand is close though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: The New York Times online edition has a pretty good column on this game today. Evidently, the consensus has emerged that 29...Re8 would have given Shirov chances to hold the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Topalov departed from an earlier game (Najer vs Krasenkow) on move 25 by playing Qd4. In the earlier game (2005) Najer played 25 Nf4 and went on to lose. The secret for white appears to be getting the Knight to f6 (which 29...Re8 prevents). The NYTimes column was excellent, also pointing out that black has the defensive options of 20...Qb6 and 20....Qd6. The weak a1 - h8 diagononal reminded me of today's puzzle.
Mar-02-07  Shajmaty: <Ulhumbrus: 20 f4 opening the f file is an improvement over 20 Be3 attacking the a7 pawn, with which Gligoric lost to Portisch at Nice, 1974.> Yes, I refer you to my post the day before (beginning of page2)!
May-21-07  aragorn69: A short comment by Kasparov on this game and the role played by Topalov's second, Ivan Cheparinov:

<I heard that Cheparinov was doing a great job by checking the computer … not during the game. (laughter) I’m talking about preparation before the game. Some of the lines were quite amazing; for instance, this Wijk aan Zee game, Topalov beat Shirov in the Grünfeld. Quite amazing. I think it was excellent preparation.> Source:

Apr-28-08  Whitehat1963: Excellent, high-level example of the Opening of the Day.
Dec-04-08  butcher123: what if 20... Qb6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: 20...Qb6 21.fxe4 perhaps
Jan-14-11  Eyal: A nice tactical point mentioned by Topalov in his post-game commentary is that he played 26.h3 because after an immediate 26.Ng3, 26...Rf7 27.Rxf7 Qxf7 28.Qc3 would run into 28...Nc6! getting the knight back into the game by taking advantage of the back rank weakness.
Jul-14-15  victor antoni: veselin mejoro la linea de aronian me parece ummmmmmm q interesante estos teoricos.. si que son maven es por eso que estan arriba --
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