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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Veselin Topalov
Corus Group A (2007), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-20
King's Indian Defense: Makagonov Variation (E71)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-20-07  PeerGynt: <acirce> OMG! But why Kramnik just did not say so? If you remember Danailov consulted a doctor before he accused Kramnik of strange behavior. He did not want to look bad guy, if it turns out this behavior to be related to health issues. And Kramnik did not want to admit health problem while it was obvious for everybody seeing him. I don't understand people sometimes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: What does black do after 34. Rxe1 Bxc2 35. Re8+ Nf8 36. Be3 ? If 36...Qd1+, then 37. Rf1. If 36...Qxd5, then 37. Rxf8+ Kh7 38. Bb2. If black gives back the ♕, say, with 36...Qxf2+ 37. Kxf2, then the ♘ on f8 is pinned, and black has to give up the exchange with 37...Rg8 to defend it.

I must be missing something. What?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <al wazir> If 34. Rxe1!? Bxc2 35. Re8+ Nf8 36. Be3:

click for larger view

I think Black's best is 36 ... Qxd5 hitting g2 while indirectly defending the Bc2 (37. Rxc2? Qd1+). White wins the Nf8 with check next but only ends up with RN vs Q, plus Black is now up 3 Pawns, so maybe White discounted that possibility out of hand.

Jan-20-07  csmath: On a somber note, what's up with these Russian chess players. They do seem to have rather huge hygiene problems. Shaving or washing hair is rather rare overthere, drinking problem rather often, and now even smelly pants in public. This is indeed strange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <tpstar>: Thanks. Yes, my move is no good unless white can pick up some more material, either the ♗ or the exchange. BTW, let me correct the moves I gave in the line you looked at: 34. Rxe1 Bxc2 35. Re8+ Nf8 36. Be3 Qxd5 37. Rfxf8+ (better than Rexf8+) Kh7 38. Rh8+ (Bb2 is impossible) Kg6, and now 39. Ng8, though it looks peculiar, gives white some threats.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Fritz 7 Deep Position Analysis [20MB]:

34. Rxe1 Bxc2 35. Re8+ Nf8 36. Be3 Qxd5 37. Rfxf8+ Kh7 38. Rh8+ Kg6 39. Ng8:

click for larger view

1) 39 ... h3 40. Rxh3 Kf7 41. Re7+ Kxg8 42. Rxg7+ Kxg7 [-8.75/13]

2) 39 ... h3 40. Ne7+ Rxe7 41. Rh6+ Kf7 42. Rxe7+ Kxe7 [-9.59/14]

Note 40. gxh3 runs into 41 ... Kf7+ followed by 42 ... Qg2+ and 43 ... Kxe8.

Jan-21-07  notyetagm: <Ulhumbrus: The move 5 h3?! looks like the first dubious move.>

My goodness! 5 h3 is called the <Makogonov System> against the KID. It's leading practicioner, Krasenkov, scores like 80%(!) with it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <Ulhumbrus: <Mameluk> 5 h3?! moves a pawn in the opening and so attracts suspicion. It may well turn out to be a mistake if Black responds correctly.>

You mean 5. h3, not 5. h3?!. Most opening involve the moving of pawns -- are they all suspicious? It's not a mistake, at least according to current opening theory.

Perhaps it would be wise to learn about this move before criticizing it as if it's actually the reason he lost. Here's a good starter: King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3) (E71)

Jan-21-07  Strongest Force: Topolov's play is a ideal demonstration of how chess pieces should harmoniously work together. When the army is properly deployed it makes decision-making very easy for the alert player.
Jan-21-07  Ulhumbrus: <ganstaman> I do mean 5 h3?! and not 5 h3. There may happen to be some reason which justifies h3?! or the move may be useful in some variations , but it does move a pawn in the opening, and it may well simply lose a tempo for development if Black can find the right course to adopt against it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <Ulhumbrus: <ganstaman> I do mean 5 h3?! and not 5 h3. There may happen to be some reason which justifies h3?! or the move may be useful in some variations , but it does move a pawn in the opening, and it may well simply lose a tempo for development if Black can find the right course to adopt against it.>

Ok, then show me how it loses a tempo. If you want help, maybe you could check out the link I provided so you can see many many games with this opening so you can get an idea how strong players take advantage of this 'tempo loss.'

Maybe while you're there you can read the kibitzing. I know of at least 1 post that explains why this move is good and in fact tries to save a tempo later on. Just because it's a pawn move doesn't mean it's bad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <tpstar>: I guess that settles that. Thanks again.
Jan-22-07  Ulhumbrus: <ganstaman> One possible way to take advantage of 5 h3?!- or indeed, the right way- may be 6...c5 as Topalov played in the present game.
Jan-22-07  djmercury: <<Mameluk> 5 h3?! moves a pawn in the opening and so attracts suspicion.> 1. d4?! Nf6 2. c4?! g6?! 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4?! d6?! 5. h3?! 0-0 6. Bg5 c5?! 7. d5?! e6?! ... lot of suspicious moves in the early stage of this game.
Jan-22-07  Ulhumbrus: <djmercury> You may care to look up Lasker's manual of chess and see what Lasker has to say on pawn moves in the opening. Some are useful such as e4 which frees the KB and controls the central point d5, but some pawn moves are not really that useful and h3 may be an example. To quote Lasker : " distrust a pawn move in the opening, examine its balance sheet carefully... this sentiment is ...very strong amongst masters and likely to last unchanged"
Jan-22-07  Shajmaty: <csmath: <Too many errors by Pono under time pressure: 30. Qc2? (he was O.K. after 30. Qd3), 31. Ng4? and 33. Bc1?> No, he wasn't OK. And Qd3 as opposed to Qc2 was a rather subtle difference that you cannot spot yourself ever.> You are not able to see the difference, but that doesn't make it subtle! 30...Bg6 doesn't work after 30. Qd3, because of Qxa6 or even Bh6 (better than in the game, since d4 is covered by the Queen on d3): 30. Qd3, Bg6? 31. Bh6, Qd4; 32. Qxd4, cxd4; 33. Nc4. Only try for Black is 30...Qd4; 31. Qxd4, cxd4 since 30...Rxa4 (the reason for Ponomariov playing Qc2?) fails to 31. Nf5, Bg6; 32. Qd1. Qc2 is therefore an error, <csmath>, q.e.d.
Nov-14-07  Kasparov Fan01: Anyone knwo why Topalov has over the last few years become stronger and more exciting? Where did this improvement come from?
Nov-14-07  ivan999: He has always been exciting to watch. He said in an interview that he really raised his level when he was working as a second to Ponomariov himself, preparing Ruslan for its match against Kasparov (the match didn't take place)
Nov-14-07  parisattack: <Kasparov Fan01: Anyone knwo why Topalov has over the last few years become stronger and more exciting? Where did this improvement come from?>

I think he has taken the openings more seriously, playing a slightly less risky repertoire - look at some of his choices up to around 2000, compare with now.

Nov-15-07  Kasparov Fan01: I also heard that he became stronger by praparing with Ponomariov, but I don't understand how? Other players don't become stronger, why has Topa after all these years? IT seems that he is playing atleast 50 elo better, which at that level makes all the difference in the world, seems as though he has a better understanding of the game, almost like Kasparov in attacks...
Nov-15-07  chessmoron: <Kasparov Fan01> It's quite simple. Pono, Topalov and Cheparinov are clients of Danailov. And the 3 are training buddies.
Dec-26-08  notyetagm: Outstanding Black KID win by Topalov.
Feb-08-10  notyetagm: *Tremendous* <KNIGHT PLAY> by Topalov to end an excellent win.
Sep-21-15  SpiritedReposte: Would be tough to analyze all that on the clock.
Mar-13-20  ewan14: Nice play by black
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