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Levon Aronian vs Veselin Topalov
Corus Group A (2008), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-12
Gruenfeld Defense: General (D80)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-12-08  GhostMorphy: 'Nice job Aronian, he is been doing his homework, he is gonna have a good tournament I am sure.' RIGHT. FUTURE IS FOR ARONIAN (SPECIALIST IN WINNING OF DOUBTFUL AND LOST POSITIONS) AND RADJABOV (WITH WONDERFUL VICTORY AGAINST ANAND!!!) 'Toplalov major fault was on move 22...Rac8? where he should have played 22...Rd7 with atleast euality in endgame' WRONG. TOPA HAD WINNING POSITION AFTER MOVE 20. BUT INSTEAD OF 21. ... B:a2. HE STARTED TO MANOEUVRE AND ALLOWED ARONIAN TO DEVELOP ACTIVITY. *****
Dr. Funkenstein, you are ridiculous...
Jan-12-08  Ezzy: <hovik2003: where he should have played 22...Rd7 with atleast euality in endgame.>


click for larger view

Dennis Monokroussos suggests that Topalov maight have had an hallucination in this position. He says -

22...Rac8? This move is bad for three reasons. First, trading all his queenside pawns undermines some of the advantage of having a rook. Rooks are long range pieces, but if all the pawns are on one side of the board, that strength is largely negated. Second, White's rook is very active and complements the minor pieces. By trading it off (or at least rendering it less active), White's game becomes more passive. And third, it loses a pawn! [22...Rd7 This would lose a piece to 23.Nxe6...if it were legal. Could Topalov have had some sort of hallucination? 23.Rxb7 Rxb7 24.Bxb7 Rb8 25.Be4 Rxb2+ 26.Kc3 Rb6! ]

I agree that it could be possible that Topalov rejected 22...Rd7 thinking he would lose a piece.

Jan-12-08  Ezzy: Topalov was seen walking away shaking his head. This seems to be a bitter blow for him. How does it affect Topalov when he feels bitterly disappointed? We'll have to wait and see.
Jan-12-08  GhostMorphy: 'The end of the Levon Aronian-Veselin Topalov game, saw the Bulgarian leaving shaking his head in disappointment. As black today, he completely took over initiative in the game, after cleverly sacrificing a pawn. The Armenian was displeased with his opening choice and play, specifically the plan with 8.Bf4. With 15.Qc4?! white was drifting deep, He did not appreciate that after the game continuation, with 16…Nd3+! He would have to lose his f2 pawn in addition to the exchange. Topalov could have definitely done better had he played the logical 22…Rd7! keeping his winning chances. Instead he was consuming oodles of time - as was his opponent, and in time trouble lost control of events, trying too hard in a drawish position. Levon gained the upper hand and never let go. /from www.coruschess.com/
Jan-12-08  Ezzy: <Eyal - Chessdom should really look for another commentator> Quite harsh. I have heard a few commentators state that this was a difficult game to understand.
Jan-12-08  KamikazeAttack: <GhostMorphy: 'The end of the Levon Aronian-Veselin Topalov game, saw the Bulgarian leaving shaking his head in disappointment. As black today, he completely took over initiative in the game, after cleverly sacrificing a pawn. The Armenian was displeased with his opening choice and play, specifically the plan with 8.Bf4. With 15.Qc4?! white was drifting deep, He did not appreciate that after the game continuation, with 16…Nd3+! He would have to lose his f2 pawn in addition to the exchange. Topalov could have definitely done better had he played the logical 22…Rd7! keeping his winning chances. Instead he was consuming oodles of time - as was his opponent, and in time trouble lost control of events, trying too hard in a drawish position. Levon gained the upper hand and never let go. /from www.coruschess.com/>;

The above illustrates just complex chess is even for these players.

Who blundered less or last?

Blundering remains Topa's achilles tendon.

Jan-12-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Ezzy: <Eyal - Chessdom should really look for another commentator> Quite harsh. I have heard a few commentators state that this was a difficult game to understand.>

Not after 54. Ke6 it wasn't. :-)

Jan-12-08  GhostMorphy: zeitnot. not difficult to understand
Jan-12-08  GhostMorphy: Dear KamikazeAtack, everyone can make a blunder, especially in zeitnot. I insist that the position after 20.B:h1 was lost for white.
Jan-12-08  GhostMorphy: Alekhine was specialist in winning such positions
Jan-12-08  whatthefat: After watching the first half of this game, I can scarcely believe the result. A draw didn't seem out of the question, but a LOSS?! Topalov seems to have a knack for meltdowns like nobody else, yet there'd be no surprise if he's challenging for the tournament by the end. Such a temperamental player.
Jan-12-08  cionics: Fun game!
Jan-13-08  hovik2003: <Ezzy:> <hovik2003: where he should have played 22...Rd7 with atleast euality in endgame.>

Well that makes me really proud of myself, I was following the game live and I spotted 22...Rd7 right after Aronian's move and I commented right then ...Rac8 is wrong, I think the Greek is right that Topalov must have been in hallucination or illusion of some kind and thought he is losing a piece after illigal 23.Nxe6

Jan-13-08  hovik2003: <KamikazeAttack> <Blundering remains Topa's achilles tendon.>

Well don't feel so bad, lack of opening preparations and medioce opening play is most Armenian GM's achilles heel also.

Jan-13-08  Eyal: <karnak64: shouldn't losing an early round or two in a major tournament be called "The Topalov Gambit"?> Yes - sacrificing a game to get the initiative...
Jan-13-08  ahmadov: <Yes: shouldn't losing an early round or two in a major tournament be called "The Topalov Gambit"?> I agree... If Topa loses the first game in a tournament this promises nothing good for his opponents for the rest of the tourney... He will definitely become wild in his games to come...
Jan-13-08  sandmanbrig: 51 ...Rc7+ 52 Kf6 Rxe3 53 Kxg5 seems fine for black.
Jan-13-08  DiscerningKing: Aronian .. GREAT SAC!!! Thank you for this Outstanding Game...
Jan-13-08  whatthefat: <hovik2003BC: Well don't feel so bad, lack of opening preparations and medioce opening play is most Armenian GM's achilles heel also.>

Well of course, they're genetically predisposed aren't they?

Jan-13-08  Eyal: <sandmanbrig: 51 ...Rc7+ 52 Kf6 Rxe3 53 Kxg5 seems fine for black.>

Position after 51...Rc7+:


click for larger view

More challenging for Black here would be 52.Ke8, after which 52...Rxe3+? loses to 53.Kf8 and Black has run out of checks and is trapped in a mating net. Instead, Black should play 52...Rb7! and if 53.e4 then Ra3. Note that 52.Ra7? with a similar idea would fail to 53.e4 Rb3 54.Rh6+ Kg8 (or 54...Kg7 55.Rh7+) 55.Be6+ winning the black rook.

Jan-15-08  Hot Logic: Kasparov once stalemated trying to mate with Q+B in a blitz game so I guess Topalov can try and defend the Lucena position if he wants to, I'm sure the game would be instructive to 1200 players...
Jan-15-08  Everett: Some better than 1200 don't know the position <Hot Logic>
Jan-19-08  minasina: http://www.chessdom.com/corus-chess... This was LIVE commentary with Milena Stefanova

http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli... This was LIVE commentary with GM Sergey Zagrebelny (in Russian) (“Translated”: http://www.google.com/translate?u=h... The board is not functioning at the translated page)

http://online.crestbook.com/wijk08-... This was GM Sergei Shipov ‘s LIVE commentary (in Russian)

Jun-25-08  diabloprancer: This game also shows the fine line between one player sacrificing the exchange and another player winning the exchange. These players are experienced with both.
Nov-25-13  911Porsche: Topalov played well until 41 ... Rd5? losing a pawn and giving Aronian an overwhelming pawn majority (well worth the bishop-rook exchange made earlier)
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