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Veselin Topalov vs Vasyl Ivanchuk
"Passed with Flying Colors" (game of the day Sep-14-2008)
Grand Slam Chess Final (2008), Bilbao ESP, rd 10, Sep-13
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation (D47)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-13-08  Woody Wood Pusher: <noescape><It had the highest average rating, but as Sonas noted, that doesn't make it the most difficult to win,>

No, well it doesn't exactly make it any easier!

Sep-13-08  SetNoEscapeOn: Sonas' point is that if you take these same players, and toss in say, Kramnik, Gelfand, Leko, and Grishuk, the tournament does not become any easier to win, actually it becomes harder, if you measure by % chance to win the event.
Sep-13-08  Woody Wood Pusher: <the tournament does not become any easier to win, actually it becomes harder, if you measure by % chance to win the event.>

That thinking only applies to pulling balls out of a bag or something like that. An 'on-form' Topalov would more than likely continue to fair better in the field than everyone else, so his chance of winning would not be decreased significantly by adding a few more players.

Sep-13-08  MindCtrol9: <Very Good Game>
Sep-13-08  Ron: <marmot PFL: How many have been #1 this year? Unofficially Anand, Carlsen, Morozevich, Ivanchuk, now evidently Topalov.>

We are in a "first among equals" period in chess.

Sep-13-08  cannibal: <Marmot PFL: How many have been #1 this year? Unofficially Anand, Carlsen, Morozevich, Ivanchuk, now evidently Topalov. >

Plus Kramnik. (Shared first on the official January list, and unshared first in live ratings for a short while during parts of the Corus tournament)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: When I saw that pawn on d7 (had to leave for an appointment) I had a feeling that Topa would find a way to get the maximum out of his advantages, and sure enough...
Sep-13-08  cade: < so his chance of winning would not be decreased significantly by adding a few more players.>

You just defeated your own argument there by admitting that his chance of winning would be decreased at all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: An ending of which Capablanca would have been proud. White's manouvers with the Bishop from moves 30-39 will be published in endgame texts for decades to come. Congratulations, Topalov.
Sep-13-08  Ezzy: Topalov,Veselin (2777) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2781) [D47] (10), 13.09.2008 Bibao Grand Slam Final

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.a3 Bd6 10.0–0 0–0 11.Qc2 h6< Kramnik played 11...a5 against Topalov in their world championship match. >12.e4< Novelty. Straight to the point as it does threaten 13 e5> 12...e5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.h3 a6 16.Be3 c5< A pawn sacrifice to free his position. Black's pieces are well placed and he does have pressure on e4.> 17.Bxc5 Re8 18.Rad1 Qc7 19.Nd5< [19.b4 Bxc3 20.Qxc3 Nxe4 Winning the pawn back.]> 19...Nxd5 20.exd5 Bxb2 21.d6 Qc6 22.f3 Rec8 23.Bh7+ Kh8 24.Be4 Qxc5+ 25.Qxc5 Rxc5 26.Bxb7 Rd8 27.Rfe1 Be5< Ivanchuk gets into serious trouble after this. [27...Re5 28.Rxe5 Bxe5 29.d7 a5 Looks safer for Ivanchuk.]> 28.d7 a5 29.f4 Bc7< Only move due to 30 Re8+ threat. >30.Bd5 Kh7 <30...g5 may be the best try here, but white still retains a strong initiative. [30...Rxd7? 31.Re8+ Kh7 32.Be4+ f5 33.Rxd7 fxe4 34.Rxe4 and white is an exchange up] >31.Bxf7 Rf5< [31...Bxf4 32.Re6! Threatening 33 Bg6+ and mate in 2.] >32.Ba2 <It would be the gift of the year if Topalov was allowed 33 Bb1 pinning the rook to the king.> 32...Rxf4< But alas no :-)> 33.Bb1+ Kg8 34.Bg6 Bb6+ 35.Kh1 Bc5 36.Rc1? <This gives black time to defend because the d7 pawn is no longer defended. [36.Rd3 Rff8 37.Re5 Bb6 38.Rf3 Seems quite strong]> 36...Bf8 <Now white can't play 37 Rc8 because of 37..Rxd7 and the bishop on f8 covers the check.> 37.Red1 Bxa3?< It is tempting to play this, giving himself 2 connected passed pawns, but whites infiltration to c8 with his rook seems decisive. Topalov's vision here is just top drawer. A player in fantastic form! [37...Rc4! Seems to solve all Ivanchuk's problems. 38.Rb1 b4 39.axb4 axb4 Looks ok for black.]> 38.Rc8 Rff8 39.Be8! Be7 40.Re1 Bg5 41.g3 <This keeps Topalov's attack going. The aim is to get the bishop off the h4 d8 diaganol where he protects his d8 rook.> 41...a4 42.h4 Bf6 43.Re6 1-0 <If 43...Rxd7 it is still a technical win for white, although it might take a while.>

A brilliant game by Topalov to finish the tournament and become the deserveing winner of the first Grand Slam Final!!

A big winning margin in one of the strongest tournaments of all time. Topalov is back with a bang! His chess vision in this game was excellent. I fear for Kamsky after this performance. Just when the world championship contenders are floundering, Topalov hits is best form since his 2005 world championship tournament win. This is great for chess.

Anand not winning a game in the tournament and finishing last is a bit of a worry, but you can’t escape the fact that his mind must be solely on his World championship match. He’ll be more than ready for that, as will Kramnik.

Great tournament, with many exciting games. To say I’m impressed with Topalov’s play is an understatement. He was magnificent! Could he win the world title again. I wouldn’t bet against it.

So many candidates to be the world champion and world number one. The chess scene is looking pretty good at the elite level at the moment.

Sep-13-08  Ezzy: <An Englishman: White's manouvers with the Bishop from moves 30-39 will be published in endgame texts for decades to come. Congratulations, Topalov.>

Absolutely. Great play with the white bishop!

One of my favourite games of Topalov with his white squared bishop was this - Topalov vs Anand, 2005

Topalov moves his white bishop twice to get to d5 where it sits for 24 moves, and when it moves for its 3rd and final time, it should of won the game for Topalov, but Anand escaped by the skin of his teeth in one of the most exciting games I have ever watched live. The picture on that page was the best I've seen. It captured the moment brilliantly of how a 7 hour chess struggle can affect a player.

Sep-14-08  BarcelonaFirenze: Do you agree with the tournament regulations? 3 points per win, etc.? I think it might be interesting in the future.
Sep-14-08  Ybrevo: <BarcelonaFirenze>

It has been a great success in football leagues for many years, so why not try it in chess? I am sure there will be more fights for a win, and you are not in a hopeless position after a bad start.

And by the way: Congratulations to Topalov for a very impressing tournament.

Sep-14-08  drukenbishop: Looks like black fell for the ol' Bh7+/Bxh7+ move! reminds me of that lasker game with the double bishop sacrifice (link anyone?) except Top didn't sacrifice the bishop! Black did well by exchanging queens and holding the pawn off as long as he did.

Anyhow, is this really a loss for black? Is it THAT foregone a conclusion that white will queen the pawn? I think black has counterplay with his passed pawns!

After the obvious a3! how will white continue? Ivanchuk are you out there? Tell us why you resigned!

Sep-14-08  capatal: Topalov is peaking with dynamic industrial strength Chess!
Sep-14-08  badest: <After the obvious a3! how will white continue? Ivanchuk are you out there? Tell us why you resigned!> 44. Rxf6, a2 45. Ra6 ... or 44. Rxf6, Rxf6 45. Rxd8 ...

Black loses the R on d8 no matter what.

How is the position "savable" you think?

Sep-14-08  Knight to f6: 29.Bf6 looks better than the move in the game; The bishop on c7 gets in the rook's way. An excellent game overall.
Sep-14-08  parisattack: Lasker vs J Bauer is the famous Lasker double-bishop sac.
Sep-14-08  jhoro: <Knight to f6: 29.Bf6 looks better than the move in the game; The bishop on c7 gets in the rook's way. An excellent game overall.> 29...Bf6 loses to 30.Re8+ Kh7 31.Rd6 31.Bh4 32.g3 and the bishop is chased away.

FEN after 31.Rd6

click for larger view

Sep-14-08  Miachonzinho: wonderful end by Topalov, with opposite colors bishops
Premium Chessgames Member
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The interlocking feature of black and white pieces reminds me of a brick wall. Are the white pieces the bricks and the black the mortar or is it the other way around?
Oct-09-08  melianis: Interesting how differently people see these games, compared to <Ezzy>'s analysis, I have some different decisive points after going through this game with computer, though on the main points we agree :-).
Feb-02-09  dwavechess: 33/43 for Topalov with rybka 3 at 3 minutes per move
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Topalov played a great game, although I feel strongly that Black did not have to lose this game.
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