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Veselin Topalov vs Leinier Dominguez Perez
M-Tel Masters (2009), Sofia BUL, rd 3, May-15
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: Dominguez looks to be in a very tight spot...
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: 47. Rxh6 and it's curtains
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Instead of Rxh6 another way to win is 47.Rg7+ Kf6 48.Rh7, which maintains pressure and that h pawn is still ripe for the taking.

Note that ...Bxh5? is always impossible because then White plays b7. Black's light-squared bishop cannot ever leave that diagonal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: ...and yet another winning idea is 47.b4, why not, a big fat pawn mass is better than one lone passer. Black will tip his king soon here I think.
May-15-09  Marmot PFL: Black's bishops are quite strong and largely offset the extra pawn (which is doubled)
May-15-09  TheBB: Rybka thinks b4 was a mistake and the evaluation is now quite level. It's been jumping back and forth between decisive white advantage and level for a while.
May-15-09  Marmot PFL: Seldom are knights well placed when they have to guard each other.
May-15-09  karnak64: Awesome! - double header! And a fascinating position to boot ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Did Topalov play inaccurately? Now the move that "had to win", Rxh6, leads to muddy complications: 48.Rxh6 Be4+ 49.Kb2 f3! and that black f-pawn is mighty quick.
May-15-09  BadKnight: and it is due to the advanced b pawn that the bishop fork on e4 is not a real threat, as the bishop cannot leave the long diagonal - is it so?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: OK here's my new analysis: this is an amazing draw, that goes something like this:

48.Rxh6 Be4+ 49.Kb2 f3

click for larger view

50.Rh7+! Kf6!! <50...Bxh7? 51.b7 f2 52.b8=Q f1=Q 53.Qe8+ > 51.Rh6+ Kf7 <51...Kf5 52.Rh7! => 52.Rh6+ Kf6 = draw by repetition

(As I typed this, I see that the boys went into my line, and nobody believes I thought of it. That's live chess for ya!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Actually "the boys" picked a different line, maybe there is still life left in this game... or is it really the same idea?
May-15-09  karnak64: Darn it -- fizzled out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: <karnak64: Darn it -- fizzled out.> No, Topalov blundered.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Topalov must have missed something before the livegame transmission started here...
Premium Chessgames Member Thanks to everybody for participating today--the games continue 9:00am USA/Eastern tomorrow morning. (For those curious, the only rest day of the tournament is next Monday, May 18th.)

Hope to see you back for more live chess tomorrow morning.

May-15-09  karnak64: <Agent Rgent>: yeah, that's a better way of putting it. :)
May-15-09  Eyal: <Topalov must have missed something before the livegame transmission started here...>

Apparently he had a rather simple win with 41.Rg7+ Kf6 42.Rg6+ Kf7 43.Bc3, and White picks up a third pawn.

That's already Dominguez's second miracle save (after Wang Yue vs L Dominguez, 2009) ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Eyal: <Apparently he had a rather simple win with 41.Rg7+ Kf6 42.Rg6+ Kf7 43.Bc3, and White picks up a third pawn.>> Yes, thanks, that's it! Position after <43.Bc3>:

click for larger view

looks indeed hopeless.

May-15-09  Blaise99a: Yes, hard to believe. Imagine if move were the ChessGames Find the Move of the day? How many difficulty stars would there be?

And the strange thing is that it is on move 41.

I would like to think that Topa was blitzing in time trouble and lost track of the move number. Anyone know what the clock was like at the end? Otherwise, what explains blundering on the 41st?

All in all, play hard to justify for a 2800 player. And in his home town. Very very disappointing in a champion.

May-15-09  Ezzy: Topalov - Dominguez [B90]
15.05.2009 M-Tel Masters

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.f3 Be6 9.Qd2 0–0 10.0–0–0 a5< A favourite of Bu Xiangzhi. 10...Nbd7 and 10...b5 are more popular.> 11.Qe1 <11 Bb5 is the main line. 11 Qe1 with the idea 12 Nc5. Anand and Karjakin have also played the 11 Qe1 line. >11...Qc8 12.a4 Nc6 13.g4 Nb4 14.Kb1 d5< Karjakin v Dominguez 2005 Dos Hermanos went 14...Ne8> 15.g5 Ne8 16.exd5 Bf5 17.Rd2 Nc7 18.Qd1N <This seems to be new. 18 Bc4 has been played before. 18 Qd1 does have a strong threat of 19 Ne4 Nbxd5 20 Rxd5 Nxd5 21 Qxd5 which is better for white. So black has to play.... >18...Rd8 <Now black has a strong counter threat 19...Ncxd5 20 Nxd5 Nxd5 21 Rxd5 Rxd5 and white can't play 22 Qxd5 because of 22...Qxc2+ 23 Kh1 Qb1 mate!! >19.Na1< To protect the c2 pawn, so now 20 d6 becomes a winning threat because when white moves his rook off the second rank to capture on d6, black can't now play ...Bxc2+ winning the queen. >19...Ne8 20.Bb5< With the idea of taking the knight on e8 and resuming with the 22 d6 winning threat. >20...Nd6 21.Qe2 Nxb5 22.Qxb5 Ra6 23.Rhd1 Rad6 24.h4 <Now the g5 pawn is protected 25 Bc5 is a threat.> 24...Bd7 25.Qc5 b6 26.Qxc8 Bxc8 <[26...Rxc8 27.Ne4 and the rook is lost.]> 27.Nb3 f6 28.gxf6 gxf6 29.Ne4 Rxd5 30.Bxb6 Rxd2 31.Nbxd2 Rd5 32.Nc3 Rd7 33.Bxa5 Bb7 34.Rg1+ Kf7 35.Nde4 f5 36.Ng5+ Kg6 37.h5+ Kg7< [37...Kh6?? 38.Nf7+ Kxh5 39.Bxb4 Bxb4 40.Rh1+ Kg6 41.Nxe5+] >38.Nb5 h6 39.Ne6+ Kf7 40.Nbc7 <Threatening 41 Bxb4 Bxb4 42 Rg7+ Kf6 43 Rxd7 winning> 40...Nc6 41.Bb6?< [41.Rg7+! Kf6 42.Rg6+ Kf7 43.Bc3 f4 44.Rxh6 Nd4 45.Bxd4 exd4 46.Ng5+ Bxg5 47.Rh7+ Kf6 48.Rxd7 Winning easily]> 41...Nb4 42.c3 Nd5 43.Rg7+ Kf6 44.Rg6+ Kf7 45.a5 Nxb6 46.axb6 Bxf3 47.b4 <The last chance to win was 47 Rxh6, but believe me the variation are long and comples and may even need further study. No chance of the players wading through the complexity. I have put the variations down just to show the amazing chess positions that can occur. This game is probably one of the most complex I have seen in a long time. The lines may not be 100% correct, but play around with what can happen, it's absolutely fascinating. [47.Rxh6 Be4+ 48.Ka2 The king here instead of on c2 gives white a chance to win, because he can avoid some mating threats by black. (48.Kc1 f4 49.Rh7+ Kf6 50.Nc5 Bxc5 51.Rxd7 f3 52.Kd1 f2 53.Ke2 Bf5 Only move 54.Rd1 Bg4+ 55.Kf1 Bh3+ Draw) 48...f4 49.Rh7+ Kf6 50.Nc5 Bxc5 51.Rxd7 f3 52.b7 Bxb7 (52...Ba7 53.Nb5 f2 54.Rd6+ Kf7 55.Rd1 Bd5+ 56.b3 e4 57.Nxa7 Bxb7 58.Nb5 e3 59.Nd4 Bf3 60.Rf1 Bg2 61.Rc1 f1Q 62.Rxf1+ Bxf1 63.b4 e2 64.Nxe2 Bxe2 65.h6 Kg6 Drawn) 53.h6 Be4 54.h7 Bxh7 55.Rxh7 f2 56.Rh1 e4 57.Kb3 e3 58.Nd5+ Ke5 59.Nxe3 Bxe3 60.Kc4 Ke4 61.b4 Wins]> 47...f4 48.Rg7+ Kf6 49.Rg6+ Kf7 50.Rg7+ Kf6 51.Rg6+ ½–½

What a game!! This was one of the most fascinating draws I have played through. Shame Topalov missed the win, but his head must of been bombarded with a million and one variations. It must have been so easy to get confused at what was going on when you've been sitting their for hours sifting through the variations.

You have to play through some of the variations after 47 Rxh6. It's mesmorising the types of positions you can get. White forcing a repetition to stop black from queening, Black forcing a repetition to stop white from queening. It's all there!!

I'm not surprised Topalov bailed out with a draw, because He knew he could probably lose if he played 47 Rxh6.

Oh the richness of chess. Absolutely fascinating. Great game!!

May-15-09  vonKrolock: <47.b4> With 47.♖xh6 instead, white had better perspectives, but as <Ezzy> showed above, the complexities were almost over-human... For instance, in that line 47.♖xh6 ♗e4+ 48.♔a2 f4 49.♖h7+, if black play 49...♔g8!? , could follow 50.♖g7+ ♔h8 51.h6 (probably best) 51...f3 (threat: f3-f2) 52.♖f7 ♔g8 53.h7+ ♔h8 and now is quite curious how white can still go wrong ... Analysis diagram

click for larger view

54.♘f8 wins in most variations, but after ♖d8, black escapes

May-16-09  mistreaver: <Ezzy> Great work was real pleasure to go throught the game with your comments in other window. Fascinating game , too bad topa didnt finish it
May-16-09  WhiteRook48: forcing a draw in a lost position
May-16-09  Ezzy: <mistreaver:> Thanks for the kind words.

Who said draws have to be boring? :-)

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