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Veselin Topalov
Topalov 
Photograph copyright © 2005 World Chess Championship Press.  
Number of games in database: 2,316
Years covered: 1986 to 2020
Last FIDE rating: 2735 (2707 rapid, 2667 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2816

Overall record: +507 -279 =710 (57.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 820 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (204) 
    B90 B33 B48 B80 B30
 Ruy Lopez (160) 
    C84 C78 C65 C67 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (74) 
    C84 C92 C95 C90 C87
 Slav (67) 
    D12 D17 D15 D18 D11
 Queen's Gambit Declined (66) 
    D37 D38 D39 D31 D30
 King's Indian (64) 
    E92 E94 E97 E60 E81
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (293) 
    B90 B51 B80 B33 B30
 Ruy Lopez (98) 
    C67 C65 C78 C84 C69
 Sicilian Najdorf (96) 
    B90 B92 B91 B93 B97
 King's Indian (83) 
    E92 E97 E94 E81 E67
 Queen's Pawn Game (80) 
    E10 A46 D02 A40 E00
 Modern Benoni (55) 
    A70 A57 A58 A62 A67
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Topalov vs Kramnik, 2008 1-0
   Topalov vs Aronian, 2006 1-0
   Topalov vs Anand, 2005 1-0
   Anand vs Topalov, 2005 1/2-1/2
   Topalov vs Ponomariov, 2005 1-0
   Topalov vs Kasparov, 1996 1-0
   Kharlov vs Topalov, 2004 0-1
   Kramnik vs Topalov, 2005 0-1
   Topalov vs Bareev, 2002 1-0
   Svidler vs Topalov, 2005 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament 2001/02 (2001)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005)
   Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006)
   Anand - Topalov World Championship Match (2010)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   10th Euwe Memorial (1996)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (1999)
   Dortmund Candidates (2002)
   Norway Chess (2015)
   Corus Group A (2006)
   Corus Group A (2007)
   Linares (1995)
   Morelia-Linares (2008)
   Gibraltar Masters (2015)
   Champions Showdown (2019)
   Linares (1994)
   Moscow Olympiad (1994)
   Gibraltar Masters (2017)
   Dresden Olympiad (2008)
   Istanbul Olympiad (2012)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   T Tops Distract Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Match Topalov! by docjan
   Match Topalov! by amadeus
   Exchange sacs - 1 by obrit
   Exchange sacs - 1 by Baby Hawk
   Power Chess - Topalov by Anatoly21
   Topalov! by larrewl
   Topalov great games by Topzilla
   Classic Topalov by amadeus
   Topalov and the two bishops by OJC
   Najdorf, English Attack by Retarf
   Najdorf, English Attack by AdrianP

RECENT GAMES:
   🏆 Gibraltar Masters
   Deac vs Topalov (Jan-30-20) 1/2-1/2
   Topalov vs P L Basso (Jan-29-20) 1-0
   M Antipov vs Topalov (Jan-28-20) 1/2-1/2
   Topalov vs Kotronias (Jan-27-20) 1-0
   R Praggnanandhaa vs Topalov (Jan-26-20) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Veselin Topalov
Search Google for Veselin Topalov
FIDE player card for Veselin Topalov


VESELIN TOPALOV
(born Mar-15-1975, 46 years old) Bulgaria

[what is this?]

IM (1989); GM (1992); World U14 Champion (1989); Olympiad Gold Medalist (1994); FIDE World Champion (2005-06); World Championship Challenger (2010); Candidate (2011, 2014 and 2016); winner of the 2012-13 Grand Prix series.

Preamble

Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov was born in Rousse, Bulgaria. He learned chess at eight years old from his father and began a training/mentoring relationship with Silvio Danailov when he was twelve.

Youth championships

In 1989, he won the World Under-14 championship in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. In 1990 he won a silver medal in the World Under-16 Championship in Singapore.

World Championships

In the knockout tournaments for the FIDE World Chess Championship, Topalov was seeded into the second round in Groningen in 1998, and lost to Jeroen Piket. Again seeded into the second round at the championships in Las Vegas in 1999, Topalov reached the last 16 defeating Ruslan Ponomariov and Lev Psakhis before bowing out to Vladimir Kramnik. In New Delhi and Tehran in 2000, he reached the quarter-finals - again from a second round start - defeating Andrei Vasilyevich Kharlov, Kiril Dimitrov Georgiev and Aleksey Dreev before losing to Michael Adams. In 2002, he defeated Juan Facundo Pierrot, Giovanni Portilho Vescovi and Zhong Zhang before losing to Shirov. He reached the semi-finals in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004) in Tripoli, defeating Tarik Abulhul, Aleksander Petkov Delchev, Sergei Movsesian, Zdenko Kozul and Andrei Vasilyevich Kharlov in the earlier rounds before losing to eventual winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

He also took part in the 2002 Dortmund Candidates' tournament to determine a challenger for World Classical Champion Kramnik, but lost the finals match to Peter Leko.

On the strength of his rating, Topalov was invited to the eight-player, double round-robin FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005) in San Luis, Argentina, in September–October 2005. Scoring 6½/7 in the first cycle, Topalov had virtually clinched the tournament at the halfway mark, before drawing every game in the second cycle to win by 1½ points to become FIDE World Chess Champion. The average rating of the field in the championship was 2739, and Topalov's performance rating was 2890. In 2006 he lost his title to Kramnik in the reunification Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006) played in Elista, under the auspices of FIDE. By losing the reunification match, Topalov lost his chance to compete in the World Championship Tournament (2007) . Danailov expressed a desire for a rematch between Topalov and Kramnik, proposing a match in March 2007, though no such match took place. The issue was settled in June 2007 when Topalov (as well as Kramnik) was granted special privileges in the 2008-09 championship cycle. Topalov was given direct entry to a "Challenger Match" against Gata Kamsky, the winner of the World Chess Cup (2007). The Topalov - Kamsky Candidates Final (2009) (the Challenger Match) took place in February 2009 in Hall 6 of NDK Sofia. Topalov won that match 4½-2½ and qualified to play against the World Champion Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Champion title, but he lost the Anand - Topalov World Championship Match (2010) by 6½-5½. Topalov automatically qualified for the World Championship Candidates (2011) for the World Chess Championship 2012, where he was the top seed. He faced 8th seeded Gata Kamsky in Kazan in Russia and lost his match 1.5-2.5 (+0 =3 -1), and was thereby eliminated from the 2012 World Championship cycle. He declined to participate in the World Cup (2011) and there was speculation about his future Championship intentions.

Late in 2012, Topalov rejoined the championship circuit from which he had been noticeably absent to take =1st alongside Boris Gelfand and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov at the 1st FIDE Grand Prix London (2012) of the 2012-2013 series, which was held in London. His score of 7/11 (+3 =8 -0; TPR 2834) netted him the 140 points to give a flying start to his 2014 World Championship campaign. A superb follow up at the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013), the 3rd event in the GP series, saw him take outright 1st with 8/11 (+5 =6) with a stellar performance rating for the event of 2924. It also added 170 Grand Prix points to his tally to take him to the lead with 310 points. A poor performance at the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013) with 4.5/11 earned him only 45 Grand Prix points, however, his =3rd in the FIDE Grand Prix Beijing (2013) earned him enough Grand Prix points to win the Grand Prix and guarantee his qualification into the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014). (1) His official rating also qualified him to participate in the World Cup (2013) if he so chose, but instead he successfully gambled that he would qualify via the Grand Prix series. At the Candidates event that was held in March 2014 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Topalov scored a disappointing 6/14 to place 8th and last.

Topalov qualified by rating to play in the World Cup (2015). In the first round he defeated Oladapo Oluto Adu of Nigeria by 2-0, Sergei Zhigalko by 1.5-0.5 in round two and Lu Shanglei in the first set of rapid game tiebreakers in round three. He played Peter Svidler in the Round of Sixteen (fourth round) and lost the standard games match 0.5-1.5 to bow out of the event. However, he qualified by rating to play in the World Championship Candidates (2016).

Tournaments

Topalov first major tournament wins were Terrassa 1992 and Budapest zonal-B 1993. He played in Linares 1994 (6½/13), Linares 1995 (8/13), Amsterdam 1995, and won at Polanica Zdroj and Elenite in 1995. In March 1996, Topalov won at Amsterdam (coming =1st with Garry Kasparov), Vienna (ahead of Anatoly Karpov), Novgorod, and Dos Hermanas (1st-2nd with Kramnik). In 1996, he was invited to Las Palmas, the first category 21 tournament, where he scored 5/10, in a field including Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik and Karpov. In 1996 he also took a series of top-level tournament wins-- Madrid and Dos Hermanas in May, Novgorod in July, Vienna in August, as well as Leon - to firmly establish himself among the world's leading players. Between 1997 and 2003, Topalov continued his tournament successes, winning at Antwerp 1997, Madrid 1997, Monaco 2001, Dortmund 2001 (joint first with Kramnik), NAO Chess Masters Cannes 2002 (joint first with Gelfand), the Hotel Bali Stars (2003) at Benidorm 2003, and coming 2nd at the category 16 tournament in Bosnia in 2001. 2004 saw Topalov participate in Corus Group A (2004) and Linares (2004) (coming =4th on both occasions), and in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004). He began 2005 by climbing to third place on FIDE's world ranking list. Topalov finished 3rd behind Peter Leko and Anand at Corus 2005 and tied for first (coming second on count back) with Garry Kasparov at Linares (2005) in Kasparov’s final tournament. Two months later, he won the inaugural MTel Masters (2005) event by a full point over Viswanathan Anand the average rating of the participants was 2744, making this super-GM, double round-robin tournament the strongest in 2005. After his =2nd at Dortmund in 2005, Topalov followed up his 2005 World Championship Tournament victory (see below) with +5 and joint first (with Anand) at Corus Group A (2006) and =2nd at Morelia-Linares (2006). There followed his successful defence of MTel Masters (2006) (with 6.5/10, half a point ahead of Gata Kamsky whom he beat 2-0), Topalov started the tournament somewhat hesitantly to later record four consecutive wins and decisively claim the title.

Topalov rebounded from his world championship reunification match loss to Kramnik in 2006 to finish equal first (with Levon Aronian and Teimour Radjabov) at the category 19 Corus Group A (2007), but then a poor performance at Morelia-Linares (2007) caused him to lose his #1 spot in the world rankings to Anand. The next year, he regained the #1 position by convincingly winning the inaugural Grand Slam Chess Final (2008), scoring +4 -1 =5 in the category-22 tournament. Also in 2007, he won the Mtel Masters (2007), the Liga de Campeones (2007) (a point and a half a head of Ruslan Ponomariov), and in 2008 he won Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2008) (a point and a half ahead of Aronian). In 2009, he came 2nd with Magnus Carlsen behind Alexey Shirov in the M-Tel Masters (2009) and second behind Carlsen at the latter’s blitz at Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2009). Soon after losing the world title bid in 2010, Topalov participated in the Essent Chess Tournament. He finished third of four players with only 2½ points from 6 games and a 2645 performance. He lost both games against Judit Polgar and one against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Topalov won the Linares (2010) held from February 13 to 24 in Andalusia, Spain, defeating 2009 Chess World Cup champion Boris Gelfand in his final game. He finished 2010 with 4.5/10 at Nanjing Pearl Spring Tournament (2010). Topalov continued his unremarkable form since narrowly losing his 2010 World Championship match when in early 2012, he finished tenth at the category 21 Tata Steel Group A (2012), scoring 5/13 (+1 -4 =8; TPR 2672), before returning to form in the 1st Grand Prix of the 2012-13 series (see above), in the European Club Cup (2012), and with his =1st (2nd on tiebreak) at the Kings' Tournament (2012). That form, however, was less than par in the category 21 Norway Chess (2013) where he finished in the bottom half of the field with 4/9.

In August and September 2014, Topalov competed in the round robin category category 23 Sinquefield Cup (2014), where he placed outright 3rd with 5/10 behind Caruana and Carlsen respectively. In January 2015, he competed at Tradewise Gibraltar (2015) and placed =3rd behind Hikaru Nakamura and David Howell. In June 2015, Topalov had the finest result of his career since San Luis 2005 when he led the field from start to finish to win the category 23 Norway Chess (2015) event, in which most of the world's top 10 participated. Topalov's result was 6.5/9 (+5 -1 =3) for a 2946 PR, half a point ahead of Hikaru Nakamura and Anand. He also recorded both his career best live rating and official ratings as a result of this event, adding 18 rating points to his resume. At the Sinquefield Cup (2015), his score of 4.5/9 was essentially rating-neutral midfield, however his gains were undone at the London Chess Classic (2015) where he finished last with 2.5/9, shedding 23 rating points.

Olympiads

Topalov has been the leader of the Bulgarian national team since 1994 and has played top board for Bulgaria at every Olympiad in which he participated including Moscow 1994, Yerevan 1996, Elista 1998, Istanbul 2000, Dresden 2008, Khanty-Mansiysk 2010, the Chess Olympiad (2012) in Istanbul and the Chess Olympiad (2014) in Tromsø. In 1994, he led the Bulgarians to a fifth-place finish, winning the gold medal for the top board, scoring 8.5/12 (TPR 2781). He won the silver medal for the top board in 1998 and 2000, scoring 8/11 on both occasions. In 2008, he won bronze with 6.5/8 and a TPR of 2821. In 2014, he won individual gold for the top board, having scored a TPR of 2872.

Other Team Play

<National> In 1989 and 1990, Topalov played in the Bulgarian team contesting the Boys' Balkaniads competition, playing on board 2 in 1989 and board 1 in 1990, winning individual gold on both occasions, as well as a team gold in 1989 and team bronze in 1990. In 1994, he played top board for the gold medal winning Bulgarian national team in the Balkaniad team competition, and won an individual bronze. Topalov played top board for Bulgaria in the European Team Championships of 1999 (where he won individual gold), 2007, 2009 and 2011. Playing for Bulgaria, he also won individual gold for the top board at the European Team Championship (2013).

<European Club Cup (ECC)> In 1999, he played 3 games for the gold medal winning ECC team ŠK Bosna Sarajevo, winning two and drawing one. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, he played for SOCAR Baku: at the European Club Cup (2012), he played board 3, winning both individual and team gold. Topalov played board 3 for SOCAR in the European Club Cup (2013), scoring a solid 4.5/6 and winning individual and team bronze. In the European Club Cup (2014), he repeated his 2012 triumph by winning team and individual gold (this time for board 2). Playing board one at the European Club Cup (2015), Topalov won individual and team silver.

Matches

Topalov won the Topalov - Nisipeanu Match (2006) by 3-1 (+2 =2 -0) in April 2006, the Blind Chess World Duel (2006) against Polgar by 3.5-2.5, and the Topalov - Laznicka Match (2013) by 4-2 (+3 -1 =2).

Rapid

Topalov won the Dos Hermanas XIV (2008) , 17–21 April 2008, defeating Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain) 2½–1½ in the final match by winning the first game and drawing the rest. He also won the Villarrobledo International Rapid Open (2008) with a commanding 8/9.

Ratings and rankings

<Classical> After Kasparov's retirement, Topalov topped the FIDE World Rating List from April 2006 to January 2007, during which time his Elo rating peaked at 2813, a level that had been surpassed only by Garry Kasparov, and subsequently by Anand, Carlsen, Aronian and Caruana. He regained the world #1 ranking again in October 2008, and officially remained #1 until January 2010, when he fell to #2 behind Carlsen. He has been ranked number one a total of 27 months in his career, the fifth all-time high since the inception of the FIDE ranking lists in 1971 behind only Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Robert James Fischer and most recently Carlsen.

After his unsuccessful challenge for the world title in 2010, his form declined such that by 1 October 2012, Topalov's rating was 2751, his lowest rating since July 2004 and his ranking to number 13 in the world, his lowest ranking since January 1995. However his return to form in September and October 2012 (see above) saw him return to the top 10, while his successful campaign in the Zug leg of the 2012-13 Grand Prix series saw him leap back to #4 in the world ratings. In 2015, Topalov's win at the annual Norway Chess tournament improved even his stocks even further when he reached his highest live rating to date, 2821.2, while his highest official rating to date was 2816 on 1 July 2015, sharing the world #2 spot with Anand.

Other

Topalov won the 2005 Chess Oscar. Although he now lives in Spain, Topalov still plays for Bulgaria and has enjoyed several athletic honors from his native country, including the Sportsman of the Year award for 2005. He is renowned for his aggressive style which is exemplified in his trademark and much-feared exchange sacrifice that he has employed with great effect at all levels of play. He and his partner have a daughter, Laura, who was born on 28 August 2013.

Sources and references:

(1) Wikipedia article: FIDE Grand Prix 2012%E2%80%932013; Live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/; Wikipedia article: Topalov; Wikipedia article: World Chess Championship 2012

Last updated: 2020-02-14 01:44:38

 page 1 of 93; games 1-25 of 2,317  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Topalov vs D Marholev 1-0211986TournamentC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
2. Topalov vs G Minchev 0-1541988SofiaB57 Sicilian
3. Topalov vs V Lukov 0-1271988SofiaA61 Benoni
4. Lizbov vs Topalov 0-1291988MoskauB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
5. Topalov vs Meduna  ½-½211988Forli OpenD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
6. S de Eccher vs Topalov 0-1671988Forli OpenA25 English
7. Topalov vs R Mantovani 1-0591988Forli OpenE12 Queen's Indian
8. Topalov vs F Braga ½-½141988Forli OpenD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
9. C Garcia Palermo vs Topalov ½-½371988Forli OpenA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
10. A Strikovic vs Topalov 0-1311988Forli OpenB22 Sicilian, Alapin
11. Topalov vs Granda Zuniga 0-1461988Forli OpenA78 Benoni, Classical with ...Re8 and ...Na6
12. P Votruba vs Topalov ½-½661988Forli OpenA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
13. Topalov vs E Gonsior ½-½111988Forli OpenD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Topalov vs J Norri 1-0351989EU-ch U20B06 Robatsch
15. G Minchev vs Topalov 1-0471989SofiaA46 Queen's Pawn Game
16. Miroslav Markovic vs Topalov 1-0301989EU-ch U20C10 French
17. Stefansson vs Topalov ½-½781989ArnhemC16 French, Winawer
18. Topalov vs D Pedzich  ½-½411989EU-ch U20E73 King's Indian
19. Dreev vs Topalov ½-½171989EU-ch U20A52 Budapest Gambit
20. T Luther vs Topalov 1-0591989EU-ch U20B98 Sicilian, Najdorf
21. Topalov vs K Ninov  ½-½461989BUL-chD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
22. Topalov vs K Georgiev  0-1501989BUL-chE12 Queen's Indian
23. S Danailov vs Topalov 0-1381989BUL-chA40 Queen's Pawn Game
24. D Donchev vs Topalov 1-0191989BUL-chC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
25. P Claesen vs Topalov  ½-½271989EU-ch U20A27 English, Three Knights System
 page 1 of 93; games 1-25 of 2,317  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Topalov wins | Topalov loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Math error! Ivanchuk’s record is +108 -107
Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: I think it’s fair to conclude that Topalov comes next after Kasparov, Anand, and Kramnik, even if he has a losing head-to-head record against Shirov. And I’d place Ivanchuk ahead of Shirov, too.
Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Actually, double checking my math, Ivanchuk’s record is +108 -110!
Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  fabelhaft: Topalov lost his share of games, but also has an impressive number of wins against most of the top players. Just having more than ten wins each against Anand, Kramnik, Ivanchuk and Leko is quite a feat. He also won a couple of very nice games against Kasparov and Carlsen.

Then of course he has the 27 months as #1 and a very long list of super tournament titles. I’d rank only five post-Fischer players ahead of him over the last 50 years - Kasparov, Carlsen, Karpov, Anand and Kramnik. If he doesn’t count as a World Champion he probably has a claim to be ranked as the greatest ever not to win that title, in competition with Korchnoi and Keres, and maybe Caruana.

Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Shirov's 2-31 vs. Kasparov and Anand doesn't help his overall record.
Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: If you throw in Aronian, Shirov becomes 2-36.
Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Meanwhile, Kramnik has held his own or better against everyone. Even Carlsen has only a 1-win advantage against him.
Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Kramnik doesn't have a losing record against anyone?

Probably a couple of older players he played when he was a teen...Kasparov is 1-3 vs. Gulko, two of the losses coming when he was 18 and 19.

Aug-08-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: So vs Kramnik:

<Wesley So has 2 to 0, with 6 draws. Including rapid/exhibition games: Wesley So beat Vladimir Kramnik 6 to 3, with 14 draws. Only rapid/exhibition games: Wesley So beat Vladimir Kramnik 4 to 3, with 8 draws.>

Small sample but still...

Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  fabelhaft: <Kramnik doesn't have a losing record against anyone?>

Apart from Carlsen and So there are always for example Nepo (4-5), Kamsky (3-4), Mamedyarov (3-4), Caruana (3-6) and Karjakin (1-6). Against Kasimdzhanov and Vallejo and some others 0-1.

Aug-09-21  nok: He really won 10+ vs Leko ?

Give this man a(nother) medal!

Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: I merely meant that Kramnik didn’t have a losing record against any of the 13 players I used (off the top of my head) for the comparison.
Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <If [Topalov] doesn’t count as a World Champion...>

He doesn't.

<...he probably has a claim to be ranked as the greatest ever not to win that title, in competition with Korchnoi and Keres, and maybe Caruana.>

Yeah, that's probably a fair assessment, although with Caruana the book isn't closed yet. I'd add Reshevsky, Rubinstein and Tarrasch to the last, and maybe Geller as well. Not sure where on that list I'd put Topalov, but probably somewhere.

Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <I merely meant that Kramnik didn’t have a losing record against any of the 13 players I used (off the top of my head) for the comparison.>

I wasn't criticizing, <whitehat>. I was just fascinated by his record against those players.

Aug-09-21  nok: <If [Topalov] doesn’t count as a World Champion...>

He does.

Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <nok>: <He does.>

He's not. If your title is Disputed then you're only champion of part of the world, no matter what you call it. Fischer called his 1992 match a "World Championship", but saying it didn't make it so.

Yuri Shulman wasn't world champion either, even though he won a tournament that was called that.

Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: I doubt whether Topalov cares at this point. He lost championship matches to Kramnik and Anand in championship matches. Even he probably doesn’t think he was ever truly the world champion. At this point in his life, knowing he will never again even try to play for the title, he’s probably just glad he ever had the opportunity. And I’m sure he’s happy with how well he played against the likes of Kasparov, Karpov, Carlsen, etc. He certainly held his own and produced many a masterpiece along the way, including against Kramnik.
Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: I doubt he feels any real bitterness at this point.
Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  fabelhaft: <I’m sure he’s happy with how well he played against the likes of Kasparov, Karpov, Carlsen, etc. He certainly held his own and produced many a masterpiece along the way>

He sure did, from stuff like this

Topalov vs Kasparov, 1994

Topalov vs Kasparov, 1996

to this

Carlsen vs Topalov, 2015

Topalov was always a bit uneven but for example that 1996 game is worth looking at a few times without understanding much.

Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Perhaps this is a silly question, but I’m wondering if people can give some examples of white not making any mistakes but still losing to black because black just played better. Is this even possible?

I ask because I’ve noticed that Topalov can play very aggressively at times, especially with black (considering that black is normally just seeking equality and space at the beginning of most games). He often springs counterattacks early and finds a way to win. But can you win as black without black making any mistakes at all?

Does the question even make sense?

Aug-09-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: No, it is a very good question <Whitehat 1963>.

One answer could be a kind of yes.White makes after say move 7. moves with a value of 0.5 less than the optimal.Which means that after 60/67 moves he will be down 3.0 in StockFish terms.And losing.Without making a real mistake.

This is roughly speaking and very difficult to meassure precisely,but possible.

I think that years ago the game awarded the best ever, as a correspondance game,followed the same course.A Hans Berlinergame he won in a very complicated rook endgame after many moves.He finally converted his hard earned extra pawn .

Aug-10-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Ah, good answer. So, maybe white makes a bunch of decent moves and never has an opportunity for a exclamation- or double-exclamation-type move, but rather than merely finding equality, black finds slightly better moves every now and then and eventually pulls off the win, or perhaps finds a couple of exclamations of his own to win quickly, even though white never makes a real mistake.

I’d like to see an example of a game like that.

Aug-10-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Is this the game? It certainly looks like a good candidate!

Estrin vs Berliner, 1965

Aug-10-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: This may be the the one.But I recall it as being longer..but age you know ;)
Aug-12-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  fabelhaft: On the subject players Kramnik has a minus score against, he always did badly against the Russian players born in 1990. Apart from the mentioned Karjakin and Nepo there’s also Andreikin (1-3). So in all -8 against Andreikin, Nepo and Karjakin, who all were ranked far below Kramnik during the 45 games.
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