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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
Mtel Masters Tournament

Veselin Topalov5.5/10(+3 -2 =5)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov5/10(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Krishnan Sasikiran5/10(+3 -3 =4)[games]
Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu5/10(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Gata Kamsky5/10(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Michael Adams4.5/10(+1 -2 =7)[games]

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Mamedyarov vs Kamsky 1-0382007Mtel MastersD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
2. Adams vs Sasikiran ½-½452007Mtel MastersE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
3. Topalov vs Nisipeanu 0-1472007Mtel MastersB01 Scandinavian
4. Nisipeanu vs Kamsky ½-½472007Mtel MastersD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
5. Sasikiran vs Mamedyarov ½-½522007Mtel MastersB06 Robatsch
6. Topalov vs Adams ½-½492007Mtel MastersE15 Queen's Indian
7. Kamsky vs Sasikiran 0-1462007Mtel MastersD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
8. Adams vs Nisipeanu 1-0392007Mtel MastersC07 French, Tarrasch
9. Mamedyarov vs Topalov 1-0302007Mtel MastersD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Mamedyarov vs Nisipeanu ½-½222007Mtel MastersE10 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Sasikiran vs Topalov 0-1332007Mtel MastersE92 King's Indian
12. Kamsky vs Adams ½-½942007Mtel MastersC87 Ruy Lopez
13. Nisipeanu vs Sasikiran ½-½272007Mtel MastersA09 Reti Opening
14. Topalov vs Kamsky ½-½432007Mtel MastersE15 Queen's Indian
15. Adams vs Mamedyarov ½-½642007Mtel MastersB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
16. Nisipeanu vs Topalov 0-1542007Mtel MastersB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
17. Kamsky vs Mamedyarov 1-0442007Mtel MastersB08 Pirc, Classical
18. Sasikiran vs Adams 1-0342007Mtel MastersE15 Queen's Indian
19. Kamsky vs Nisipeanu ½-½472007Mtel MastersB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
20. Adams vs Topalov ½-½522007Mtel MastersB25 Sicilian, Closed
21. Mamedyarov vs Sasikiran 0-1412007Mtel MastersA20 English
22. Sasikiran vs Kamsky 0-1602007Mtel MastersD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
23. Topalov vs Mamedyarov ½-½642007Mtel MastersB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
24. Nisipeanu vs Adams 1-0532007Mtel MastersC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
25. Mamedyarov vs Adams ½-½372007Mtel MastersE15 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 151 OF 151 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-21-07  Plato: <slomarko> That would be more relevant on the Ziggurat forum, let's take it there if you want to discuss it.

<btw <Plato> i left my engine run a little and it shows almost equality for black with the Nc7-e6 plan (if white doesnt play Nh5)>

Kasparov, Sasikiran, and Topalov all believe that White would have had objectively better winning chances had he played Kf2 instead of the piece sacrifice. By the way computers are not flawless in ultra-strategic positions like that one. Sasikiran in the interview makes it clear that he felt the position was very uncomfortable for him to defend but that the Knight sac changed it in his favor, and Topalov assents to this, admitting that Kf2 would have been relatively better.

It's your word against three top GMs. If you want to do serious computer analysis from that position, it takes much more than just leaving it running a bit. It's a strategically deep position. There are many various plans that White can adopt, and in practical chess it is very hard for Black to just sit tight and watch while White slowly improves his position and prepares for a kingside breakthrough. Regardless of whether it's winning by force, White's objective winning chances before the sac are better than after the sac, since before the sac he has an obvious advantage but after the sac best play is a forcing line which draws shortly thereafter.

Topalov has *admitted* that he overlooked ...Qxe5 when calculating the sac, having thought all the lines were winning for him.

A couple of comments from the press conference. Sasikiran's voice is soft and hard to hear sometimes, but this is what I could pick up:

<Sasikiran: "Well I thought Nxh5 was kind of changing the situation somehow in my favor... so maybe the piece sacrifice was [not as good as] Kf2 with pressure"

Topalov (as translated by the on-site translator): "Indeed, probably Kf2 was better.">

I should point out that in your and others' defense, he also says that he felt that practically it was unpleasant for Black to play, although in his earlier comment Sasikiran implies that for his part he felt it was more unpleasant before the sacrifice and that he had seen it when playing ...Kh6. Topalov also says that he even though Nxh5 was a miscalculation and agrees that Kf2 was better, he wasn't convinced that he could win the position because he had doubts about his technique.

But his doubts about his technical chess just mean that this is one area where he needs to improve, not that the sacrifice was correct. He admits that he played the sacrifice because he thought it was winning in all variations. In fact, over-optimism in his own chances and/or underestimating his opponents defensive resources is an area where some GMs have pointed out that Topalov can improve.

So you can attribute the move to his style, which is perfectly legitimate, but that doesn't make it the correct move in the position or under the circumstances.

May-21-07  veigaman: <not that the sacrifice was correct> I think it was correct because Sasikiran was not able to find on the chessboard in real time the perfect continuation to get the draw in this game. As Tal used to say " i dont have to play perfect, i just have to play better than my opponent"
May-21-07  slomarko: <That would be more relevant on the Ziggurat forum, let's take it there if you want to discuss it.> that sounds like no it seems.
May-21-07  Plato: <veigaman: I think it was correct because Sasikiran was not able to find on the chessboard in real time the perfect continuation to get the draw in this game>

Three GMs already have expressed disagreement with you: Kasparov, Sasikiran, and Topalov himself. One can use the ultimate outcome of a game to justify *any* move, but just because one eventually wins doesn't mean all the moves were correct along the way.

May-21-07  slomarko: <Plato> i've not declined anything. ok lets move on that forum.
May-22-07  extremepleasure: Hello there.

Here I agree with Veigaman (sorry Plato). I agree that objectively speaking Kf2 was the best move (and actually it is not that hard to find this move for Topalov or anybody else). However, if your opponent is under severe time preassure the best move is the one which would baffle his mind most. That's the justification of Topalov's knight sacrifice. The drawback of Kf2 was that it was not forcing the opponent to make precise calculations and hence giving Sasikiran the chance to get rid of the time preassure.

May-22-07  Mendrys: To those who think that Topalov's 32. Nxh5 in the game against Sasikiran was a brilliant sacrifice, I have this question: In the game: I Samarin vs Antoshin, 1985

was Antoshin's 35...Qxh2+ a blunder or a brilliant move? He did win after all didn't he?

May-22-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Mendrys> Sometimes a risky move pays off, (like it did for Topa) sometimes they don't.
May-22-07  s4life: <Plato: One can use the ultimate outcome of a game to justify *any* move>

Sorry but that's just the way it is in sports.. none can stand sore losers ( I am not saying you are one BTW)

May-22-07  Mendrys: chancho: <Sometimes a risky move pays off, (like it did for Topa) sometimes they don't.> I agree with you perfectly on this point. The queen sac certainly worked for Antoshin when Samarin resigned in a perhaps won position. However, I have won a few games on "speculative" sacrifices and when I find a refutation upon later analysis I have mixed feelings. On one hand I applaud myself for being bold and giving my opponent an opportunity to make a mistake but on the other hand I wished that I had enough talent to have seen the refutation in the first place and played a better move. If the refutation was a simple one then I feel that I have dodged a bullet and chide myself for not seeing the simple refutation.
May-22-07  square dance: <Well, maybe it was not the best example under the circumstances. How about Buffalo Bills field goal kicker Scott Norwood missing the field goal that could have won the Super Bowl for them?> hmm. im also not sure if thats choking because he wasnt really that good of a kicker.
May-22-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <square dance> From what I read on this link, the belief that the guy choked is there, although it also says that he was 1 for 5 from over 40 yards on grass that season, so I guess you are right about that not qualifying as choking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_...

May-22-07  Goran: Nisipeanu won brilliancy prize for his win against Adams.

<bgkuzzy> Topalov's next tournament is Leon on 4-9th July.

May-22-07  Plato: <<s4life> <Plato: One can use the ultimate outcome of a game to justify *any* move>

Sorry but that's just the way it is in sports.. none can stand sore losers.>

Huh? Sorry, <s4life>, this nothing to do with "sore losers," it has to do with the reality that sometimes moves can be mistakes even if the ultimate outcome of the game is good.

Example: if one player makes a mistaken sacrifice in a strategically superior position, a sacrifice which changes the position from probably winning (in Kasparov's opinion) to a draw by force, then even if his opponent goes on to make a terrible blunder and lose it -- doesn't suddenly make the sacrifice correct. That's just the way it is in sports.

If all mistakes could be justified on the basis of the outcome of the game, all wins would be perfectly played.

The fact that the win came from Topalov seems to blind his die-hard fans from seeing this matter objectively. I am a fan of Topalov's play regardless of whether you believe me or not, but at least I can admit when players I like make mistakes. But for other fans, any criticism of his sacrifices, even if they *were* wrong, are automatically perceived as sacrilegious.

May-23-07  AgentRgent: Wow the field for Mtel sure took a step down this year.
May-23-07  s4life: <Plato: If all mistakes could be justified on the basis of the outcome of the game, all wins would be perfectly played.>

Perfect doesn't exist in sports, nor in chess.. good enough to win is what sportsmen are after, hence I am not trying to justify anything. What is there to justify anyway? the win justifies itself... the better player won.

May-23-07  ikipemiko: <Agent> You made a brilliant discovery considering that Kramnik will not come, Anand has played every tournament so far, and the others are busy for the Candidates.
May-23-07  Plato: <Perfect doesn't exist in sports, nor in chess.. good enough to win is what sportsmen are after, hence I am not trying to justify anything. What is there to justify anyway? the win justifies itself... the better player won.>

I never disagreed with that last statement. The better player won.

What I do strenuously disagree with is your very strange notion that just because a player is better and happens to win, that all his moves during the game were somehow beyond reproach. Actually I don't think this is your conclusion for all players, based on comments I've seen you make about other players... it's probably just your conclusion for Topalov. When *he* wins and he was the better player to begin with, that means (for you) that none of his moves can even be criticized as dubious. Alright, if that's what you choose to believe we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

May-23-07  s4life: <Plato> I never said he played a perfect game as you suggest, nor his games are beyond reproach.. are you confusing me with someone else?

All I said is that he won in style - that is his style... combative, risky, at times erratic, but when it works, it's a delight to watch overall - he should be commended for having the guts of doing it, more so when his confidence has taken a dive in the last months. In the same way some of us appreciate M. Tal's wins using knight sacrifices for seemingly nothing, it's only fair that some others appreciate Topalov's way to win.

Apparently you dislike his style, you have even been outspoken about it, because sometimes it doesn't conform to chess as a mere theoretic exercise of post-game analysis, and not as the psychological and mental struggle against time and the opponent, which imho, contitutes the larger part of it. If that's the case, then we have found a perfect excuse for both of us to end this senseless discussion.

May-25-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Octavia: the closest ever tournament! only 1 pt between the winner & the loser - every1 else is 1/2 pt between them! You could say they were all =
May-25-07  zduric: But Topalov was more equal than others!
May-25-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <s4life: <Plato: Had Sasikiran played one more accurate (and relatively obvious) move rather than blundering, then you wouldn't be praising Topalov's move now.> Well, he didn't and that's that.

Had Topalov found the obvious mate in 2 in his second game for the WC, he would have gotten this year's chess informant [best game] for that game, kept his world title and his confidence intact...>

.. not to mention that, if Topalov had won WCC Game #2, we all probably would have been spared the distress of water-closet-gate.

May-25-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: < Octavia: the closest ever tournament! only 1 pt between the winner & the loser - every1 else is 1/2 pt between them! You could say they were all = >

Topalov's ultimate first place finish vis-a-vis the performance of the rest of the players in this tournament was a classic example of "primus inter pares" to use a phrase frequently invoked by Botvinnik.

May-25-07  Atking: <Octavia: the closest ever tournament! only 1 pt between the winner & the loser - every1 else is 1/2 pt between them! You could say they were all => Yeah seeing the games I got the impression that the loser could have been the winner...
Nov-02-08  kulangot: In M-tel 2007 Kamsky had it enough for Topalov.He drawn his two games and this made Danailov worry.He didn't invite Kamsky in M-tel 2008.
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