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Veselin Topalov vs Ivan Sokolov
Corus Group A (2004), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-11
Slav Defense: Chameleon Variation. Advance System (D15)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-12-04  freedpig: 24. Re8 + only led to a draw...
Find the winning move that Topalov missed !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I think I see it. 24.♕xd8+! ♗xd8 25.♖e8+ ♔h7 26.♖xd8 and Black can't effectively stop the threat of ♖ee8 and ♖h8#
Jan-12-04  Benjamin Lau: Sneaky, maybe it's sleep deprivation on my part, but I can't see what happens after black plays ...g5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: :-P I think you're right.
Jan-12-04  Gunnar Abelido: after 24.Qxd8 Bd8 25.Re8+ Kh7 26. Rd8 g5 move like trapping the other rook with 27.Bb8 and 29. Nb6 looks attractive although black would be willing to give up the rook for a bishop or knight and exchange for white's queenside pawns. After 27.Bb8 Ra8 28. Nb6 Rb8 29. Rb8 Qd4 with the treat of g4 looks strong for black.
Jan-13-04  freedpig: Nope .. it's not 24.Qxd8 ?
Jan-13-04  Benjamin Lau: How about 24. Qb6 Raa8 (24...Rda8?? 25. R2e8+) 25. Qxb7 Qxd4 26. Nb6. My guess, but while black looks like he's in trouble, I can't tell if white is winning.
Jan-14-04  Benjamin Lau: Darn, I just realized that black can play the saving 25...Qb5. After that, white's best bet is 26. Nb6, avoiding the exchange, and playing 27. Re3, with the idea of 28. Rb3. Is this correct freedpig? Dunno.
Jan-14-04  Benjamin Lau: Anyone else wanna give this a try? Sneaky, what do you think about my line?
Jan-14-04  Cyphelium: Benjamin Lau> After 24. Qb6 Raa8 25. Qxb7 Qb5 26. Nb6, apart from the Re3 idea, there is a pawn hanging on c6. On, for instance, 26.- Bxd4, then after 27. a4 Qb3 28. Qxc6 Ra7(forced)29. Qxd5 white has a lot of pawns and should win quite easily I guess.
Jan-14-04  Benjamin Lau: Thanks Cyphelium, that was my line of thought but I don't know if that line was what freedpig was thinking about. Freedpig, where are you???
Jan-14-04  Benjamin Lau: The pawn grubbing you suggest looks good there since black is paralyzed along the back rank. It's probably a better plan than the Re3 idea. I originally thought about trapping the queen when I was first told that there is something Topalov missed on 24. so that is probably where my Re3, Rb3 idea stems from. It looks like the black queen escapes though and gets a few pawns of her own although white gets a whole rook, leading to a white advantage I think but a wild position. The pawn grubbing plan thus looks like the more straight forward win.
Jan-17-04  freedpig: 24. Qc3 !! figure it out
(a very "unhuman" move indeed )
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I don't get it. Benjamin's move looks good, but 24.Qc3 Qxd4 and then what...?
Jan-17-04  Benjamin Lau: Is it 24. Qc3 Qxd4 25. Re8+ Rxe8 25. Re8+ Kh7 26. Nb6 Qxb2 27. Bb8?
Jan-17-04  Almanzor2: How about getting rid of the Bishop at f6? 24.Be7!, Be7 25.Re7, Rf8 26.Qc3! and now, if 26...Qc3 27.bc3! and white has a winning position. If 26...Qc4 threatening both Qa4 and Nf5, then 27.Qc4, dc4 28.g4! and again, white is winning easily.
Jan-18-04  Brian Watson: <Benjamin> i think you may have skipped one move in your line (as written, 26..Qxb2 is not possible).

Your rook-trapping idea looks right, but shouldn't the specific move order be 24.Re8+ Rxe8 25.Re8+ Kh7 26.Nb6 Bxd4 27.Bb8 ? If 24.Qc3 first, black can create an escape square by advancing the a-pawn.

Jan-18-04  Benjamin Lau: Brian Watson, you are correct that 24. Qc3 may allow black a method of escape. It was not my first choice after assessing the position (Re8+ and Qb6 both are much more intuitive). But freedpig told me earlier that 24. Qc3!! is the winning move so I'm trying to find out how that is so. Maybe I'm on a fool's errand, I don't know. In either case your move order I agree is the better one and I would definitely play that in an actual game, however, I'm trying to find out right now if 24. Qc3 does win or not.
Jan-18-04  Brian Watson: I figured as much. I think you hit the nail on the head with the rook trap, wheras I can't help suspecting freedpig is leading us on a wild goose chase.
Jan-18-04  Benjamin Lau: I suspect that too... Freedpig, what's the winning line with 24. Qc3? Is it more straight forward than the rook trap?
Jan-20-04  Cyphelium: Also, so far no one has showed us why the 24. Qb6 line suggested by Benjamin Lau doesn't work. In fact, last time we looked at it black was just losing. So why should this be worse than 24. Qc3?
Jan-20-04  mikebpresident: Why can't white win a pawn on move 18 with Bxh7...because the discovery on the e7 bishop...Maybe somone on here can tell me
Jan-20-04  technical draw: <mkebpresident> Because of 18..Bd8
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