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Peter Svidler vs Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov
"Svidler on the Roof" (game of the day May-04-2009)
Corus (2004), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-18
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 14 times; par: 56 [what's this?]

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sac: 17.Rg3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-04-09  zdigyigy: White really takes advantage of the dark squares in this game.
May-04-09  cheeseplayer: very nice game with a lot of fancy and tactical moves!
May-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Apparently Topalov's last chance of survival was 39...Ke8, defending against the back rank invasion. After 39...Kg8 Svidler wins by a vey nice forced sequence, especially the intermediate check on move 43, which forces Black to take away g6 from the king as a retreat square (43...Qg6 would lose to 44.Rh8+, of course).
May-04-09  ounos: I guess Topa couldn't resist to the crazy position of the board just after move 16. Crazy.
May-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: The series of tactical strikes and counter-strikes on moves 14-21 is quite spectacular, as several people have already noted; D Baramidze vs Naiditsch, 2005 shows what can happen if either side tries to deviate. See also the following game (from chessbase database) as a demonstration of how tactically tricky the position remains even after that:

[Event "ESP-ch U20"]
[Site "Mondariz"]
[Date "2004.07.18"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Villuendas Valero,Adrian"]
[Black "Pena Gomez,Manuel"]

[...] 22.Bh3 Re8 23.Rd3 Nf6 24.Rc3 Qf7 25.Qb6? Qh5! 26.Bf1 (or 26.Bg2 Qh2 27.Qf2 Rf8 and there's no adequate defense against ...Nxe4 - 28.Re3 Ng4, or 28.Rc4 b5 29.Rb4 a5) Qh1 27.Qf2 Nxe4! 0-1

May-04-09  arnaud1959: <arsen> I think you meant "zugzwang" which means "forced to make a move". Btw "Zwischenzug" means "intermediate move (before recapturing)". 15.Bxb6 could be a "zwischenzug".
May-04-09  TheTamale: Weird game! I would be curious about what Fritz or one of these other chess engines says about all these exchange sacrifices & offerings of the exchange. Is each one considered the strongest move in the position?
May-04-09  thefish: Problem starts with 35...qe3 better is 35...qh1+ then after white move black quin take position on c6
May-04-09  eric the Baptist: anyone else notice that the only thing you can't do on this site is play chess?
May-04-09  arifattar: The pun was coined a good four and a half years back.

Oleg Romanishin

May-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <I would be curious about what Fritz or one of these other chess engines says about all these exchange sacrifices & offerings of the exchange. Is each one considered the strongest move in the position?>

According to my engine, yes. And with the exception of 14...Rxc3, none of them is really a "sacrifice" - they're actually ways to <avoid> the loss of material, or a clearly inferior position. For example, if White tries 17.Bxd8? then after 17...Bxf2 18.bxc3 Bxg1 19.Rxd6 (or 19.Be7 Re8 20.Bxd6 Bxh2) 19...Bxh2 he's still a pawn down, but obviously worse off than in the game.

May-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <thefish: Problem starts with 35...qe3 better is 35...qh1+ then after white move black quin take position on c6> I'm not so sure about that. After 35...Qh1+ 36. Kb2 Qc6 37. Rf1+! Ke8 38. Qf4 , White still enjoys a clear advantage. However, it does avoid the quagmire of the game and I suppose Black might still survive with precise defense.

As <Eyal> observes the losing move was 39...Kg8? Instead 39...Ke8 leaves Black with survival chances. Slightly earlier, 37...Qf3= or 37...Qf4= might have been sufficient for Black's survival. Also, as previously noted, the improvement 33...Nc6 looks better for Black.

May-04-09  TheTamale: Thank you, <Eyal>.
May-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice finish-black can only save the rook by 46...♕g5,after which the rook and queen eat his king like a pair of velociraptors.
May-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <patzer2: <How would black have answered 17. Qd2? If 17...Qxb6, then 18. Qxc3> and then follows 18...Qxg1.>

Of course. Thanks.

May-04-09  thefish: yes patzer2 with 38.qf4-qd5 39.Rd2-rf7
May-04-09  thefish: or simple 38.Qf4-Kd8
May-04-09  WhiteRook48: poor e7-rook
May-04-09  Lastwarrior: May-04-09 eric the Baptist: anyone else notice that the only thing you can't do on this site is play chess?

you can play vote chess against GMs etc.

May-04-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <May-04-09 Sicilian Dragon: I've seen this pun somewhere

hehe>

Yes- this pun made its first appearance at <CG.com> during any live games broadcasts featuring <Peter Svidler> from about a year and a half back-

<Boomie> was the first to start using it, and he has used it many, many times during that period.

Actually, I think he should be credited for it. Possibly this game could be considered a "default entry" into the <CG.com Pun Contest>?

May-04-09  Sicilian Dragon: <JFQ>

I meant that i've seen this pun in the pun contest. well, i guess it won't win anymore

May-04-09  Sabinas: Wow, I must be old school, I have to agree the idea of exchanging rooks for bishops appears extreme. Is this new chess wisdom? It would be interesting to see what a Capablanca or a Botvinnik would have done in such a situation.
May-05-09  AnotherNN: Don't understand all those comments about White's last move (46. Qd8) being so great?! 46.Rg8+ would have been more decisive, leading to checkmate or the loss of Black's Q.
May-05-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Don't understand all those comments about White's last move (46. Qd8) being so great?! 46.Rg8+ would have been more decisive, leading to checkmate or the loss of Black's Q>

No, after 46.Rg8+? Kf7 Black is neither checkmated nor loses his queen (47.Rh8 Qg7), which defends f8 - the point of 45...Qh6.

Btw, "Svidler on the Roof" is apparently one of the most overused - or at least popular - puns in CG history... it was already used by <CG.com> as a pun for this game when it was GOTD for the first time, back in January 2004 - as the following posts from p.1 testify:

<Jan-19-04 MoonlitKnight: Btw, shouldn't the title of the game rather be "Svidler on Top"? :)

Jan-19-04 Helloween: <MoonlitKight> The title is a mock reference to the famous "Fiddler on the Roof".>

And back in 2005, we find in Svidler's page:

<suenteus po 147: Potential caption for Svidler's picture: "One more 'Svidler on the Roof' joke and I'll bruise your larynx for you."> (Peter Svidler)

Oct-12-14  wordfunph: "A lot of my friends told me after the game that they felt White has full compensation here. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that they are my friends."

- Peter Svidler

Source: NIC Magazine 2004 #2

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