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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov
MTel Masters (2005), Sofia BUL, rd 5, May-16
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E00)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 23 times; par: 66 [what's this?]

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sac: 24.Nh6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-17-05  dac1990: All right, here's what the silicon thinks.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.Bf4 b6 9.Nc3 Ba6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Rc1 <last book move>

11...Nc6!? 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Ne5 Nxd4 14.Bxd5 Nxe2+ 15.Qxe2 Bxe2 16.Bxa8 Rxa8 <16...Bxf1 17.Rc7 <worse is 17.Kxf1 Rxa8 18.Bg5 h6 > 17...Bd6 18.Rxa7=>

17.Rfe1 Bb5 18.Rc2 Nd5 19.Rec1 Bc5 20.Bd2 f6 <Secures g5>

21.b4 <Not 21.Rxc5 bxc5 22.Nc4 Rd8 >

21...Bf8 22.Ng4 Rd8 <22...Kf7 23.Rc8 Rxc8 24.Rxc8=>

23.Rc8 Rd7 24.Nh6+ gxh6 25.Bxh6 Rf7 26.Rd8 <26.Ra8!? must definitely be considered 26...Ne7 27.Rc7 >

26...Ne7 <26...Nxb4?? leads to instant demise in 4 27.Rcc8 Be8 28.Rxe8 Nxa2 29.Rxf8+ Rxf8 30.Rxf8#>

27.Rc7 Ng6 28.Rcc8 e5 <28...Ba6!? 29.Rb8 Be2=>

29.f4 Bd7 30.Ra8 Bh3 31.Kf2 b5 32.Rdb8 exf4 <32...Bd7!?=>

33.gxf4± Bd7? <better was 33...a6±>

34.h4 <34.Rxa7?! is much worse 34...Be8 35.Raa8 Bxh6 36.Rxe8+ Rf8 37.Rxf8+ Bxf8=>

34...Bc6 35.h5 Bxa8 36.hxg6 hxg6 37.Rxa8 f5 <37...Rc7 38.Bxf8 <38.Rxf8+?! Kh7 > 38...Rc2+ 39.Kf3 Rxa2 40.Bc5+ Kf7 41.Rxa7+ Rxa7 42.Bxa7 >

38.Kg3 a6 <38...Rd7 is one last hope>

39.Kh4 Rg7 40.Kg5 <40.Kg5 Kf7 41.Ra7+ Be7+ 42.Rxe7+ Kxe7 43.Bxg7 > 1-0

As promised.

May-17-05  Akavall: <33.gxf4± Bd7? <better was 33...a6±>>

Are you sure 33...a6 was better? My Fritz gives a ±1.37 reading for that line.

May-19-05  THE pawn: Now that pono have won, everyone is talking about him, telling how strong he is...while everyone thought he would finish last in the tournament, funny.
May-19-05  aw1988: Well, I did not think he would finish last, as if such a tournament can be predicted in the first place; but I will say I am astonished he is in the lead.
May-19-05  lopium: I said I would like to see him finish in the 3rd firsts. fgh must eat his hat if it happens.... héhé. I like Ponomariov, and before the tournament started, I wanted to see him first or second.
May-20-05  lopium: Why at move 21, black can't take the b4 pawn? Ndxb4, doesn't work?
May-20-05  aw1988: My guess is Nxb4 Bxb4 Bxb4 Rc7 infiltrates the 7th rank.
May-21-05  Paul123: 24. Nf6?!

His position looked positive up untill then... I thought the move risky with blacks defensive resources avalable.

But I still give him props for trying it!

May-23-05  lopium: Ponomariov is the only one who has beated Topalov is this tournament.
Oct-11-05  Averageguy: Had Topalov not allowed 24...Nh6+, would the game've been more or less drawn?
Nov-12-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <dac1990: All right, here's what the silicon thinks. ... <16...Bxf1 17.Rc7 <worse is 17.Kxf1 Rxa8 18.Bg5 h6 > 17...Bd6 18.Rxa7=>

Hmm, interesting '=' asessment. In


click for larger view

I would take White side over Black any time.

Nov-12-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: The arguably thematic continuation after the <16...Bxf1 17.Rc7 Bd6 18.Rxa7> is 18...Be2 19.Nd7 Nxd7 20.Bxd6 Rd8 21.f4...


click for larger view

It loks pretty forcing: variations 18...Bh3 19.Nd7 ... and 18...Bxe5 19.Bxe5 also surrender the bishop pair; and it is realy hard to believe that 18...Bb5 19.a4 Be8... would hold the game equal. But the diagrammed position looks quite in White favor.

Jan-27-06  Whitehat1963: I don't understand this game at all! I find the exchanges bizarre!
Feb-06-06  morpstau: I don't understand this game at all! I find the exchanges bizarre!
Apr-07-06  runners: No,dac1990 in line 40. ...Kf7 41.RA7 Kg8 42.Bxg7
but in line 40. ...Kf7 41.Rxf8!! win Kxf8 42.Kf6 1-0
in line 40. ...Rf7 41.Rxf8+! Rxf8 42.Bxf8 Kxf8 43.Kxg6 1-0
Feb-18-08  sallom89: such a brilliant game !
Jan-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: amazing
Jul-16-09  znsprdx: What is truly extraordinary is that even after Bd7>Bc6 White can still follow the original idea with h4>h5..total domination after the horrible 22....Rd8
Jul-16-09  kurtrichards: Topalov is 8-3 ahead of Ponomariov with 10 draws according to chessgames.com.
Aug-13-10  dondiegodelavega: It reminds me a famous short-timman game with final and letal king journey.
Oct-11-10  Bonifratz: This is Sparta!
Oct-11-10  Nina Myers: If Jack Bauer had been a Spartan the movie would have been called <1>.
Oct-06-11  freeman8201: Is this why the c6 line isn't popular?
Jan-22-15  SpiritedReposte: As <runners> pointed out one possible variation in the final position is the pretty win ...Kf7 Rxf8+! Kxf8 Kf6! winning the pinned rook.
Sep-23-15  dusk: <Runners> Also I think 40... Rf7 41. Kxg6 is a zugzwang for black.
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