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Loek van Wely vs Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov
Dortmund Sparkassen 2005 (2005), Dortmund GER, rd 8, Jul-16
French Defense: Advance. Euwe Variation (C02)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-16-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Have a look at Van Wely's god-awful e3-♗. It's ridiculous but I am sure that Van Wely was not laughing.
Jul-16-05  Kangaroo: Such a weird bishop reminds me the wonderful example in the game Von Gottschall vs Tarrasch, 1888 long ago.

Practicing French as black myself, I am very pleased to see the strategy implemented by Topalov after the <f2-f4> move that turn the white bishop into a big pawn.

Jul-16-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Yeah, Topalov's Tarrasch-like performance pleases. I do think that Van Welly's position is already 'a strategic loss' when he plays the <29.f4>. (= Topalov has already outplayed him and Black position is practically winning.)
Jul-16-05  Knight13: <notyetagm: Have a look at Van Wely's god-awful e3-. It's ridiculous but I am sure that Van Wely was not laughing.> What do you expect him to do? What do you expect us to say? White had to play 13. Be3 so what what? You think he calculated dozens of moves later and found out that bishop was stuck there and though, "YES! MY BISHOP IS GONNA BE THERE FOREVER! YAY! THAT'LL BE GOOD!"? Jeesh. If there was a chance he could've gotten that bishop outta there he would've DID! Besides, he's a Grandmaster, not an amatuer who makes thoes stupid positional misttakes.
Jul-17-05  euripides: It wasn't obvious how Topalov was going to break through. One interesting line is 43 Rbxb5 Rxb5 44 Rxb5 Ra6 45 Kb2. Now Black is obviously on top, but the separation of rook and queen poses a problem.

Black could try to make progress by 45...Qg2+ when if the White king moves Black can unite the queen and rook. If 46 Qxg2 hxg2 Black has two outside passed pawns and can probably win by exchanging rooks by Rc6-c7-b7 and then marching his king through the middle. However, White has 46 Qf2.

A more convncing winning plan is 45..Bc6 followed by Ba4-b3. White probably can't prevent this and once the rook reaches a2 it looks decisive.

Jul-17-05  shinesaza: 2. e4 was already a mistake. Why to play against the French when you could choose 2. c4 (Van Wely is a d4-player anyway). Poor choise, probably cost him the win of this tournament.
Jul-17-05  azaris: Van Wely plays the French himself so maybe he thought he'd be more comfortable against it.
Jul-17-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Interesting that Van Wely eschewed the exchange variation, given his tournament standing.
Jul-19-05  Marvol: Behold! The weakest light squares ever observed on a chess board!

Pity for Kingloek, who had a good tournament nonetheless.

Jul-19-05  Rama: Yes, I play the French too, so I was interested in black's strategy here. The quick f6 followed by Qc7 and 0-0-0 is different. Unsurprisingly, she landed on b6 soon after.

The play on c4 was decisive in that it led to the opening of the key diagonal. Black is strategically won at that point but then comes Bd5 and the rook maneuvers. I would have been very slow to play Bd5 after working so hard to attain scope for the B. But then, I am not a super GM am I.

Jul-20-05  Medusa: I love this game , for me its the most beatifull game of the whole tournament.
Apr-09-08  smarterthanbobby: whites end play i.e his last king moves is the first time I have ever seen a 2600 level player look horrible. There was no reason to lack view... how could he not see how to tie this game up into a draw?
Sep-24-08  Alphastar: <smarterthanbobby> thanks for pointing out the obvious draw white could've achieved. I'm sure we all would've found it.
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