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Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov vs Etienne Bacrot
Corus (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-16
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-16-06  you vs yourself: Is 32...b5 any better than Qb6?
Jan-16-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <you vs yourself: Is 32...b5 any better than Qb6?> Anything would be better than trading queens. I like 34...Qa6. If 35. bxc5 (tripled pawns!), then 35...Qxa5, possibly followed by 26. Qxb7 Qxc5.
Jan-16-06  Confuse: I think the reason for the errors is that black was under considerable time trouble... I believe under one minute was left starting from move 32, struggling to get to move 40 for the 1 hour bonus time, Bacrot loses this one.
Jan-16-06  notsodeepthought: <alwazir> I think if 34 ... Qa6 35 Qc8+ followed by Q:c5. But you are right, anything would be an improvement over the queen trade. Unfortunately for him, Bacrot was already in Zeitnot when he played 33 ... c5 and I think he simply missed 34 a5.
Jan-16-06  alexandrovm: Bacrot gave up the game with the move 34. ...Qc6? This seems to allow Topa to win a pawn ending (white's king is closer to the queen side and the two king pawns can hold the black pawns). Any comments on this?
Jan-16-06  TopaLove: <alexandrovm> After 29.♕xc3 black has a better pawn structure. On the queen side, black can stop white`s pawns. On the king side White can`t stop black`s pawns. In My System, Nimzowistch explains positions like that. He would recommend to trade the queens to reach a winning endgame for black. Maybe there is an exception in this game, this is just an opinion.
Jan-16-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: For an example of a successful 3-2 Kingside majority winning against a passed pawn on the queenside, see the end of yesterday's Stellwagen vs Vescovi, 2006

Bacrot lacked the King position to get his pawns rolling soon enough.

Jan-16-06  rclb: 33 ...c5?

Should play ...a5

Jan-16-06  djmercury: After the queen exchange, black is lost. A bit more challenging would have been 36. ... f5, but I strongly doubt that Topalov would have gone to chase all the black queenside pawns, allowing Bacrot to have counter chance with his kingside majority (36. ... f5 36. Kc4 f4 and here not 37. Kc5? as it gives to black the opportunity to queen one of the kingside pawn in time to face the white new queen). Looks obvious that Bacrot in this game was only looking for a draw and this attitude was punished by Topalov when the last major exchange proved fatal for the French.
Jan-16-06  Spohn: After Topalov's lost game against Adams I think he's gonna kick it up a gear and give a good run for the tourny! I expect him to win most of his games and then fight for a win against Anand to take the tournament.
Jan-16-06  morpstau: Thank you for the game. Topalov has cooled down recently. Maybe hes just "coasting" and will pick it up to take the tournament!
Jan-17-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Topalov got nothing from the opening. But in time trouble Bacrot exchanged Rooks with 31... Rd7?! giving a small advantage to Topalov in the Queen ending.

33... c5?? loses the game. Kasparov suggested 33... a5. After 34. Qe8 Kg7 35. Qe5 Kf8 36. Qa5 Qa5 37. ba, White wins a pawn. But the King ending is drawn. For instance: 37... f5 38. Kc1 Ke7 39. Kd2 Kf6 40. Ke3 g5 41. hg Kg5 42. Kf3 f4 43. Ke2 Kh4 44. Kf3 Kg5, draw.

Jan-17-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <you vs yourself: Is 32...b5 any better than Qb6?> No, because White plays 33. a5! with the threat 34. b4 winning a pawn. If 33... b4 34. cb, wins a pawn. If 33... Kg7 34. b4 Qf2 35. Qc6 Qh4 36. Qb5 wins a pawn.

<al wazir> and <notsodeepthought> 32... Qb6, actually played, was the best move (and, in fact, the only move) here because, as I said earlier, Kasparov suggestion (33... a5) should hold the game.

Jan-17-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <djmercury: After the queen exchange, black is lost. A bit more challenging would have been 36. ... f5> This loses too. 37. Kc4 f4 38. Kc5! f3 39. gf g5 40. Kd4! gh 41. Ke3, White wins. If 37... cb 38. cb Kf7 39. Kd4 Kf6 40. c4 Ke6 41. b5 cb 42. cb Kd6 43. g3, zugswang, White wins.
Jan-17-06  euripides: Chessbase reports that Kasparov described Bacrot's 33...c5 as 'suicidal'. Topalov certainly has a way of luring his opponents into bad endgames: Topalov vs Kasparov, 2005
Jan-19-06  aw1988: Well, Garry was worrying over retirement, we can hardly pay too much attention to that...
Jan-29-06  Shrekster: 33 ...c5 seems losing. He should have chosen a zugzwang (Kf8 eg.) After c5 things go downwards.
Feb-10-06  alexandrovm: <TopaLove: <alexandrovm> After 29.Qxc3 black has a better pawn structure...> thanks my friend. The ending is totally lost for black there..
Feb-11-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Indeed, after one small error in 33...c5?, Topalov deflection 34. a5! forces a decisive weak doubled pawn after 34...Qc6 35. Qxc6 bxc6 36. Kb3 .
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