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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Veselin Topalov
Morelia-Linares (2007), Morelia MEX, rd 2, Feb-18
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-19-07  Pounamu Knight: Nice eval, notyetagm!

Snipped this from Chessbase about Topa's relativly stable c4 knight, & that famous move 40:

"...Topalov's plan has succeeded only partially. His knight has reached a stable square, but White is under no direct pressure and can hope to gradually convert his extra-pawn into a win. 40...Qf7?? A relatively convincing proof that the recent accusations against Topalov do not have a solid basis." GM Mahail Marin (18.02.07)

Feb-19-07  elLocoEvans: Chucky said in a postmortem conducted in the lobby of his hotel, that his success in this game was derived from preparation that he devised during a visit to the Palace of the King of Spain!
Feb-20-07  Pounamu Knight: I knew this game had prep, knew it! But inspired at the Palace of the King of Spain - a royal wow!
Feb-20-07  ajile: This looks like a classic Marozy bind type situation with White pressuring Black on the d file and d6. Good game by Ivanchuk.
Feb-20-07  ajile: Also since Black didn't play Kh8 early after Bxe6 this allowed White to get his Knight into d5 and trade off Black's dark squared bishop as mentioned above. Classic startegic aim is to eliminate the defenders of key weak squares- mainly d6.
Feb-20-07  alicefujimori: <ajile><This looks like a classic Marozy bind type situation with White pressuring Black on the d file and d6.>I can't see how this game is related to be Maroczy Bind since there were never a white pawn on c4 and black wasn't prevented from getting in b5 at all. Also, in the Maroczy, the pressure is usually on the queenside and particularly e5, d5 c5 b5 and b6 and not d6.

<Also since Black didn't play Kh8 early after Bxe6 this allowed White to get his Knight into d5 and trade off Black's dark squared bishop as mentioned above.>It's not like black didn't want to play Kh8, but he really didn't had the time for it. Black was prevented to play Kh8 early because he must address the threat on b6 first and as soon as he did so, white's knight already found itself on d5. So before suggesting a desirable move in a given situation, it is better to calculate whether such a move is even possible first.

Feb-20-07  notyetagm: <elLocoEvans: Chucky said in a postmortem conducted in the lobby of his hotel, that his success in this game was derived from preparation that he devised during a visit to the Palace of the King of Spain!>

Yes, this Ivanchuk Knight Tour was a brilliant(!) idea that I did not think Chucky thought of OTB.

It takes a dubious move (♗x♗e6?!) and turns it into an advantageous position for White!

Not a new move but a whole new plan! Just like Kasparov's best novelties, a whole new plan in a well-known position.

And <Private You-Know-Who> said these were obvious moves that club players make. Give me a break!

Feb-20-07  Ulhumbrus: It may be that 14 Nb6 can be considered to be a threat and that 13...Nd7 is necessary to answer it, for after 13...b5? 14 Nb6! Ivanchuk has the initiative all the way and does not let it go until Topalov resigns.At a first glance this looks like one of the best games played so far in this tournament. It warrants further examination.
Feb-20-07  THE pawn: I think both this game and Carlsen vs Morozevich are incredibly fascinating. Both convert some almost unexistant advantage into a winning game. (Topalov's blunder didn't help...but hey, that's life).
Apr-08-07  jmrulez2004: ivanchucks tactics are seriously good...look carefully guys..this is how to play...
May-13-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Topa's visit to planet Ivanchuk ended most unpleasantly on this occasion.
Jun-11-07  Knight on d5: I recently played a game with the same opening, thrilled that I got a chance to play Ivanchuk's 11.Na4, but instead of 14...Ra7 my opponent played 14...Rxf3. The game went 15.gxf3 Bg5 16.Qb3 Qxb6 17.Qxe6+ Kf8 18.Qf5+ Bf6 19.Qxh7 Ke7, and Black went on two win as my rook and two pawns seemed to be no match for Black's knight and bishop.

I tried playing on the Queen side with ideas of c3 and a4 to open lines for my rooks, but Black won by placing a knight at c5, impeding a4, then attacking on the h-file with a Rook on h8 and Queen on d7, when my doubled f-pawns obstructed any possible defence.

Perhaps someone with an engine can analyze 14...Rxf3 ?

Jun-12-07  crwynn: At first I thought your opponent had put Ivanchuk's idea out of business, which didn't seem right...Fritz didn't suggest anything better than what you played, but when I took a look at 16.f4! to deflect the bishop from f6 and e7, it realized White is better. Just 16...Bxf4 17.Qh3 Qxb6 18.Qxe6+ Kf8 19.R(either)d1 is devastating. I had dismissed 16.f4 at first because of 16...ef and what does White have? Well, just a mean little fork with Qd5 coming up, thanks to the missing e5-pawn.

An interesting try but it appears to lose by force.

Jun-12-07  gus inn: yes 16.f4(!!) is the move , but definately not an esay one to find.And BTW , did you know that Tchuky found the whole variation while he was visiting a Castle? Blindfold off course!!
Jul-02-07  engineerX: @ notyetagm:

Regarding your third point, that

"BxBe6?! fxe6: takes away the d5-outpost square from White"

The white knight seemed to not care at all about the e6-pawn. In fact it ignored it completely and stayed on d5 for four moves. So this point is not true.

Aug-22-07  mathematician: what happens when white takes the e5 pawn on move 31? (with the Knight) It seems to win instantly.
Aug-22-07  lau7aro: <mathematician> Maybe Nxe4. Cant take it by rook coz the threat of d5. Would win the pawn back.
Sep-18-07  dx9293: Damn, how did this guy not become World Champion? Of course I know the answer: nerves and instability. But still...
Oct-23-07  notyetagm: Ivanchuk did not miss the idea of ♘f3xe5 on move 30. Here is his Informant analysis:

<30.Re1 [30.Ne5 Ra1 31.Kh2 de5 32.Rd8 Qf6 33.Qc5 Qh4 34.Rh3 Qf4 35.g3 Qc1 36.Kg2 Qf1 37.Kf3 Re1 38.Rh6 Kh6 39.Rh8 Kg6 40.Qe5 Qe2 41.Kg2 Qf1 equal; 30.b4 Nb7 31.Qc6 and White is winning]>

He does not give analysis of ♘f3xe5 on move 31.

Note how Ivanchuk says that 30 b4 Nb7 31 Qc6 was winning for White

Dec-05-07  whatthefat: What's wrong with 15...Rd7?
Apr-27-09  WhiteRook48: why did Topalov play 40...Qf7?
Aug-17-09  Gouvaneur: That's not even funny how long Chucky is able to let his Knight reside in that dark hole called d5...
Apr-18-14  epicchess: I am a big fan of Ivanchuk, but I do not applaud him in this game, since this was merely a trivial blunder on Topalov's side. This is no "master" tactic, but merely a tactic for a 1400. Definitely not on my top 20 Ivanchuk games of all time.
Aug-26-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < WhiteRook48: why did Topalov play 40...Qf7?>

He wanted to create a Monday puzzle.

Oct-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Black's central Pawn mass just sits there for the entire middlegame as a giant weakness.

<"40...Qf7?? A relatively convincing proof that the recent accusations against Topalov do not have a solid basis." GM Mahail Marin (18.02.07)> Harsh.

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