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Veselin Topalov vs Krishnan Sasikiran
"Mtel Me About It" (game of the day May-21-2007)
Mtel Masters (2007), Sofia BUL, rd 10, May-20
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-23-07  jhoro: <So I don't need you to translate for me, they were translated for all the reporters on site. And not by a biased fanatic who will stoop to lying to win an argument> Plato, your debating abilities are beyond reproach.
May-23-07  Plato: <"yeah, whatever">

Somehow I don't think "yeah whatever" is an accurate translation. I'm going to have to go with the official translation on site which was "Indeed, Kf2 was probably better." Regardless of your opinion of his intonation, the meaning of that comment cannot be made any more clear, especially when it comes just after agreeing with Sasikiran's criticism of the knight sac.

<jhoro: Plato, your debating abilities are beyond reproach.>

Sarcasm noted, but I do believe they exceed the abilities of a debater who will stoop to lies and word-twisting to make his point.

May-23-07  jhoro: i've provided for you the translation word-for-word. a translator cannot remember 30 sec speech and translate it on the spot. the fact that you can't think is your problem
May-23-07  jhoro: "yeah, whatever" was not a translation. can you even read?
May-23-07  Plato: <jhoro> I'm sorry to brand you a Topalov "fanatic," but that's just my opinion of people who assume that any criticism of even one of his moves automatically means that I hate him or want him to lose. I had bet 500 chessbucks on him, for crying out loud! I think he's a very great player! Your repeated insinuations that his win somehow "bothered" me, on the basis of my criticism of one move, led me to feel that you're more concerned with Topalov the player than objectively considering the move itself.

<i've provided for you the translation word-for-word.>

Uh-huh. But with some "..." ellipses, ignoring the parts you didn't want to translate. And was "yeah whatever" is an accurate translation to put in quotations marks? Somehow I don't think those were his words; I think the translator got that one better than you did.

Fact: He agreed with Sasikiran's criticism of the knight sac: "Yes, he is right..."

Fact: He admitted to miscalculating the knight sac.

Fact: He agreed that Kf2 was probably the better move, being that it turned out that there was a draw (which he had initially overlooked) after the knight sac.

If you keep denying this, you're just lying. I invite anyone to look at the video and draw their own conclusions. The translator was giving translations for the reporters in the room. He can't twist his words around like you are claiming he did. There were plenty of other Bulgarian and English speakers in the room who would have known if he was lying in his translation, or if he was off the mark in any way. Even if the translation is a summary of what was said, the summary could not have been more clear. You can accuse him of lying all you want, but I think it's very clear that Topalov agreed with Sasikiran after the latter criticized the knight sac. "Yes, he is right," according to the translator. So unless he was lying or pulling it out of thin air, that in itself shows that Topalov was critical of the knight sac. Not to mention "Yes, indeed Kf2 was probably better."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Softpaw: <jhoro: i've provided for you the translation word-for-word.>

And Jhoro's translation STILL supports Plato's and Kasparov's point-- Topalov miscalulated with the knight sac, giving Sasikiran a chance to escape with a draw:

<...but probably there is a Qxd4 that probably leads to a draw. but indeed, it seemed..., I didn't get that far, but it looked very dangerous and that's why I played.>

<Plato: ...One of the comments Topalov made was translated as "Yes, he is right" just after Sasikiran criticized the knight sac. Another of his comments was "probably he could defend his position after Qxd4, and indeed probably Kf2 was better.">

So the matter seems to be settled.

Topalov miscalculated with the sac, but was saved by Sasikiran's blunder. Topalov, Kasparov, Sisikiran, Chessbase, Plato all concur on that simple point.

End of story.

Of course, Jhoro is free to disagree with Topalov et al and continue on, and on, and on.

May-23-07  Plato: <jhoro> Yes I am aware that "yeah whatever" wasn't intended as a translation, I was being sarcastic, but the reason I brought it up was because you intended to provide his real meaning; his real meaning, according to you, was "yeah whatever." And it was put in quotation marks as though it was a quote, specifically to contradict the real quote -- which you seem to be claiming was never made -- that "Indeed, Kf2 was probably better," and that Topalov agreed with Sasi's criticism of the knight sac.

So in the context of what he actually said, the "yeah whatever" opinion makes very little sense. I'm going by his actual words, not what you interpreted his intonation to be (for obvious biased reasons).

May-23-07  jhoro: <Fact: He agreed with Sasikiran's criticism of the knight sac: "Yes, he is right...">

as I told you before Topalov said:
<But indeed, perhaps Kf2, and playing little-by-little was also strong> word-for-word. can you get this through your head?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Softpaw: jhoro: as I told you before Topalov said:
<But indeed, perhaps Kf2, and playing little-by-little was also strong>

Again, that only supports Plato's and Kasparov's argument.

More quiet attacking play was "strong".
Nobody disputes this.

The knight sac lead to the possibility of a FORCED DRAW (but Topalov miscalulated and didn't see it). Nobody disputes this.

Topalov NEEDED a WIN.

Therefore, allowing his opponent the chance for a forced DRAW was a dubious move when there was a very strong alternative. Q.E.D.

May-23-07  jhoro: <Plato>, <Softpaw>: you guys are ridiculous. when someone puts ten times "perhaps" and "probably" these are not facts. and when I showed you, <Plato>, that you are the liar you quickly switched the topic. i'm done with this crap.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Softpaw: <jhoro: <Plato>, <Softpaw>: you guys are ridiculous. when someone puts ten times "perhaps" and "probably" these are not facts. >

Is it not a FACT that the knight sac created the possibility for a FORCED DRAW?

What's only "probable" about that?

Topalov miscalculated with the sac, but was saved by Sasikiran's blunder. Topalov, Sasikiran, Kasparov, computers-- all agree!

Get over it already!

May-23-07  darkwitch: <Plato><As for TWIC, fine, but that's not GM analysis either, which is what I asked for.>Just because Pein is an IM that doesn't make his annotations more or less credible than any other GM annotators. Even the great Kasparov and his second, grandmaster Dokhoian had their opinions and annotations refuted before. A famous example of this was their annotations to the game Kasparov-Ivanchuk, Linares 1999. Please also show some respect to IMs.

<Kasparov gave his opinion that White could have won without the knight sacrifice.>This is the only problem that I have. How does white win? Analysis, anyone? No analysis? Then no conclusion can be made.

<Sasikiran said that the knight move fundamentally changed the positon in his (Sasikiran's) favor, recommending Kf2 instead. And yes, Topalov is another. Topalov said "yes, he is right... Probably Kf2 was better"> So? It has nothing to do with me having a problem with the unjustified opinion of Kasparov?

<As for computer analysis, what we do have is computer analysis showing that the knight sac leads to a draw by force, whereas White is given an advantage in the position without the knight sac.>Simply put there are no thorough analysis justifying Kasparov's opinion that white will win with other 32nd move. Note that Rybka only gave about 0.2 advantage to white's position before 32.Nxh5 so it's curious to know if it will be enough to win with decent defence from black.

<And then we also have the opinion of Kasparov himself that Black's position is strategically lost without the knight sac.>If Rybka doesn't see how white <could have won with a straightforward reorganization and attack on the weak black pawns> then it is only fair to cast doubt on Kasparov's opinion especially when he did not show any analysis.

May-23-07  jhoro: <Is it not a FACT that the knight sac created the possibility for a FORCED DRAW? What's only "probable" about that?>

the word "possibility"

the probability that Sasi draws, based on this experiment, turned out to be 0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Softpaw: <jhoro: the probability that Sasi draws, based on this experiment, turned out to be>

Sasikiran blundered. We know that. Thanks. (and btw, a probability doesn't "turn out to be" something. Do you understand the concept? Probability vs actual outcome? If the probability in a coin flip is 50/50 that heads will turn up, tails turning up doesn't change that probability suddenly to 0. LOL!)

Topalov's move gave his opponent the opportunity for a draw and nothing chances that FACT.

May-23-07  darkwitch: <softpaw><I believe there has been computer analysis that shows a strong advantage for white with moves other than the knight sac, but not necessarily a forced win.>Really? Please show me because my Rybka certainly doesn't think white has a strong advantage. Unless you believe about a 0.2 evualation is enough to suggest white has a strong advantage. This is also contrary to Kasparov's opinion that white could have won with a <straightforward> reorganization of his forces against the weak black pawns.

<But the point is, there WAS a straightforward forced DRAW after the knight sac, and Topalov needed a WIN.>And? What has this got to do with the supposed <winning> alternatives to white's 32nd move?

<He miscalulated and missed that straightforward draw (as did Sasikiran, who blundered, luckily for Topalov.)>I don't know if "miscalculated" is the word because it seems that Topalov didn't even reached that far in his calculations during the game. ^_^ But for a matter of interest let me ask you this question. If it turns out that after a thorough analysis black can hold on to a draw with decent defence after other 32nd move alternatives, would 32.Nxh5 still be inferior to other 32nd moves?

<Needing a WIN, Topalov surely would not have made the move if he had seen the straightforward draw, when there were promising alternatives WITHOUT a clear draw available.><That alone makes the move dubious.>What you are doing here is taking the practical element into account, which is what you and <Plato> had been trying to avoid when both of you tried to question the objective evaluation of the move. So please make up your mind on your criterias. Not that it matters to me anyway because I am only interested to see/discuss if white can win with another 32nd move like 32.Kf2.

May-23-07  ivan999: Topalov said, in clear Bulgarian, that he COULD NOT calculate a winning line but he thought the sac looked promising.
May-23-07  jhoro: that was a joke...

since two humans are playing you cannot calculate the probability. you can only estimate it from multiple experiments. this can be done by erasing this game from their brains and letting them play after move 32.Nxh5 again and again. since we don't know how to do the selective erase we are limited to just this single experiment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Softpaw: Darkwitch, your points are good ones.

If further analysis shows that Kasparov and others are wrong--that Topalov had no better move than the knight sac-- then, that will be that, as far as an "objective evaluation".

As I have argued, I do not believe a forced win needs to be demonstrated, since the knight sac lead to the possibility of a forced draw, and a WIN was needed. From that standpoint, the "objective" vs. "practical" distinction is not so important to MY argument.

<Not that it matters to me anyway because I am only interested to see/discuss if white can win with another 32nd move like 32.Kf2.>

Makes sense.

I'm not going to focus on this much more myself.

May-23-07  darkwitch: <softpaw>I will leave our discussion as it is above because I don't want to spend too much time on meaningless discussions. If you happen to have any analysis on white's possible winning 32nd move in the future please do share with me. ^_^
May-23-07  slomarko: i think <darkwitch> is totaly right. the postion after 32.Kf2 is objectively drawn and so is the position after 32.Nh5 however the knight move gives chances coz complicates thing. it is absurd that <Plato> and others go on claiming that Sakirisan had an easy draw. the prove is that in the begining of that video Topalov asks if anybody has checked the position after Qd4 with a computer, the players are still unsure if it draws!
May-23-07  jhoro: <Plato: Uh-huh. But with some "..." ellipses, ignoring the parts you didn't want to translate.> the ellipses were to show longer pauses. i did not omit any parts (i listened to it again). this was his complete answer <word for word>.
May-23-07  chessmoron: Hey guys, there's other games to talk about not just Topalov vs Sasikiran, 2007.

Women's World Team Championship (2007)

37th Bosna Chess Tournament (2007)

May-24-07  iccsumant: How about "Somethings Top'a Sarsi"!?(Joke!)
May-26-07  BabalooMoon: Speaking of translation, I have a free on-line translation tool that is so bad it unwittingly backs into poetic genius.

Here, for example, is it's brave attempt to translate the commentary from (the wonderful) review of this game following the moment of Topolov's knight sacrifice ...

<When Topalov has offered a figure, I have gone to a hall to observe of behaviour of players. Sasikiran behaved nervously. Topalov was absolutely quiet.

When black have translated one of the horses on g7, Sasikiran has risen because of a table and has departed hardly aside.

Topalov continued to sit motionlessly. When the horse white has jumped out on f4, already Topalov has risen and began to walk easy along auditorium.

And Sasikiran above a board also it was visible: He has understood, that loses. He nervously screwed up the face, as if driving away invisible flies who annoyed him.

Sasikiran all somehow has shivered. Also became it is even less, than was actually.

You will not believe, but during this moment him it became a pity to me The nirvana a nirvana and to lose do not love even the Indian yogas.

I have returned to the press centre. Among group of the Bulgarian grand masters and masters reigned violent fun.

He is Topalov and has made.>

Beautifully put, I couldn't agree more.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: This game is the subject of the NY Times chess column on May 27, 2007.
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