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Bu Xiangzhi vs Veselin Topalov
M-Tel Masters (2008)  ·  Queen Pawn Game: Symmetrical Variation (D02)  ·  1-0
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find similar games 5 more Bu Xiangzhi/Topalov games
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-17-08  hitman84: Probably its winning!

38.ba3 b3 39.b6 b2 40.Rd1

Another line would be..

35.Ne7+ Kh7 36.Rc8 a3 37.ba3 b3 38.Re8 b2 39.Rd1 Bc1 40.Rc8 b1Q 41.Rdc1

Both lines are winning for white!

I guess Bu chose a simple win. Brilliant game!

May-17-08  hitman84: <messachess>Yes Qb5 was deadly! In many lines the white b passed pawn is winning the game for white.
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: I got <35.Ne7+ Kg7 36.Rc8 Rc8 37.Nc8 a3> 38.bxa3 bxa3 39.b6...

It looks to me that White wins. But, short on time in match condition, I would be nervous...

May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <38.ba3 b3 39.b6 b2 40.Rd1 > Probably 40.Ra7 instead; 40.Rd1 Bb1 is still unplesant.
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: But a really troubling variation is <35.Ne7+ Kg7 36.Rc8 Rc8 37.Nc8 a3 38.bxa3 b3!>. Now what?

May-17-08  hitman84: <Gypsy>I think you confused the two lines I posted. I didn't consider 38...bxa3
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  holland oats: I'm not sure that 39.b6 is winning. Instead white must threaten mate with rook and knight: 39.Nd6! b2 40.Ne8+ Kf8 41.Nf6, and now black must play Bb6 to avoid mate. This allows white to play 42.Rd1, which not only prevents black from queening but also threatens the knight fork on d7. 42...Bc2 fails to 43.Rh1 Bd4 44. Kf4!, and white can trade his rook for black's pawn and the doubled queenside pawns will win for white. Definitely not an easy line to find in time trouble, but I wouldn't put it passed Bu on a good day.
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <hitman84: <Gypsy>I think you confused the two lines I posted.> You are right, I was thinking of the bxa3 bxa3 line.

But, I am still troubled by <35.Ne7+ Kg7 36.Rc8 Rc8 37.Nc8 a3 > and <38.ba3 b3 39.b6 b2 40.Rd1>, and now 40...Bc1.

May-17-08  Alphastar: <notyetagm: 34 ... Bc5-e3?? was a terrible blunder by Topalov, <LEAVING BEHIND> the e7-square for the devastating <DISCOVERED ATTACK> 35 Nc6-e7+!.>

Not true. Here's the analysis done by GM Zagrebelny (as posted by <minasina>):

<33 ... Bc5 34.Rc1 Be3! 35.Ne7 Kh7! 36.Rxc8 Rxc8 37.Nxc8 a3 38.bxa3 b3 (pawn irresistible!) 39.Rd1 b2 40.b6 Bc1 41.b7 b1 42.Nd6 with a draw: rook will с1 , And the queen will then announce the eternal Shah on black fields. >

May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  holland oats: Yes, you are right Alphastar...Kh7! is the key move that I overlooked: it prevents the critical knight check in my line (40.Ne8+), allowing black to queen.
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <holland oats: I'm not sure that 39.b6 is winning. Instead white must threaten mate with rook and knight...> What if 35.Nd7+ Kh7; then there the mate threat does not work.

Yet another variation is: <35.Nd7+ Kh7 36.RxR RxR 37.NxR a3 38.b6 axb2 39.Rd1 Bb1 40.b7 b1Q 41.b8Q...> It probably holds the draw, but I do not see a White win.

May-17-08  Libispusher: <30...Bc5+> activating the bishop, was suggested as a better alternative to the obvious pawn grab at g3.
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  holland oats: <Yet another variation is: <35.Nd7+ Kh7 36.RxR RxR 37.NxR a3 38.b6 axb2 39.Rd1 Bb1 40.b7 b1Q 41.b8Q...> It probably holds the draw, but I do not see a White win.>

I think white would win after your line, but black could do better: instead of 39...Bc1, how about 39...Bxb6 40.Nxb6 b1=Q 41.Rxb1 Bxb1 42.Bd1 and white might be winning, but it looks kind of drawish

May-17-08  LhefrielMedies: In the ICC analysis, the line which Gypsy presented is presented as the primary reason for Bu's rejection of the initial line involving Ne7+. There's no way to stop the pawn from queening. Nick De Firmian offered <39.Rd1 b2 40.Nd6 Bc1 41.b6 b1=Q 41.b7> as winning for white due to the pin on the Bishop and the preoccupation of the queen to watch the b8 square to prevent white from making a queen of his own and just being a rook up. White has the long term advantage due to his extra passed pawn and greater positional freedom, and some immediate compensation in his pawn on the seventh rank. The pinned Bishop is also at some risk. Although, naturally, for the time being, black is a Queen for a Rook and two Pawns, which no doubt gives him a slightly better immediate position, as well as a material lead. It's better for white, but it's the sort of complicated position that Topalov was aiming to achieve, and thrives in, and Bu was right in wanting to avoid it.

On move 39, it was obviously a much stronger option as Topalov had already created his passed pawn on the a file, which, unlike the pawn on the b file, could be interfered with, but black had already rejected the line and probably didn't want to revive it again, as black does get a much sharper position with possible counterplay, rather than the consistent white dominance which ultimately won Bu the game. It's clearly better for white in that position, unlike the other one, but after already turning the line down I would doubt that Bu gave it any heavy consideration.

As for time pressure... it seems as if Topalov was in some pressure towards the end, inspiring the pointless and losing pawn push the seventh rank to try to reach the time control, but Bu had a reasonable time frame to make the remaining moves. As before, Bu probably rejected the check on e7 to avoid the line which Topalov obviously wanted him to play; clearly, bringing a high class GM into the complicated territory which he's known to play best in isn't the greatest of ideas. It's winning, but it's much more confusing than the simple line which Bu chose, which leads to a slightly more clear superiority for white.

May-17-08  hcbsb: <LhefrielMedies: In the ICC analysis, the line which Gypsy presented is presented as the primary reason for Bu's rejection of the initial line involving Ne7+. There's no way to stop the pawn from queening. Nick De Firmian offered <39.Rd1 b2 40.Nd6 Bc1 41.b6 b1=Q 41.b7> as winning for white due to the pin on the Bishop and the preoccupation of the queen to watch the b8 square to prevent white from making a queen of his own and just being a rook up. White has the long term advantage due to his extra passed pawn and greater positional freedom, and some immediate compensation in his pawn on the seventh rank. The pinned Bishop is also at some risk. Although, naturally, for the time being, black is a Queen for a Rook and two Pawns, which no doubt gives him a slightly better immediate position, as well as a material lead. It's better for white, but it's the sort of complicated position that Topalov was aiming to achieve, and thrives in, and Bu was right in wanting to avoid it.>

<Gypsy: <holland oats: I'm not sure that 39.b6 is winning. Instead white must threaten mate with rook and knight...> What if 35.Nd7+ Kh7; then there the mate threat does not work. Yet another variation is: <35.Nd7+ Kh7 36.RxR RxR 37.NxR a3 38.b6 axb2 39.Rd1 Bb1 40.b7 b1Q 41.b8Q...> It probably holds the draw, but I do not see a White win.>

Hi! LhefrielMedies and Gypsy,

Bu has rejected Ne7+ because he played to not risk in a won position for White. Certainly, not playing 35.Nd7+ has confused a bit what Black should play in the last minutes, when Topa had few minutes to complete the 40th move.

On Gypsy line, after
<35.Nd7+ Kh7 36.RxR RxR 37.NxR a3 38.b6 axb2 39.Rd1 Bb1 40.b7 b1Q 41.b8Q...>

Instead of the regular 41.b8=Q Qf5 +2.70,
with a good White advantage, White has the mate threat in few moves with 41.Ne7! and game is over +7.44,


click for larger view

41...Kg7
42.b8=Q threat mate.
42...Bh7
43.h4 +7.68 b3
44.Rd8 +8.55 game is over.
44...Bf4+ 45.Kxf4 +17.00

May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Thx <hcbsb>. This was beyond my computing horizont.
May-17-08  lentil: can anybody explain why W played 17 Bxe5, instead of 17 de, which seems to win a piece due to the discovered attack on the Q?
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < lentil: can anybody explain why W played 17 Bxe5, instead of 17 de, which seems to win a piece due to the discovered attack on the Q? > 17.dxe5 Nd7 ... and Black was a very healthy advantage on the Q-side.
May-17-08  KarAkter: About 24.Qb5.Watching that game live,and i expected 24.Nd4 or 24.Bf6 with equal or good game for white.Ok,24.Qb5.......but on move 28.Bf3?!(Be3 maybe) black should play simple 28...gf4 29.Bg4 fg3 30.hg3 Rc5 with advantage.So i think maybe 24.Qb5 is not a happiest move for white.And Luzhin have right,32...Bg6 is bad.32...ba3 is certainly better for white.
May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  rinus: <hcbsb> After <32.Rd7>


click for larger view

Analysis by Fruit 2.3.1 (21-ply):

1. (-0.93): 32...Ra8 33.Ra1 a3 34.bxa3 bxa3 35.h4 Bc5 36.Bh5 Rf8 37.Ne5 Bg6

2. (-0.87): 32...a3 33.bxa3 bxa3 34.Ra1 Ra8 35.h4 Bc5 36.Bh5 Bg6 37.Bxg6 fxg6

3. (-0.73): 32...Rc7 33.Rxc7 Bd6+ 34.Kf2 Bxc7 35.Nxb4 Rd8 36.Ke3 Bb6+ 37.Kf4 e5+

4. (-0.18): 32...Kh8 33.Bh5 Rc7 34.Rxf7 Rec8 35.Rxc7 Rxc7 36.Nd4 Bg8

5. (-0.10): 32...b3 33.Bh5 Bg6 34.Kh4 Bg7 35.Bxg6 fxg6 36.e5 a3

6. (0.00): 32...Kg7 33.Bh5 Rc7 34.Red1 Rxd7 35.Rxd7 Bxe4 36.Bxf7 Rc8

7. (0.24): 32...Bc5 33.Bh5 Bg6 34.Bxg6 fxg6 35.Rc1 Rc7 36.Rxc7 Bd6+

8. (0.47): 32...e5 33.Bg4 Ra8 34.Rdd1 a3 35.Bd7 Reb8 36.Nxb8 Rxb8

9. (0.72): 32...Bg6 33.e5 Rb8 34.Nxb8 Rxb8 35.Rb7 Rxb7 36.Bxb7 a3

10. (0.77): 32...Rb8 33.Nxb8 Rxb8 34.Bh5 Bg6 35.Bxg6 fxg6 36.Ra7 Rxb5

Topalov must have been 'seeing things', but what?

May-19-08  dumbgai: Surely this game belongs in Bu's notable games list.
May-19-08  minasina: http://chessok.com/broadcast/live.p... Rybka analysis, some critical points and variations
Jun-16-08  minasina: Rybka analyses relocated (see my previous post): http://chessok.com/broadcast/live.p...

INTERNET CHESS CLUB / Chess.FM, FREE "GAME OF THE DAY": http://webcast.chessclub.com/Mtel08... commentary by GM Nick DeFirmian

Oct-08-08  Ladolcevita: Bu's one blazing talent through his rainy days.
Mar-30-10  James Bowman: Bu seems to me, in the few games I have examined, a very nice ability to use his pawns early for an attack that is coming down the road and make them an intergal part of the ensuing attack. Anybody else see this a charecteristic of his play?
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