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Veselin Topalov vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2008), Nanjing CHN, rd 8, Dec-19
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation (B45)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-19-08  MR. NIMZO: 22...Rad8?
what was Ivanchuk thinking by giving up the f5 pawn?
Dec-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Topalov played like a magician in this one.

37 g4 was the proverbial kitchen sink that he tossed in when Ivanchuk had everything else covered.

Dec-19-08  ikipemiko: Incredible game by Vesko!!!!
Dec-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: If Vesko keeps playing like this, you have to like his chances against Kamsky and Anand in matches.
Dec-19-08  NakoSonorense: Topalov's back!
Dec-19-08  Ezzy: Topalov,V (2791) - Ivanchuk,V (2786) [B45]
Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (8), 19.12.2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Ndb5 Bb4 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Nxc3 d5 9.exd5 exd5 10.Bd3 00 11.00 d4 12.Ne2 Bg4 13.f3 Bh5 14.Nf4 Re8< Novelty. 15 games in the database and all 15 play 14...Bg6. It seems Ivanchuk has been using Fritz, as this is the engines prefered move.> 15.Nxh5 Nxh5 16.f4 <Threatening 17 Qxh5. The kind of move I tend to miss when playing blitz :-)> 16...Nf6 17.Qf3 Nd5 18.Qh3 g6 < I would never give Topalov a target to aim at. You could argue that Ivanchuk is lost after this, especially when playing the greatest attacking player in the world. After this Topalov never eased the pressure, and played one of the best attacking games of the year. Magic stuff!! >19.f5 Ne3 20.Qh6 Qe7 <[20...Nxf1 21.fxg6 hxg6 22.Bg5 Qd6 23.Rxf1 Qf8 24.Qh4 Threat 25 Bf6 24...Re5 25.Bc4 Looks pretty good for white.] >21.Rf4 <Topalov has the initiative and all the play.> 21...gxf5 <[21...Nxf5 22.Bxf5 gxf5 23.Bd2 Qe6 24.Qh3 Looks better for black than the game move.]> 22.Bd2 <[22.Rf3 is the engine choice, threatening mate in 4 with 23 Rg3+ Ng4 24 Rxg4+ fxg4 25 Qxh7+ Kf8 26 Qh8 mate!]> 22...Rad8< [22...Qe5 With idea's of 23...Re6 or 23...Qg7 may be better.] >23.Bxf5 <[23.Rf3 Now is pointless due to 23...Rd6] >23...Nxf5 24.Rxf5< Obvious threat of 25 Rg5+> 24...Rd6 25.Qf4 Rg6 26.Rf1 Qe2 27.g3 Rf8 28.Rf2< [28.Rxf7 Qxf1+ 29.Qxf1 Rxf7 lets black 'off the hook'] >28...Qe6 29.h4 Ne7 <Giving away central squares is asking for trouble >30.Re5 Qd7 31.h5 Rg7 32.Rg5< Good, but not as crushing as [32.h6! Rg6 33.Bb4 Nc6 (33...Nd5 34.Qxd4 Nf6 35.Qxd7 Nxd7 36.Re7 black is in a mess) 34.Rg5 Threatening mate in 3 with 35 Rxg6+ hxg6 36 Qf6 34...Qe6 35.Bxf8 winning]> 32...f5 33.Rxg7+ Kxg7 34.Qe5+ Kg8 35.Bh6 Nc6 36.Qf4 <Threat 37 Qg5+ winning> 36...Rf7 37.g4 <This is just relentless stuff from Topalov. The guys an attacking genius!! >37...d3 38.cxd3 Kh8 39.gxf5 Qxd3 40.Kg2 Qd5+ 41.Qf3 Ne7< Ivanchuk seems to like this square for his knight. Unsuccessfully in this game though.> 42.Qxd5 Nxd5 43.Rc2 <Threatening the dreaded mate in 2 >43...Rc7 44.Rxc7 Nxc7 45.Kf3 Kg8 46.Ke4< The rest is a doddle for Topalov. >46...Ne8 47.Ke5 Kf7 48.Bg5 Nc7 49.h6 Nb5 50.Be3 b6 51.a4 Nc7 52.Kd6 Na6 53.Kc6 Nb4+ 54.Kb7 Nd5 55.Bg5 a5 56.Kc6 Nb4+ 57.Kxb6 Nd3 58.b3< Sheer attacking brilliance from Topalov. Love him or hate him, he is the worlds best attacking player bar none.> 10

If you were asked to define what kind of a chessplayer is Veselin Topalov, you should show people this game! Ivanchuk plays the straightforward 18...g6 to stop the mating threat, and for the next 40 move he is being battered into submission. This is world championship play by Topalov. There's a venom in his sting at the moment.

This is my vote for attacking game of the year. Utter relentless attack. After 18....g6 Ivanchuk didn't have any time to catch his breath. In my eyes this is class, a cut above the rest.

Kamsky's got no chance. I dream of seeing a Topalov v Anand World championship match!!

Dec-19-08  notyetagm: <chancho: If Vesko keeps playing like this, you have to like his chances against Kamsky and Anand in matches.>

If Topalov plays like this, <Anand-Topalov> will be a legendary match.

Dec-19-08  notyetagm: <ikipemiko: Incredible game by Vesko!!!!>

Incredible.

Dec-19-08  shintaro go: This is a great attacking game by Topalov and he had Ivanchuk on the ropes the whole game. I can't remember a game where Ivanchuk was dominated like what happened in this game.
Dec-19-08  notyetagm: <Ezzy: Topalov,V (2791) - Ivanchuk,V (2786) [B45] Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (8), 19.12.2008

...

<<<If you were asked to define what kind of a chessplayer is Veselin Topalov, you should show people this game!>>> Ivanchuk plays the straightforward 18...g6 to stop the mating threat, and for the next 40 move he is being battered into submission. This is world championship play by Topalov. There's a venom in his sting at the moment.

<<<This is my vote for attacking game of the year. Utter relentless attack.>>> After 18....g6 Ivanchuk didn't have any time to catch his breath. In my eyes this is class, a cut above the rest.>

Wow.

I agree that this magnificent game would make a good calling card for Topalov.

Dec-19-08  notyetagm: 37 ?


click for larger view

37 g3-g4!(!)


click for larger view

<Ezzy: ... 37.g4 <This is just relentless stuff from Topalov. The guys an attacking genius!!>>

Dec-19-08  notyetagm: YES!!!!

Today at ICC the great attacking player LarryC is doing the Game Of The Day video and he gets to cover this *brilliant* attack by Topalov!

Woohoo!

https://webcast.chessclub.com/icc/i...

Dec-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: This game is like Paul Keres reincarnated.
Dec-19-08  tud: Exactly what I was thinking. Topalov reminds me of Keres.
Dec-20-08  M.D. Wilson: I got that impression, too.
Dec-20-08  arsen387: and what if 37..fxg4? does that transpose into a winning endgame or is there a tactic that I don't see?
Dec-20-08  shintaro go: <arsen387> If 37..fxg4 then 38. Qg5+ Kh8 39. Bg7+ Rxg7 40. Rf8+ looks pretty bad for Ivanchuk
Dec-20-08  shintaro go: And if after 38. Qg5+ Rg7, then 39. Bg7+ Qxg7 40. Qxg7 Kxg7 and White is up in a Rook vs. Knight ending.
Dec-20-08  arsen387: <shintaro go> thanks. Seeing everybody raving about that 37.g4 move and white pieces menacingly gathered around black K, I just thought there's some immediate kill :) Anyway, nice game by Topa.
Dec-20-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: The other line is 37..fxg4 <R sees f8!> 38.Qg5+ Kh8 39.Bg7+ Kg8 40.Bxd4+ <Black must walk into a pin on f> Kf8 41.Qg7+ <drives the K away from g8> Ke8 42.Qg8+ and Black's K must cut his Q-R protection chain, dropping his Q+R for R.
Dec-20-08  notyetagm: <arsen387: <shintaro go> thanks. Seeing everybody raving about that 37.g4 move and white pieces menacingly gathered around black K, I just thought there's some immediate kill :) Anyway, nice game by Topa.>

After watching LarryC's video I realize that this game is not as impressive as I first thought.

It's still a very nice effort by Topalov but Ivanchuk did not put up much resistance.

Feb-03-09  arsen387: Looking back on this game after some time, seems like 20..Nxf1 is better for blacks than the text. I think attack like 21.fxg6 fxg6 22.Bxg6 hxg6 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.Bg5 Qxg5 25.Qxg5 Ne3 will lead whites to nowhere
Feb-03-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Looking back on this game after some time, seems like 20..Nxf1 is better for blacks than the text. I think attack like 21.fxg6 fxg6 22.Bxg6 hxg6 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.Bg5 Qxg5 25.Qxg5 Ne3 will lead whites to nowhere>

20...Nxf1 21.fxg6 fxg6 22.Bc4+ (22.Bxg6? actually loses to 22...Re7! 23.Bg5 Qf8) 22...Kh8 23.Bg5 Ne3 (23...Qd6 24.Rxf1 Rf8 25.Bf7! and the threat of 26.Bf6+ is decisive) 24.Bxd8 should probably be winning for White.

Another possiblity is 21....hxg6 22.Bg5 Qd6 23.Rxf1 (playing for Bf6) 23...Qf8 (23...Re6 24.Bc4) 24.Qh4 Re5 25.Bc4 (attacking f7) Nd8 26.Bf6 Rh5 27.Qe4 (attacking g6) 27...Qh6 (27...Rh6 28.Bxd8 Rxd8 29.Rxf7) 28.g4 Rc5 (28...Rxh2 29.Qe8+ Qf8 30.Qxf8+ Kxf8 31.Kxh2) 29.Rf3 and White is winning, e.g. 29...Rxc4 30.Qe8+ Qf8 31.Rh3! These lines show why Black wanted to keep the knight on e3.

Feb-04-09  arsen387: thanks <Eyal> for the correction and thanks for being always so helpful :)
Nov-11-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: It appears that after 29. ... Ne7?, Black was lost and never again had an opportunity to reach a defensible position. The last, best chance to hold would probably have been something like 29. ... Qd6.

After 29. ... Ne7? Topalov's 30. Re5! was winning. If Black had now tried to counterattack with 30...Qh3, he would have run afoul of tactics based on the open g-file: 31.Rxe7! Rxg3+ 32.Qxg3+ Qxg3+ 33.Rg2 .

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