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Veselin Topalov vs Alexey Shirov
M-Tel Masters (2009), Sofia BUL, rd 7, May-20
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: I expected more from Topalov in a line where he had white and several days to prepare, and is supposed to have several Bulgarian GMs to assist him.
May-20-09  dotsamoht: They're drawing now?? Disappointing...
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 27.Re3 Qd2 28. Re2 Qd3 1/2
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <Perhaps he has a secret?> If so I guess he saves it for Anand.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Such a wild looking position but a dead draw.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Handy draw line. ;>D

Theory marches on ...

May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: White can try Re4 instead of Re3 but it is still draw.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: You rock, Chessgames. Thanks for the live coverage.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: What happens if white plays 23. ♖ed1?
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <OhioChessFan: Re4 Qxf2++ ;)> I have meant Re4 in position with black Queen on d3.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I was just goofing around, thought better of it and deleted it anyway. :)
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: We will switch to Carlsen-Dominguez in just a minute.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: Why is this called an Uncommon Opening? Surely it's not.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Why is this called an Uncommon Opening? Surely it's not.>

It says Semi-Slav. And don't call me Shirley.

May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: Great to see Shirov playing the Botvinnik variation again.
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Absolutely!

It's possible he didn't play a move here that he hadn't analyzed earlier.

May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Topalov vs Shirov, 2009

Game Collection: King deflection: -two- loose squares near king 26.Re2! Forced. [26.Kxh2?? Qxf2+ 27.Kh3 (27.Kh1 Rh8# ) 27...Qxg3# ]

Game Collection: Checking focal points must be defended! 26...Qd3 Also forced. [26...Qxe2?? 27.Qxd6+ Ka8 28.Qc6+ Kb8 29.Qc7+ Ka8 30.Qxd8+ Kb7 31.Qc8# ]

May-20-09  returnoftheking: Mateo showed this line had already been played up till move 24. Topalov probably knew that-so was he content with just a draw here?
May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Topalov pretty much wasted a White game here. Perhaps he was sort of bluffing, creating the impression that he has prepared something and hoping that Shirov would deviate from the main lines at an earlier stage; perhaps he was hoping to surprise him with 23.Rac1 instead of 23.Red1, as played in several games (such as Van Wely vs Piket, 1994). However, Shirov was apparently prepared and a couple of moves later improved on 24...Nxf6?? 25.Nb6! 1-0 as in Anikaev vs H Westerinen, 1982 with 24...Qd2, which pretty much forces a draw because of the Rxh2 threat. Nice idea, though quite easy to find in computer-assisted preparation.
May-20-09  returnoftheking: yes-I can't imagine Topalov thought Shirov would play Nf6..:p-and if not for that trick white has little winning chances. And bluffing in the Botvinnik-I guess you only play this with black when you are not afraid of a theoretical discussion. Makes me think that Topalov was content with an easy draw. Maybe he (still) doesn't see Shirov as the main threat this tournament?
May-21-09  ivan999: after the game topalov said that he played a new move hoping that shirov didn't know the only move the draws for black, but apparently alexey did. shirov said that probably every move he made matches rybka's first choice.
May-21-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: So apparently Topalov was trying to surprise Shirov with 23.Rac1 instead of Red1, hoping he would miss the drawing continuation. However, as was already pointed out, this isn't actually a new move... one of those games in which both players already had the final position on their laptops before it started.
May-21-09  ivan999: yes, i believe topalov meant 23. Rac1 as the "new" move.
May-21-09  returnoftheking: Even if it was a new move-Shirov should have no problem finding the best moves here. They are not that hard to find.
May-21-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: "...one of those games in which both players already had the final position on their laptops before it started."

Quite likely, as the "Botvinnik chapter" of Fire on Board makes clear.

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