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Peter Svidler vs Veselin Topalov
FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013), Thessaloniki GRE, rd 5, May-27
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Two Knights Defense Blockade Line (D37)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
May-28-13  Dr. Funkenstein: interesting game, Svidler gives away the queenside pawns to create a passer that goes through, but Topalov cooly sacs the exchange to kill it then plays 27. ...g5 and 28. ...Kg7 to free his king position since white can't take on g5 without depriving the e5 pawn of support. All of a sudden it's a drawn game where black's extra pawns make up for the lost exchange.
May-28-13  zoren: <Dr. Funkenstein>
Almost the entire game is theoretical waters... unfortunately. After 20.Nd6, both sides have checked the improvement from an old game from 2009 amongst amateurs, Vigorito - Getz. Before the TN, there were many games that have appeared at 2600+ up to 19.Rhc1.

I'm assuming 23...Nf8! (23...Bf8 leads to a downhill defense)was computer checked and also that the theory probably ended on move 27 where the draw was not in doubt.

May-28-13  Dr. Funkenstein: Thanks Zoren,

I didn't know this is all theory 20+ moves deep. Modern chess gets harder and harder as the pool of top players and their computer analysis grows

good call on 23. ...Nf8!, Topalov's strong enough he might have worked it out OTB, but it's really hard without a computer to see that knight will be well placed to break up white's kingside pawns with Ng6

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <I'm assuming 23...Nf8! (23...Bf8 leads to a downhill defense) was computer checked and also that the theory probably ended on move 27 where the draw was not in doubt.>

<good call on 23. ...Nf8!>

Actually, 23...Nf8 is very close to losing and 23...Bf8, as passive as it looks, is probably better. Luckily for Topalov, Svidler made a sloppy move of his own almost immediately - 26.Ne5?; instead, <26.Nd2!> should give White good winning chances - this way he also gets rid of Black's strong knight (and can then go for Black's Q-side pawns) but without botching his pawn structure and allowing Black such strong and immediate K-side counterplay. So, both players were playing with no previous preparation by the stage the novelty 20.Nd6 appeared, as the press conference ( also makes clear. Svidler's 20.Nd6, found otb, does seem however like an improvement on 20.Rab1 played in D E Vigorito vs A Getz, 2009, on which 20...N(either one)c5! would be very strong.

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