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Veselin Topalov vs Levon Aronian
Sinquefield Cup (2016), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 9, Aug-14
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-14-16  truepacifism: I love these under promotion to knight games. Who would have ever guessed this? !!!
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  WorstPlayerEver: It's theory.
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  chessdgc2: What a frustrating game for Topa!
Aug-14-16  ajile: :o) lol
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  Domdaniel: Draw. So is champion.
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  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: How many of you think this will go to move 100?
Aug-14-16  ajile: Website is overloaded. No video stream.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Great fighting game! And congrats to Wesley winning his 1st big tournament!!
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  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: ...and just as I publish the last post, they agree to a draw. Eh, bien.
Aug-14-16  truepacifism: What can I say! What a game! So is the champion!
Great Job Wesley So!
Aug-14-16  CountryGirl: Good on Topalov for trying his best to win this. Good on Aronian for resisting successfully. Respect.
Aug-14-16  GreenLantern: Nice turnaround for So. Congrats to him.
Aug-14-16  Drjasim: Feeling srryy fr topa
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  chessdgc2: Those are the kinds of draws no one complains about :) Congrats to Mr. So and thank you very much to and kibiters! Look forwared to our next event
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  norami: Oh well, back to the Olympics. See what Bolt can do.
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  AylerKupp: After 52,Rxc3 White mates in 43 moves according to the Lomonosov 7-piece tablebases. And as late as 56...Ra7 Whites mates in 40 moves.

The move that threw away the draw is 57.Rd4+. If instead 57.Kb4 White continues to be able to mate in 39 moves.

Of course, there is no reason to believe that Topalov would have found all the exact moves leading to the win.

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  Domdaniel: <norami> - <See what Bolt can do>

Run fast, I hear?

Aug-14-16  Sally Simpson: "Oh well, back to the Olympics. See what Bolt can do."

His sport lasts 10 seconds...10 seconds...his lap of honour will take 5 minutes......the lap of honour will take 30 times longer than the actual event.

And...I bet as I'm typing this some poor lad in Africa is being chased by lion and he will be running a lot faster than Bolt ever will.

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  norami: <Domdaniel> Bolt is known the "Carlsen of sprinting".
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  norami: Van Niekerk just broke a 17 year old record. Bolt next.
Aug-14-16  GiuocoPianoMan: Blacks 73rd move reminds me of the famous Shower of Gold move. How many of us would have seen the only way to play is under promote??
Aug-15-16  Ulhumbrus: Aronian may have not expected 10 Ng5. 10...Bb6 avoids parting with the bishop pair.

Instead of 80 Rd5, 80 Re2 prevents the knight from getting back close to the Black king.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: What is the winning idea once Topalov transitioned to a rook endgame.

Position after 54…Rb8+

click for larger view

The winning idea is 55.Kc3 folowed by Ra4

It is generally known that the rook is best posted behind pawns. Of course, Topalov knows that, but what was the problem?

55.Kc3! Ra8 56.Ra4

click for larger view

56... Kc5 <The move Topalov was afraid of. He wanted that the black king remained cut off. But the black king cannot join the rook in attacking the passed a-pawn and defend his e-pawn in the same time. Black will be in zgzwang.>

57.a6 Ra7 58.Ra1

click for larger view

Black is in zugzwang.

58...e5 59.Ra5+ Kb6 60.Kb4 Kc6 61.Rxe5

58...Kd6 59.Kd4 e5+ 60.Kc4 Kc6 61.Ra2

58...Kb6 59.Kd4

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: For computer analysis.

<AylerKupp: After 52.Rxc3 White mates in 43 moves according to the Lomonosov 7-piece tablebases.>

Position after 52.Rxc3

click for larger view

[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Date "2016.08.14"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Veselin Topalov"]
[Black "Levon Aronian"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN " "]

1...Kd6 2.a5 Rb2+ 3.Ka3 Rb1 4.Rc4 Rb7 5.a6 Ra7 6.Ra4 Ke5 7.Kb3 Kf4 8.Kc3 e5 9. Kd2 Rd7+ 10.Ke2 Ra7 11.Kf2 Kg4 12.Ke3 Kg3 13.Ra3 Kg4 14.Ra5 Ra8 15.a7 Kg3 16.Rxe5 Rxa7 17.Rg5+ Kh3 18.e5 Ra1 19.Ke4 Kh4 20.Kf5 Rb1 21.Rg4+ Kh5 22.Rf4 Rb8 23.e6 Rf8+ 24.Ke5 Re8 25.Re4 Kg6 26.Re2 Kh6 27.Kd6 Rd8+ 28.Kc6 Rc8+ 29.Kd7 Rb8 30.e7 Kg6 31.e8Q+ Rxe8 32.Rxe8 Kf6 33.Kd6 Kf5 34.Re5+ Kf4 35.Ke6 Kg4 36.Rf5 Kh4 37.Rf4+ Kh3 38.Kf5 Kg3 39.Kg5 Kh3 40.Rg4 Kh2 41.Kh4 Kh1 42.Kg3 Kg1 43.Rf4 Kh1 44.Rf1# 1-0

The tablebase provides the optimal moves: how many moves it would take to achieve the result with perfect play.

[FEN " "] Insert FEN of the diagram position.

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  Jimfromprovidence: <cro777> Thanks for posting the winning line for white. Here is the position after move 16 for black in your sequence.

click for larger view

At this point I was able to replicate the rest of the result with the Nalimov table bases. (link below).

I appreciated learning why 17 Rg5+ is the only winning move for white and I was able to follow the logic behind the win from move 17 on.

Maybe others might want to do the same.

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