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Veselin Topalov vs Fabiano Caruana
London Chess Classic (2016), London ENG, rd 2, Dec-10
French Defense: Advance. Euwe Variation (C02)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-10-16  dashjon: 30...Rg7 followed by 31...Rh8 also wins.(in-style)
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Way over my skill level, a very tense difficult game. Surprising that White had an extra pawn on the 7th rank for much of the game and lost.
Dec-10-16  scormus: Certainly a difficult game. I cannot fathom what happened to Topa. Fabio was in the most awful time trouble, and staring down the barrel of major threats. I think the clock helped him, no time to worry, and he seemed to go into mental overdrive while Topa was spinning the wheels.

Correction, I can fathom what happened to Topa, I've been there.

Dec-10-16  5hrsolver: After 39. Qe1 c2 40. g8(Q) Qe1 41.Ke1 c1(Q)#
Dec-10-16  izimbra: <Good Evening: Way over my skill level, a very tense difficult game. Surprising that White had an extra pawn on the 7th rank for much of the game and lost.>

Super interesting game that the engine says swung wildly back & forth in terms of which side had the advantage. The last swing move that should have affected the scoring was <35.Nd2> where the N was already in the right place. Preserving a pawn with <35.cxd> or <35.a4> would have kept a the game even/drawish. Prior to that...black could have had an advantage with <30...Rxg7> because <31.Rxg7> loses to <31...Rh8!> where mating threats have to be defended by loss of material. Prior to that, White was winning after <28.Qg6>...but that is a position that the engine understands much better than people..basically W can keep making progress towards promotion threat or attacking b7 or the other black pawns, while B has no active strategy or real defense.

Black was fine in the opening and would have been decisively better if he noticed that <18...e5> was fine by itself without B support and the B was helping more on f8 to defend h6, freeing Rg8.

Dec-10-16  paavoh: <...a very tense difficult game.> Just like a French Defence should be!
Dec-10-16  Imran Iskandar: Wow, what a game!

Strange how Fabi still wins his games even when not playing totally crisply, as seen in this year's Isle of Man.

Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: The French appeals to players who can defend for 30 moves then turn the tables, like Korchnoi.
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: That's the kind of game that really thrills. Complicated on a great scale, and subject to many analysis. Caruana won, but I frankly didn't see it until it was almost over. Cheers to both players for this fantastic battle.
Dec-10-16  dumbgai: Tough loss for Topa. To get that pawn on g7 and still lose.
Dec-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It almost seemed like Fab was playing like a computer, ignoring the very obvious white threats and finding a strong continuation in white's backyard.
Dec-10-16  Fish55: Topalov must have missed 36...Re8! when he played 35Nd2?
Dec-11-16  savagerules: French is a rare defense for Caruana though he has a pretty good record with it the few times he's played it. This game does have a complicated double edged Korchnoi-like feel to it.
Dec-11-16  Ulhumbrus: 35 Nd2 displaces a defender of the c3 pawn and allows 35...dxc3 which straightens out the doubled pawns and acquires two connected passed pawns on the third rank.
Dec-11-16  Moszkowski012273: Actually 30...Rg7 31.BxB... is pretty darn equal.
Dec-11-16  mistreaver: I am not entirely certain, but can someone explain why has the line 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Qb6!? been suplemented with the 4.. Nc6 5... Bd7 and 6.. Nge7 developing scheme? I have tried analyzing this game on my blog, so feel free to check it out, correct it or add your own thoughts :) http://www.chessentials.com/london-...
Dec-11-16  Clement Fraud: Veselin Topalov is one of my all time favorite GMs; I love the way he never betrays his principles of play. In this game Topalov's queen knight was marooned on a3 for much of the game, and only became active when it was too late. I have always had the strongest of misgivings about the advance variation for white against the French Defence.
Dec-17-16  talwnbe4: Caruana was lucky.. 30. Qxd5 and it's Toplalov that's winning.. Topalov had a good position on move 23
Dec-19-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < talwnbe4: Caruana was lucky.. 30. Qxd5 and it's Toplalov that's winning.. Topalov had a good position on move 23 >

On move 23 Topalov was fine, but Stockfish 7/64 gives Caruana a very slight plus on the eval. After 30.Qxd5 white has a half pawn edge but i would hesitate to proclaim a white win so boldly.

Dec-20-16  talwnbe4: 30. Qxd5 Bxc3 31. bxc3 Rcd8 32. Rd6 Rxd6 33. Qxd6 Qb2 34. g3 1.7

Rybka

30. Qxd5 Bxc3 31. bxc3 Rcd8 32. Rd6 Rxd6 33. Qxd6 Qb2 34. g3 Qc1+ 35. Kg2 d2 36. Qc5+ Kb8 37. Rf8+ Kc7 37. Rxg8 d1=Q+ 38. Kg2 Qxa2 black has two queens but he has to give one back while white queens 39. Nc4 Qab1 40. Rc8+ Kxc8 41. g8=Q+ Qd8 42. Qxd8+ Kxd8 with clear advantage

Dec-20-16  talwnbe4: 30. Qxd5 Bxc3 31. bxc3 Rcd8 32. Rd6 ( 2.7) Rxd6 33. Qxd6 Qb2 34. g3 d2 35. Qc5+ Kb8 36. Rf8+ Kc7 37. Rxg8 d1=Q+ 38. Kg2 Qxa2 39. Nc4 Qab1 40. Rc8+ Kxc8 41. g8=Q+ Qd8 42. Qg4+ Kb8 43. Qf4+ Ka8 3.4 with a passed g-pawn

Stockfish

32. Rb1! defended as well Qe2+ 33. Kg1 d2 34. Rfxb7+ Ka8 35. Qxd5 Qe1+ 36. Kh2 Qe5+ 37. Qxe5 Nxe5 draw 0.00 (Stockfish)

Dec-20-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < mistreaver: ..can someone explain why has the line 1.e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Qb6!? been suplemented with the 4..Nc6 5... Bd7 and 6.. Nge7 developing scheme? >

It has not. 4...Nc6 is and has always been the main move in the French Advanced. It would be more correct to say ..Nc6 has been supplemented with ..Qb6. Greco was analysing 4...Nc6 in the early 1600's. See...

NN vs Gioachino Greco
Miscellaneous Game (1620) French Defense: Advance. Euwe Variation (C02) 0-1

The Chessgames database shows 6 ..Qb6 games before 1900 ...

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

..but has 57 ..Nc6 games, the first of which is the Greco game from 1620.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

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