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Veselin Topalov vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Gashimov Memorial (2018), Shamkir AZE, rd 4, Apr-22
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Main Lines (C80)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<WorstPlayerEver> The position was very complicated, way above my level.>

Mine too, way above also. In my mind it was always "unclear". But, with regards to Topalov not exchanging rooks, I don't know how much each player had remaining on their clocks but they were approaching the first time control. That's something else that those of us sitting at home and contemplating the game often don't fully appreciate, the pressure of the clock and the strain and fatigue after almost 4 hours of playing such a complicated game. We don't know what is going on in the players' minds.

Apr-22-18  morfishine: They should use a more endearing picture of Topalov for the dancing rook, at least one that has him smiling. The picture used is a classic 'Deer in the headlights' look or even worse, one taken the moment of beheading
Apr-22-18  BOSTER: When <WinKing> gave the pos with white to play 22., I was sure that black was better.
Apr-22-18  WorstPlayerEver: <AylerKupp>

I know what's going on in their mind: they don't want to lose! Of course it's easy analyzing without any pressure. That said, I kinda figured out that Black's queenside pawns were helpless against the White Bishop at some point. If only I could make it to such endgames myself ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Sally Simpson: So Black tossed a pawn a White to take out the back rank mates and maybe....just maybe ...he might get to play f6 and g5 cutting off the Bishop on h6....But to stop the back rank counterplay was the real reason.>

There was no way that black could get f6 and g5 in, trapping the bishop. So, as you say, giving the king more air to avoid back rank problems was why he played it. But in that case, why not simply play 36...h5 instead? There was no reason to just give the pawn away like that. It made no sense.

Apr-22-18  BOSTER: " My two cents " is .It is very difficult to lose such pos which black had in the middle of the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Boster> I thought black had an edge in middle game, too, but I don't think any of us (not even the mighty omniscient 2150 commentators who would lose 100% of the games with either of them at 10 minutes-to-1) are really qualified to a judge a game between Mamedyarov and Topalov. After all, if Topalov was really trying to distract M.'s pieces to wrong side of the board in order to win pawns, it would have to look good to Mamyedarov, who's one of the top 3 or 4 players in the world (by strength, who cares about ratings), so how can we judge better than him?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <ChessHigherCat> Well, if Topalov was in time pressure and I had all the time in the world, plus the help of several engines then yes, I think that "I" could evaluate better than he. :-)
Apr-22-18  WorstPlayerEver: Giri's losing btw :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I left this game early and thought Mamed had it won...

Goes to show that one can never count Vesko out.

He's fluid like... like nitroglycerin and liable to EXPLODE at the most unexpected of times.

Would be awesome sauce if he wins the event.

Apr-22-18  fisayo123: Topalov deserves to be in front. He's been the most impressive and dynamic player so far and most importantly he's converted his chances
Apr-22-18  cormier: 1) -1.62 (39 ply) 27...Rd6 28.Bxd3 cxd3 29.Qe4 Rc8 30.Rxd3 Rxd3 31.Qxd3 Qe6 32.Qc2 b4 33.Re1 Qd7 34.Re5 Re8 35.Rxe8 Qxe8 36.Kg1 a5 37.Kf2 Qc6 38.Be3 Bc5 39.h3 a4 40.Nd4 Qd5 41.Nf3 a3 42.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 43.Ke2 Qd5 44.g4 f5 45.gxf5 gxf5 46.Ke3 Kf7 47.h4 Kf6 48.Kf4 Qc4+ 49.Kg3 Qc5 50.Kg2

60.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 9

Apr-22-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 28 dpa done

1. - / + (-1.22): 29...b4 30.Bh6 Qb5 31.Rdd1 Re4 32.Qh3 Bg7 33.Ra1 f6 34.Ng1 Qc4 35.Bxg7 Kxg7 36.Qd7+ R4e7 37.Qa4 Qb5 38.Qc2 Re6 39.Qf2 Qb6 40.Qc2 a5 41.Rfd1 Qc5 42.Rac1 R8e7 43.Rf1 Re4 44.Qa4 R4e5 45.Rfd1 Rd5 46.Nf3 Rxd1+ 47.Qxd1 Qe3 48.h3 Qf4 49.Kg1 Qc7 50.Kh1

2. - / + (-0.77): 29...Qc5 30.Bd2 cxd2 31.Ng5 Qxg5 32.Qxg5 Re1 33.Kg1 Rxf1+ 34.Kxf1 Re1+ 35.Kf2 d1Q 36.Rxd1 Rxd1 37.h4 h6 38.Qf4 h5 39.Ke2 Rd5 40.g4 hxg4 41.Qxg4 Rc5 42.Kd1 b4 43.Qd7 a5 44.Qe8 Rh5 45.Qd8 a4 46.Qa8 Rxh4 47.Qxa4 Rh1+ 48.Kc2 Rh2+ 49.Kb1 Rd2 50.Qc6 Kg7 51.a4 g5 52.Kc1 Re2 53.Qd5

Apr-22-18  cormier: 1) -0.12 (38 ply) 20...d4 21.Bg5 d3 22.Bb3 Na4 23.Bxa4 bxa4 24.Bxe7 Rxe7 25.Nd2 f5 26.Nc4 Qc7 27.Nd6 c4 28.Qd4 Qa7 29.Nxc4 Be6 30.Qxa7 Raxa7 31.Nb2 Rac7 32.Nxa4 Rc4 33.Nb2 Rxc3 34.Rad1 Rd7 35.Rf3 a5 36.Rfxd3 Rdxd3 37.Rxd3 Rc2 38.Rd6 Bxa2 39.Nd3 Kf7 40.Rd7+ Ke6 41.Rxh7 Rc3 42.Ne1 a4

60.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 9

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Sally Simpson>, thanks for the feedback.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I think Topalov has a really far-seeing style. Like yesterday, everybody thought he just threw away a piece until they figured out that he had completely paralyzed the opponent's bishop and queen, and today everybody thought he had given away a lot of pawns for nothing whereas in fact giving away the pawns was probably a ploy to get Mamedyarov's pieces on the wrong side of the board.

In short, he's a very tricky mofo, which should come as no surprise because you don't get to be world champ for nothing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <ChessHigherCat: In short, he's a very tricky mofo,>

Thank you for sharing this valuable information.

So well traveled.
So well educated.

Apr-23-18  cormier: 1) =0.00 (39 ply) 24.Be4 f5 25.exf6 Rxe4 26.f7+ Kg7 27.Bh6+ Kxf7 28.Ng5+ Kg8 29.Nxe4 Bxh6 30.Nf6+ Kh8 31.Nxd7 Qd8 32.Nf6 c2 33.f5 Nd1 34.Rc1 Qd3 35.Re1 Qxf5 36.Rxc2 Rf8 37.Qxh6 Qxf6 38.h3 Nf2+ 39.Kh2 Qd6+ 40.g3 Nd3 41.Re6 Qc5 42.Rce2 Kg8 43.Rxg6+ hxg6 44.Qxg6+ Kh8 45.Qh6+ Kg8 46.Qg6+

2) -0.95 (38 ply) 24.f5 Nd3 25.e6 Bxe6 26.fxe6 Rxe6 27.Rad1 Rd6 28.Ne1 Nb4 29.Qe4 Rxd1 30.Bxd1 Qc6 31.Qf4 Qe6 32.Qf3 Re8 33.a3 Nd5 34.Nc2 a5 35.Bh4 Qd7 36.Be2 Bh6 37.Bf2 Re5 38.Bd4 Rf5 39.Qe4 Qe6 40.Qxe6 Rxf1+ 41.Bxf1 fxe6 42.g3 Kf8 43.Kg2 Ke7 44.Kf3 Kd6 45.Ke4 a4 46.Be5+ Kc5 47.Bd4+ Kc6 48.Bg2

3) -2.69 (38 ply) 24.Bf6 Nd3 25.Bxd3 cxd3 26.Ng5 h6 27.f5 Bxf5 28.Rxf5 gxf5 29.Qg3 f4 30.Qxf4 Rxe5 31.Qxe5 Qc5 32.Qxc3 Qxc3 33.Bxc3 hxg5 34.Rd1 Rd8 35.Bd2 f6 36.Be3 Kf7 37.Kg1 Kg6 38.h3 f5 39.g3 Rd5 40.Kf2 b4 41.h4 gxh4 42.gxh4 Be7 43.Kf3 Ra5 44.Rd2 Kh5 45.Rd1 Rxa2 46.Rxd3 Bxh4

60.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 9

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Count,

click for larger view

"why not simply play 36...h5 instead?"

36...h6 stopped the bank rank counterplay with a tempo.

36...h5 gives White time for Rd7 which is a threat and why Black was so anxious to get one of the Rooks exchanged. (see Black's moves after 36...h6). It also knocked the Bishop off covering e7 should Black want to consider defending f7 with Re7.

I did say 'maybe....just maybe' Black will get in f6 and g5.

Black's last move was 41..f6 going for it. Topo played 42.Be3 and Black resigned.

Shak took 3 minutes to play 36....h6. It was not a pawn loss blunder, there was an idea behind it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Sally Simpson> Thanks for your response. Yeah, you're right. I didn't consider the importance of tempo in this position. If White gets Rd7 in, he will probably be able to start picking off Black's queenside pawns after ...Ra7 followed by ...Rxa6.

Always interesting to read your assessments, <Sally>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <CHC: <Boster> I thought black had an edge in middle game, too, but I don't think any of us (not even the mighty omniscient 2150 commentators who would lose 100% of the games with either of them at 10 minutes-to-1)....>

I am <not> omniscient--I just know everything!!! (laughs)

Worse still than players like myself who know it all are those who would be nothing without the almighty software and use it to come it over on everyone (<AylerKupp> is an exception--reasonable poster).

<....are really qualified to a judge a game between Mamedyarov and Topalov....>

Never could play anywhere near that level, but one does not improve without making the effort at understanding the currents beneath the surface.

<....Mamyedarov, who's one of the top 3 or 4 players in the world (by strength, who cares about ratings), so how can we judge better than him?>

There are not enormous differences in understanding between the very greatest players and, say, a 2650, who would be just outside the top 100 overall. The divergences are rather more subtle than all that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Hi <Perfidious>, I'm glad to see you joined the kibbitzers today. It's a lot of fun because, contrary to a live game, we can say whatever we like without having to worry about pissing off the players.

I didn't mean to demean or discourage amateur kibbitzing in general, I was referring to a very specific situation, namely:

If Topalov deliberately deceived M. by luring his pieces off to the wrong side of the board so he could attack the un(der)defended castle, then he would have to make the bait look so good that it could fool even M., who's one of the world's best players. If he could trick even Shakh then it's no wonder that all the kibbitzers here were saying ho hum, next game, Topalov doesn't stand a chance here.

That was a very specific situation that was extremely hard to judge. Other than, that I guess tactics all the time and really enjoy it. That said, I know my limits: I have a much harder time guessing end game strategy because I'm just an amateur and have never studied tablebases so when it comes to subtleties like that I tend to shut up and try to learn.

Apr-26-18  WorstPlayerEver: I sense mutiny here...

<amateur kibbitzing in general>

Says it all, I guess. May I remind you about what is usually written under/above a thread like this:

< Earlier Kibitzing PAGE 3 OF 3 Later Kibitzing>

PS: the post button says something like this: "Kibitz!"

There's more, other buttons who state things like: "PREVIEW KIBITZ", "POST KIBITZ"

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Thanks, I can always count on you to misinterpret everything. I said I am <NOT> discouraging amateur kibbitzing, quite the contrary, I was talking about a very special case, and now if you can actually get it together to read the description of the specific situation we can continue the conversation and maybe actually communicate. Otherwise just drop it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: It's so nice, so gracious of his excellency <ChessHigherCat>, to allow amateur kibitzing.

So well traveled he is.
So well educated he is.

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