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Anand vs Topalov, 2010
Sofia, Bulgaria

After defeating Gata Kamsky in the eight-game challenger match, Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov once again found himself preparing for a World Championship title match. The match took place in Sofia, Bulgaria from April 24 to May 13, 2010. The title match was mostly following the format of Anand-Kramnik 2008 and Kramnik-Topalov 2006 in that 12 games would be played, with a series of successively faster tiebreak rounds if needed. Topalov demanded that the match be played in silence, in the style of the "Sofia Rules" which require draws to be mitigated by an arbiter.

 Vishy Topalov 2010
 Anand defends his title in enemy territory.

According to FIDE regulations, reigning champion Viswanathan Anand had the right to refuse Sofia as a suitable location, as that would give Topalov the "home field" advantage. However, Anand raised no objections. The match was delayed due to air travel disruptions caused by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull, which offset the entire schedule by one day.[1]

The match was grueling and dynamic, with five decisive games, and some unexpected surprises in the openings. Topalov got off to a great start, demolishing Anand's Grunfeld in the first game in only 30 moves. Anand struck back in game two demonstrating his mastery of the Catalan opening, and in game four took the lead, but the ever-aggressive Topalov seemed to have a psychological edge even while trailing. Tied 5.5 apiece, Anand chose the drawish Lasker Defense of the Queen's Gambit for the last game, and quickly equalized. In an effort to create winning chances, Topalov captured the pawn offered by Anand. Topalov soon found himself defending against a sharp attack and lost, thereby ending the match without the need for tiebreaks.

"Vishy" once again defended his title. In a post-match interview Anand mentioned that in addition to his normal team of seconds, he also received help in preparation from Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.

click on a game number to replay game 123456789101112
Anand01½1½½½0½½½1
Topalov10½0½½½1½½½0

FINAL SCORE:  Anand 6½;  Topalov 5½
Reference: game collection FIDE World Chess Championship, Sofia, 2010

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #4     Anand vs Topalov, 2010     1-0
    · Game #12     Topalov vs Anand, 2010     0-1
    · Game #1     Topalov vs Anand, 2010     1-0

FOOTNOTES

  1. Wikipedia article World Chess Championship 2010

 page 1 of 1; 12 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Topalov vs Anand 1-0302010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
2. Anand vs Topalov 1-0432010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
3. Topalov vs Anand ½-½462010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
4. Anand vs Topalov 1-0322010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
5. Topalov vs Anand ½-½442010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
6. Anand vs Topalov ½-½582010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
7. Anand vs Topalov ½-½582010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchE10 Queen's Pawn Game
8. Topalov vs Anand 1-0562010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
9. Anand vs Topalov ½-½832010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
10. Topalov vs Anand ½-½602010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
11. Anand vs Topalov ½-½652010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
12. Topalov vs Anand 0-1562010Anand - Topalov World Championship MatchD56 Queen's Gambit Declined
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-14-11  fischer2009: @ ProjectR :Please,either you do not know of the legacy,power and rights that is associated with a WORLDCHAMPION in chess,which had been there from the time a WORLDCHAMPION existed in chess or you are out of your mind.There are some things that you shouldnt compare and CHESS n FOOTBALL is certainly one of them.Carlsen didnt want to play and he didnt play and so he managed to find the dumbest excuses for doing so.
Sep-28-11  Hesam7: Looking back after 1.5 years I have a very different impression from the match. Back then the match seemed very close match. Now it seems that Anand was simply better. Beside the 3 games he won he had winning positions in games 7 & 9 (the first one is specially impressive given that the opening went perfectly for Topalov). In game 11 instead of a draw Anand went for a very sharp endgame with a pawn sacrifice a decision many would not go for I think.
Nov-03-11  Badmojo: What is up with these wimp 12 game matches? 24 games is the historic number and 24 games is what it should be. This is ridiculous.
Nov-03-11  Badmojo: Fischer209, that is a great reply and you're right. Compare chess to boxing. Does the heavyweight champion of the world need to qualify to defend his title? No, it's his until someone comes and takes it away from him or he gives it up.
Nov-03-11  rapidcitychess: No, please do not compare chess to boxing. >.<
Dec-22-11  talisman: <Hesam7> you said it right.
May-18-12  Edeltalent: <notyetagm: Great match. Looking forward to Anand-Aronian London 2012.>

<rapidcitychess: Great match. I'm looking forward to Anand-Kramnik 2012.>

And then along came Gelfy!

Apr-02-13  Caissanist: Besides the factors mentioned by <Hesam7>, it is also worth remembering that Anand's arrival was delayed by more than one day--I'm sure he asked for more than one day's postponement after an exhausting trip across the continent, I believe they had to drive rather than fly. The organizers only agreed to one however, and he was probably not physically or psychologically prepared for the first game.
Apr-02-13  Caissanist: One factor that obviously favored Anand, though, was the rapid tiebreaker, since he is a much better rapid player than Topalov. Anand did not seem to be in as good physical condition as Topalov, as evidenced by his failures in the game 7 and 9 endgames; in a longer match Topalov might have been able to wear him down, but instead he took some big risks in game 12 to try to win without playing fast games.
Apr-12-16  The Kings Domain: Anand should have retired after the match. It would have been the most perfect exit to cap a great career.
Apr-12-16  SetNoEscapeOn: Vishy doesn't give a damn about his "legacy" or what patzers think about him. He should play as long as he enjoys playing, like Karpov, Korchnoi, and Smyslov before him.

And certainly I respect him a lot more for not running just because a new kid showed up on the block.

Mar-25-18  tgyuid: just take the bishop
Mar-25-18  tgyuid: then its gone d'you know what I mean
Mar-25-18  tgyuid: oh, the guilt
Mar-26-18  Petrosianic: <SetNoEscapeOn: Vishy doesn't give a damn about his "legacy" or what patzers think about him. He should play as long as he enjoys playing,>

I've heard a half dozen calls for Aronian to retire too. In a live chat, it's amazing the things you hear from people who supposedly like chess. They want everybody to retire, can't bear to watch a game go on even one move after they've decided how it will end, and constantly whine how boring the game is, when the eval is roughly even.

Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: As <caissanist> noted above, Anand and his team had to travel to Sofia in a rented minibus because a volcanic eruption had grounded all air travel.

<We’d moved into the third and final part of the trilogy by now, but felt tired to the bone, sore from sitting in the bus and desperate to sink into our hotel beds. When we were close to Sofia, the police stopped us again, this time for overspeeding. One look at my passport, and the officer exclaimed, ‘Ah, you’re Vishy Anand? You’re the guy we are searching for; please don’t drive as fast as you play!’>

Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I hadn't heard that anecdote. That volcanic delay was epic.
Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Topalov's team fought hard against delaying the start of the match because of the travel difficulties.

In the end I believe it was delayed by one day. Anand arrived three days before the first game.

Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I didn't think that was very sporting by either party. Force Majeure contingencies are often written in to contracts.
Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Here's what Anand wrote about that. It's not entirely clear to me. I think his editor slipped up.

<On the evening of 17 April, once we had our travel plans in place, it struck Aruna that we could enforce the ‘force majeure’ clause mentioned in the match contract and seek a postponement. It would buy us a few days’ time for our road journey. She called our legal counsel back in India, who agreed it was a good idea, and Aruna quickly jotted down the notice we could serve FIDE as he dictated it to her. According to article 8.2 of the agreement, I didn’t even have the benefit of the seven-day period that the contract stipulated for acclimatizing to the conditions. FIDE knew it didn’t have any grounds to refuse us, but the Bulgarians in the organizing committee were bitter over our request and termed it both ‘derogatory and unacceptable’.>

Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: For "Bulgarians" I read "Danailov".
Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm excited! What if nepo springs a TN and plays for a win in game 1? Any WC matches where the challenger won game 1? [Aside from Fischer/Spassky].
Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <For "Bulgarians" I read "Danailov".>

I suspect so.

<During the match, Topalov’s manager, Silvio Danailov, occasionally paced about the stage with his mobile phone stuck to his ear, pretending he was on a call and was being passed on information, until the arbiter stopped him from doing so after the first couple of times. They were psychological ploys to unnerve me, though I found them to be more comical than provocative.>

Kramnik and Kasparov both helped Anand from a dstance in this match, probably more out of dislike of Topalov than friendship with Anand.

Nov-26-21  fabelhaft: <Kramnik and Kasparov both helped Anand from a dstance in this match>

And Carlsen also assisted Anand during the preparation stage. Now that's some team, with all the classical World Champions from 1985 to at least 2021. Topalov's seconds Smeets, Cheparinov, l'Ami and Dufek pale a bit in comparison.

Nov-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: But Topalov supposedly had the new Rybka 4 and a supercomputer "cluster," which caused concern if not panic in the Anand camp.

<Rumour had it that the said computer cluster was running the latest program of the chess engine Rybka and it was suddenly obvious to us why Rybka 4 had been held back from us in the run-up to this match. While we didn’t know that Topalov’s team had access to IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer (later his seconds said it wasn’t working properly for standard chess software anyway), Rustam had read in a Rybka-cluster forum that it had a recent, high-profile customer. Now the pieces began to fall into place. Since it wasn’t us, it was clearly my opponent.>

After three games, Anand felt better with the support from the former champions.

<We may have had inferior machine support, but what we had on our side was a knowledgeable ‘human cluster’ that came together to prepare me and support my game. The eventual outcome of the match may not have been the same without it.>

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