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Veselin Topalov vs Viswanathan Anand
Corus Group A (2003), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-12
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Jaenisch Variation (C42)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-26-05  clocked: Opinions on the exchange sac?
Mar-26-06  Father Karras: It didn't work, I suppose.
Mar-26-06  Jonber: The exchange sac leaves Black with some weak white squares but it doesn't seem to be enough. Perhaps 19.Ne5 Qxe5 20.Ng6 Rf7 21.Ne5 is an improvement, wining back the exchange for a pawn, but it's unclear if the weaknesses around the black king are worth the pawn.

Maybe Topalov meant to play the exchange sac a move earlier. 16.Rxe6 fxe6 17.Qxe6 looks interesting.

Seems to me Topalov later missed an equaliser though. Instead of 34.Rd1:

34.Rxe6 Rdxe6 (Certainly not 34...Rexe6 35.Bxe6+ Kh8 36.Ng5) 35.Bxe6+ Kh8 36.Ne5 Qh5 37.Nf7+ where both king to g8 and queen takes f7 seems to lead to perpetual:

37…Kg8 38.Ng5 Kh8 39.Nf7+ etc. and,
37...Qxf7 38.Bxf7 Re1+ 39.Kh2 d2 40.Qxb7 d1Q 41.Qc8+ Kh7 42.Qf5+ Kh8 43.Qc8+ etc.

However, being worried about the d-pawn promoting and probably being in time trouble to boot its quite understandable Topalov played the text move.

Jul-08-10  The Rocket: <"Opinions on the exchange sac?"<

Total insanity

Apr-12-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 16 Rxe6..fxe 17 Qxe6+..Kh8 18 Ng5..Qxd4 would have been bad for White - note that White waited to make the exchange sacrifice until after ..h6 had been played weakening the light squares around the king. 17 Rxe6!? was new; 17 a3 and 17 Bd2 had been played previously. 36 Rxd2..Qb1+ 37 Kh2..Rxd2 38 Nxd2..Qe1 would have been winning for Black.

A typical speculative sacrifice by Topalov - this time he never quite had enough compensation. The passed d-pawn that Topalov allowed ended up being as important as the exchange sacrificed.

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