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Andrei Vasilyevich Kharlov vs Veselin Topalov
"My Dinner With Andrei" (game of the day Dec-05-2008)
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), Tripoli LBA, rd 5, Jun-29
Bishop's Opening: Berlin Defense (C24)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-22-04  iron maiden: It's because of games like this that I'm considering adding Topalov to my list of favorite super-GM's.
Oct-18-05  Averageguy: The Bishops Opening doesn't seem to offer white as good chances as other openings. Black can equalize fairly quickly, and can begin his own attack, as well illustrated in this game.
Jan-15-06  trolls: Crowing over a sacrifice born of necessity? Black obviously plays a principled, practical game thru-out, helped along by White's evident time pressure, coming up with lemons like 25 Rd4? and then 33 Rg3? (33 Bh4!). 20 Nde2 was un-necessary (20 Be3!).
May-15-06  SnoopDogg: I love looking back at these silly predictions and assumptions kibitzers made. From Kasparov being just a regular 2700 player to Topalov not rising to Top 3 in the world. To me, their logic clouds more doubt than my dog's intuition. It seems they lack that "killer instinct" to detect who's on the rise and who are flukes. Every once in a while I just like to see these two year old posts and look at how stupid they look even though tons of other kibitzers support their points with groundless logic and have no sense of intuition whatsoever.
Jul-16-07  BAG: SnoopDogg I was thinking the same thing today looking at some of the earlier posts on Mangus Carlsen
Dec-05-08  LaFreaK: AMAZING!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: What was the point of 48. Rg2 ? It just loses an exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The persistence with which Topalov insists upon remaining a Rook down amazes.
Dec-05-08  andymac: <al wazir>, assuming you mean 48. Rg2 Bxg2?? which would lose the Queen to 49. Qxf4, and hence not win the exchange.
Dec-05-08  amateur05: Incredible game. Topalov seems to have taken the game into a different dimension where the value of a piece is irrelevant!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Topalov> seems to be the most creative player around these days - incredible game!
Dec-05-08  kellmano: Great stuff from Topy. It is always nice to see games that remind us the points balue of scoring pieces is irrelevant compared to what the pieces can do.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: It seems that nobody noticed the pun with the play 'My Dinner with Andre", which was also a movie from Louis Malle (and one of his best).
Dec-05-08  arnaud1959: Great game by Topalov. I think White was too greedy. Being a rook ahead he could have given back some material. 37.c4 c5 38.♘b5 d4 39.♘xd4 cxd4 40.♕xd4 and e4, b6, g6 are weak and white has serious counterattacking possibilities.
Dec-05-08  Superbull: After 31 moves, white should win being a rook for 3 pawns up. I think the key mistake was occupying g3 with the rook and not the bishop. 33 Re3 followed by Bg3 is better for white.
Dec-05-08  newzild: This is an astounding game. I would never think of sacrificing a piece as Topolov does here. Even several moves later it doesn't look like he has enough compensation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I have to agree with <An Englishman>. The matter by itself does not lack of drollness. :D
Dec-05-08  Ezzy: [White "Andrei Kharlov"]
[Black "Veselin Topalov"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C24"]
[WhiteElo "2593"]
[BlackElo "2737"]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O d6 6. a4 O-O 7. Re1 Nbd7 8. Nc3 Nc5 9. d4 exd4 10. Nxd4 a5 11. Bf4 Ng4 <With ideas of 12...Bh4 13...Qf6 with pressure on f2.> 12. Be2 Nf6 13. Bf3 Re8 14. Qd2 g6 15. h3 Nfd7 16. Rad1 Bf8 17. g4 <Always a big decision when you push your pawns infront of your king. This pawn push will soon be a nightmare for Kharlov.> Qb6 18. Bg2 Ne5 <It was this knights destiny to arrive at this square eventually. It does have a powerful threat of 19...Nc4 20...Nxb2.> 19. b3 Qb4 <This does have a subtle threat of 20...Ned3 21 cxd3 Qxd4 and black has pressure on whites queenside pawns.> 20. Nde2 f6 21. Be3 h5 < Typical Topalov. He sees a target (g4) and goes for it.> 22. f4 Nxg4!! < It takes great chess vision from a great chessplayer to play this.> 23. hxg4 Bxg4 24. Qc1 <White has no plan of action, wheras Topalov has lots of constructive idea's. Whites knight on e2 is pinned. He has threats of 24...f5 25...Bg7 if necessary. pushing his 'h' pawn is a strong option. And bringing his rooks into the attack wont take long. All in all a good practical knight sacrifice for 2 pawns. Sometimes with Topalov, it's 'who dares wins.'> f5 25. Rd4 Qb6 26. Qd2 Qc7 27. Bf2 Re6 28. Rc4 Rae8 29. Nd4 Rxe4 30. Nxe4 Nxe4 31. Bxe4 fxe4 <Threatening 32...d5 33...Bb4> 32. Rc3 d5 33. Rg3 Bd6 34. Be3 Qd7 35. c3 Rf8 36. Rf1 b6 37. Rf2 c5 38. Nb5 Bb8 <Topalov's powerful bishops and well placed pieces, 2 passed pawns with the addition of a big space advantage, gives Topalov a nice position.> 39. Rfg2 g5 40. Rf2 Kg7 41. Qc1 Kg6 < Topalov can improve his position at leisure. Kharlov has no plan but to defend. > 42. Qf1 Rf5 43. Rgg2 Qf7 < 43...Bh3 looks obvious, but Topalov has better idea's. >44. fxg5 Bf3 45. Rh2 Bxh2+ 46. Rxh2 <Don't forget white is 47 Nd6> Rf4 < This threatens 47...Rg4+ 48 Rg2 Rxg2+ Kh1 49 Qf5 and mate is unavoidable.> 47. Bxf4 Qxf4 <ow ready to push his central pawns.> 48. Rg2 <{ A possible saving grace for white is - (48. Qe1 e3 49. Na3! d4 50. Rh3 d3 51. Rxf3! Qxf3 52. Nc4 Qg4+ 53. Kh2 d2 54. Qxe3 d1=Q 55. Ne5+ Kf5 56. Nxg4 Qxg4 57. Qd3+ Kxg5 58. Qd8+ Kf4 and black will have a mammoth task to try to win this.)> 48... h4 < Threat 49...h3> 49. Qe1 <To stop 49...h3 50 Rh2 Qg3+> e3 50. Rh2 Qxg5+ 51. Kf1 h3 <Topalov now threatens 52...Be4 53...Qf4+ and it is soon mate.> 52. Qb1+ <( 52. Nd6 Kf6 53. Rb2 Ke6 54. Nb5 Be4 Threat 55...Bd3+ and it's over)> 52... Be4 53. Qb2 Bd3+ 0-1

Absolutely stunning performance by Topalov. Just shows what imagination you need to be a number 1 in the world player.

I agree with all the other kibitzers. Who cares about material!!

Dec-05-08  cyclon: Black is playing against `laws of physics`. Beautiful and somewhat astonishing play by V. Topalov. Brings A. Aljechin to mind.
Nov-29-09  notyetagm: <SetNoEscapeOn: ... The Russian Kharlov was #73 and rated 2593 when he made it in 2004. Topalov beat him 2-0 in very brilliant fashion, but it was still a great run.>

Should have been 2004 Game Of The Year

Kharlov vs Topalov, 2004

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Leading the two-game mini-match 1-0, Topalov sacs a whole(!) rook and crushes Kharlov. Who else would make such a sacrifice when all that is needed to advance to the next round is a draw?

The game that made me a Topalov fan.

Jan-25-10  didiablito: Absolutely awesome game! I have watched it tens of times and liked it more and more each time...
Sep-23-10  fgh: What about 40. Rxg4? It doesn't seem that bad, but perhaps I'm missing something.
Dec-06-13  davide2013: I don't understand why white, who plays the bishop's opening, which should attack F7 or the kingside, then spends 3 moves to reposition the light squares bishop in F3. I've seen Kasparov playing the bishop's opening attacking on the queenside, but the center was blocked, and the pawn structure was similar to the King's Indian, so it made sense, here I still didn't see all the game, but it doesn't make sense.
Dec-06-13  Yopo: What happens after 24 Qd4?
Jul-29-14  Ke2: An amazing situation where Topalov has a broad pawn storm for a whole rook, like Spassky-Fischer Game 13.
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