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Veselin Topalov vs Hydra (Computer)
Man vs Machine 120'/40+60' (2004), Bilbao Esp, rd 2, Oct-07
Formation: Queen Pawn Game: London System (D02)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-27-05  SnoopDogg: Topalov had a winning endgame says Amir Ban and should have won against Hydra.
May-28-05  Dionyseus: Where's the winning line? I don't see it, and neither does my Shredder 8. The drawing line is included in the pgn: 83. Kg8 Qg2+ 84. Qg7 Qf3 85. Qg6+ Ke7 86. Qg5+ Ke8 87.Qg6+ Ke7 88. Qg7+ Ke8 draw
May-28-05  SnoopDogg: Did you visit the website I gave? Scroll down to a picture of Topalov and Amir Ban and read the caption.
May-28-05  MrSifter: A game like this should be very inspiring for Adams. Topalov had an easy time acquiring and retaining the advantage. A lot depends on the setup against computers because there are certain positions that are just nightmares for humans against computers. On the other hand, humans can play very comfortably against computers and watch them play without any purpose for many moves.
May-28-05  acirce: Maybe 46.Bxa5 bxa5 47.Qxc5+ Ke8 48.b6 Qd7 49.Qxa5 and then the pawns start marching. It doesn't look all that easy to actually win it though, even if Fritz is giving White a huge advantage. In some lines he will have to be very careful to avoid perpetual checks.
May-30-05  Dionyseus: <acirce> What will you do if black plays 47...Kg8 instead of Ke8? If you play 48.b6, black forces a draw with 48...Bf8 49.Qxa5 Qd4 50.Qb5 Bc5 51.b7 Qe3+ 52.Kd1 Qd3+ 53.Ke1 Qxg3+ 54.Kd1 Qd3+ 55.Ke1 Qxd4+ 56.Kd1 Qd3+ 57.Ke1 Qe3+ 58.Kd1 Qd3+ 59.Ke1 Qe3+ 60.Kd1 Qd3+ draw by repition.

I believe Amir Ban was simply wrong. Topalov does not have a win.

May-30-05  acirce: <Dionyseus> Thanks, I think you're right, 46.Bxa5 leads nowhere. Then again, maybe no need for such drastic measures, or maybe it could be prepared.
Oct-04-05  jmelton: I wonder whether Topalov might have missed a promising continuation before the endgame. Crafty gives 32. f5 as best for White. If Black is not very precise, he will lose. For example: 32. f5 exf5 33. e6 fxe6 34. Qxe6+ Kh7 35. Qxf5+ Kh8 36. Qg6 Kg8 37. e5 c4 38. e6 Rb7 39. Rf2 Rf8 40. Rdf1 Rxf2 41. Rxf2 Bf8 42. Rf7 Qd8 43. Kc1 Re7 44. Be5 Qe8 45. Bxg7 Rxf7 46. Bxf8+ Kxf8 47. Qxh6+ Ke7 48. exf7 Qxf7 49. Qe3+ Kf8 50. Kd2 Qg6 51. Qf4+ Qf7 52. Qxf7+ Kxf7 53. b3! wins.
Dec-16-05  vesivialvy93: topalov played only the position , he is intelligent , i don't think topalov played for the win , he could have done this ! but he was playing to NOT LOOSE that game , he soon tried to exchange some pieces but realize that the machine was programmed to do not simplify the game (anti-gm strategy) and he did very well in the process , in my opinion the machine felt in traps while blundering 14...d4 and 15...d3 loosing a pawn sooner or later , it seems to be a tactical mistakes and i don't understand what advantage the machine could have seen , maybe opening the game soon for a price of a pawn was a programmer strategy in 2004 but in closed game against a future world champion it's like jeopardizing for nothing!!! in my opinion the machine did a bad evaluation of the position before the sacrifice of the pawn.
Mar-13-06  damyanov2214: Very Interesting opening against computer!
One day Hydra will Lost.
Apr-02-06  Bobak Zahmat: Fritz 9 analyse:

28. ... Qc5?! is not the best move. Maybe Hydra should consider to play b5!? and create some counterplay at the Queenside.

At move 38 Topalov should offer to trade Queens with Qd3 and after the trade White is clearly winning.

After the suggested move 46.Lxa5!? is the game drawn probably. 46.Lxa5 leads to 46. ... bxa5 47.Qxc5 Qe7 and it looks that it is quite impossible to make some progression.

Apr-15-06  Dionyseus: <Bobak Zahmat> After 38.Qd3 black doesn't have to trade queens, Rybka prefers 38...Qc8 and this becomes an easy draw with no possible advancement on either side.
Apr-17-06  Bobak Zahmat: You're right, after Qc8 or Qb7 the game is drawn, I made an mistake with the computer analysing.
Jul-06-06  spirit: interesting endgame!
Nov-03-06  cotdt: Hydra didn't seem so strong in this one! Topalov could have won had he been able to adjourn the game and figure out the winning line using a computer. perhaps rybka running on a PC is just as strong as Hydra on a supercomputer, since rybka can search even deeper (but not nearly as thorough as hydra).
Jun-21-07  YouRang: Doing some computer post-game analysis, I think that Topalov still had a good chance to win late in this game. After 68 moves completed, we have this position (white to move):

click for larger view

Here, Topalov played 69. Qh6, but it looks like 69. Kh5! is better.

It looks a little crazy, charging the black queen with our king, but the key to winning seems to be getting our king into a strong position relative to black's king.

Note: (1) Black's king is hemmed onto the 7th and 8th ranks by pawns, and (2) white's pawns are generally more advanced than black's. If white's king is strongly placed, then these factors mean that black can't afford to exchange queens (the more mobile white king will be able to nudge black away from defending his pawns) and black can't afford to get into a pawn race.

The main line goes like this:
69...Bxg5 <69...Qh7+ discussed below> 70. fxe6+! <giving black an isolated e-pawn endgame disadvantage> fxe6

71. Qxg5 Qh8+ <thanks to isolated e-pawn, black loses if queens exchanged> 72. Kg4 Qh7 73. Qf6 Qxe4+ 74. Kg5 Qh7 75. Qg6 Qe7+ 76. Kh6 a4 <to make Pc4 unguarded> 77. bxa4 Qh4 78. Kg7 Qxc4 <black gets pawn back and still guards Pe6>

But now, white's queen goes to work:
79. Qf7+ Kd8 80. Qf6+ Ke8 81. Qf7+ Kd8 82. Qf8+ Kd7 (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

83. Qf3! <1. queen threatens to attack on queenside, and prevents counter-checks by black> Kd8 (note: if 83...Ke7 then 84. a5!; if 83...Kc7 or 83...Qxa4, then 84. Qc6+) 84. Kf7 <a key move! king attacks Pe6, finds safer square, and closes in on black king> Qxa4

85. Qf6+! <too early to take pawn; instead queen corners the king (black's king tries to avoid letting the queen capture a pawn with check)> Kc7 86. Qe7+ Kb8 87. Qe8+ Ka7 88. Qd7+ Kb8 89. Qd6+ Ka7 90. Qc7+ Ka8 91. Qc6+ Ka7 (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

92. Ke8! <moving in on square unreachable by black queen> Qg4 <hoping to get into position for perpetual check; but now leaving a-file unguarded>

The queen goes to work again:
93. Qc7+ Ka8 94. Qc8+ Ka7
95. Qa6+! <and now black's pawn drop off> Kb8 96. Qxb6+ Ka8 97. Qxc5 Qg6+ 98. Ke7 Qg7+ 99. Kxe6 (tablebase win)

If black had played 69...Qh7+:

70. Qh6 Qxh6 <or else lose bishop> 71. Kxh6 Bc3 <exchanging bishops loses for black>

72. Kg7! Ke8 <any other move results in 73. Kxf7 and white gets a winning passed pawn> 73. Kf6 exf5 74. exf5 <and white will move bishop to f4, king to g5, with threats to (1) push kingside pawns and (2) eat queenside pawns with bishop>

Jun-21-07  s4life: <YouRang> nice analysis! 92.. Qg4 seems like an unnecesary move for black. What if black leaves the Queen protecting the a-file? Are there any other chances for white?
Jun-21-07  YouRang: Hi <s4life>, and thank you. At move 92, black is looking at this board:

click for larger view

Black's options:

== 92...Kb8
93. Qxb6+ <...I think we can rule this out.>

== 92...c4 <advances passed pawn, but also block's queen along 4th rank>

93. Kd7! threaten e6 and, more importantly, mate threats are forming! I'll rule this out (unless you see something promising for black).

== 92...Qa1 <threatens Pe5. If we want to keep the queen on the a-file, this seems to be the best queen move. 92...Qa5? allows Qc7+, Qc8+ and our king slides over for a quick mate. Other queen moves (...Qa3 or ...Qa2) allow 93. Qc7+ Ka8 94. Qxb6 and black's queen is helpless -- it can't capture anything nor put white in check.>

93. Qc7+ Ka8
94. Qc8+! Ka7
95. Qd7+! <better than immediate Qxe6 which allows 95...Qh1, with access to checks and to b7> 96. Qxe6 <white has passed pawn and black still can't take anything or put white in check>

Jun-23-07  s4life: Thanks, it looks winning for white in all variations, gj.
Aug-23-08  Dionyseus: <YouRang> In your line, a big improvement for black would be 73...a4 allowing the capture of the c pawn, necessary for black to draw. It may continue as so: 74.bxa4 Qxe4 75.Kg5 Qxc4 76.Qg7 Kd8 77.Qh8 Kd7 78.Qh7 Kd8 79.Kf6 Qd5 80.Qe7 Kc8 81.Qxe6 Qxe6 82.Kxe6 and this is a draw.

click for larger view

Aug-25-08  YouRang: <Dionyseus> Thanks for checking my work. :-)

Indeed, 73...a4! appears to be an improvement, which I overlooked.

I've spent a little time looking for a winning refutation for white -- so far without success.

But 73...a4 is a great find. It's one of those deep moves, that when you first see it, it seems unfathomable (at least to me).

Anyway, if I find anything, I'll post it here. Otherwise, I consider my theory that Topalov had a win at move 69 busted. :-p

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <74.bxa4 Qxe4 75.Kg5 Qxc4 76.Qg7 Kd8 77.Qh8 Kd7 78.Qh7 Kd8 79.Kf6 Qd5 80.Qe7 Kc8 81.Qxe6 Qxe6 82.Kxe6 and this is a draw. >

<80. Qa7 > is worth a look. I'll let Fritz chew on it a while.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I tried to work with the 80. Qa7 line and the evals worked their way down to nothing. Here's one line:
80. Qa7 Kc8 81. Qxb6 c4 82. Qa6+ Kd7 83. Qa7+ Kc8 84. Qe3

click for larger view

Aug-27-08  YouRang: <OhioChessFan><Dionyseus> In looking for white improvements in response to <Dionyseus>'s 73...a4! idea, I've been making some progress with 77.Qf8!?.

But I have lots of work to do before I'm reasonably confident enough to post that it's really an improvement...

Maybe later. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I've tried every which way but loose to make the pawn race work, but any time the black c pawn queens, it's a dead draw. That tension is just suffocating.
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