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Veselin Topalov vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
Linares (2005), Linares ESP, rd 6, Feb-28
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-28-05  Chris00nj: Vallejo's the native boy. The same with Loek van Wely at Corus, but the Loek played along the level that Kasim is doing now.

Kasim vs Paco will now be even more interesting.

Feb-28-05  cade: Why not 18... bxa2+
Feb-28-05  csmath: Wanna play Naydorf against Topalov?
Better be ready.
I watched this only by move 26 where Vallejo was already totally lost. He stranded his rook on g3 and then c3.

It looks like the critical error occured before also on 19. ... Nb6?. For some inexplicable reason Vallejo allowed Topalov to bring his king back to safety. With 19. ... Rxa2 it looks that black is as fast if not faster in his attack though it is hard to estimate this double edge position at any point. In either case Vallejo is outplayed here rather fast.

Feb-28-05  Kingsandsquares: Anand beat Topalov when he played the Najdorf...I guess he needs to work on that a bit more, wouldn't you say?
Feb-28-05  csmath: <<Why not 18... bxa2+>>

Because the king gets to a1 safely and the black attack is somewhat fizzled. Then he will need more time to mobilize pieces to get into the attack. White, on the other hand, will continue with his attack.

It is a clear good intuition and Vallejo was right at this point, in my view. In Naydorf attacks like this the intuition plays extremely important role.

<<Anand beat Topalov when he played the Najdorf...I guess he needs to work on that a bit more, wouldn't you say?>>

Vallejo is no Anand.

Feb-28-05  siu02jm: wonderful!!!
Feb-28-05  Rowson: It would appear that Vallejo is going to be the one dispensing victories to his opponents in this tournament. is he just out of form or is he out of this league? Why didn’t Morozevich play was he not invited?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The tournament is in Spain and they like to have at least one local representative. They normally do it at Corus as well, with a Dutchman.
Feb-28-05  Knezh: 18. ..bxa+ or Rxa and 19. ..Rxa2 all seem better than what was played.
Feb-28-05  Shah Mat: <Vallejo looks like the whipping boy of Linares>

boy you really took the words out of my mouth. verbatim.

Mar-01-05  iron maiden: <Rowson> Anyway, I have a feeling Morozevich would probably be doing just as poorly right now.
Mar-01-05  sergeidave: Isn't Shirov also from Spain?? He is a great player! Why Vallejo instead of Shirov??
Mar-01-05  iron maiden: Because Vallejo is Spanish-born, and he's younger. It's like comparing Nakamura to Onischuk--sure, the latter's rated better, but Naka's American-grown and a potential future top-10 player.

Call it a hunch, but I think this is Vallejo's last appearance in Linares. He's already at just one point from five games and still has to play Black against Kasparov, Anand and Leko. He'll probably finish at -5 or -6 at least, and after that the sponsors will get tired of seeing their local boy get whipped year after year.

Mar-01-05  Mameluk: Not sure, look how many times did Van Wely his 3,5/13 in Wijk an Zee and he is invited on and on, he learned to play top 10 and now he scores great results already for three years in a row.

19... Rxa2 is not so easy for Nc1 and Bc4 next. I wonder what is the decisive mistake, I didn´t like that Rf3.

Mar-01-05  AdrianP: I'd be tempted to go a bit easier on Vallejo - he's playing fighting chess and not curling up in a ball, begging for draws. This is super-sharp stuff against one of the great attackers and it would have been easy for Toppy to go wrong. If anyone has any doubts about Vallejo's ability, have a look at this game - Svidler vs Vallejo-Pons, 2004
Mar-01-05  iron maiden: Sure, Vallejo isn't taking early draws, but that's primarily because they haven't been offered to him this year. In 2004 he drew quickly whenever he got the chance to, and his first-round game against Kasimdzhanov this year shows that hasn't changed. The game against Svidler is impressive, but a single rapid game proves very little.
Mar-01-05  WillC21: Vallejo is getting stomped on. Period.
Mar-01-05  AdrianP: <iron maiden> <Vallejo isn't taking early draws, but that's because they haven't been offered to him> Nothing to stop him offering them.

<WillC21> OK...

Mar-01-05  iron maiden: So you're saying that if Vallejo were offered a draw in 19 moves as Black by Kasparov, he wouldn't take it? Given his 2003 and 2004 records I highly doubt that.
Mar-02-05  Hidden Skillz: lol..didnt somebody on the corus forum mention that paco would have done better in corus than moro?? thats so wrong haha..paco still needs to prove himself imo..
Mar-07-05  AdrianP: <Iron Maiden> <So you're saying that if Vallejo were offered a draw in 19 moves as Black by Kasparov, he wouldn't take it?> No, I'm not.
Mar-09-05  Rama: Topalov plays very carefully with Nc1, Kb1, h4 and Qe2. Then follows a period of maneuvering in which V-P plays give-away, ending in a decisive attack on the h-file. (In the final position if h6 then Bxf5 and the Bd4 is protected.)

I'm pretty sure that black can improve on his 24. ... Rg3. V-P must have rejected Qf8-f5+ and the pawn push e4. Why?

Jul-21-06  AdrianP: <csmath and some others> 19. ...Rxa2?! 20. Nc1! b3!?+ 21. Kxb3!! and White will win the exchange with Bc4. It looks very hairy to take on b3 with the king, but there is no mate.
Jul-21-06  MrMelad: Wow! 32.g6 is a very strong move, it threatens mate, threatens the knight on f6 and defends the bishop on d4! black must play h6 and lose the knight. if 32..Nh6 33.Qxh6.

Very good game by topalov proving that he has great defensive skills as well as superb attacking power.

Mar-15-07  Whitehat1963: Puzzle material after 26...Nxb2.
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