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Veselin Topalov vs Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Linares (2005), Linares ESP, rd 12, Mar-08
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Main Line (D37)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-09-05  euripides: Wonderful use of the white rooks. The rook on d5 is vulnerable but Topalov probably calculated it couldn't safely be taken before committing it.
Mar-09-05  Karpova: Ljubojevic on 20...f6:
<this guy does not understand chess, such an ugly move. Chess is a very simple game, it is very logical, you just have to find the connections between the moves. If this guy wants to make it more complicated, his problem.">
Mar-09-05  LIFE Master AJ: Topalov,V (2757) - Kasimdzhanov,R (2678) [D31]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (12), 08.03.2005

A great game of chess, full of fighting content. It is not clear where Black went wrong.

1.d4 d5; 2.c4 e6; 3.Nc3 Be7; 4.Nf3 Nf6; 5.Bf4 0-0; 6.e3 c5; This is always the 'book' reply ... but I do not like it. (I have said so many times in print. See the following web page for some analysis:

7.dxc5 Bxc5; 8.a3 Nc6; 9.Qc2 Qa5; 10.Nd2 Bb4;
This move is probably too aggressive, although it is also a 'book' line here. (This is all probably based on the game, Topalov - Kramnik; CORUS "A" / Wijk aan Zee, NED; 2001. This has to be one of the key games in this line.)

11.cxd5 exd5; 12.Bd3 d4; 13.0-0 Bxc3; 14.Nc4 Qh5;
The standard prescription here, but maybe the Queen would have bit safer on d8?

15.bxc3 Nd5!?;
This is much too aggressive ... and possibly even dubious. ('?!') The pawn capture on c3 (or even e3) was a thought here.

16.Bg3! dxe3; 17.Rae1,
A very interesting gambit, for which Topalov gains quite a bit of play. (But there may have been a simpler solution.)

[ 17.Nxe3 Rd8; 18.Rab1,
White is at least a little better here. ]

A standard response. (Korchnoi - a player that I greatly admire - would have grabbed the pawn on f2, I'll wager.)

[ After 17...exf2+; 18.Rxf2,
White has tremendous play, and a fair amount of "comp" on the open lines here. ]

18.fxe3 Nde7!?; 19.Nd6 b6; 20.Rb1!!,
An excellent move, White finds an unusual switchback and brings this Rook strongly into play. The Black Queen suddenly finds herself in a bit of a bind.

[ Fritz 8.0 prefers: 20.c4, here. ]

20...f6!?; 21.Rb5 Ne5; 22.Rf4 N7g6; 23.Rd4 Bd7!?;
(Maybe - '?!') Black fails to find the best defense.

[ >/= 23...Rab8!; 24.Qd2 a6!; was probably a better try. ]

White's centralized Rooks creat a strong visual impression, and also give Topalov a tremendous advantage in this position.

[ 24.Be2, ]

24...Be6; 25.Be2 Qh6; 26.Bf4! Nxf4; 27.exf4 g6?!; (Probably - '?') Black was obviously under a lot of pressure here. The play of 27...BxR/d5?; fails miserably to 28.Nf5!, and then 29.Ne7+, forking the Black King and Queen.

[ 27...Kh8[]; was probably forced here, although White retains a fair advantage. ]

The rest is a slaughter - and really requires no comment. 28.Qe4 Bxd5; 29.Qxd5+ Kh8; 30.Re4! Nd7; 31.Nf7+ Rxf7; 32.Qxf7, (Black Resigns, 1-0)

A nice crush by V. Topalov - I watched most of this contest on the Internet.

---> USCF LIFE-Master A.J. Goldsby I

Mar-09-05  notsodeepthought: This game was overshadowed by the Kasparov demolition of Adams on the same day, but it's a little gem in its own right. When it comes to tactics, Topalov may be the best GM around today - after Kasparov.
Mar-09-05  LIFE Master AJ: <notso> agreed
Mar-10-05  euripides: 15 bc and 18 fe give White four pawn islands but dynamic chances on the corresponding half-open files. it reminds me of Kasparov's fe in Kasparov vs P Nikolic, 1992. Maybe this idea has now become commonplace; when Kasparov played fe I think it caused some surprise.
Mar-10-05  dragon40: I bet Tpoalov relished this game, it surely sent Kasim a message that "your luck in Tripoli against me is gone and now I crush you like I should have done months ago., little man!" :) I love it!! Topalov played a truly great game here, poor Kasim had not a vlue and was totally crushed.
Mar-10-05  ughaibu: Euripedes: I think this kind of pawn island disruption was initially made respectable by Botvinnik.
Mar-13-05  LIFE Master AJ: <ughhaibu>
Actually, Alekhine was really the first to patent this trick. Other players - like Capa - would make fun of his Pawn Structure. Much of the time, it did not matter ... the master of attack had too much piece play. Maybe his opponent could defend, but they always seem to lose their way.

A good example of this can be seen in Alekhine's games from Bled, 1931. (year?) In that event, he had many games with dispersed Pawns, but usually managed to win.

Of course Botvinnik studied ALL the great masters that came before him. He (also) knew hot to use this technique. His play against the Nimzo-Indian is often associated with Pawn sacrifices or fierce attacks! (His opponent never manages to get to an endgame and exploit the doubled pawns.)

Sep-16-05  The Contender: Rustam Kasimdzhanov made a splendid game here!!!

im severely impressed with his beatifull development and style of play at Linares 2005!!!

Feb-28-06  alexandrovm: great game, white has weaknesess but fine tactics to win over such a solid player as Kasim.
May-19-06  spirit: go on top
Jul-22-06  notyetagm: What centralization!

After 20 ♕e4:

click for larger view

Jul-22-06  notyetagm: Topalov is such a great <DYNAMIC> player. His broken pawn structure allows him to actively use his rooks. With 21 ♖b5 and 22 ♖f4, Topalov maximally activates -both- of his rooks.

Position after 22 ♖f4:

click for larger view

Kasimdzhanov has the more connected pawn strucutre, with two pawn islands to Topalov's four. But having fewer pawn islands also means that there are fewer open lines for the Black rooks, which do virtually nothing the whole game.

Like I have said a thousand times, the player who uses his rooks better wins 99 times out of 100.

Apr-08-07  Whitehat1963: 28. Qe4 would make for a nice puzzle someday.
Apr-09-07  kewlmodee: What about 32... Nf8?


Can black get away?

Jul-04-08  Abaduba: <kewlmodie> If 32…Nf8, then White plays 33. Rd7! first, and now Black is helpless against 34. Bc4 (and he can always throw in Qxf6+, Qf7+ if he wishes), e.g. …Rc8 35. Bc4 Rxc4 36. Rd8
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