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Veselin Topalov vs Viswanathan Anand
"Topology" (game of the day Jun-18-2011)
MTel Masters (2005), Sofia BUL, rd 6, May-18
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Check Variation Intermezzo Line (E15)  ·  1-0



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Given 44 times; par: 67 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A rare game where white seems to castle on both the kingside and queenside.

The ferocity of Topa's attack is staggering.

<apiana> 21. Qg6+ Kg8 22. Nf5 Bf8

click for larger view

... seems to protect. Fritzie gives black an edge of -2.08

Jun-18-11  apiana: ok sorry my mistake, thats right works out for black
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: No worries. Backwards moves by bishops are often very hard to see because they seem so illogical.

The first time I played through the game I thought exactly the same as you that white was going to play Qg6 instead of Ng6. I had to puzzle it out to work out why he didn't.

Jun-18-11  Lil Swine: Anand was "Top"-pled.
Jun-18-11  BobbyFissure: Great game. Was Nxf7 a novelty?
Jun-18-11  WhiteRook48: horrible pun
Jul-01-11  ColeTrane: Part of the reason why this came about is because we are not expecting white to castle queenside so suddenly, esp after opening up. This is muted by the knight on the rim, which wrx well w/queen to hold down g6 square
Sep-10-11  voyager39: Been watching the World Cup 2011... nobody comes anywhere within a mile of this!

They must be grateful that Topalov declined to participate.

I want him back!!

Sep-11-11  Eduardo Bermudez: Splendid !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Kasparov Fan01: *** I'm making a correction and stating that this is Topalov's BEST game. Are there any challengers for a better one?>

Here's another one that at least rivals the 2005 game vs. Anand:

Topalov vs Kramnik, 2008

The fact that this game (vs. Anand, Sofia 2005) goes from sharp middlegame to fascinating endgame, including a final position in which Black (ready to promote on move) resigns, even though White needs three (3) moves to promote (all with tempo, of course, and culminating in checkmate) probably gives it the nod for Topalov's very best.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <piltdown man: One thing that impresses me about Mr. Topalov is that his chess is more fearless than the other top players - he throws caution to the winds. <I wonder if this is why he is so disliked by his fellow top flight grandmasters?> Anyway I, for one, love his chess. Hopefully he'll be the real champ one day.>

I think the widespread dislike of Topalov has nothing to do with his playing style (which I, too, absolutely love), but rather such incidents as his Danialov-"inspired" (*) protests at the 2006 world championship match. [(*)-Here, Conrad's phrase, the "demon of perverse inspiration" comes to mind.]

As far as Toplalov's ever becoming the "real" world champion, I do not think he will ever again make a serious run for that title. I believe he has lost the requisite "fire in the belly" (to use a methaphor for driving ambition, usually used in a political contaxt, and usually with reference to ambition for the U.S. Presidency).

Oct-18-11  voyager39: <Peligroso Patzer> I agree with you. Topalov has played some fascinating games and I keep coming back to play through them.

I also think that most of the bad press is pertaining to a few controversial past events and it is time we moved beyond.

The WCC match with Anand that went to the wire on Topalov's home turf has proved beyond doubt that he plays a fair game and is a modern day legend. Anand won much more convincingly against Kramnik.

Moreover I have yet to see an engine that can play games like this one or the one against Kramnik that you highlight. Or even a draw like this

Anand vs Topalov, 2005

As regards choosing the best game, to me the Kramnik game was visually more appealing though this one is no less spectacular. I'd be happy with either.

My only hope is Topalov comes back for a few years and we'll have less cribs about draws. With Topalov, even draws draw an appaluse!

Oct-18-11  kellmano: Hear, hear. I remmeber the days when we all loved Topalov and, despite his shennanigans, I still do.

He played fantastic, combative chess. This game is a case in point.

Oct-18-11  voyager39: Topalov is one guy the chess world loves to hate. We criticise him while he's around, but we badly miss him when he is not playing.
Jan-26-12  Whitehat1963: I'm chess-blind, and I find this game mind-boggling, so please forgive a few stupid questions, but I'll be grateful to anyone who can explain:

1. What happens if 15... or 16...Bxd5?

2. What's the point of 20...b5?

3. What happens if 25...Qxh8?

May-16-12  iamdeafzed: <Whitehat1963>

From one chess blind fellow to another:

<1. What happens if 15... or 16...Bxd5?> I think the reason black didn't take basically has to do with black's queen being on the same file as white's d1 rook combined with the fact that black's king isn't overly safe in that position. A couple example lines I'm coming up with on the spot (which means they've probably got gaping flaws in them, but oh well): 16...Bxd5; Bc4, Bxc4; Qxc4+, Kf8 (Ke8, Re1+); and then something like Ng6+ or Bf4

16...Bxd5; Bc4, Be7; Bf4 and the bishop on d5 is awkwardly double pinned.

If nothing else, taking the pawn would seem to be risky if not suicidal.

<2. What's the point of 20...b5?>

b5 deflects white's bishop away from the protection of d5, which is supporting white's strong rook on e6. Notice how black captures the d5 pawn shortly after playing this.

<3. What happens if 25...Qxh8?>

Probably 26.Qe4, threatening both Qxa8 and Qf4+.

Qe4,Rb8; Qf4+ wins the black rook anyway.
Qe4,Bf5; Qd4+, Kg6 (Kg5; h4+, Kg6 or else it looks like black could be mated); Qd6+ picks up the black knight and now black's bishop is loose, king is still exposed, and queen is out of play in the corner.

So I'm guessing it's for reasons like that that Anand wisely chose to give back the piece (Qd4 stops Qe4), use his compensating initiative to trade queens and hope to survive an endgame.

May-17-14  SpiritedReposte: A pawn march forcing mate after letting the opponent queen...good grief.

Good players playing in form just have a way of staying ahead of you, even the slightest bit, then bam you're lost.

Sep-20-14  Whitehat1963: Thank you, <iamdeafzed>!
Aug-22-15  Imran Iskandar: I don't understand the middlegame of this game at all. These kind of games remind me how bad at chess I still am. I guess it takes this kind of play to defeat Anand at his best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Imran Iskandar: I don't understand the middlegame of this game at all. ***>

FWIW, here is a summary of a few key features of this game that I posted earlier today at page 30 of this thread: Topalov vs Ponomariov, 2005:

Topalov’s sacrifice in [the Anand] game (<14. Nxf7!?>) in this position:

click for larger view

was of a decidedly speculative character. He was probably counting on the fact that he had heavily analyzed the resulting position at home, whereas his opponent would be needing to find his way over-the-board, but to play such a move against a great defender like Anand invites comparison with the first well-known essay of the Marshall Gambit: Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918.

Topalov fared better against Anand at Sofia 2005 than Marshall against Capablanca at New York 1918 when Vishy went astray with <21. … Be7??> (Better would have been <21. … Kg8>.) If two moves later Topalov had found the best continuation (<23. Re5!> putting Black’s pieces in an inextricable tangle from which major material losses could not have been avoided) instead of playing the much weaker <23. Rxe7?!>, the game would have ended much sooner. As the game actually went, Topalov won a beautiful ending coming down to a final position in which Anand, in the position where he resigned:

click for larger view

could have immediately promoted (<52. ... b1=Q>) on a square (b1) that White was not covering, but in reply Topalov would have had three consecutive pawn pushes with check that would have culminated in <55. g8=Q#>.

Dec-29-16  Sularus: awesome game! not sure if that g-pawn is a doughnut or a coffee cup.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: You'd need more than coffee and doughnuts to play like that! I have just browsed through this marvellous game, and the thing about it that blows my mind is how Topalov, after conducting what appears to be a winning attack, suddenly abandons his attack to offer a Queen swap <29 Qe2>? Had a moderate club player like myself had white's position at move 29, I'd've been tempted to try shuffling my King to g1 to escape the checks; but the brilliant Veselin had seen a forced endgame victory some twenty moves in advance!
Jul-30-17  leroquentin: haha, what an afliction. You keep waiting Qg6+ forever!
Jan-21-20  Whitehat1963: Or is THIS Topalov’s Immortal?
Oct-06-21  Whitehat1963: The greatest attack ever unleashed against the Queen?s Indian?
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