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Michael Adams vs Veselin Topalov
FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005), San Luis ARG, rd 11, Oct-10
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1/2-1/2

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Michael Adams vs Veselin Topalov (2005)
Photograph copyright © 2005 World Chess Championship Press.  Used with permission.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 38 OF 40 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-11-05  Ezzy: <csmath - The problem is that all the minor pieces are already gone and to open the black pawn wall white has to either sacrifice the exchange or start somehow pushing his pawns. I don't think it is easy to do that, far away from it.> Exactly. It is impossible to move whites pawns. The 'b' pawn is pinned, and with the white queen on 'e1' as <Ulhumbrus> suggested, then h3 fails to Rxh3 mate!

White is completely tied down to the defence of his back row, and the 'c2' pawn. White can do nothing. It is a dead draw. Black has all the threats!

Great play by both players!

<csmath - Draw was the fair outcome.>

Oct-11-05  Ulhumbrus: I do not suggest h3 with the Q on e1.The manoeuvre N-e2-f4 seems easy to understand only with the benefit of hindsight.It is much more difficult to find or foresee a pair of moves which accomplish something than single moves which do so.Having seen what Adams has done, one can thereafter recognize the possibility of this resource without possessing his knowledge and skill.It can fairly be called brilliant.
Oct-11-05  Ezzy: <Ulhumbrus> Absolutely no point in discussing this point with you, because you are going to stick to your personal opinion that Adams brilliantly outplayed Topalov.

I personally must totally disagree because of the evidence I stated. If the moves Ne2-f4 never achieved anything significant, ie gives you a winning advantage, How can you possibly say that Adams brilliantly outplayed his opponent.

I for the life of me just can not see it! Topalov always had a comforatable position.

Oct-11-05  Ezzy: <Ulhumbrus> Go to - http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail... and click on the link - Round 11 press conference Adams - Topalov.

The very last words of Topalov were - "The result is quite fair"

There you have it; straight from the horses mouth.

It's hard to believe you don't see it that way.

Oct-11-05  iron maiden: The only way you could have it "straight from the horse's mouth" would be if Adams said it.
Oct-11-05  Ezzy: <iron maiden: The only way you could have it "straight from the horse's mouth" would be if Adams said it.> Why is that? Does Adams know something Topalov doesn't? I didn't actually hear Adams say he brilliantly outplayed Topalov, or anything to that effect.
Oct-11-05  iron maiden: No, he probably didn't, but that doesn't mean that's what he thought.
Oct-12-05  Ulhumbrus: <ezzy> I am indeed going to stick to my opinion that Adams outplayed Topalov brilliantly - up to the point where he let the win slip, until I have reason to believe otherwise, reason which you have not provided. The moves Ne2-f4 far from achieving nothing significant gained a won game. Topalov and Adams may not realise yet that Adams had an alternative to 36 Rxe6 , namely, the plan of R1e2, Qe1, Re5, and then Rxd5! with Re8+ with an attack similar to that in the game but with the vital difference that Black's queen would have been kept out of f2.Until I am given reason to believe otherwise - and you have not so far given it- I remain of the opinion that Adams outplayed Topalov brilliantly up to move 36 when Rxe6? let the win slip.
Oct-12-05  Ezzy: <iron maiden: No, he probably didn't, but that doesn't mean that's what he thought.> What can i do? :-(

How can I discuss something about what somebody might be thinking. I am am not into the mind reading game.

<Ulhumbrus: <ezzy> I am indeed going to stick to my opinion that Adams outplayed Topalov brilliantly - up to the point where he let the win slip,> What can I do.:-(

How can I discuss something with somebody who will not attempt to show me where Adams missed a win.

Have a nice day. :-)

Oct-12-05  euripides: Shipov suggests that White forces a draw at move 36 because he will be worse otherwise as Black advances in the centre/Kside. And <ulhumbrus>'s plan takes several moves, so one would think Black had time to rearrange his forces. However, after <Ulhumbrus>'s suggestion 36 R1e2 I have trouble seeing a good continuation for Black. His structure is imposing but quite fragile, and his pieces already seem to be on their best positions whereas White can improve his pieces. Black could aim to play Kf7 in response to Qe1, but it's hardly inspiring.
Oct-12-05  progrock64: 36.b4 is interesting. <ulhumbrus>36.Ree2-Kg7 37.Qe1-Kf7 and white cant play Re5 because of Rxc2.
Oct-12-05  csmath: 36. Ree2 ... a5

37. Qe1 ... Kg7

now what?

Black king can move f7-g8-g7, position is blocked.

I agree that Adams lost patience but whoever wants to claim this is a won position needs to show how. I frankly don't see how.

Oct-12-05  csmath: <36.b4 is interesting.>

Trying to open some file makes sense, yes.

36. b4 ... Qc4

37. Rd4 ... Qc6

38. b5 ... axb5

39. axb5 ... Qxb5

At this point white has really nothing, he opened a file but at the cost of a pawn meaning black has full compensation and the position is, in my view, even.

Oct-12-05  Ulhumbrus: <ezzy> I have already indicated one winning plan: instead of 36 Rxe6, 36 R1e2, then Qe1, then Re5, then Rxd5, then Re8 or Re7. The point is that White makes a sacrifice similar to that in the game BUT WITHOUT ALLOWING BLACK'S QUEEN TO COME TO F2.That is the difference and the vital improvement.
Oct-12-05  Robin01: <The only way you could have it "straight from the horse's mouth" would be if Adams said it.> Or Mr. Ed!
Oct-12-05  Ezzy: <Ulhumbrus> Ok, lets follow your plan.

36.Ree2<your move> b5 37.axb5 axb5 38.Qe1<your move> Kg7 39.Re5<your move> Rxc2 40.Rdxd5<your move> exd5 41.Re7+ Kf8 42.Re8+<your move> Kf7 43.Qe6+ Kg7 44.Qe5+ Kf7<now if white doesn't accept the perpetual, he loses!>

So your plan is only good enough for a draw.

Oct-12-05  euripides: I don't know whether White is winning or not, but <Ulhumbrus> already suggested a plan a page back with Ree2, Qe1, Re5 followed by Rdxd5. As far as I see <csmath>'s 'idea' is to ignore this and keep his fingers crossed. I don't recommend this approach to defence.

<36 Ree2 a5 37 Qe1 Kg7 > 38 Re5 Rxc2 is unclear. But White can improve on Ulumbrus' original suggestion with the immediate 38 Rxd5 (if 38....Qxd5 then 39 Qxc3+). There are several variations and there may be a defence for Black after 38...exd5 39 Re7+ but even if there is no forced mate White's centralised pieces will be extremely dangerous.

The other possibility is for White to strengthen his position further before the breakthrough though he has to avoid e.g.38 h4 Rh3 mate.

In any case, bland assertions that 'the position is blocked' are not going to give the answer.

Oct-12-05  Ulhumbrus: On 36 Ree2 the move b5? invites axb5 opening the a file, and the sacrifice Bxd5 may become unnecessary: Black has to avoid letting White's rooks get in, and will want to avoid opening any file for the rooks. On 36 Ree2 a5 37 Qe1 Kg7 one variation is 38 Rxd5 exd5 39 Re7+ Kf8 40 Re8+ Kf7 41 Qe6+ Kf7 42 Qe5+ Kh6 43 h4 Rxc2 44 Qe5 Qf2 45 Qg7+ Kh6 46 Qxh7+ Kg4 47 Qxg6+ Kf4 48 Qg5 mate. Nor is 36 Qe1 is White's only alternative . Another earlier alternative is 31 Rd1 instead of Rf2, while the rooks are connected. It may be that when White's alternatives are examined, it will be found that Black is lost. One interesting idea is 31 Rd1 Qc7 32 c4 Qxc4 33Rd7+. The point of 31...Qc7 instead of ...Qc6 is to keep the way clear for ..Bd5, although White does not wait for this. My present opinion is that Adams outplayed Topalov brilliantly to gain material, but then made at least one mistaken choice and let the win slip.
Oct-12-05  MTal: "My present opinion is that Adams outplayed Topalov brilliantly to gain material"

That is not the objective of the game. If this material gain does not get you to victory, then it is for naught. This is what happened. Given that in this game there were a number of sacrifices on both sides (and even declined sacrifices followed by counter-sacrifices), judging Adams's success on material is laughable.

Oct-12-05  Ulhumbrus: <Mtal> I do not say that Adams game was a success. Only a win could be called that. I say that he outplayed Topalov brilliantly up to the point where he won material. The game was not of course a success.
Oct-12-05  csmath: <<As far as I see csmath's 'idea' is to ignore this and keep his fingers crossed. I don't recommend this approach to defence. 36 Ree2 a5 37 Qe1 Kg7 38 Re5 Rxc2 is unclear.>

Perhaps it is unclear to you.
There is nothing in it.

<But White can improve on Ulumbrus' original suggestion with the immediate 38 Rxd5 (if 38....Qxd5 then 39 Qxc3+). There are several variations and there may be a defence for Black after 38...exd5 39 Re7+ but even if there is no forced mate White's centralised pieces will be extremely dangerous.>

There is nothing in that either.
Actually your proposals are worse than Ulhumbrus' proposals since they lead to immediate resolution into a draw. Any moment black can take c2-pawn and white won't have anything better than perpetual.

Whoever here wants to claim that there is some kind of winning position here should demonstrate some line to make it believable. Else we are just talking nonsense.

Oct-12-05  euripides: <csmath> perhaps you'd like to post a lne in which Black doesn't get mated after 39 Re7+ ? Even the first move ? I have looked at several lines and I don't see a convincing defence for Black.

Loud-mouthed assertions are no substitute for examining the position. If, that is, you're interested in finding out the truth of the position rather than throwing your weight around, as Ulhumbrus, for instance, is.

As a child can see, 38 Rxd5 transposes into the same position as Re5 except that Black has not yet had time to play Rxc2. This is an improvement unless (which is possible) there turns out to be some advantage in having the rook on c3 instead of c2.

Oct-12-05  csmath: No fret, pal. No need for that. If this :

36. Ree2 ... a5

37. Qe1 ... Kg7

38. Rxd5 ... exd5

is your mate theme then please show me the mate. Where is it? I'll do the best to check it.

Oct-12-05  azaris: 36. Ree2 a5 37. Qe1 Kg7 38. Rxd5 exd5 39. Re7+ Kf8 40. Re8+ Kf7 41. Qe6+ Kg7 42. Qd7+ Kh6 43. Rh8 Kg5 44. Qxh7 Kf6 45. Rg8 Ke5 46. Re8+ Kf6 47. Qh8+ Kg5 48. h4+ Kg4 49. Qh6

Where's the defense?

Oct-12-05  csmath: Check your 40th move:

I play

40. ... Kg7

Can you mate me? Let's go move by move.

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