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Jan Timman vs Veselin Topalov
Corus Group A (2001), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-16
Indian Game: Pseudo-Benko (A46)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-10-07  BadTemper: 36.. Kg6??
36.. Rxh2+!!

Surprised nobody has noticed...

Apr-12-07  BadTemper: Why is nobody kibitzing to this game?
Dec-10-11  Whitehat1963: <BadTemper>, 36...Rxh2+ LOOKS like a powerful sacrifice, until you realize there's no followup. The black knight is pinned to the king.
Dec-10-11  Whitehat1963: Never mind. I see. 36...Rxh2+ 37. Kxh2 Qd6 spells real trouble for white. I'm surprised Topalov missed it.
Aug-10-14  Retireborn: Timman annotates this game in NiC 2001/2.

Of 28.Re1 he writes "a practical decision after a long think....born out of necessity as White's prospects after 28.Nf7 Ne6 29.Ng5 Nf8! would be grim indeed."

However my engine says 28.Re1 is a losing move, and extends Timman's line with 30.Bg3 Qg3 31.Qd4 cd4 32.fxg3 Kf6 33.h4. Then White seems OK as he has the plan Nh3-f4-d3.

After 30...Re8! Black should have won. My engine uncovered a very beautiful line if Black plays 30...Kg7? instead: 31.hg5 Nh3 32.Kh2 f4 33.Bh4 Rd8 34.g6 Nf2 35.Bd8 Qd8 36.Qf4 hg6 37.Qf7 Kh6 37...♔h8? 38.e7 38.e7 Qc7 39.g3 Nf4 40.Kh3 Nf2 with perpetual (41.Kh4? g5#)

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This game is another example for those that that say chess openings are played out. 6 e3 was an innovation that had been suggested to Timman by I.Sokolov. Timman offered a pawn with 8 Nbd2 with the idea of answering 8..Bxd5 with 9 Nb3..Bxb3 10 axb with compensation. 13 a3 followed by 14 Rae1 playing for a kingside attack was a promising alternative. 23 Rad1?..e6! handed the initiative to Black. Timman had originally intended 23 Re4 before realizing that 23..e5! would have been a powerful response; probably best was 23 Nh6+..Kf8 24 Nf5..gxf 25 Qh6+..Ng7 26 Qxh7..f6 27 Re6! with a strong attack. Relatively best would have been 24 dxe; instead after 24 Re4?..f5! White was in deep trouble. Topalov had only 30 seconds left when he blundered with 36..Kg6?.

With regards to Black's best line 36..Rxh2+ 37 Kxh2..Qd6! (as mentioned above)- Timman: "38 Kg3. When I met Topalov in the hotel a few days later, he confided with a twinkle in his eyes that I should have tried this king move for purely practical reasons, because this would have forced him to find the beautiful win 38..Bf2+! 39 Qxf2..Ne2+! in terrible time trouble."

Both players showed great creativity and fighting spirit from early in the opening throughout the rest of the game.

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