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Veselin Topalov vs Ivan Sokolov
Corus Group A (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-21
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 22 OF 22 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-21-06  YouRang: ...ah, yes, thank you.
Jan-21-06  Rawprawn: Now can someone explain why Mamedyarov resigned?
Jan-21-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: Thanks to everybody for coming by today. Stop by tomorrow morning at 7:30am EST (12:30 UTC) for round #8. We'll be covering the game Topalov-Gelfand.
Jan-21-06  hitman84: <john abraham>if u r really what ur handle says i guess i must be interviewing rather than chat.
Jan-21-06  John Abraham: Chess isn't only moving pieces. There's the FIDE and politics and corruption and...
Jan-21-06  THE CHESS KING: guyz i think that sokolov thinks if this knight sac works this game would become one of the masterpieces and if not then he will say that its by mistake and there is nothing shame in loosing to topalov even great garry looses his last one against the current champ . so i consider a clever thinking by sokolo as he is not the contender of the current tournament so why not try some different things during the games.
Jan-21-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <lost emperor> 34...c5 35 Qxc5 Rf1+! 36 Nxf1 Qxf1+ 37 Kh2 h4!! and black threatens Qh1#. White has nothing better than to give back the rook with 38 Rh1 Qxh1 39 Kh3, and white is still winning, but this is obviously much worse for White than what happened in the game. (This is Fritz's analysis, not mine.)
Jan-21-06  John Abraham: <hitman> Yes I am a celebrity but if it weren't for acting, I am sure I would be a chessplayer.
Jan-21-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: <keypusher> thanks. So the c5-pawn was immune. But indeed I also did not understand the K-sac either on move 20.
Jan-21-06  thomaspaine: <hitman84> Please stop posting that nonsense here.
Jan-21-06  hitman84: <thomaspaine>hey dude its not everyday u meet a celebrity online i guess it was off topic but i was ecstatic sorry <;->
Jan-21-06  MeatGrinder: Good day for Danailov's squad - Topalov, Karjakin and Cheparinov all won.
Jan-21-06  JASAHA: O roop o jaivano tomar jaoer pani re
Get with the flow...how did we get to Bollywood?
Jan-21-06  Unicornio: Our World Champ is playing magnificient chess.

Long live the King!!!!

Jan-21-06  fligorna: Long live the king from BULGARIA ! And the next king(Chepy)...From BULGARIA too !
Jan-21-06  pawn52: Umm....exactly why did Sokolov resign? I don't see anything serious on White's part.
Jan-21-06  Confuse: <pawn52> hes down by quite a bit at the end... : p
Jan-21-06  EricCartman: Sokolov has no checks left, so he's dead
Jan-21-06  pawn to QB4: and staring down the barrel of 38. Ra8+. e.g. You Rang's 37...Rh1 (well worth going for this one in a club match!) 38.Ra8+ Kh7 39.Nf8+ and black can choose between 39...Kh8 40.Ng6+ and 39...Kh6 40.Ra6+ g6 41.Rxg6#
Jan-21-06  sneaky pete: <site 0:17:25-0:00:00>. No time left and a 2 pieces deficit. Only a Life Master would continue those circumstances.
Jan-21-06  csmath: <Well, if Sokolov really had to sacrifice the knight because of a slip of the hand, he did an amazing job of creating an attack; but Topalov's defense was terrific.>

Topalov conduct of this game is immaculate. If Sokolov had played 20. ... fxe5 he would have still been behind a pawn without any compensation. The worst of all it seems Topa would have gotten a-passer in that pawn. This would have been a miserable ending to try to hold.

My guess is that Sokolov decided to try to rush some kind of attack instead and indeed he did create quite a bit of messy situation but unfortunately Topalov had both nerves and time to find proper responses all the way and it was over.

This is a poor opening for the black although it was probably designed to surprise Topalov. I don't think Topalov can be surprised in Ruy-Lopez any more. He is becoming #1 player in Ruy-Lopez with both colors.

Jan-21-06  thomaspaine: <Well, if Sokolov really had to sacrifice the knight because of a slip of the hand, he did an amazing job of creating an attack; but Topalov's defense was terrific.>

That's nonsense. There was no 'slip of a hand' from Sokolov. Neither did Seirawan mention it in his live commentaries onsite, nor is it mentioned in the daily offical report on the games at coruschess.

More of a desperado tactic from Sokolov, which was easily refuted by Topalov.

Jan-21-06  jhoro: <thomaspaine: There was no 'slip of a hand' from Sokolov> i agree with that.

<More of a desperado tactic from Sokolov, which was easily refuted by Topalov.> I don't think this was the case. Sokolov managed to leave Topalov's king naked with most of Topa's pieces not participating. They played another 17 moves (this is 34 ply!) and for most of the time a slight mistake on Topalov could've cost him the game. As <csmath> said Topalov was lucky that he had the time and the nerves to play the right moves. When I was looking after at the game with crafty, Topalov had very often only one correct move and more often it wasn't that obvious (not to me at least). Even more impressive was that Sokolov himself played like a computer for all this time when he was actually in time trouble.

Feb-13-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's an analysis with Fritz 8 and the Opening Explorer:

<1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5> Two popular alternatives are 6...Bb7 as in
J Smeets vs Beliavsky, 2006 and 6...Be7 as in Karjakin vs Yang Shen, 2005. <7. a4 Rb8 8. c3 O-O> The usual move is 8...d6 as in L Dominguez vs A Rodriguez, 2005 and Leko vs Topalov, 2005. <9. d4 Bb6 10. axb5 axb5 11. dxe5 Ng4 12. Na3 Qe8> Better is 8...Ncxe5 as in
Topalov vs Anand, 2006 where Black easily held the draw. <13. Nd4 Ngxe5 14. Naxb5 d6 15. Ba4 Bd7 16. b3 Ne7 17. Kh1 d5 18. f4 Ng4 19. e5! f6 20. h3 Nxe5??> This speculative sacrifice might be appropriate in a blitz or skittles game, but at this level of play it all but concedes the game to White. Instead, Black could have held with with only a slight White advantage after 20... fxe5 21. hxg4 exd4 22. Nxd4 Bxa4 23. Rxa4 Bxd4 24. cxd4 . However, Black should avoid 20... Nh6? 21. e6 Bxb5 22. Bxb5 c6 23. Bd3 c5 24. Nb5 Nhf5 25. Qf3 Ra8 26. Rxa8 Qxa8 27. Re1 Rd8 28. Kh2 Qc6 29. c4 Ba5 30. Re2 Qe8 31. Ra2 Bb4 32. cxd5 with a win for White.

Feb-13-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <21. fxe5 fxe5 22. Rxf8+! Qxf8 23. Nf3 e4 24. Ne5 Bxh3!?> Since, Black was already lost he sacrifices a second piece hoping for a swindle, but with accurate defense this only makes White's task easier. Of course White is still winning after 24... Be6 25. Nd4 Qf6 26. Nd7 Bxd7 27. Bxd7 Bxd4 28. Qxd4 . <25. gxh3 Qf5 26. Ng4 h5 27. Nh2> White must be careful to avoid 27. Ne3?? Qxh3+ 28. Kg1 Bxe3+ 29. Bxe3 Qxe3+ 30. Kh1 Qh3+ 31. Kg1 Rb6 when Black turns the tables and has a winning attack. <27... Qxh3 28. Bg5!> Topalov plays the strongest and most active defense against White's speculative attack. <28...Nf5 29. Qxd5+ Kh8 30. Bf4> Preventing 30...Ng3# <30...Bf2 31. Ra2 Bg3 32. Bxg3 Nxg3+ 33. Kg1 Rf8 34. Nd4!> Topalov again finds the best and most active defense. Not 34. Qd2? Rf1+ 35. Nxf1 Qh1+ 36. Kf2 Qf3+ 37. Kg1 Qh1+ = when Black swindles a draw by perpetual check. <34... c5 35. Bd7!> Topalov continues to play the strongest defense. <35...Qh4 36. Ne6 Rf1+ 37. Kg2! 1-0> Facing a decisive material deficit, Black resigns. While technically still winning, much weaker is 37. Nxf1 Qh1+ 38. Kf2 Qf3+ 39. Ke1 Qxf1+ 40. Kd2 Qf2+ 41. Kc1 Qxa2 .

Play in the final position might have continued 37... ♕f6 38. ♖a8+ ♔h7 39. ♘g5+ ♔g6 40. ♘xe4 ♘xe4 41. ♕xe4+ ♔g5 42. ♕d5+ ♔f4 43. ♖a4+ .

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