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Veselin Topalov vs Boris Gelfand
Corus Group A (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-22
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 39 OF 39 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-22-06  Endgame: Hay payita mia, guardate la poesia
Guardate la alegria pa' ti
Jan-22-06  Endgame: and now for some Italian

Quei tuoi pensieri sono pieni di guai

Jan-22-06  notsodeepthought: <Endgame: Hay payita mia, guardate la poesia Guardate la alegria pa' ti>

Uhei, ma che cazzo stai a dire?

Jan-22-06  Endgame: <notsodeepthought> what does Uhei mean? I have never come across that word before (I have only recently started to study Spanish and Italian)
Jan-22-06  hayton3: Mmmmm Halala robido to kalata ichubichu traangata.

Anyone for that brand of colloquial Algonquian?

Jan-23-06  notsodeepthought: <endgame> I should have read your profile, my bad - for a moment I thought you might be a countryman on some pretty powerful stuff. As it turns out, your Italian is actually quite good (it needs a little work - but so does my English). As for "Uhei" or "Uei", it's not standard Italian - it's just a word, like "Hey" or "Whoa", that is used (mainly in the north of Italy) to request the listener's attention.
Jan-23-06  THE pawn: En tout cas, il y a rien de mieux que de sacrer en bon vieux québécois jargonneux primitif pour exprimer son mépris envers quelque chose ( ou quelqu'un...ahem)
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: <notsodeepthought>, your English is quite good: I didn't know it wasn't your native tongue.

Northern Italy, eh? So which calcio club do you support?

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <An Englishman>: White to move? 1. e5 fxe5 (1...f5 2. Rxg6) 2. Kxe5 Rxf3 3. Rxg6. Following this the white ♖ moves either to h6 or g5, depending what black plays. Black cannot check indefinitely because the white ♔ can find refuge at h3. The last black ♙ falls when black runs out of checks.
Jan-23-06  alicefujimori: 10...c6 is a novelty, which was probably prepared by Gelfand beforehand. Take a look at the following games too:

Anand vs Carlsen, 2005

Topalov vs Bacrot, 2006

Of course, this line still has many possibilities that could be tried. The following 3 games by Shirov shows the potential of this line:

Shirov vs Morozevich, 2002

Shirov vs Karpov, 2002

Shirov vs Motylev, 2002

Jan-23-06  cuendillar: <10...c6 is a novelty> I thought so too, but read/heard otherwise during the live transmission. It turns out that it was played before in Rozentalis-Arencibia, which continued 11.Bg5 d5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nd4 Ne4 14.Qe1 Qf6 15.f3 Nd6 16.Qd2 Bd7 17.Qg5 Qxg5 18.hxg5 ½-½
Jan-23-06  alicefujimori: <cuendillar>Thanks for the correction. It's strange that doesn't have this game though. I mean, both Rozentalis Arencibia have quite a number of games in the cg database and what a coincidence that this game was actually missing when we needed

Anyway, that shows a possible continuation if Topalov had tried 11.Bg5 like <Akavall> questioned above. This just leaves 11.h5 still in question.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <notsodeepthought> That sentence would sound much better in Southern Italy, in my opinion.
Jan-23-06  notsodeepthought: <TheAlchemist> Actually it would send the message all over the country...

<An Englishman> Perhaps it's because I live overseas (New York) and have been doing so for several years, but I'm more a supporter of the national team than of the clubs. Since I'm from the Milan area, I like Inter and Milan - but when the Italian teams play in the Champions League, for example, I'll root for all of them, even the "dreaded" Juventus, which is supposedly impossible if you are a fan of another team. I would think the same sort of thing goes on in the UK - would an Arsenal fan normally support, say, Liverpool or Chelsea, even against a foreign club?

Jan-23-06  madlydeeply: Uei! Panzone!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Back when I was a Class B player, a critical endgame in a big-money tournament boiled down to an ending where I had four King-side pawns vs. three King-side pawns. My opponent offered a draw, saying, "This is a book draw." I declined, saying, "This is a theoretical draw, not a book draw."

"What's the difference?!"
"A book draw ends in a draw, but in a theoretical draw, the weaker side usually loses."

And he did.>

That's a great story, and a good way to keep the distinction in mind.

Jan-23-06  pawn to QB4: I agree. Had I been your opponent in that position I'd have expected a fairly tough test of my endgame abilities from here on. His statement that this "is a book draw" sounds a bit like, "let's just assume I'll play like a master from here on in". And do I - without al wazir's help - see how you win a pawn?!
Jan-23-06  madlydeeply: Topalov is playing everything out because he believes he is champion. That is what we admire about Fischer, Karpov, Korchnoi, Kasparov, they ground games out until the bitter end. It may make for a boring game in the end but take solace, Topalov is filled with bloodlust, he obviously wants to be champion and win every game, he cares more about it then Krammnik at this point. And by the way, is Capablanca out there kibitzing or what? I've seen so many endgames I think are drawn and they're not. I figure if Capa could win it there is a win there, I have the humility to know there are endgames i do not understand! Hoohah
Jan-23-06  pawn to QB4: Hey, madlydeeply's reference to Capablanca reminds me: Capablanca-Yates, Hastings 1930. Rook + 4 pawns vs Rook + 3. Much as above. Capa was quite prepared to play out this "book draw" and he duly nailed our man on move 87. Unlike An Englishman's opponent, Yates didn't go for the instinctive ...h5. It's in this database but I'm too dim to do the link.
Premium Chessgames Member
  me to play: <pawn to QB4>

I think this is it..Capablanca vs Yates, 1930

Jan-23-06  pawn to QB4: Certainly is, thanks. I'll carry on playing them out with a clearer conscience.
Jan-23-06  euripides: <pawn> Yates was in good company: Piket vs Kasparov, 2000
Jan-23-06  pawn to QB4: Good grief, that settles it. I'll be playing on with K&B v. K, ignoring the disapproval of all around me.
Jan-23-06  Bigfatpatzer: This was a great game for my chess education. All patzers, especially those of the big and fat variety, play their games to the end. We have no idea when or are too uncertain to offer a draw. So we play until there are only two kings remaining.

In short, Topalov--with the help of Gelfand--has provided yet another great public service.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <al wazir>, that's not as simple a win as it appears. I had studied Levenfisch's and Smyslov's great book on Rook Endings before the tournament. Black does *not* check the White King! After Rxg6, Black leaves the Rook on the f-file and moves his own King over to the Kingside. If the White King is cut off from the two pawns, and remains cut off, Black frequently holds the draw, depending on the specific position and on which file the Rook cuts off the White King. This is esp. true when the pawns stand on g4 and h4. The pawn on g3 does give White extra chances.

So I did not play 2.Kxe5?!; instead, 2.Ke3!?,Rg2; 3.Rxg6,Kf7; 4.Rg5,Kf6. Black now has two very weak pawns, but 5.Rxh5,Rxg3 is extremely hard to win, as Black can if necessary sacrifice the e-pawn for another "theoretical" draw. So I played 5.f3-f4!? ("helping" Black get rid of his weak pawn!), exf4+; 6.Kxf4,Rf2+. Now 7.Ke3?,Rf5! is a draw, so 7.Ke4,Re2+. Now 8.Kf3?,Re5! is another draw, so I played 8.Kd4,Rd2+; 9.Ke3 and Black resigned.

He paid me the nicest compliment I ever received in my chess career ("I've never played a World Champion before."), but he missed two last chances for the draw: 7...Rf1!! and 8...Re1!!, again sacrificing his last pawn to cut off the King from the g and h pawns.

White still has winning chances. As you correctly note, the key lies in the fact that the g-pawn is one step behind the h-pawn and not even with it. Levenfisch & Smyslov devoted a lot of pages to the Rook plus g & h pawns vs. Rook ending, and the book is well worth a special search. This ending propelled me to a $400 first prize and my first A rating, so the book was worth it to me.

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