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Veselin Topalov vs Levon Aronian
Morelia-Linares (2006), Linares ESP, rd 10, Mar-05
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Romanishin Variation. English Hybrid (E20)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 19 OF 19 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-05-06  arrueba: Al Wazir, I really don't think it would be wise to place all pawns on the same colour of the bishop. There are mate threats. Say, if 41...b5 then 42.Kc5 threatens 43.Kd6 or a combination of king penetration and advance of the e pawn, and it's pretty hard to avoid mate or losing the bishop. Black would probably have to give up a couple of pawns. These rook and bishops of opposite color endings are very hard to defend when one of the players has a strong initiative as in this case. Had to suffer them against two IM's here in Venezuela and it's not nice!
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  al wazir: <DDR, arrueba>: 41...b5+ 42. Kc5 Rd2. Where are those mating threats? If 43. e5 then 43...a5.

Losing a pawn (a passed pawn at that) in an endgame is pretty serious. Are you saying that there was nothing Aronian could have done about it? That black had to lose a pawn? And that he had to lose the game -- a game in which material was even, with opposite-colored ♗s yet? I don't believe that for a minute.

Mar-06-06  s4life: al wazir, you talk as if you would have done a better job than both Aronian and Topalov... we'll never know how opinionated you'd become without a chess engine....
Mar-06-06  melianis: How did he do that???
Mar-06-06  ahmadov: <THE CHESS KING: <ahmadov> u mean me or that bocco> Obviously, not you, because you have kibitzed about 70 times ;).
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <s4life: we'll never know how opinionated you'd become without a chess engine....> I don't use an engine in my analyses. That's why they're sometimes mistaken, which I readily admit. I regularly thank anyone who can improve on them. Can you?
Mar-06-06  kellmano: Topalov is a worthy champion for sure. He plays interesting chess and has the ability to win games like this one that almost everyone else would've given up as drawn after 25 moves or so. I think chess needs a good champion and that Topa could be it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <al wazir> If 41... b5 42. Kc5 Rd2, then 43. Re7 Kf8 44. e5 threats e6 winning a pawn.

If 44... a6? 45. e6 Bc8 (45... Be8 46. Rh7 ) 46. Rf7 Ke8 (46... Kg8 47. Rg7 Kf8 48. e7 Ke8 49. Rg8 ) 47. Rh7! Be6 48. Re7 .

Mar-06-06  Ulhumbrus: One interesting point is that Topalov had a central pawn majority in the ending while Aronian had a queen side pawn majority.Normally the flank pawns are the more valuable in the ending.In this game Topalov's central pawn majority gave him more space, and helped to keep Black's king out of the game so that Topalov played with an extra king for some purposes for the latter part of the game. This suggests , more generally, that in an ending with one pair of rooks( one rook for either side) and opposite coloured bishops ( one bishop for either side), the player with the central pawn majority has the advantage because he or she can keep the opposing king out of play and so enjoy the benefit of playing with an extra king. However the suggestion may be mistaken for at least one reason: In this game Aronian did not manage to convert his queen side pawn majority into a passed pawn and this made White's pieces freer than they would have been otherwise, freer to create threats that helped to keep Black's king out of play
Mar-06-06  Mameluk: This is really superhuman chess that even Garry could envy and it seems Topalov can keep it going. SakaevĀ“s comments on to this game say it all. Read it. Very funny.
Mar-06-06  DDR: Al Wazir, I am saying that Aronian definately saw that he was losing those two pawns and it was his conscious decission to give them up for another white pawn and in order to generate some activity. Had I believed that he overlooked and didn't see that he is losing the pawns, I would have agreed with you that he made a blunder.
Mar-06-06  arrueba: I'm sorry for not giving any lines to support my claims, fortunately Mateo gave us a sample of how matters might develop in case of 41...b5. Ulhumbrus was right in that black remained passive and did not make a passed pawn out of his queenside majority, though I think this is a consequence of his bishop being so passive, and the c3-c4 opposing pawns have much to do here. White's c3 pawn supports his marvelous d4 bishop, while black's c4 pawn restricts it's own bishop. We might conclude that white had a little advantage upon entering the ending and he was able to avoid black completely neutralizing his chances.
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  al wazir: <DDR>: I've looked at the game some more and I think you may be right. At least I'm sure that after 41...b5+ 42. Kc5 Rd2 43. e5, 43...a5 is no good. Maybe 42...Ra6, followed by Re6 and a6 would have been better.

I just can't believe that it was lost from move 20 on, though. I've played enough to know that opposite-colored bishops make it very hard to win a game. Somewhere Aronian must have screwed up. How big does a mistake have to be to call it a blunder?

Mar-06-06  Ulhumbrus: After 21 g5 Kf8! followed by ..Ke7 begins to get the black king into play. Black risks losing until he can make his king as useful as White's king. Until then, White may have the benefit of playing with an extra king for at least some purposes.
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  patzer2: <TheChessKing> Sorry I overlooked your last post. I share <Acirce>'s opinion that 51...Kd7! would have held the position.
Mar-06-06  DDR: al wazir, I haven't seen the game in detail but a friend of mine told me today that 51. Kd7 should draw instead of 51.Rc7+
Mar-06-06  DDR: same timing patzer 2 :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <al wazir: <DDR>: I've looked at the game some more and I think you may be right. At least I'm sure that after 41...b5+ 42. Kc5 Rd2 43. e5, 43...a5 is no good. Maybe 42...Ra6, followed by Re6 and a6 would have been better.> If 41... b5 42. Kc5 Ra6 43. Re7 wins for White. 43... Kd8 44. Re6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Mateo>: OK, I agree, the blunder wasn't moves 41 & 42. But other kibitzers think there was a blunder (mistake?), and it was on move 51. So give Topalov credit for persistence and precise play, but the victory was no miracle.
Jun-14-06  Topzilla: I dont get tired of seeing this masterpiece, once again Topalov proves how a WC plays, winning a game that seemed a draw!!
Jun-22-06  harce sarmiento: Aronian has the qualities of a champion no doubt. But when one see Topalov, you see who the champion is!
Feb-16-08  Whitehat1963: What happens if 13. Ne6?
Feb-16-08  euripides: <whitehat> Good question. There are wild complications but I think Black is probably OK because White's pieces get scattered e.g. one line might be <13.Ne6> Qa5 14.Nxf8 d4 15.a3 Bxc3+ 16.bxc3 dxe3 17.Qxb7 Qxa3

click for larger view

Now the back rank threats force something like 18.Qb1 when Black can pocet the knight or possibly continue the attack.

Feb-16-08  Whitehat1963: What about it, <Crafty>, what happens after 13. Ne6?
May-05-12  YoGoSuN: This might be a silly question, but why didn't Topalov just exchange on a8 at move 68? Isn't that a simpler path to victory?
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