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Viswanathan Anand vs Veselin Topalov
XIX Ciudad de Leon (2006) (rapid), Leon ESP, rd 2, Jun-11
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-11-06  chessmoron: Nice game, Anand, welcome back to your normal state.
Jun-11-06  Maynard5: The strength of White's position is surprising. At first sight, 25. ... fxe6 looks better, since Kxe6 exposes the king, and enables White to place a rook on the seventh rank. But on closer examination, White simply replies 26. Rfd3. If Black then replies with Rad8, White will simply exchange all the rooks, then advance with f4, Kf2, etc., winning the pawn ending.
Jun-12-06  hitman84: I agree fe6 was the best move.It also enables the challenging of Rooks with the K on e7.

Anand played the Rook ending perfect!
This game will surely boost his confidence.

Jun-12-06  KholdStare: Wow look at their ratings...above 2800 and 1 point apart.
Jun-12-06  SniperOnG7: Unless Topalov is trying to hide his repatoire for his match with Kramnik, imho there is no other reason to stick with the Berlin.
Jun-12-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <SniperOnG7> That's a pretty good reason.

I doubt Topalov will play the Berlin against Kramnik-it really doesn't suit him, but the purpose might be to discourage Kramnik from playing it as Black(!), or to gain ideas from Anand how to defeat it.

Jun-12-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I doubt Kramnik will play 1 e4; his results are far superior with queenside openings.
Jun-12-06  Dr. Funkenstein: The Berlin defense seems to be one of Topalovīs favorite responses to e4 and heīs used it quite often in major tournaments over the last few years. It wouldnīt be at all surprising if he wheels it out against Kramnik.
Jun-12-06  acirce: The reason for Kramnik not to play 1.e4 would seem to be that he was 0-2 against Topalov last year allowing sharp Sicilians. Playing 1.d4 in Dortmund he won as usual. It's not clear why Topalov should play something his opponent is the world's leading specialist on.
Jun-12-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Topalov has 12 games with the Berlin - +1 -4 =7 (2 of the losses were at rapid)- he has only beaten Judit Polgar at San Luis.

I think he lacks the temperament to play it. It requires that Black be willing to do nothing for the whole game, which was hard even for Kramnik in the 2000 match, and is antithetical to Topalov's approach with Black.

In his losses, Topalov tries to unbalance and go for counterplay, as he did earlier this year Svidler vs Topalov, 2006

Jun-13-06  SniperOnG7: <tamar> Yeah, why on earth does a tactician so willingly go into a slightly inferior / equal endgame?

Btw, if i ever get the chance to meet him, that'll b the 1st question i'll ask as he is signing an autograph ;)

Jun-13-06  Maatalkko: Topalov's just as good at endgames as he is at tactics.
Jun-13-06  fromoort: <acirce: ... It's not clear why Topalov should play something his opponent is the world's leading specialist on.> Maybe to make him think, "Hmm...he's playing something I'm an expert in?! He must have something special prepared!" This could have the effect of making Kramnik extra cautious. It's all in the psychology of modern, top-class chess.
Jun-13-06  acirce: Sure, but it's rather questionable if it's worth it. And you don't beat Kramnik psychologically anyway.
Jun-13-06  Ulhumbrus: 29 Rxc7 regains the pawn with an advantage in development which may be enough to win (and so a winning positional advantage)
Jun-13-06  Ulhumbrus: One question is why Topalov doesn't play 24...Bg6 instead of conceding this Bishop by 24...Be6. The Bishop is his compensation for his doubled Queen side.One answer is that on 25 e6 f6 26 Rd7+ Ke8 the e6 pawn is no longer attacked by the King and so Nf7 followed by the skewer Rg3 may follow. This suggests that the pair of moves Ng5 and Rf3 is the means by which Anand makes count his advantage in development.
Jun-13-06  drmariogodrob: 28. ... Rhe8 and it really is a draw. I am a little surprised that Topalov would play a move like 28. ... Rhf8. Such passive moves just never work (i.e., I would probably play them). That said, viva Topalov.
Jun-14-06  jhoro: actually 28... Rhd8 was giving the best drawing chances. Topalov's always out of time in rapid games.

"wake me in September"

Jun-14-06  Everett: <acirce: Sure, but it's rather questionable if it's worth it. And you don't beat Kramnik psychologically anyway.>

I disagree, as Kramnik is not a computer, has emotions, and has examples from his history of psychologically failing. How else do you describe his fade in the computer match, and his collapse in advantageous positions against Shirov in '98?

Psychology is everywhere in chess, and it's why human chess is more interesting than computer chess, IMHO.

Jun-21-06  alexandrovm: everytime the wall falls I'm pleased...but it's interesting to note that Topa had a passive position for most of the game and ended up with his king and two rooks way into white's camp, incredible walk between the battlefield...

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