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Ivan Sokolov vs Veselin Topalov
Essent Tournament (2006), Hoogeveen NED, rd 5, Oct-27
Benoni Defense: Benoni-Indian Defense. Kingside move order (A43)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-27-06  Kwesi: I reckon the Benoni is more Topalov's (counterattacking) style - would it have simply not worked against Kramnik?
Oct-27-06  Ulhumbrus: 9 Re1 parts with the bishop pair, never an asset to concede lightly. After 17 e6, Topalov does not wait for Sokolov to exploit the minimal communication between his Q side and K side but makes the most of it at once , transferring his Q to g6 via e8. It seems that Sokolov does not have time to take advantage of the cramping effect of e6, in which case instead of 17 e6, 17 exd6! may be better when after 17..exd6 the White QB is put to work attacking the vulnerable d6 pawn.
Oct-27-06  ahmadov: Has Topalov won because he is very strong or because Sokolov in poor form?
Oct-27-06  dehanne: <Has Topalov won because he is very strong or because Sokolov in poor form?> The latter, of course. Even I would be able to beat a Sokolov in poor form.
Oct-27-06  Ezzy: Sokolov,Ivan (2670) - Topalov,Veselin (2813) [A43]
Essent Hoogoveen NED (2.2), 27.10.2006

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 <Sokolov almost exclusively plays 2 c4. He did give 2 Nf3 a try in this years olympiad, but that is the only try in 3 years before that.> 2...c5 <Topalov offers a Benoni type position, which he doesn't usually do in classical chess these days.> 3.d5 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Bb5+ Nfd7 7.a4 Na6 8.0–0 Nc7 9.Re1 Nxb5 10.axb5 0–0 11.Bf4 Nb6 12.e5 <New move. 12 h3 has been played previously.> 12...Bf5 13.h3 h6 14.Qe2 g5 15.Bg3 Qd7 16.h4 f6 17.e6 Qe8 18.Nh2 Bg6 <Topalov must prepare for a future f5 which is the only possible way to activate his bishop on g7.> 19.f4 Bh5 20.Qd3 gxf4 <Topalov can't allow 21 f5 which would leave him severely cramped.> 21.Bxf4 Qg6 22.Nf1 f5 23.Kh2 Qg4 24.Qg3 Qxg3+ 25.Nxg3 Be8 <Threatening to win a pawn by 26...Bxc3+ 27...Bxb5> 26.Nge2 Kh7 27.Bg3 Nc4 <Topalov has a slight advantage due to the better scope and activity of his minor pieces.> 28.b3? <Self pinning the knight, and weakening the important f3 square.> 28...Ne3 29.Rac1 Rg8 <Looking at the weak g2 pawn.> 30.Nd1 Nxd5 31.c4 Nb4 <Threatening 32...Nd3 rook fork.> 32.Ne3 <Did Sokolov miss the knight fork?> 32...a6 <Did Topalov miss the knight fork? [Topalov must have had a good intuition that white gets a good initiative if he chases the rook fork. I think he judged correctly based on this line. 32...Nd3 33.Nxf5 Nxc1 34.Rxc1 Bf6 35.Rf1 d5 36.Nf4 dxc4 37.bxc4 a6 38.Nd5 axb5 39.Nfxe7 Bxe7 40.Nxe7 Rg7 41.Nd5 bxc4 42.Be5 Rg6 43.Nf6+ Rxf6 44.Rxf6 which appears to be a complicated endgame.> 33.bxa6 Rxa6 34.Nxf5 Bf6 35.Nf4 Ra2 <With idea of 36...Bc6 targeting the g2 pawn.> 36.Nd5 Nxd5 37.cxd5 Bh5 <Threatening 38...Bf3> 38.Rf1 Rd2 39.Ne3 Bd4 40.Nc4? <40 Nf5 seems a more natural defence keeping an eye on kingside weaknesses. 40 Nc4 just loses a pawn for nothing.> 40...Rd3 41.Bf4 Rxb3 42.Nd2 Rb2 43.Rb1 Bg6 44.Rxb2 Bxb2 45.Rf3 <Threatening 46 Rb3 winning the b7 pawn.> 45...Rf8 <The pressure increases> 46.Nc4? Be4 <and black will win more material.> 47.Bxd6 Bxf3 0–1

A dominating performance from Topalov.

Just look at Topalov’s 2 bishops after 43…Bg6. A ‘bishop pair’ dream! Cutting the chessboard in half.

Topalov’s hitting back with fire after his disastrous start.

Oct-27-06  Gouki: <would it have simply not worked against Kramnik?>

probably not. Kramnik is a very good positional player, and for an aggressive player like Topalov to be giving one like Kramnik space and control of the centre, hehe, obviously he must be asking for trouble :D

Oct-27-06  Bufon: Nice played Topalov!!!

And Sokolov has been a shame...

Oct-28-06  ronaldducalang: Nice to see Topalov play another opening to d4.
Oct-07-12  master of defence: What´s wrong with 48.Bxe7? If 48...Re8 49.d6 attaks both black bishops and protects white´s.
Oct-07-12  shivasuri4: <master of defence>, 48.Bxe7 Bxd5 49.Nxb2 <49.Bxf8 Bxc4 50.e7 (or 50.Bxc5 Bxe6) Bf7 leads to an easy black win.> Re8 (even 49...Rf2 wins) 50.Bxc5 Rxe6 wins.

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