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Veselin Topalov vs Loek van Wely
Corus Group A (2007), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-14
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-15-07  iron maiden: It's tough being an outsider in a chess supertournament. If you take a lot of chances against the top players, you'll most likely lose a bunch of games and end with a big minus score, and then people will say you have no right to be there. And if you play risk-free and hold all the top guys to draws (like Tiviakov did last year), people will call you boring and say you have no right to be there.

In van Wely's defense, the past four years in Corus A-group he's performed quite well, scoring +1 once, even twice, and -1 last time. Maybe this year is his year to bomb out, but to look at his record and say he has no business playing here is a bit harsh.

Jan-15-07  alicefujimori: According to Topalov in those clips he expected the Sveshnikov but was suprised by Van Wely's choice to play the Najdorf. I guess Van Wely wanted to avoid any opening prep by Topalov against his Sveshnikov AND maybe wanted to achieve a double edged position where he hope Topalov will overpress and then he can play for a win. But whatever the reason is, two loss in a row is definitely not good to his confidence.
Jan-15-07  slomarko: and he refered to the Sveshikov as the Pelikan.
Jan-15-07  alicefujimori: <slomarko>He wasn't wrong when he referred to it as the Pelikan because it IS called the Pelikan but the specific variation is called the Sveshnikov.
Jan-15-07  slomarko: <alicefujimori> which variation is that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Two losses in row> Don't be harsh on Loek for two consecutive losses or even more. (Btw, I had the same start in this year's Prague team championship and so I can imagine how he feels about it.) Such a beginning of tournament is not pleasant but it definitely doesn't make him worthless participant of the event. And to lose in chess is not sin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Van Wely's Holland's #1. That is why he is in the A group. He has performed reputably in the past. He has consistently been ranked in the top 20-30 players in the world over the last decade. He does not play short draws. One thing I cannot understand on this board is the apparent need to bash strong GMs.
Jan-15-07  outplayer: <badest> I think everyone should see Topalov youtube lecture on this game. It's simply marvellous.
Jan-16-07  Jack Kerouac: Hey folks! Don't forget to read my book,'Dharma Bums' before your next tournament. Sure to punch-up your attack!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Jack Kerouac: Hey folks! Don't forget to read my book,'Dharma Bums' before your next tournament. Sure to punch-up your attack!>

I'll try to - I've read 'On the Road' and few others! The Beats eh...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Topalov played well here is is a good example of the Sicilan as White - van Wely is a good player (and this line is tricky to oppose) - there are some good games on there by Van Wely and some of the brilliant combos of the day (on here were by him.

This is a more convincing game by Topalov than his "prepared line" against the Grunfeld.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: A sharp sicilian. Topalov outplayed his opponent but made an unaccuracy giving Van Wely an opportunity to fight back on move 22. The Dutch missed it. The last moves could be a nice puzzle.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Qd2 O-O 9. O-O-O b5 10. f3 Be6 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Qc7 13. g4 Rc8 <13...Nfd7, O Salmensuu vs M Roeder, 1999 1-0. Threatens Nxd5.> 14. Kb1 b4 15. g5 <15.Qxb4?? Qxc2+ 16.Ka1 Qxd1+ and mate.> Nfd7 16. h4 a5 17. Bh3 a4 18. Nc1 Na6 19. h5 Rcb8 20. g6 <According to Topalov, White is already much better.> Bf6 21. gxf7+ Kxf7 22. Be6+ Kf8? <22...Ke7 or 22...Ke8 were safer squares for his King. It would have been much more difficult for White to reach the Black King.> 23. b3? <23.Qd3 h6 24.Qg6 Ndc5 (24...Ke7 25.Qf7+ Kd8 26.Rhg1 followed by Bxh6 wins too) 25.Bxh6! wins.> Ndc5 24. Rhg1 Qe7 25. Bf5 Kg8? <A loss of time, as he cannot defend the h7 pawn. Strangely, Topalov said it was the only move! 25...axb3 26.cxb3 e4! opening the diagonal of his Bishop was much better with chances for both sides.> 26. Bxc5 Nxc5 27. Qh6 <Threatens mate in 3.> Kf8 28. Qxh7 <The rest is easy.> Qf7 29. Nd3 axb3 30. cxb3 Nxd3 31. Rxd3 e4 32. Be6 exd3 <32...Qa7 33.Qg8+ Ke7 34.Qf7+, White trades Queens, and Black’s counterattack ends immediately.> 33. Bxf7 Rxa2 34. Qg8+! <34.Kxa2?? Ra8+, Black mates on the next move.> Ke7 35. Kxa2! <A beautiful finish.> 1-0

Jan-19-07  shr0pshire: Topalov gives a post mortem of this game during the press conference following the game. Anyone who is interested in the game should check it out on the Dutch web site Chessvibes via Youtube.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: This is one of the games where Topalov and Danailov are accused of cheating in the chessbase article.

<On move 26, for instance, he held his thumb between his teeth and moved it back and forth in the right corner of his mouth. After this Topalov took a knight on c5 with his bishop. Usually Danailov would immediately take off his glasses and disappear from the corner. The ritual would be repeated as soon as van Wely had made his move:

Danailov would hurry out of the hall, make a phone call, and usually return after one to three minutes, going to the same corner and putting on his glasses. And while Topalov took on his thinking pose, his manager would scratch himself three to six times behind his ear, tap with his index finger on the glasses or execute other strange movements.

On move 31 he once again had his thumb in his mouth, and Topalov captured a pawn on d3 with his rook. After 35 moves van Wely resigned in a hopeless position. Later it turned out that all the moves that Topalov had played in this decisive phase are also the first choices of the popular chess programs. “During the game I did not at all have the impression that anything was fishy, but I was also told that Danailov was behaving in a very suspicious fashion,” said van Wely.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I don't put too much stock in this cheating charge.

First, although I dislike Danailov, he appears to be a naturally nervous person, and in nearly all photographs, has a bizarrely animated expression.

Second, the implication is that by putting his thumb on his teeth he was coaching Topalov to capture a piece, is not very convincing.

He was only observed twice doing it. If it was truly coaching, every time Topalov captured a piece or pawn, there would be the sign. In other words, at moves 12, 21, 26, 28, 30 and 31.

One might argue that Topalov did not need coaching except on the key moves, but move 31 Rxd3 is hardly a key move, as it simply captures a knight that has captured a knight.

Jan-27-07  Rocafella: It's a shame the game has come to this. Accusations and all that, not cheating (Although I don't condone cheating, I don't believe the allegations either)
Jan-27-07  djmercury: 21. gxf7 if I am not wrong is not even the best move that Topalov could have played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: g6 is the key move in this type of attack. If you hesitate or try to back it up with a rook you'll miss your chance and wind up on the receiving end of a counter-attack. If you play against the Sicilian often enough you'll see the same position up to move 20 over and over again. This is a good game to study.
Jan-27-07  Rocafella: <td> Sounds like a good comment but I can't take you seriously with that damn baby!
Jan-29-07  Tactic101: Did anyone actually see this game live or on television? I only recently read these allegations against Danailov and Topalov. One question I have to ask is this: is the number of times that Danailov put on his glasses and apparently "signaled" to Topalov exaggerated? In that chessbase article, the report said almost after every move that Van Wely played, Danailov left the playing hall, called up on his phone. He would then return after a few minutes, put on spectacles and then make some sort of gesture.

To be honest, I think that Danailov and Topalov are really cheating. The number of times Danailov did this far exceeds coincidence. Unless, of course, the report is exaggerated just to make news. But I really don't see how Danailov and Topalov will escape this one. The matter will definately be pulled up by the FIDE. It would be most embrassing for chess if they are convicted.

Feb-11-07  rjsolcruz: Even an unrated one like myself will capture that knight on d3. For me, the gem here is Topalov's Nd3; bringing an unused piece into action at the time the his B & Q & R are weaving a mating net. It is the move that separates the men from the boys.
Feb-12-07  Fisheremon: <Mateo: 23. b3? (23.Qd3 h6 24.Qg6 Ndc5 (24...Ke7 25.Qf7+ Kd8 26.Rhg1 followed by Bxh6 wins too) 25.Bxh6! wins.)> 23.Qd3!? as 23...b3 24.cxb3 e4 25.Qxe4 axb3 26.Nxb3 Nac5 27.Qxh7 Rxa2 28.Kxa2 Qb7 29.Rd3 Qa6+ leading to a drawn endgame, so quite likely that 23.b3!? posed more problems for Black.
May-14-08  Billy Vaughan: Another thing about the cheating -- why against *Van Wely* of all people? I mean, Van Wely's no pushover as a near-2700, but we're talking Topalov here.

Of course, if Topa DIDN'T cheat, then this means nothing at all.

Nov-17-10  checkmateyourmove: i feel alittle bad for topa. hes a part of many gm's immortals which is not fun to be the poster boy for that. and when he was at his peak and playing amazing chess, he gets accused of being a cheater so he gets no credit. Then he plays great WCC and makes them very entertaining but the whole chess world wants him to lose. Don't get me wrong the guy seems like a wanker, but hey there not role models just chess masters. Oh well.!
Nov-17-10  Petrosianic: <i feel alittle bad for topa. hes a part of many gm's immortals which is not fun to be the poster boy for that. and when he was at his peak and playing amazing chess, he gets accused of being a cheater so he gets no credit.>

Of course this was after he himself had unjustly accused anoher, so at least it's justice of a sort. It's kind of silly to say he gets no credit, though. Few took this charge seriously. The charge he made hurt him more than the charge he received.

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