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Peter Svidler vs Veselin Topalov
Corus Group A (2007), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Jan-26
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I still cannot believe how this game flipped in favor of Svidler. Topalov seemed to be on his way to garner the full point.
Jan-26-07  Rocafella: <AdrianP> Anything that is alleged without proof is an accusation. Maybe it does have an element on truth, it's the fact that people bring conspiracies up which just gets under my skin.
Jan-26-07  Rocafella: <AdrianP> Sorry for the gay rant, nothing against you!
Jan-27-07  Whack8888: Yeah, what I said about Svidler trying harder for the win wasnt an accusation at all, he can try and draw his friends and play for wins against his enemies, and so long as no money is involved, or anything of that nature, it is his own business.

Does anyone know this variation of the Najdorf or Svidler's openings in general--I dont know either and I was wondering if maybe he chose a sharper variation, or used a good novelty or something.

Top level chess should be more like wrestling!

Jan-27-07  GufeldStudent: If Topalov is a poor match player because he lost to Kramnik, then---by that same logic---Kasparov is a poor match player. But Kasparov is one of the great match players of all time. If Topalov is, indeed, a poor match player, it is not because he lost a match to Kramnik.

People, please don't just repeat other people's emotionally charged nonsense.

Jan-27-07  notyetagm: Damn it!
Jan-27-07  NBZ: <GufeldStudent> The comparison with Kasparov doesn't hold because Kasparov has many match victories to his credit, and the Kramnik loss was a rare commodity. Topalov does not have the same success in matchplay as Kasparov. Even if we ignore his loss to Kramnik, I can remember Topalov losing to Leko in 2003 which strangely enough, had he won it, would have qualified him for a world championship match with Kramnik.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <csmath: This loss is something rare to see. Starting with move 31. ... Bb1?? (this makes absolutely no sense, the first rule of attack is if there is no outright killing, keep the tension as high as possible.>

Reviewing the decisve phase of this game, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Toplaov simply overlooked the Queen maneuver from g3 to b8 (with check) to b4 and finally to d2. If so, he probably thought 31. ... Bb1+ led to a forced win, and he probably still thought he was winning after he played 33. ... Rc5 (instead of 33. ... Rc2+, which seemingly would have preserved a plus over minus advantage).

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Everybody thought that Topalov had overwhelming position but it is aptly said so that 'it's difficult to win a won game.' And exactly what happened.
Jan-27-07  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 22 Nd5 at once, 22 Qe5 keeps Black's QB out of the square f5 and so prepares Nd5
Jan-27-07  Eyal: <Does anyone know this variation of the Najdorf or Svidler's openings in general--I dont know either and I was wondering if maybe he chose a sharper variation, or used a good novelty or something.> Svidler played this variation of the Najdorf ("English Attack") quite a few times before. According to database, that's the first time he played 9.0-0-0; in 3 previous games he played 9.f4 (including Svidler vs Topalov, 2006 and his game against Ponomariov from an earlier round of this tournament), and in 4 previous games 9.f3 (f3 and 0-0-0 are many times transposed as moves 9-10 in this variation, though, as in the present game). Apparently, that's the first time Svidler encountered otb the h5 idea in this formation. More generally, 11...Qc7 by Black is a relatively rare choice (usually 11...Rc8 is played), as well as 12.Bd3 (White usually responds with 12.h3 or g3). With 13.Bg5, the game seems to have entered uncharted territory.
Jan-28-07  Fisheremon: <you vs yourself: Svidler was lucky to win today. According to Susan Polgar, 31...Qc5 and 33...Rc2+ are both winning for black.> 31...Qc5 is winning, but not 33...Rc2+ (it gives some advantage). White made two mistakes 26.Rc7?! (better 26.Qa3), 28.Re2? (28.Qf4 could save).
Jan-28-07  Eyal: 26.Rc7 certainly deserves the "?" without the "!" - it should be very bad for White after 26...cxb3 27.Nxb3 (27.axb3 Qa5 [Now!] 28.Rxc8+ Rxc8 and White is helpless against the double threat of Qxd2 and Qc3 - e.g., 29.Qf4 Qc3 30.Qd2 Rc5) a5.

Btw, Svidler played this variation again - and lost - in the last round of the tournament: Svidler vs Karjakin, 2007.

Feb-05-07  Fisheremon: I'd play 14.f5 preparing h3-Bxf6-g4-g5 with attack.
Feb-08-07  katar: video here:

apologies if this has been linked already. i didnt see it above.

Apr-02-08  hitman84: "How Topalov should win this game is not my problem." --- Svidler (on his game with Topalov)

Funny! For those who didn't get the joke. What Svidler meant was that it was Danailov's problem.

Apr-02-08  Confuse: <hitman84> ? I assumed the quote was in response to some question asking on how topalov could have improved in this game, but why would he mean it was Danailov's problem?
Apr-02-08  hitman84: <Confuse>Well, look at it this way. I've never heard such a comment from Svidler. Don't you think the comment was a bit odd?

I have great respect for Svidler. I've read many of his interviews. Something tells me that he didn't care about the game because his opponent was Topalov.

It was a speculation on my part so don't take it seriously.

Apr-02-08  Confuse: Of course I thought the comment was odd; and I see what you mean now. Okay.: )
Apr-02-08  Landman: Today's quote on the front page of should have included brackets:

"[How Topalov should win this game] is not my problem."

The meaning is, the position is lost, he's just waiting to see what his opponent will play before figuring out how to respond. It has nothing to do with who is opponent is.

Look at 3:25-3:45 in the second ChessVibes video for the full context:

Jul-06-11  swr: So, in what context was today's quote of the day uttered? After the game?
Jul-06-11  Akavall: <swr> Doesn't <Landman>'s post answer your question?
Jul-06-11  swr: <Akavall> It does!:)
Jul-15-11  Landman: I gather Svidler's quote pops up as QOTD from time to time. It's given as "How Topalov should win this game is not my problem."

Here is the precise quote (see the earlier video link):

"How am I going to save this endgame? For the life of me, I don't know. But then again, I mean at this point I felt: this is not my problem. I will just see what he does and we'll continue from there."

Jul-18-11  Akavall: <Landman> Thanks for pointing this out.

The original quote has a lot more insight, and I like it better than the 'shorter version'. Moreover, the tone in both quotes is completely different. I wonder why felt the need to shorten the original quote.

This episode underlines the problem with quotes. Besides being taken out of context or mistranslated, they can also can be shortened or reworded to the point where the initial meaning is lost.

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