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Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu vs Veselin Topalov
Mtel Masters (2007), Sofia BUL, rd 6, May-15
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-16-07  ARK84: This match was fixed!!!
The end was horrible how could he let him win in the end like that??
May-16-07  virginmind: what exactly do you mean? dont forget that nisi was also very close to time trouble, he couldnt afford analysing too deep in variations in the end.
May-16-07  ivan999: Fixed... LOL
May-16-07  Astardis: I agree. Most likely "Daddy" threatened to cut off Nisipeanu's hair if he wouldn't let his boy finally win.
May-16-07  Ezzy: Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter (2693) - Topalov,Veselin (2772) (6), 16.05.2007
M-TEL MASTERS
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nde2 Be6 8.f4 g6 <Strange as it may seem, this position has only occurred once before in master play. 9 Qd2 was the previous choice.> 9.h3 <This I think is the Novelty. The idea is to attack on the kingside with 10 g4 followed by queenside castleing, as is usual in many Sicilian lines.> 9...h5 <Topalov puts a stop on that plan.> 10.fxe5 dxe5 11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.0𢠢+ Nbd7 13.Ng1 <The white squared bishop need to develop and the knight needs to locate to a more active square eg f3> 13...Rc8 <Threatening 14...Rac3 15 bxc3 Nxe4 16 Rd3 Bxa2> 14.Bd3 Bh6 15.Bxh6 Rxh6 16.Nf3 Ke7 <Moving off the dangerous 'd' file> 17.Ng5 h4 18.Be2 Rc5 <There was a possibility of a temporary exchange sacrifice with [18...Rxc3 19.bxc3 Nc5 20.Rhe1 Nfxe4 21.Nxe4 Nxe4 22.Bxa6 Nxc3 23.Bxb7 Nxd1 24.Kxd1 But Topalov probably wanted to keep it more complicated than exchanging pieces]> 19.Rhf1 Rh8 <The rook must get back into play> 20.Rd3 Rhc8 21.Kd2 b5 <With the winning threat of 22...b4 23 Na4 Rxc2 +> 22.a3 a5< Keeping up the pressure with the 23...b4 threat> 23.b4 axb4 24.axb4 R5c6 25.Rdf3< Nisipeanu doesn't want Topalov's rooks invading his position with [25.Nxb5 Rxc2+ 26.Ke3 Rb2]> 25...Bc4 <Still threatening the c2 pawn with 26...Bxe2 27 Nxe2 Rxc2+. Topalov has developed a nagging initiative out of the opening, while Nisipeanu has been moving his pieces aimlessly without a clear plan.> 26.Bxc4 Rxc4
May-16-07  Ezzy: 27.Ra1? <A much more active plan for Nisipeanu would be to play [27.Rd3 Rxb4 28.Nd5+ Nxd5 29.Rxf7+ Ke8 30.Rxd5 with an ok position]> 27...Rxb4 28.Nd5+?!< 28 Ra7 first would be much better thtreatening the then strong 29 Nd5 >28...Nxd5 29.Rxf7+ Kd6 30.exd5 Rd4+ 31.Kc1? <32 Ke1 was better(The king is safer on the kingsside and is useful in defending his kingside pawns). Nisipeanu doesn't have to defend the c2 pawn with the king because he has the immediate threat of 32 Ra6+ picking up blacks knight >31...Nc5 <With the obvious 32...Nb3+ threat >32.Raa7<Nisipeanu抯 rooks have no activity, they must come back to defend> e4 <[32...Nd3+ 33.Kb1 Rb4+ 34.Ka1 Nc5 Also seems playable]> 33.Ne6 Rc4< Keeping relentless pressure on the c2 pawn whidh has been a nightmare for Nisipeanu throughout the game.> 34.Nxc5 R8xc5 35.Rad7+ Ke5 36.Rf2 b4 <Isn't this why you play the Sicilian, for queenside activity and pressure down the open 'c' file. Great play by the former World champion.> 37.Re7+ Kd6 38.Rb7 Kxd5 39.Kb2 e3 <Passed pawns must be pushed :-)> 40.Re2 Re4 41.Kb3 Ke5 [41...Rc3+ 42.Kb2 Rcc4 43.Rd7+ Ke5 44.Re7+ Kf4 45.Rf7+ Kg5 46.Rf3 Rc3 seems good> 42.Rf7 <Why didn't Nisipeanu just take the pawn. Surely he couldn't have been worse than what happened in the game. [42.Rxb4 Rxb4+ 43.Kxb4 Kd4 44.Rxe3 Rxc2> 42...g5 43.Rf8 Rd5 44.c4 Rd7 <I wonder why Topalov didn't play [44...bxc3 45.Kxc3 Ra5 46.Rf3 Ra3+ 47.Kb2 Rd3 I quite like the symmetry> 45.Re1 Rd2 46.Kxb4 Rxg2 47.Kc3 <To prevent 47...Rc2 and hopefully prepare 48 Rd1 49 Rd5 but Topalov plays actively> 47...Rg3 <Nice move> 48.Re8+ Kf5 49.Rf1+ Kg6 50.Rxe4 e2+ 51.Rf3 Rxf3+ 52.Kd2 Rxh3 53.c5 Ra3 54.c6 Ra2+< and Topalov will pick up the 'c' pawn and push his connected passed pawns. 01>

From moves 27 31 Nisipeanu抯 position starts to deteriorate. Topalov handled the position with great skill with relentless pressure down the 慶 file. This constant pressure eventually gave him a winning position. Pressure down the 慶 file is a dream for Sicilian players. Great play by Topalov!

Now the tournament gets interesting.

May-16-07  weisyschwarz: Is Topalov going to come from behind like last year to take it? Is that his way of playing, lousy start and fantastic finish?
May-16-07  outplayer: Topalov delighted me with this game.
May-16-07  boz: This game will restore any confidence Topalov may have lost earlier.
May-17-07  Orlin Burov: <ARK84: This match was fixed!!! The end was horrible how could he let him win in the end like that??> Nisi didn't play badly.He didn't allow a more beautiful finish of the game 54.Rc4??
What would have followed?
May-17-07  DaveyL: Don't think Nisi blew it at the end - according to very brief Shredder analysis (only 8 ply), Topalov had an advantage from about move 25, which just grew and grew until it was time to resign! Topalov played very nicely. I was worried when the queens were exchanged, leaving Topalov's king looking a bit exposed on d8, but he really got a grip and didn't let go.
May-17-07  LIFE Master AJ: An extremely tough and tricky endgame.
May-17-07  aragorn69: Three big inaccuracies in 5 moves: that's why Nisipeanu will never become a top-5 GM...

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