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Veselin Topalov vs Vassily Ivanchuk
M-Tel Masters (2008), Sofia BUL, rd 2, May-09
French Defense: Steinitz. Boleslavsky Variation (C11)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  swordfish: Masterful finish by Ivanchuk in severe time trouble. Two blacks, two wins to lead the tourney.
May-09-08  imag: 33.Ra1 is better according to my engine and gives White +0.7 advantage due to back rank mating threats.
May-09-08  Aleksandar Li: Ivanchuk is crazy!
May-09-08  Libispusher: Talk about nerves of steel. Masterful indeed, Chucky style.
May-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Is there anything wrong with 33 cxd5?

Now, if 33… Nxe5, 34 Rfc1 threatens mate, forcing 34...Ra8. Now, 35 Rc7 puts a lot of pressure on black.


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May-09-08  positionalgenius: what a game here. A real battle
May-09-08  euripides: <Jim> 33.cxd5 looks well considering. After <33...Nxe5 34.Rfc1> h6,keeping the rook free, looks more natural than Ra8 to me.Then White has to keep an eye on ideas like Ra2 and Nf3.
May-09-08  minasina: There were live commentaries: http://www.chessdom.com/mtel-master... with GM Vladimir Dimitrov

http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli... with IM Maksim Notkin (RUS); “translation” (without functioning board): http://google.com/translate?u=http%...

http://online.crestbook.com/sofia08... with GM Sergei Shipov (RUS)

May-09-08  Bobsterman3000: Why didn't Topalov try to trade rooks here? Maybe 32.Rfe1 ??

May-09-08  Ezzy: <Warheart:> Your 33 e6?? for Topalov is a bit 'over the top' by any standards. Also, your 40 Rg1?! should be 40 Rg1??

<Bobsterman3000: Why didn't Topalov try to trade rooks here? Maybe 32.Rfe1 ??> If 32 Rfe1 Nc2! 33 Rxe3 Nxe3 34 Re1 dxc4 35 Rxe3 Rxb5 looks pretty grim for white as black has 2 extra connected passed pawns.

May-09-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <euripides> <33.cxd5 looks well considering. After <33...Nxe5 34.Rfc1> h6,keeping the rook free, looks more natural than Ra8 to me.Then White has to keep an eye on ideas like Ra2 and Nf3.>

If black elects not to put his a rook on the back rank then white should try to push his passed pawn along with 35 d6.


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It looks like black can force a draw by repetition after 35...Ra2 36 d7 Nxd7 37 Bxd7 Ree2.


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White cannot keep black from checking along that second rank.

May-09-08  Warheart: Ezzy <Your 33 e6?? for Topalov is a bit 'over the top' by any standards. Also, your 40 Rg1?! should be 40 Rg1??> Well yes, I put two question marks on 33.e6 because White is trying to survive and he was doing that since 16.b3.33.Ra1 is turning the tables, one move in totally changing the evaluation and that move was missed by Topalov.I think it's worth two marks.On move forthy White is so badly damaged there that I would be miracle for White to make a draw.Any other move instead 40.Rg1 is not saving the game so why two question marks on 40.Rg1 when any other move is also losing?
May-10-08  Bobsterman3000: <Ezzy> I see. Thanks!
May-10-08  messachess: The simplistic view would see white's error as permitting the black d-pawn advance. So, how and why exactly was that done, I wonder.--(unless Topa thought his K-side initiative would prevail.)
May-10-08  euripides: <Jim> I'm not sure there's a perpetual after 38.Bb5, but Black will win at least the h pawn and should be OK. I notice the Russian sites recommend 33.Ra1.
May-10-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <euripides> <I'm not sure there's a perpetual after 38.Bb5, but Black will win at least the h pawn and should be OK. I notice the Russian sites recommend 33.Ra1.>

I see 38 Rxb7 followed by 38...Rxh2+.

Yeah, I've looked at a couple of sites that have recommended 33 Ra1 as well. It looks like a good way to go.

May-12-08  minasina: Rybka analysis, some critical points and variations http://chessok.com/broadcast/live.p...
May-16-08  sandmanbrig: brilliant play
May-17-08  alexrawlings: I don't understand the move 30 g4. Can anyone explain why white doesn't take with the rook 30 Rxf5
May-25-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: McClain comments on this game in his NY Times chess column on May 25: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/c...
May-25-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: < alexrawlings: I don't understand the move 30 g4. Can anyone explain why white doesn't take with the rook 30 Rxf5 >

30. Rxf5 was probably objectively better, but Topalov was apparently going all-out for complications to turn the tables in a difficult position. The following line (after 30. g4) given in today’s NY Times chess column (for which a link is provided in an earlier post) would have been at least equal for White: 30...fxg4 31.Bd7 Rxb3 32.e6 Re3 33.Rb1 Nd3 34.cxd5 h5 35.exf7+ Kf8 36.Rxb7 Ra8 37.Be6.

Jun-16-08  minasina: Rybka analyses relocated (see my previous post): http://chessok.com/broadcast/live.p...

INTERNET CHESS CLUB / Chess.FM, FREE "GAME OF THE DAY": http://webcast.chessclub.com/Mtel08... commentary by GM Larry Christiansen

Jul-25-08  Geronimo: As promised on his page, here are some of Ivanchuk's comments from the July edition of "Europe Echecs". Starting with move 28...R8a5, which he gives a ?!. Translated from the French he rejects 28...Rxb3 as leading to a rook finish with 3 pawns vs. 2. But he writes "But without a doubt there was a stronger move with 28...Nc2, threating a fork, activating the knight and gaining tempo: 29.Rd3, (29.cxd5, Ne3 30.dxe6, fxe6 and black is better)29...R3a5 (29...R8a5 30.cxd5! Rxb5 31.Rc3 with equality) 30.Bd7, d4 31.Rd2, Ra1 32.Rg1, R1a2 (or ...R8a2) with an incontestable advantage for black" Hence:


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Jul-25-08  Geronimo: But moving forward to the game move after 32...Nd3?,(which Ivanchuck marks with a question mark, "a fault from zeitnot given 32...Ra2 33.Rxb4 Ree2 with perpetual check being indispensible").


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So 33.e6? (Ivanchuk gives only one question mark) "Leaving to one side 33.Ra1! marking the weakness of the 8th rank! and after 33...Rxa1 (33...b6 34.cxd5 Nxe5 35.d6 g6 36.d7 Nxd7 37.Bxd7 and white should win:


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returning 33...Rxa1

starting with 33...Rxa1 34.Rxa1 g5! only so, as (34...g6 35.cxd5 Nxe5 36.d6 Kg7 37.d7 Nxd7 38.Bxd7 with good winning chances for white:


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from 34...g5! 35.cxd5 Nxe5 36.d6 Kg7 37.d7 Nxd7 38.Bxd7 Rb3 39.Ra2 Kf6 40.Kg2 h5! hence:


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To which he adds the commentary: "and in spite of the extra piece, one can't see how white could strengthen their position. In the first case white loses the pawn at f5 and the draw is all but given."

Aug-02-08  notyetagm: White to play: 33 ?


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<Geronimo: ... So 33.e6? (Ivanchuk gives only one question mark) "Leaving to one side 33.Ra1! marking the weakness of the 8th rank! >

(VAR) Position after 33 ♖b1-a1!


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With 33 ♖b1-a1! White <PINS> the Black a5-rook to the a8-square behind it on the <WEAK BACK RANK>.

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