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Veselin Topalov vs Bu Xiangzhi
M-Tel Masters (2008), Sofia BUL, rd 5, May-12
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Classical System Main Line (D19)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-12-08  Whitehat1963: Sudden slaughter.
May-12-08  iron maiden: Ivanchuk's 5/5 is rightly taking all the attention, but Topalov is also having easily his best first half ever in MTel. In the first three editions of the tournament he was never above an even score after five rounds, but here he's +2 already. If Ivanchuk cools off after the rest day and returns to his normal self, Topalov could still steal this one away if he goes on another of his second-half rampages.
May-12-08  Ezzy: Topalov,Veselin (2767) - Bu,Xiangzhi (2708) [D19]
MTEL Masters 2008 (5), 12.05.2008

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0–0 0–0 9.Qe2 Ne4 10.Ne5 <Threatening the all powerful 11 g4! >10...Nd7 11.Nxd7 Qxd7 12.Na2 Be7 13.f3 Nf6 14.e4 Bg6 15.Be3 Qc7 <Novelty 15...Rfd8 has been played before.> 16.Nc1 a5 17.Nd3 Nd7 18.Rac1 Rfe8 19.g3 Bd6 20.Nf4 e5 21.Nxg6 hxg6 22.f4 exd4 23.Bxd4 <Threatening 24 e5 Bc5 25 Bxf7+ Kxf7 26 Bxc5 Winning a pawn with a good position >23...b6?<To protect the c5 square and avoid the combination mentioned in my previous note. But it is a mistake. [23...Nf8 24.e5 (24.f5 gxf5 25.Rxf5 Ne6 is ok) 24...Bb4 Seems to be the way to defend.]> 24.f5! <What a nightmare on f7. If the knight was on f8 then 24...gxf5 25 Rxf5 Ne6! protects the attack on f7.> 24...g5 25.Qh5 <Threatening the dreaded mate in 2> 25...Nf6 <There is no defence >26.Bxf6 gxf6 27.Qg6+ Kf8 28.Qxf6 Be5 29.Qxg5 Qe7 <No better is [29...Bd4+ 30.Kg2 Qe7 31.f6 Qxe4+ 32.Rf3 Qh7 33.Rf4! Be3 34.Rh4 Bxg5 35.Rxh7 Bxf6 36.Rxf7+ Winning]> 30.f6 Bd4+ 31.Rf2 1–0

If Bu Xiangzhi had any hopes of emulating his fellow countryman Wang Yue’s sensational performance in the Baku grand prix, well only his fears are being realized. He’s having a bit of a nightmare in his first elite tournament. His sense of danger has eluded him.

Credit to Topalov though. He is merciless when he is offered a sniff of an attack. 24 f5! Is just crushing.

May-12-08  luzhin: 31..Bxf2+ 32.Kf1! and it's bye, bye, Bu.
May-12-08  minasina: This was live commentary with GM Sergey Zagrebelny in Russian; “translation” (without functioning board): may need instant reload
May-12-08  Bobsterman3000: wow. White's light-squared bishop moved once but dominated the entire game from its "turret" on c4...

May-12-08  Whack8888: I really like this game -- Topalov plays the late opening stage in such a calm manner, not worrying about the tempo losses of his knights.

It is interesting to see how he doesnt fear trading his twice moved knight on e5 for the once moved knight on d7, and then develops his other knight from c3 to a2 to c1 to before finally recentralizing it on d3 etc.

This game shows how dangerous a strong center can be.

May-12-08  messachess: White's 30th sure was a killer move. It's pretty surprising that a 2700 player (or most good players, really--down to about 'B' level) wouldn't see that. Was Bu in time trouble?
May-13-08  euripides: Topalov's pawn offer on move 10 reminds me of Euwe's play in

Euwe vs Alekhine, 1937

and slightly of Kasparov's in

Kasparov vs Bareev, 1991

I wonder if Bu is always worse once he decides to refuse the offer, as the exchange of knights allows White's central expansion to happen very harmoniously.

May-13-08  euripides: ... though accepting the pawn carries some risk as well:

B Kristensen vs E Parr, 2001

May-13-08  Ezzy: <Bobsterman3000: wow. White's light-squared bishop moved once but dominated the entire game from its "turret" on c4...>

One of my favourite games in the last few years had the same theme with a dominant white squared bishop. It was from the epic clash in the San Luis world championships - Topalov vs Anand, 2005

What a bishop!! First move it is fianchttoed to g2. On move 25 it goes to d5 where it sits for 25 moves, and it's 3rd and final move is Bxf7+ which puts Anand in big trouble. An amazing save of the game by Anand. He looked absolutely shattered (and relieved) Chess at it's brutal best.

The picture tells it all. It was a 7 hour epic which I watched live totally enthralled for the full 7 hours. What a game!!

Topalov just seems to be a master of this light squared bishop. Another game to add to his collection of dominant light squared bishops that don't seem to move.

May-13-08  minasina: Rybka analysis, some critical points and variations

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