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Veselin Topalov vs Levon Aronian
M-Tel Masters (2008), Sofia BUL, rd 6, May-14
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-14-08  Marmot PFL: I wonder if Topalov spent much time on 19.Nxb5 cb5 20.Bb4 with idea Rc8 (Re7 Nf5) 21.Qe2 Nc5 22.dc5 Bxc5 23.Bxc5 Rxc5 24.b4 and 25 Bxb5.
May-14-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: The pundits say 33... Qxa3 instead of Rd3 below hurt Aronian's chances.


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It cost him a pawn he could never get back.

May-14-08  Aleksandar Li: Veselin did a nice job here again! Aronian is obviously not on his level. Maybe he can't find any inspiration in Sofia. Any ideas?
May-14-08  messachess: <Marmot PFL> Well, it simplifies, should win a pawn. There's (in your variation) 24...Rd5--might not win the pawn then.
May-14-08  Ezzy: Topalov,Veselin (2767) - Aronian,Levon (2763) [D47] MTEL Masters 2008 (6), 14.05.2008

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.0–0 0–0 10.a3 Bb7 11.h3 <The great Yugoslavian tournament player Gligoric first played this move in 1961. The main line is 11 Qc2 >11...e5 12.Qc2 Re8 13.Bd2 Qe7 14.Ng5< Novelty. Also a Fritz recommendation.. 14 Be4 has previously been played.> 14...h6 15.Nge4 Bc7 16.Rfe1 Bb6 17.Ng3< Indirectly defending the d4 pawn because black can't play 17...exd4 because the black queen is pinned.> 17...Rad8 18.Rad1 Qf8 <Breaking the pin and so threatening 18...exd4> 19.Nce2 <Threatening 20 Bb4 c5 and white will pick up the b5 pawn. This is an interesting pawn sacrifice for active piece play. [19.Nce4 exd4 20.exd4 Bxd4 21.Nf5 Bb6 22.Bc3 Re6 23.Ned6]> 19...a6 20.b4< Logical to stop the freeing 20...c5> 20...h5 21.Bc3 h4 22.Ne4 Nd5 <Threatening 22...f5 23...e4> 23.Nc5 Nxc5 24.dxc5 Bc7 25.Bb2 Bc8< Possibly hoping to play 26...f5> 26.Bh7+ Kh8 27.Bf5 Bxf5 28.Qxf5 Qe7 29.Nc3 Nxc3 30.Bxc3 Kg8 31.Qe4 Qe6 32.Qxh4 Qb3 33.Rc1 Qxa3? <Aronian misses the danger to his queen. An interesting drawing line is [33...Rd3 34.Qe4 Rxc3 35.Qxc6 Re7 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Qe4+]> 34.Qe4!< Nice move, threatening to trap the queen with 35 Qc2!> 34...a5 35.Qxc6 axb4 36.Bxb4 Qxb4 37.Qxc7 Rc8 38.Qa7 Re6 39.Red1 Qe4 40.Qd7 Rec6 41.Qb7 b4 42.Rd7 Qf5 43.Rd5 Rg6?< [43...Qe4 Defending the b4 pawn and attacking the d5 rook seems the way to go.]> 44.Kf1 b3 45.Qxb3 Qg5 46.g3 Qf5 47.Kg2 Rf6 48.Rd2 Qf3+ 49.Kh2 Rd6? 50.Qa2? <Topalov can escape the checks, but it is a long line and Topalov was probably worried he might have missed something, and so plays it safe. [50.Rxd6 Qxf2+ 51.Kh1 Qf3+ 52.Kg1 Qxg3+ 53.Kf1 Qxh3+ 54.Ke1 Qg3+ 55.Kd1 Qg1+ 56.Kd2 Qf2+ 57.Kd3 e4+ 58.Kc4 Qe2+ 59.Kb4 Rb8+ 60.Rb6]> 50...Rxd2 51.Qxd2 Rc6 52.Kg1 Rh6 53.Qd1 Qc6 54.h4 Rf6 55.Qg4 g6 56.h5 Kg7 57.e4 Kh6 58.hxg6 fxg6 59.Kg2 Kg7 60.Qe2 Rf7 61.Rc4 g5 <This just weakens his position more.> 62.Qh5 Qf6 63.Rc2 Qd8 64.c6 Qd3 65.Qxg5+ Kf8 66.Qh6+ Kg8 67.Rd2 Qxe4+ 68.Kh2 Rf8 69.c7 Qf5 70.f3 1-0

Nice play by Topalov. Aronian played well untill he missed the danger of his queen being trapped. Not easy to see, but it cost him a pawn and gave Topalov a big initiative which he skillfully converted to a win. .Good form from Vesko. Very impressive.

May-14-08  minasina: http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli... This was live commentary with GM Sergey Zagrebelny in Russian; “translation” (without functioning board): http://google.com/translate?u=http%... may need instant reload
May-14-08  Whitehat1963: <Aronian is obviously not on his level.>

I'm a big fan of Topalov, but this is an overstatement. According to the database, until this tournament, Aronian led in their head-to-head record. Okay, so Topalov got the better of him this time, who is to say Aronian won't beat him the next five times in a row? Would that suddenly prove that Topalov is no longer in Aronian's league? No. The sample size is too small.

May-15-08  chessismylife: Aronian's 68 Move was blunder.He must play Rh7 Qh7,Kh7 Qc6 and game will be draw.So it is very much interesting that if you make single mistake you loose the game.After move 67 Aronian's concentration went down and he made mistake.He must learn something from his mistakes. Otherwise he is very good grandmaster.
May-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <chessismylife>
68...Rh7 69. Rd8+ Kf7 70. Rd7+ followed by 71. Rxh7 wins for White.
May-15-08  ivan999: topalov leads in classical chess.
May-15-08  shintaro go: I'd pick Aronian over Topalov any time
May-15-08  minasina: Rybka analysis, some critical points and variations http://chessok.com/broadcast/live.p...
Apr-02-09  Raivis: I'm found interesting victory line after black played 49. ... Rd6. White king and black queen dance!
50.Rxd6(!) Qxf2+
51.Kh1 Qf3+
52.Kg1 Qxg3+
53.Kf1 Qf3+
54.Ke1 Qg3+
55.Kd2 Qh2+
56.Kd3 e4+
57.Kxe4 Re8+
58.Kf3(!) Qxh3+
59.Ke2 Qh5+
60.Kd2 Qh2+
61.Kc3(!) Rxe3+
62.Rd3 Qe5+
63.Kc2(!) Qxc5+
64.Kb2(!) Qe5+
65.Kb1(!) Rxd3
66.Rc8+ Kh7
67.Qxd3+
Apr-02-09  Raivis: In Ezzy comments for black 56. ... Qf2+
not the best choise! Much better Qh2+.

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