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Veselin Topalov vs Teimour Radjabov
M-Tel Masters (2008), Sofia BUL, rd 10, May-18
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-18-08  Jim Bartle: I must admit that when I see a 0.5-0.5 result I move on without looking. Guess that's a mistake sometimes...
May-18-08  percyblakeney: One of the most exciting games of the tournament, where Radjabov sacrificed lots of material and only had two bishops for queen and two pawns around move 25. Still Topalov had to play precisely to save the draw in the end.

Sakaev calls it a brilliant game, the best of the tournament, and gives 18. ... d5 a double exclamation mark. He means that Radjabov may feel a bit sad that his effort wasn't enough to win, but that he is to be congratulated for this excellent creative achievement.

http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli...

May-18-08  minasina: There were live commentaries: http://online.crestbook.com/sofia08... with GM Sergei Shipov in Russian; "translated": (without board): http://translate.google.com/transla... may need instant reload

http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli... with GM Konstantin Sakaev “in Russian;
translation” (without functioning board):
http://google.com/translate?u=http%... may need instant reload

May-18-08  arnaud1959: I don't understand why Radjabov has been treated as if he won the game. He found a brilliant sacrifice but Topalov defended well and drew.
May-18-08  grebenarov: Easily the most interesting game of the tournament, despite the draw, which by the way is the fair result!
May-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Radjabov's play has been remarkable. I have seldom seen someone play with such aggression only to collect more draws than anyone else in a tournament.
May-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <arnaud1959: I don't understand why Radjabov has been treated as if he won the game. He found a brilliant sacrifice but Topalov defended well and drew.>

I'v seen chess equations of the type 2B+P = R+N. I'v even seen chess positions where 2B = R+N. But here, after a purely positional sacrifice, we see at the end that, with two well coordinated bishops, sometimes 2B = Q+P. That is pretty cool, even if the game was 'only a draw'!

May-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: A dazzling idea -- giving the Q for two pieces + trapped R, evoking V Mikenas vs Kupreichik, 1973. White's Rg1 is completely out of the action, and is even blocking a flight square. Hence Topalov was really defending with only Q+R vs. an RRBB mating net -- big problems for White! Topalov found the saving idea -- pin Black's back R on 8. That looks like the only way to prevent Black from doubling Rs on 2 and hunting sideways.
May-19-08  percyblakeney: Mig reports that neither Radjabov nor Topalov knew that the queen sacrifice had been played before, so they were out of their preparation earlier than most annotators presumed.

http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt...

May-19-08  minasina: <percyblakeney: ... Sakaev calls it a brilliant game, the best of the tournament, and gives 18. ... d5 a double exclamation mark. >

I don't know what there has been, but now there is an exclamation mark with a question mark (18...d5!?).

May-19-08  minasina: http://chessok.com/broadcast/live.p... (light?) Rybka analysis, some critical points and variations
May-20-08  percyblakeney: <I don't know what there has been, but now there is an exclamation mark with a question mark (18...d5!?)>

Sakaev gives the move <!?> in his live commentary, but after the game, in the end of his text, he gives it <!!>

May-21-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <percyblakeney: Mig reports that neither Radjabov nor Topalov knew that the queen sacrifice had been played before, so they were out of their preparation earlier than most annotators presumed.>

According to chessbase database, it's been played in two previous games:

[Event "LAT-ch"]
[Site "Riga"]
[Date "2005.05.13"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Klovans,Janis"]
[Black "Sveshnikov,Evgeny"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nf6 9.c4 b4 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Nc2 Qg6 12.Ne3 Be7 13.g3 Nd4 14.Bg2 Bb7 15.Nf5 Qxf5 16.exf5 Bxg2 17.Rg1 Bf3 18.Qa4+ Bc6 19.Qd1 1/2

[Event "FIN-chT 0607"]
[Site "Finland"]
[Date "2006.09.14"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Kulaots,Kaido"]
[Black "Ivanov,Sergei S"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nf6 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.c4 b4 11.Nc2 Qg6 12.Ne3 Be7 13.g3 Bb7 14.Bg2 Nd4 15.Nf5 Qxf5 16.exf5 Bxg2 17.Be3 Bxh1 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.f3 0-0 20.Kf2 d5 21.cxd5 Bc5 22.Rc1 Rac8 23.Kg1 Rfd8 24.Kxh1 Rxd5 25.Qd3 Rcd8 26.Re1 h6 27.f4 a5 28.Kg2 a4 29.Kf3 a3 30.bxa3 bxa3 31.Re5 Bf8 32.Rxd5 Rxd5 33.g4 Rd8 34.g5 Rd6 35.h4 Be7 36.Ke2 Bf8 37.Qc4 d3+ 38.Kd2 Be7 39.g6 Rf6 40.Kxd3 Bf8 41.Ke4 Bd6 42.h5 Be7 43.Qd5 Bb4 44.gxf7+ Rxf7 45.f6 gxf6 46.Kf5 Kg7 47.Qg2+ Kf8 48.Qg6 Bc3 49.Qxh6+ Rg7 50.Ke6 Kg8 51.f5 Rg5 52.Ke7 Rg7+ 53.Ke8 Be5 54.Qe3 Bb2 55.h6 Rg5 56.Qa7 Kh8 57.Kf7 Kh7 58.Qa8 Rg4 59.Qf8 1-0

May-21-08  percyblakeney: Many interesting lines would have been possible if white had decided to go for 22. Qb3, for example <22. Qb3 0-0 23. Rc1 Nd4 24. Qa4 Rxc1+ 25. Bxc1 Be2+ 26. Ke1>


click for larger view

Here black wins after Bb5 since white will lose his queen (Qd1 Nf3+ or Qa5 Bd8 Qxb4 Nc2+, so white will instead have to play Kg2. After <26. Kg2 Bf3+ 27. Kh3> black has an interesting move in <g5>, threatening mate in one and making white’s position uncomfortable:


click for larger view

<28. fxg6 ep hxg6> and black seems to have more threats than white, and <28. g4 Ne2> doesn't give much for white either. <28. Bxg5 Bxg5 29.Qxb4 h5 30. Qxd4 Bg4+ 31. Kg2 Bf3+> and if white wants to avoid the draw <32. Kf1 Rc8> gives good losing possibilities.

There's also <22. Qb3 0-0 23. Rc1 Nd4 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Qa4 Rc2 26. Qe8+ Bf8 27. d6 h5> and if white wants to avoid the draw from the bishop checks he will have to play <28. h4 Rxb2 29. Qc8 Rb1+ 30. Bc1 Kh7> and black is winning:


click for larger view

Feb-12-09  dumbgai: I don't think any move should deserve a double exclamation mark if it doesn't win the game for you. Maybe one, but not two. That's just my opinion of course.
Feb-12-09  Geronimo: Not sure <dumbgai>. What if you find an absolutely beautiful, unforeseeable and theoretically justified sac that should lead to a win, then blunder it away 10 moves later? I know I've done that (well the brilliant and justified part are subject to debate anyway) OTB more often than I should admit....
Feb-12-09  Geronimo: On the other hand, this kind of game could inspire me to respond 1...c5 again after years of playing the French! (!!) :-)
Feb-12-09  dumbgai: <Geronimo> If the beautiful, unforeseeable and theoretically justified sac gives you a winning position, it doesn't matter what you do afterward. You'd have one !! move and one ?? move. But in this case Radjabov merely goes from a double-edged position to a drawn one. That's hardly !! in my book.
Feb-12-09  Geronimo: Agree, but still... what a game!

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