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Magnus Carlsen vs Veselin Topalov
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2009), Nanjing CHN, rd 2, Sep-29
King's Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Rare Defenses (E90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 18 OF 18 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Interesting how that ugly pawn on g6 helped determine the outcome. Usually those pawns are dogmeat when pieces start getting exchanged.

Maybe Topalov lost when he gave up the pawn sac, and didnt really get anything for the pawn, except a more clear view of an unassailable position.

Oct-01-09  ontocaustic: topalov lost the moment he got to the board facing gazzason
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: sounds like an intesintal disease.
Oct-01-09  zarg: <Billy Ray Valentine: Carlsen's play seems much more aggressive to me than that of Karpov.>

The greatest difference in my opinion, is that Carlsen is willing to take more <risk> than Karpov did.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: <Billy Ray Valentine: Funny, I also see in Carlsen similarities to Karpov's style--though many differences as well. I have a hard time imagining Karpov playing 6. h3 and 9. g4--but maybe it's just me. Carlsen's pawn play seems very counter-intuitive to me, and very different from Karpov's pawn play.>

<I sometimes think Carlsen's style is a cross between the two K's styles.>

<I'm of course more than happy to be "blown out of the water" on these comments...>

I agree with you...I see that and more! Spassky as well. With Carlsen's talent, he has synthesized traits from many masters in his own style. His style is quite "universal".

Oct-01-09  Everett: That's total BS. Karpov often played risky chess, because he gave up the initiative and allowed himself to come under near-withering attacks for the sake of ultimately improving his position. Just because he didn't pitch pawns left and right for the initiative doesn't mean he didn't take risks. He wasn't known to be one of the greatest defenders by keeping it safe all the time.

It's interesting to note that Kasparov's biggest knock on Karpov's chess is that, at crucial times, and more and more later in his career, he kept it "simple." "Complexity" does not equal "risk," though I can see how they can be confused. There is a risk to keeping things simple, as Kasparov duly proved in their matches together.

Oct-01-09  Everett: All the current chess players are "universal." This is concurred by many GMs of the past and now. What I find interesting is that many people think that the past greats were not "universal." I think this not close to the truth.

Smyslov played c4, d4, e4 and Nf3 in greater variety than anyone else. He understood endgames, middlegames, created opening schemes, was a tenacious defender, understood the initiative, etc. Anyone who tries to put Smyslov in a box, or any of the greats post-WWII (and many before then) haven't looked at all their games.

Oct-02-09  goldenbear: Everett, I very much agree with those two posts.
Oct-02-09  goldenbear: On Karpov, two of the deepest games I have ever played over-the-board were in the style of Karpov. In both games, I created obvious weaknesses in my own position, goading my opponent to try and exploit those weaknesses. Both games required me to defend for a long time before my positional advantage would appear. But in both games, just as everything had worked out beautifully for me, I moved a piece (once a rook, and in the other game a bishop) one square away from the best place, came under attack, and lost. I have enormous respect for Karpov's strength as a chess player and an artist.
Oct-02-09  goldenbear: I'm sure this was covered in the previous kibitzing, but I don't want to go through 18 pages. 13.b4 was not threatened after 12.Rg1, was it? Why on earth would Topalov fix the queenside pawns with 12.a4? The pawn structure on the queenside favors Black, while White has some possibilities of attack on the kingside, but these possibilities require White to commit himself. The obvious move for Black, therefore, is the non-committal, defensive/waiting-move 12.Qe7. Anyone else think 12.a4? was the culprit here for Topalov? Anybody like 12.a4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <goldenbear: *** Anyone else think 12. [...] a4? was the culprit here for Topalov? Anybody like 12. [...] a4?>

You could be right that 12. ... a4 was dubious and was the root cause of the passivity of the Black position. It seems, however, that Topalov really got into trouble around moves 19-21. The redeployment of the DSB was not very effective, and the odd-looking pawn sac with 21. ... Na8 (presumably for the purpose of preparing ... b5) seems pretty clearly unsound.

Oct-03-09  Train: I thought it was very clever when Carlsen castled queenside in the opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: 12..a4 fits with the plan of 11..Nfd7 so that move might be the better place to look for a deviation. 11..Ne8 is a possibility. The ♘f6 is awkward there but it covers d5 so that c6xd5 will always allow Black to exchange and maintain a pawn plug on the d5 square even if White plays Nxd5. The ♘ can cover d5 from b6 (as in the game) or from c7 where it would be less of a target and leave the b-pawn flexible. Another possible place to improve is 15..cxd5 (?) which enables the powerful 17.Bb5! later. One option is 15..Ra5!? although after 16.g5 f5 17.gxf6 Qxf6 aside from the positional 18.Rg3 White has the antipositional but sharply tactical 18.b4!? which might have scared Black off at this fast time control (40/90). In olden times at 40/120 or 40/150 GMs could work such complications out and relied less on intuition. Also 15..Qe7 is possible intending Rfc8 when p/a4 would remain with the R/a8 as a defender. 19..Bf6 is not a bad move considering the position has already lost its appeal. We'll have to stay tuned for future games to test this complex Makoganov Variation.
Oct-03-09  Raginmund: down, down, down topalov!!!!!!!
Nice job Mr. Kasparov
Oct-03-09  Sbetsho: All hail Kasparov! :|
Oct-05-09  LimSJ: wow i like the way the game ended over the C-file. the potential pawn-grab trap on 26. Qf3 was amusing too. (i wonder though how the game would have continued after an exchange of Queens.)
Oct-06-09  Ulhumbrus: After 9 g4 one justification for the pawn advance ...b5 is that by playing 9 g4 White has made it unsafe to castle on the King side. That leaves the Queen side, and ....b5 prepares to open lines on the Queen side.
Oct-09-09  returnoftheking: Can someone explain to me what Topalov wanted to achieve with the Bf6-Bd8 maneuver?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Carlsen made it look easy... and against Topalov of all people.
Nov-09-09  magikk: well, someone wants always plays the king's indian again??
Aug-26-10  picard: i just won a game with this opening but i chose 6.Qb3 then it was 6...c5 and 7. d5! white's game is very flexable after move 5 in this opening. it seems like there are many paths to victory, both passive and aggressive. heck, just go ahead and play h3 and yawn!! victory is not far away!
Jul-29-11  Mostolesdude: Never seen 6.h3 before. and I don't even remember a game where a rook was placed on g1 in response to the king's indian. I have to try this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Topalov's pawn gambit backfires.
Apr-17-12  notyetagm: Game Collection: TIME MANAGEMENT

Carlsen vs Topalov, 2009 Carlsen missed winning Qh3 because he had only 1 minute for move

Apr-17-12  notyetagm:
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