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Veselin Topalov vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
Linares (2010), Linares ESP, rd 6, Feb-19
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-19-10  Eyal: Shades of D Jakovenko vs Topalov, 2009:

click for larger view

25.Rc1?? Rc6 winning the rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <virginmind> Thanks for that. I must not think like a computer, as my first instinct is to cover the Queening square. =)

I presume Black played 40 ... a3 and then his flag fell, instead of resigning right after making the time control.

Feb-19-10  laskereshevsky: 7. ...♙g5 looks like a novelty ( and IMO a Korchnoi's style move...)

Checking in internet i found about 250 games with 7.♙a3:

click for larger view

But in no one of them the G♙ was double square pushed

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Why not 30...R-f8, activating the Rook, maybe trading it, while up two pawns? Instead, Pons played 30...Q x a3, and takes his queen out of position without having completed his development.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Pons sans pawns--painful predicament.
Feb-19-10  Eyal: <laskereshevsky: 7. ...g5 looks like a novelty ( and IMO a Korchnoi's style move...)> As I've noted during the game, this basic idea was already tried several times (, and there are about a dozen more in other databases) - most recently by Shirov vs. Van Wely in Corus - but on move 8, with the insertion of Be7 by Black & 0-0 by White. On move 7 it does seem to be new.

<HeMateMe: Why not 30...R-f8, activating the Rook, maybe trading it, while up two pawns?> Maybe because it loses on the spot to 31.Rxf8?

Feb-19-10  hedgeh0g: That makes 3 games Topalov wins on time-based errors. Christmas is coming early for the Bulgarian.
Feb-19-10  bgkuzzy: I hope Topa has something better in storage for the match.
Feb-19-10  Pencho: Well it seems this is the style Topa is playing recently - making some unexpected moves, even sacrifaces, with the idea to drag his opponent out of the book, forcing him to spend more time and eventualy making him blunder.

Don't forget that Kamsky lost the very vital 2nd game in their match, mainly becuase of his clock mishandling.

I can recall at least 4 GMs that lost on the very same way only in the last 1 year - Kamsky, Jako, Grischuk and now Valleho.Has this happened once or twice, one could call it an accident, but happening 4 times against super strong GMs - this should mean that it was Topa's play that forced them to do that mistakes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Topalov's pawn sacrifice looks even more speculative than his piece sacrifice yesterday. I wonder if his success with such sacrifices exploits chess players' dependence upon the computer. Once Topalov's opponents leave book, they seem to founder a bit, and then, during this period of foundering, he strikes with a sacrifice that sound or unsound forces opponents into such serious time pressure that they can't find the best moves.
Feb-19-10  uscfratingmybyear: An Englishman, interesting point and couched well; of course, who really knows what hides in the minds of these super GMs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Has Topalov set himself the task to sacrifice something in each game, no matter the objective merit?

If so his plan is succeeding both in pts and in shielding his preparation.

Anand took the traditional approach, and played safe off lines, but at best Corus was a wash for him as he got stuck in unpromising positions.

Topalov is doing the opposite, going for broke, and trusting that in any case his over the board instincts will save him.

If he wins going away it will be kind of like Vladimir Horowitz playing Stars and Stripes Forever at Carnegie Hall, and no one will care about the missed notes.

Feb-19-10  Eyal: <I wonder if his success with such sacrifices exploits chess players' dependence upon the computer. Once Topalov's opponents leave book, they seem to founder a bit, and then, during this period of foundering, he strikes with a sacrifice that sound or unsound forces opponents into such serious time pressure that they can't find the best moves.>

In this game it was Vallejo who left book as early as move 7; in yesterday's game vs. Grischuk the speculative piece sac also occurred way after they left theory, when both players were obviously out of preparation for several moves; so I don't think it has more to do with dependence upon the computer than many similar cases of opponents losing to "unsound" sacrifices in Tal's games, for example. Of course this game is an extreme case, because Vallejo's losing blunder 38…Bc5?? (played when he had only 4 seconds left on the clock to reach time control, according to reports) is especially bad and it wasn't very difficult to spot the correct move Kc7 – but it's worth noting that by this stage Topalov already had at least a draw in hand anyway, after he was supposedly worse objectively in earlier stages of the game. When was the last time Topalov actually lost a game in which he played a speculative sacrifice?

Feb-19-10  melianis: cf. Velimirovic vs W Watson, 1986
Feb-19-10  csmath: The difference between Tal and Topalov is that young Tal was completely "insane" while with Topalov you can see a method and preferences. He likes to keep bishops and likes to have open space for them. He also likes to play less sacs than Tal, more often exchange or a pawn. Tal was an awesome positional player when he got older, Topalov is still the same "lunatic" as he was when he was only 20.
Feb-19-10  csmath: This Velimirovic guy was something indeed. And another Yugoslav player, Ljubojevic comes to mind.
Feb-20-10  ivan999: Eyal,

maybe this one:

Eljanov vs Topalov, 2008

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: whenever i comment, I get caught in an <eyal> mating net.
Feb-20-10  Eyal: <ivan999> I thought about this game, but I suspect that Topalov simply blundered away the piece there unintentionally with 12...Nd7, since he doesn't seem to have any real attacking ideas after that...
Feb-20-10  jmboutiere: 38...Bc5 + 4.95 Rbka 3
Feb-20-10  Ulhumbrus: 7...g5 begins an unsound attack.

8...g4 persists with the unsound attack.

Instead of 11 Bb2, an immediate Nb3 keeps White's QB on the diagonal c1-h6 on ch Black has exposed himself and it keep Black's R out of h6.

15 0-0 offers a pawn on c5. An alternative is 15 Nb3-e4 and of 15...f5 16 Nxe6 Bxe5 17 Nc5

Giri gives 24...0-0-0 instead of 24...Na4.

According to Giri, 38...Bc5?? is a blunder made in time pressure.

Feb-20-10  DrLecter: this Vallejo-Pons...isn't he a Topalov stooge?
Feb-21-10  laskereshevsky: <Eyal>

Great by your side...

Must confess that i gived just a "glance" in the Net.

When i said Novelty, was reffering about the G5 move Exactly after the position reached in this game. (7.♙a3)

About in the 1995's Winter, A friend showed me this game:

Serper vs Korchnoi, 1993

So the Basic Idea to play Black's pawn in G5 after few moves in this line of the English opening was already in my mind since 15 years ago....

But definitly Your research was clearly deeper when the mine!...

Feb-21-10  Eyal: <laskereshevsky> Yes, Korchnoi's game has the same basic idea, only with White playing Rb1 instead of a3 as in the games I mentioned; there are several versions of Black playing this early pawn advance on the K-side after 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6, starting from move 7 or 8. Btw, the earliest one I found in the databses is from 1989:

Jakobsen,Ole (2395) - Fries Nielsen,Jens Ove (2385)

DEN-ch Denmark, 1989

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0–0 Be7 8.a3 g5 9.b4 g4 10.Ne1 h5 11.Nd3 h4 12.b5 Nd4 13.Nxe5 Qd6 14.e3 Qxe5 15.exd4 Qxd4 16.Re1 hxg3 17.hxg3 Be6 18.Bxb7 Rd8 19.Qe2 Nc4 20.a4 Rh3 21.Kg2 Qh8 22.Qe4 Kf8 23.Kg1 Nd6 24.Qg2 Nxb7 25.Rxe6 fxe6 26.Qxb7 Rd5 27.Qc8+ Bd8 0–1

Mar-04-10  muneebktm: 38.... Bc5 39.Qxe8 Nxg2 40.Kxg2 a3
from here v pons lost a rook
and hhe show the path 2 win
2 toplove
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