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Fabiano Caruana vs Veselin Topalov
FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013), Zug SUI, rd 10, Apr-29
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-29-13  DrGridlock: <Xeroxx: are they in time trouble?>

Caruana is; Topalov is not.

Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Caruana resigned.
Apr-29-13  FairyPromotion: Caruana resigned. Topa clinched the tournament victory.
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <chessgames.com> Thanks for the live broadcast. =)

Strong game by Topalov.

Apr-29-13  ikipemiko: One more time very impressive defensive and endgame skills by Vesko! He has now at least shared first - so two first places from two tournaments.
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: It's good to see that Topa is right back in there competing.
Apr-29-13  DrGridlock: After 27 h5 g5, Caruana had very good options for an attack for White. I think he'll look back at this game as, "one that got away."
Apr-29-13  Ulhumbrus: On 44...e4 45 fe Nxe4 46 Be8+ Kf6 47 Bd7 Ng3 48 Ke1 Bb6! attacks the knight on e3
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: At any rate, Topalov seems to be handling again very well the tension in complex and dynamic positions - compared, for example, to a previous game between these two players (Topalov vs Caruana, 2012), played when Topalov was in a bad period, where he just collapsed.
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: It seems that Topalov has his mojo back!
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Marmot PFL: 46 Nf5 Nxf5 47 Bd3 looks like a draw>


click for larger view

I think this should be winning for Black as well: 47...f3 48.Bxf5+ Kg5 49.Kd2 Kf4 50.Kd3 Kg3 51.Be4 (forced, so that Kg2 won't follow f2) 51...Kxg4 52.Ke3 Bb6+ 53.Kd3 Kg3 54.Kd2 Kf4 55.Kd3 (if the bishop moves then e4) 55...f2 56.Bg2 Kg3 57.Bf1 Kf3 and the e-pawn goes forward.

Apr-29-13  njchess: Strong game from Topalov. White's attack drifts drifts after move 28 and then Black's counterattack with a kingside pawn march becomes the difference. Nicely done.
Apr-29-13  chesswar1000: Topalov wins the tournament.
Apr-29-13  Robyn Hode: Veselin is cutting a swath through the competition.
Apr-29-13  Ezzy: Caruana - Topalov
FIDE Grand Prix Zug 0:03:33–1:02:33 (10), 29.04.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Be7 9.Qd2 0–0 10.0–0–0 a5 11.a4 Na6 12.Bb5 <Novelty. 12 g4 is the standard move.> 12...Nc7 13.Bb6 Qc8< Threatening 14...Nxb5 15 axb5 Nd7 16 Be3 a4 17 Na1 a3 with a winning attack.> 14.Bxc7 Qxc7 15.g4 Rfd8 16.g5 Nh5 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.exd5 g6 19.Kb1 Rf8 20.Qe3< Giving the knight the d2 square.> 20...Qd8 21.h4 Nf4 22.Qg1 h6 23.Nd2 Kg7 24.gxh6+ Kxh6 25.Nc4< With idea's of 26 Nb6 27 Nd7> 25...Qc7 26.Qe3 Kh7 27.h5 g5 <[27...gxh5 28.Nb6 (28.Rd4 Bg5 29.Rxh5+ Nxh5 30.Qxg5 exd4 31.Qxh5+ Perpetual.) 28...Rad8 29.Bd3+ Kh6 30.Rxh5+ Kxh5 31.Rh1+ Bh4 32.Rxh4+ Kxh4 33.Qf2+ Kh5 34.Qh2+ Perpetual.] >28.h6 f5 29.Qd2 Rf6 30.Rdg1 Rg6 31.Ne3 Rf8 32.Nc4 Bd8 33.Rd1 Rff6 34.Qf2?!< Starting a few pointless queen moves. 34 Ne3 or 34 Rdg1 at least make it more difficult for black to take on h6, because of the pressure on black's 'f' or 'g' pawn.> 34...Rxh6 35.Qa7?! <The queens doing nothing here away from the action on the kingside.> 35...Rxh1 36.Rxh1+ Rh6 37.Qg1 Rh4< Topalov has a strong initiative, and 99% of the time in that situation, he wins his games. [37...Nxd5 38.Rxh6+ Kxh6 39.Qh2+ Kg7 40.Qd2 Qc5 41.Nxd6 Qxd6 42.Bc4 Is not as good as the game continuation.] >38.Ne3 Qf7!< Threatening 39...Bb6 40 Rxh4+ gxh4 41 Qe3 Bxe3 42 Qxe3 h3 winning. >39.Ng2 Rxh1< [39...Nxg2 40.Qxg2 Qxd5 41.Bd3 Qf7 Topalov will win this also.]> 40.Qxh1+ Qh5 41.Qxh5+ Nxh5 42.Ne3 Ng3 43.Kc1 Kg6 44.Kd1 g4 45.fxg4 f4 46.Nc4< [46.Nf5 Exchanging knights gives more of a fight because black would have a more difficult task promoting his passed pawns with bishops of opposite colour on the board. Having said that, black should eventually win.]> 46...Bc7 47.Bd7 Kg5 48.Ke1 f3 49.Ne3 Bb6 0–1

Caruana had trouble finding a decent plan. 34 Qf2?! 35 Qa7?! was a case of not really knowing what to do. These none moves gave Topalov time to win the 'h' pawn, and then push his kingside pawn majority.

Excellent play again from Topalov. This marriage is doing him the world of good!

Topalov is now guaranteed at least a share of first. But I'll bet on him winning it outright.

Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <eyal> <I think this should be winning for Black as well: <Marmot PFL: 46 Nf5 Nxf5 47 Bd3 looks like a draw> 47...f3 48.Bxf5+ Kg5 49.Kd2 Kf4 50.Kd3 Kg3 51.Be4 (forced, so that Kg2 won't follow f2) 51...Kxg4 52.Ke3 Bb6+ 53.Kd3 Kg3 54.Kd2 Kf4 55.Kd3 (if the bishop moves then e4) 55...f2 56.Bg2 Kg3 57.Bf1 Kf3 and the e-pawn goes forward.>

What about 52 c3 instead of 52 Ke3?


click for larger view

The idea is to build some kind of fortress with the king on f1, like this example below.


click for larger view

Apr-29-13  positionalgenius: Topalov's back, it seems. Very strong play from him lately. It's good to see him back.
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Jim> I don't quite see how the (second) diagram position can be reached - but if you mean just making pawn moves instead of committing the king, it doesn't seem to work because White is running out of them very quickly; e.g. 52.c3 Kg3 53.b3 Bc7 and now 54.b4 loses to 54...b5! creating another passed pawn for Black.
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Btw, in the press conference after the game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvM3...) Topalov & Caruana looked at some possible endgame configurations and came to the conclusion that White is probably dead lost after the queen exchange on move 41, and that he had better chances of survival with 41.Qf1 (41...Nxd5 42.Qd1).
Apr-29-13  PaulLovric: < Bishoprick: Surprised to see Caruana allow a Najdorf. Recently it's been all Rossolimo's, and it has scored so well that I seem to have noticed a decline in the use of Sicilians in top rank chess.> how do you stop a Najdorf? what should he have played instead?
Apr-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Eyal> <I don't quite see how the (second) diagram position can be reached - but if you mean just making pawn moves instead of committing the king, it doesn't seem to work because White is running out of them very quickly; e.g. 52.c3 Kg3 53.b3 Bc7 and now 54.b4 loses to 54...b5! creating another passed pawn for Black.>

I'm seeing it more clearly now. For some reason I thought after 52 c3, that 52...Kf4 would follow.

Also, after 53...Bc7 in your above line, I was thinking 54 Ke3 Bb6+ 55 Kd3, but black has 55...Bc5 or 55...Ba7 below.


click for larger view

Now black can chase the bishop off of the e file and advance his e pawn as white cannot prevent 56...Kf4, which means white cannot both defend the bishop and prevent ...f2.

Apr-29-13  Fanques Fair: What´s the problem with 25- Ne4 ? Or even a little earlier, 24- Ne4; it seems positionally obligatory. 25- Nc4 ? is a serious positional mistake, not only moving the knight to a wrong square but blockading his own bishop in b5. After 25- Ne4 the position is even, whereas after 25-Nc4, Black aquires a marked advantage. I really sometimes suspect from these top grandmasters when they make this kind of mistake. It seems they don´t have very much positional understanding, in contrast with their tactical abilities.
Apr-29-13  DrGridlock: <PaulLovric: how do you stop a Najdorf? what should he have played instead?>

1 d4

:)

Apr-30-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Quite ballsy the way Topa shed his own kingside pawn cover, to turn that side of the board into an attacking medium. Most players would stay hunkered down. Fortune favors the bold.
Apr-30-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: White's bishops ended up doing very little in this game - one was exchanged early for a black knight in order to secure the position of his colleague on b5; and the latter's only job, as Alex Yermolinsky put it on ICC, was to keep the king safe (by blocking the Q-side) - but no one was attacking the king, the action shifted to the other side.
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