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Veselin Topalov vs Vassily Ivanchuk
FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013), Thessaloniki GRE, rd 4, May-25
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-25-13  QueentakesKing: I have had enough of vassily's performances. In one tourney he plays sober but the next he plays drunk. I am sorry to say that you will never ever become a world chess champion.
May-25-13  The Last Straw: I don't think of it that way. He just needs to play some games of BLITZ to improve his time control.
May-25-13  master of defence: Why not 21...Qg5?
May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <21...Qg5> 22.f4 Qh4 23.Nxd4 and Black is getting mated in 3 by Qa4+, so he has no time to recapture or move his Q. On 23..b5 White has his pick of killer moves:

24.Qf3 <weakest of the lot>

24.Qc2 <two mate threats, and defends f2>

24.Nc6 <cheesy mate threat, defends e7>

24.Nf5 Qxf2 25.Ne6+ wins

May-25-13  Eyal: According to what Topalov said after the game (and it's also quite obvious from looking at the moves themselves), Chucky missed <18.e7!> when he played 17...Qc5, probably assuming exf7+ instead. This basically finishes Black off, even if he can put up somewhat stronger resistance after that.
May-25-13  luzhin: Yes, 18.e7! is by no means obvious. It looks as though Black could then grab the advanced e-pawn with 18...Ne6 19.Nd5 Bxe7 20.Rc1 Qa5 --but that runs into the crushing 21.Rc7!!
May-25-13  Just Another Master: Chucky needs NO pressure now, if he had Carlsens nerves who knows how far he would of gone in his career?
May-25-13  csmath: <Yes, 18.e7! is by no means obvious.>

Yes. It is one of those moves you can say "but of course" only after it is played. It is a powerful, powerful move. Topalov played this game with a strong conviction and this is one of the powerful moments he is always capable of. He can kill you in a blink of an eye and Ivanchuk was simply executed here in the opening.

May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <QueentakesKing: I have had enough of vassily's performances. In one tourney he plays sober but the next he plays drunk. I am sorry to say that you will never ever become a world chess champion.>

You are probably right about that. I too doubt he will ever become WC. Admittedly his play has been somewhat erratic of late, but he IS #12 on the May FIDE top 100 list, and was beaten by the #4 ranked player who was a former FIDE WC. Chucky does like red wine, and it is likely that after the game he probably had a couple glasses. During the game however, I seriously doubt he was, as you say, "drunk". If you meant it metaphorically, I think that too is a bit harsh. Even Kasparov lost a game in 22 moves...

Garry Kasparov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Kosmos 5 minute blitz 1998 · Nimzo-Indian Defense: Romanishin Variation. English Hybrid (E20) · 0-1

I only want to make 2 points here..

1. If his play disturbs you, why do you keep reviewing his games. You should stop.

2. Chucky is not my hero, but i still have a lot of respect for his ability. His playing strength is easily 500+ points above mine, and i'm certain he could kick my butt over the board. In fact, i think that even if he was drunk he could kick yours.

So i guess that brings us full circle. Yea, he lost the game, but you could have a little more respect and be a little kinder.

May-25-13  bennytakeapawn: i agree whit you pawnsac..
May-25-13  twinlark: What <PawnSac> said.

Ivanchuk is like this. He'll get flogged and lose dozens of rating points one month and then play like a demon and recover all his lost ground in the next.

He's a highly erratic, endearing, enigma of a legend, and us patzers and mortals should respect such a player even during his troughs. Maybe especially then if we wish to see more of his genius at play.

The comments about drunk play are way out of order. My understanding is that Ivanchuk is mildly autistic, and it would seem that his eccentricity, his erratic play and his genius all pour from the same wellspring.

May-25-13  JPi: <18.e7!> should be obvious for a player of a caliber of Ivanchuck (Try to imagine he has White under his inspired condition); alas I suspect Ivanchuk was deeply affected by his result of the previous round.
May-26-13  chaarl: In the final position, I would have tried NxN, hoping for RxQ...
May-26-13  Eyal: <In the final position, I would have tried NxN, hoping for RxQ...> What's there to hope for? Rg1+ isn't mate...
May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The decisive mistake was 17...Qc5. Ivanchuk could have saved the game by playing 17...Nxe6. Interestingly, Russian IM Anastasia Savina found this move in her win with black against Ramil Sadykov (Cup Corporation "Center" A, Izhevsk, Russia 2010).

http://publichess.blogspot.com/2013...

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <PawnSac.....Yea, (Ivanchuk) lost the game, but you could have a little more respect and be a little kinder.>

Goes for a great many posts I see on CG, come to games of top players.

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < cro777: The decisive mistake was 17...Qc5. Ivanchuk could have saved the game by playing 17...Nxe6. >

I think this is a correct assessment. I too, when playing thru the game from the black side, thought ..Nxe6 was best. And maybe even a move later it was still playable in order to answer a threatened Qa4+ with ..Kxe7. The king needed a flight square.

17. ..Qc5 was the losing move. It put the queen in a very vulnerable position. Chucky's plan involved ..Qg5+, but in order to to play this he needed ..h5 to keep the rook out of g4. Thus the ..h5 move should precede Qc5. Even at that, the whole maneuver with ..h5 ..Rh6 and ..Rg6 is far too slow (consuming 3 tempi) when the king is still precariously in the center of the board. He way underestimated white threats. Nevertheless, i was impressed with white's conception of the plan beginning with allowing the doubling of his F pawns. The center became much stronger than was apparent. Trying for something like 17. dxe6 Nxe6 18. Nd5 Qd8 19. Rc1 O-O would have been much safer for black, even though white still has the advantage. But Chucky doesn't always play it safe.

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <perfidious: Goes for a great many posts I see on CG, come to games of top players.>

It's very easy to put oneself in the place of a critic and as many do.. Elevate themselves at the expense of others. But the simple fact is, most players here perceive the game FAR below these top level players. Myself included! I have seen many criticize moves that in fact were well conceived, and the errors were elsewhere.

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <PawnSac:.....the simple fact is, most players here perceive the game FAR below these top level players.....>

Don't I know it.

In games with stronger masters and titled players, I was sometimes astounded at how much more they apprehended than did I.

May-26-13  Eyal: <The decisive mistake was 17...Qc5. Ivanchuk could have saved the game by playing 17...Nxe6. Interestingly, Russian IM Anastasia Savina found this move in her win with black against Ramil Sadykov (Cup Corporation "Center" A, Izhevsk, Russia 2010).

http://publichess.blogspot.co.il/20...>

It's quite understandable, though, that Black wanted to avoid such ugly-looking positions that result from 17...Nxe6 - as 18.Qa4+ Kf8 or (as in the Sadykov - Savina game) 18.Nd5 Qd8 19.Qa4+ b5 20.Nxf6+ gxf6 (20...Qxf6? 21.Bxb5+) 21.Qb4/a3; though apparently they actually turn out to be not so bad for Black. In the press conference after this game, it was interesting to see how Topalov at first thought that White is getting an overwhelming advantage after 17...Nxe6, but when playing through the variations he started realizing that things are far from simple. If Savina in her game really worked this out in advance (rather than just "stumbling" into it) then kudos to her.

May-27-13  xanadu: I don´t understand this high level of players. For simple mortals, 8...Bh5 and 11...d5, seem bad choices. Why to move a piece twice? Around move 8..., why not to develope the K-side, castle, etc? I don´t know what Houdine and other similar felllows say, but at position 11..., there are not simple good moves for Black to find OTB.
May-28-13  bill11: Hello what just happened

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