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Veselin Topalov vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek
European Club Cup (2013), Rhodes GRE, rd 6, Oct-25
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-25-13  Darek: Good work Radek ! Superb game !
Oct-25-13  csmath: This is hardly anything remotely close to a superb game. Black played poorly, white was even worse. The ending tactical sequence is nice but it is nothing extraordinary.

==================

English Attack Najdorf, and the line Wojtaszek plays (8. ...h5) is actually Topalov's own main weapon against English Attack.

9. Nd5!?
[sideline, 9. Qd2 is usual mainline.]

12. g6
[this move does not look good to me although black has obvious problem with development of his DSB.]

13. 0-0-0

[Clearly Topalov has no intention of playing positional game. However this validates black g6 idea as now black bishop will be more effective on g7 or h6.]

14. Qa5?!
[waste of time]

14. ...Bh6!
[black has now solved all his development problems.]

17. Qd2
[More time wasted as white is re-tracking admiting mistake in 14th move. 17. f4! exf4, 18. Qd2 deserved some attention although after 18. ...0-0-0, 19. Qxf4 Rh7 black seems fine.]

18. ...Na4?

[Serious error. 18. ...Nc5, 19. Nxc5 Qxc5 with 0-0-0 to follow should somewhat diffuse the game although white still has some initiative.]

19. Be2?

[Topalov misses very strong attack!
19. Na5! Nac5, 20. b4! and black is in dire straits.]

20. Na1!?
[Topalov typical "knight to backrank moves"]

26. b3
[It looks like a positional error which is what Topalov does intentionally. Topalov plans to respond b4 in case black plays a4 at any point thus this move is not as bad as it looks.]

28. ...b6?

[Yet another serious error by black!]

29. Rce1?

[And again Topalov misses very strong move:
29. f4! e4
30. Rce1 Rae8
31. Re2 Re7
32. Rfe1 Rhe8
33. g3

with strong attack.]

33. b4??

[Complete madness. This is a completely senseless move opening his own king after white missed all the chances to get serious attack on the black king. This is going to be costly mistake eventually.

How to explain it?

The game is NOW in the realm of a draw.]

35. ...Rh5!?
[Strange move though it is preparing Rf5 or Rg5.]

After number of moves manouvreing but not really doing anything to change the position here comes a decisive blunder!:

46. Nc3?

[46. Ra2 was needed. White "forgot" that he has opened his own king earlier. This move allows black to make intrusion with rook to a3 which immediately decides the game.]

The following tactical sequence is hopeless for white.

=======

Very weak play by Topalov. After missing a number of strong attacks, he mindlessly opened his own king (33rd move) and then forgot about that (46th move).

This game is not even aestetically pleasing due to rather pointless manouvreing in the middlegame. It is probably one of the weakest games of Topalov I have analyzed in his career. Not only that he missed a number of chances for strong attacks and eventually blundered but he was also pointlessly manouvreing in the middlegame as if he was completely out of ideas what to do. It is actually rare to see him to play like that. He knows to make serious errors but usually he is quite sharp in terms of ideas.

Oct-26-13  Darek: Topalov play without plan Wojtaszek play solid and punish this after Qf4!(stops f4 plans) he had better game
Oct-26-13  Sihlous: Wojtaszek has had some great wins this year...Topalov gets added to the list.
Oct-26-13  csmath: Beating Topalov is always success in particular because in this Cup he is playing rather well. However, this is his weak game. Wojtaszek should avoid the opening he played because the next time with this opening he will get beaten, it is not a good opening at all. His moves 18th and then 28th are serious errors that could have led to a quick beating had Topalov been a bit more concentrated. It is very unusual to see Topalov playing like this. But a win is a win.

Topalov's deviations in his career are great, sometimes he plays fantastic chess on the level of Kasparov's best games and then other times he plays like an IM. These things happen even on the same tournament sometimes. In general now he is in pretty good form, this game being an exception. Today he played inspired defence against Dominguez and survived bad ending.

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