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Veselin Topalov vs Viswanathan Anand
World Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 2, Mar-14
Reti Opening: General (A09)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-14-14  lost in space: This is a straight forward draw. No chance to win against a good player on the black side.
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Oh well ...


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Mar-14-14  DcGentle: No one can complain that they stopped too early. ;-)
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Bare ♔s left. No ♙.
Mar-14-14  chessdgc2: Hoodrobin: On the scoresheet, it shows 54...Kxf3 as the last move made by Black...my peabrain tells me it would be White's move :)
Mar-14-14  DcGentle: Kramnik's game looks interesting. Maybe we could switch?
Mar-14-14  chessdgc2: DcGentle: Yes! Would love to watch the Kramnik game, but I suppose CG.com may not be up to it...these games aren't of the best interest in timing, but nevertheless, it would be great to watch them all!
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: ... and it's the last game, as Svidler and Aronian have already won their games.
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Anand liquidated to a drawn pawn endgame. He pointed out to this interesting position


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White to move. This is a draw.

On the other hand, if Black is to move, than White wins (theoretically, White mates in 22).

Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: <chessdgc2> Black has a winning opposition then.
Mar-14-14  ajile: Amazing that this sloppy looking opening with Black going down a pawn early could be a relatively easy draw for Black.
Mar-14-14  Travis Bickle: Play to the Kings!

Robert Fischer

Mar-14-14  Petrosianic: <Travis Bickle>: <Play to the Kings!>

For all the hero worship, I bet you couldn't name a game where he played to bare Kings.

Mar-14-14  Petrosianic: <ajile>: <Amazing that this sloppy looking opening with Black going down a pawn early could be a relatively easy draw for Black.>

Could be wrong, but I thought Black deliberately sacrificed a pawn for piece activity. I don't think Black was ever in much danger.

Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp: Since black has played ....h5 it is a draw. That is the only move one needs to remember.>

In my career, I had this twice, both with the extra pawn. Even if the weaker side fails to push ....h5/h4, it can still be held, but there is then a chance to play for a win.

Many years ago, a 2100-rated opponent failed to play ....h7-h5 in this and I ground him down. In one of my last events, a weaker player got ....h5 in and made the draw.

Mar-14-14  Petrosianic: This is interesting at the end, because a lot of players would have avoided 46...Rxg2+, and kept the Rooks on. That's not bad, Black still draws. But it's good to have an understanding of when it's possible to draw a pawn down King and Pawn ending, and be able to steer into it.
Mar-14-14  csmath: Good lesson in pawn endings.
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Petrosianic: But it's good to have an understanding of when it's possible to draw a pawn down King and Pawn ending>

Good point. when I first saw Anand exchange rooks I didn't understand why he would do that.

Mar-14-14  ajile: <Petrosianic: <ajile>: <Amazing that this sloppy looking opening with Black going down a pawn early could be a relatively easy draw for Black.>

Could be wrong, but I thought Black deliberately sacrificed a pawn for piece activity. I don't think Black was ever in much danger.>

I guess as long as the queens come off you are correct. But anytime I see either side play ..Kf8 or Kf1 in the opening I wince if it's GM's playing.

I suppose though that the Benko Gambit would be the one exception, but in that case White castles by hand a tempo and a pawn up.

Mar-14-14  Petrosianic: I think black's compensation came in the weak White c pawn. Black had plenty of opportunity to pile up on it and exchange off the Queenside pawns.

Losing the castling privilege too is pretty cringeworthy, but I'm just not seeing anything for White. It does look like something <should> be there. But what?

I think what makes the whole thing playable for Black is the fact that all four Knights are off the board. If you look at the position after 13. Qd5, White is a pawn up and Black has lost the castling privilege. But White hasn't really got anything to attack with. Both Rooks and the QB are at home. His Queen is about to get kicked away. The White KB hasn't really got anything to shoot at. A well placed Knight would improve White's attacking chances considerably.

Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: In the 4P vs 3P on the same flank endgame, just waiting passively is not sufficient. The defender should advance his h-pawn.

Position after 28.Kf3


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28...h5! (preventing g4) 29.h3 Rc2

The key to reach a draw in this endgame is to prevent White from playing g4 without exchanging the h-pawns (without h5 the h-pawns would have stayed on the board).

White's plan in this type of endgame is an advance of e- and f-pawns in order to create a passed pawn. To realize this plan, White must sooner or later play g4, allowing a pawn exchange on g4. That explains why Black must play h5 to prevent this plan.

Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I forget if it is easier to possibly win if there are fewer pawns: if there are only 2 even without rooks it is often a draw.

I think it is safer to keep the rooks on. Endings are notoriously easy to go wrong in.

Tarrasch (and many of the others such as Capa et al) (but in Tarrasch's book - the version ed etc by Reinfeld) the method is explained. Alekhine also goes into detail.

Fischer is in fact also one of the great end game players, from reading or playing his games winning with the B in some instances (and one famous game) inspired me to beat a very strong local player whose forte was endings. I had the confidence to swap off and have a B versus a knight in an open position...

I think Topalov played the game pretty well here though and Anand defended nicely.

Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <cro777: In the 4P vs 3P on the same flank endgame, just waiting passively is not sufficient. The defender should advance his h-pawn.>

That's interesting and makes sense. I think I saw that once in master game somewhere.

It might have been in Rueben Fine's ending book (now superseded by another more recent book but still useful).

Mar-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As I stated above, the weaker side can still draw if he omits ....h5/h4, but it is more difficult. For him to allow h5 is not a forced win as <cro777> implies, but complicates his task.
Mar-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <perfidious: For him to allow h5 is not a forced win as <cro777> implies, but complicates his task.> You are quite correct, but I haven't implied it was a forced win, but the best try.

In effect, my point was that with 28...h5 Anand achieved the ideal defensive pawn formation of f7-g6-h5. Instructive game is Petrosian vs Keres, 1951

Topalov continued with 29. h3 Rc2 30. Rb1 Kf6


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Topalov played 31. Re1. Here White's best try (not a forced win) was to play 31.h4 and next Re1 and e4 following the game Petrosian - Keres. Of course, Anand is familiar with the way how to make a draw here.

Petrosian vs Keres. Position after 48.Re2


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