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Viswanathan Anand vs Veselin Topalov
World Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 9, Mar-23
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Adams Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Mar-23-14  john barleycorn: <LmAjay> pay a little respect to other posters and read some before posting.


Black to move was in zugzwang, and on 36...Bf5 37.Qf4 Qg5 38.Qxg5 hxg5 39.Bxf5 exf5 40.h6 White would queen a pawn.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <john barleycorn: <LmAjay> pay a little respect to other posters and read some before posting.>

Reading threads is not so easy to do as one may imagine, given his always-full iggy list.

The disdain I first saw, years ago, was always off-putting; there is an underlying attitude that he is the only poster on these boards who has got the vaguest notion how to play well. Most unfortunate, for he is actually a competent player-though not quite so strong as he imagines.

Mar-23-14  john barleycorn: <perfidious> same for me - his attitude is the issue.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: <whiteshark: One passer to bring them all, And in the darkness bind them...> A good Ring indeed.
Mar-23-14  swissfed: We need more of this , Sicilian / Najdorf contest
Mar-23-14  SirRuthless: <Csmath> Strong analysis. Thanks. I failed to understand why Topalov decided to exchange the B pair away and allow white to get in Qd4. By doing so he essentially gave up on one result and admitted he would have to struggle for the draw. I wonder if Anand was strategically winning if he found the Qa7 maneuver.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I very much like this alternative move 44 Qd6!, seeing 44...Qxd6 45 exd6, simplifying everything.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: 21...BxN was Topalov's premature Christmas gift to Anand.
Mar-23-14  ChemMac: <Jimfromprovidence> Yes: after 44.Qd6 QXd6 45 eXd Ke8 46.Kc3 Kd7 47.Kd3 KXd6 48. Kd4 with the opposition, although 47. Kd4 KXd6 48. b4 also works. Now; whichever way the Black King goes, the White King goes the other way, and Queens a pawn earlier on a diagonal, either a8-h1 or h8-a1, in 8 moves. HOWEVER, keeping the Queens on wins just as clearly, and was perhaps more pleasurable for Anand! Yes; he is a gentleman, but I am sure, just like Fischer, and most of us too on rarer occasions, he "likes to see them squirm"!
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Granted, <ChemMac>. Nobody gets to the top in chess without a killer instinct.
Mar-24-14  Makavelli II: @maxi. Hard to imagine what a killer instinct in chess actually is really? I think you just need to be able to see deeper and further than your opponents and you won't go far wrong :)

In this game h6 by black seems to have been "the blunder". I guess Anand just saw further than Topalov.

Mar-24-14  benjinathan: Really- h6 was just an incredibly stupid move. It must have spawned from a need to take chances in order to win in a drawn position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: For all the criticism levelled at Topalov's 31....h6, we have <all> been in such a situation at one time or another: our opponent has played a sound strategical game and we are in a slightly inferior position.

Then, a look into the position reveals a small possibility of breaking out of the coils in which the python opposite has enveloped us. 'Aha', we say, 'time to do something, even if it's wrong!'

As <ChemMac> will doubtless also be able to tell you through experience, the last thing any top player wants is to give one of their colleagues a position where they can play for a win while risking nothing. Most probably, Topalov saw those coils tightening and resolved to break free.

Alas, it was not to be with his chosen method.

Mar-24-14  Marmot PFL: Nobody can be good at everything, and Topalov is not known as a great defender. usually he finds creative counter-attacking plans, but here he was uncharacteristically passive, and also Anand played very well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <Makavelli II> The will to win, to humiliate the opponent, "to see him squirm" (Fischer) even after many hours (days) of exhausting play, when you are tired, with a headache, and when most people would want to resign if only just to be able to go home. It does not have to do with intelligence or natural ability.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Why does 38...Qg5 not work?
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: hi ajk68 - it loses prettily, as csmath showed above:

<[ 36. ...Qg5??
37. Qxg5 hxg5
38. Bxf5 exf5
39. h6!

and black is powerless to stop promotion while his own pawn is too slow.]>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <ChemMac> <Yes: after 44.Qd6 QXd6 45 eXd Ke8 46.Kc3 Kd7 47.Kd3 KXd6 48. Kd4 with the opposition, although 47. Kd4 KXd6 48. b4 also works.>

After 44 Qd6 Qxd6 45 exd6 here again is the position.

click for larger view

White has what John Nunn describes as a reserve tempo with the pawn move b4 available so he can always retain the opposition.

But if that same pawn is already on b4 that above combination just draws. (Ignoring the fact that white could win with 44 Qc5 if that were the text position)

click for larger view

Black's king now can save the game. One potential outcome is something like below, where black's b pawn can graduate not en prise.

click for larger view

Mar-25-14  peristilo: There's a good reason for top GMs to draw so many games. They are smart enough to risk losing a game when there's nothing to do. Only Topalove seems not to understand this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: You mean "NOT to risk losing..." In this case Topalov's move 31...h6 seems to me to be a case of losing control of your nerves, more than anything else. On the other hand, it is nice to see how strong are Anand moves all through the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Makavelli II> One of the things I lacked during my playing days was a “killer instinct”. I would repeatedly obtain superior, even winning, positions against better players (as measured by our respective ratings), and then relax a little. Well, it’s been said that the hardest game to win is a won game and I can certainly attest to that. I would either make a gross blunder or fail to anticipate my opponents’ defensive resources and allow them to turn an almost won game into a draw or a loss. One of them, after seeing my previous dumb move, looked at me puzzled and said “Thank you”! So I guess that lack of a killer instinct, at least in my case, was my failure to put away an opponent after I had him down, and allow him to get up for a counter-knockout punch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <pawn to QB4>: Yep. I was thinking it made a difference two moves later, but h6 still wins. For some reason I was fixated on the idea that white would double his pawns instead.
Mar-26-14  ChemMac: <jimfromprovidence> White still gets the opposition after my original sequence 44.Qd6 QXd6 45 eXd Ke8 46.Kc3 Kd7 47.Kd3 KXd6 48. Kd4 Simple: if Black has played his King to a white square then so does White. White doesn't need a reserve move to get the opposition - BUT Black indeed draws with the P on b4, because it takes one less tempo to clear the way for Black's b-pawn. Therefore; my original 47.Kd3 above is the only winning move, and 47.Kd4?? would only draw.
Apr-03-14  Ulhumbrus: One justification for 13...0-0 is that White's e4 pawn is pinned at least for the moment and Black can play ...e5 before White plays exf5
Apr-09-14  Ulhumbrus: Fischer says that 5...a6 may justify the time lost on 6 h3?! but that suggests as well that it may fail to justify it sufficiently.

7 g4 ?! exposes the king side still more and commits White to castling on the queen side

7...Nfd7 is one way to take advantage of White's loss of time, but is it the right way? An alternative is 7...Nc6 waiting for the further concession g5 before playing ...Nf6-d7

10 h4?! loses more time. Thus far Black has kept his king side pawns intact and offered White no target there for the pawns

12 Nxc6?! moves the knight a third time to exchange it for a knight moved once, making a loss of two moves. This might have passed the advantage to Black

12...Bxc6?! develops the bishop but also obstructs the c file. Instead of this 12...bxc6! strengthens Black's centre and on 13 b3 c5 clears the square c6 for the knight. Then Black may have the advantage.

It is not obvious why 13...f5? is an error although it appears to take advantage of the pin on e4. Black's 15th move will indicate the reason why.

15...Nxe3 moves the knight a fifth time to exchange it for a bishop moved but once, making a loss of no less than four moves for development. After 16 Qxe3 the move ...f5 can be seen to offers to open lines in a position where White is two moves ahead in development, and the move 13...f5 begins to look like a mistake.

21...Bxf2? may seem at first sight to lose nothing. After the knight reaches e5 the bishop will be "no better" than the knight so why not make this exchange? Yet after this Black is left with the bad bishop. This suggests that although the black king's bishop may seem no better than the knight on its own, when in conjunction with the other bishop it assumes a greater value than that. At the very least it preserves Black from the consequences of an ending with the bad bishop.

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