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Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa vs Veselin Topalov
Gibraltar Masters (2020), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 6, Jan-26
French Defense: Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-26-20  Whitehat1963: Impressive win for the 14-year-old!!!
Jan-26-20  Marksen: Unbelievable that Topalov missed Nf6+
Jan-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "Praggmatic Decision"
Jan-28-20  Andrew Chapman: Oddly, the engine gives 23.Qf4, - less than +1.

But it evaluates 23.Nf6+ as more than +3.

Jan-28-20  Andrew Chapman: Topalov didn't miss Nf6+ for sure. gxf6, e5Xf6 is winning for Black. He may have missed Rd1 perhaps?
Jan-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: 7... b6 was a terrible choice.

I have always appreciated Topalov's style of play, but I don't recognize the person behind these moves at all: after 12... Nb8 he might as well have sneaked out of the venue and gone sight seeing.

Jan-30-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Andrew Chapman: Oddly, the engine gives 23.Qf4, - less than +1. But it evaluates 23.Nf6+ as more than +3.>

I am equally perplexed by this.

Jan-30-20  Caissanist: When you get to Topalov's age you have your good days and bad days. He can no doubt still play brilliantly, but the Topalov of ten years ago would not have played like this even on his worst days.
Jan-30-20  SChesshevsky: <...but I don't recognize the person behind these moves at all...>

Guessing that Topalov knew he was playing some 14 year old kid and either took RP way too lightly or may not have even heard of him. Knowing even kid GM's are booked up today, he went for the French, which I don't think has been a main line for him recently, figuring to get a decent position and maybe an unprepared opponent.

Looks like Topalov was hoping for a draw, possibly quickly, and went to exchange at every opportunity. Maybe thinking to be able to draw even in a worse position but with equal and few pieces on the board. Seems 22...Qd8 shows that intent.

Could be a late night, not feeling well, or just general fatigue played a part also. But whatever, the mix of all that ended up in a really ugly game for Topalov.

Jan-30-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The worm has turned: once it was Topalov in the role of young gun, while now, many years on he is defending his honour, earned on many, many fields of battle vs the elite.
Feb-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: changing of the guards..

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