Third Game is Draw

Topalov,V (2805) - Anand,V (2787) [D17]
Sofia BUL, WCC 2010 game_3 Sofia BUL (3), 27.04.2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 After the painful defeat in the frst game, it was generally expected that Anand will choose something solid in his next black game. What can be more solid than the Slav? 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3 c5 8.e4 Bg6 9.Be3 cxd4 10.Qxd4 Qxd4 11.Bxd4 Nfd7 Learning from his previous mighty opponent for the WCC, Anand is using Kramnik's defensive set-up against Topalov. 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bxc4 a6

Kramnik's invention. Black's plan is simple, albeit slow. Since his only problematic piece is the excluded bishop on g6, he wants to bring it into the game after some manouvers- Rh8-g8, Bf8-d6(b4), Ke8-e7, f7-f6, and finally Bg6-f7. White's has space advantage, and objectevely better prospects, but Black's play is very easy and natural. Moreover, it is fully in accordance with Anand's general plan that I mentioned yesterday-dry positions, preferably with queens off the board. 14.Rc1 [14.Ke2 was the game Topalov-Kramnik, WCC Elista 2006, that was eventually draw.] 14...Rg8 15.h4 White grabs some extra space, and wants to misplace further the bishop on h7, thus making it more difficult for Black to get it into the play. Topalov said at the press conference that had the upper hand, but could not pose the problems that he wanted to. Probably these problems are connected with the manouver Nc3-e2-f4. 15...h6 16.Ke2 Bd6 17.h5 Bh7 18.a5!

Topalov is creative, and invites his opponent into complications. 18...Ke7! Anand correctly sensed the danger. After: [18...Bb4 19.Na4! Bxa5 20.b4! Bxb4 (20...Bd8 is better, but White has good compensation there, too) 21.Rb1 b5 22.Rxb4 bxc4 23.Rxc4 White will practically have an extra piece for long term, for the bishop on h7 is excluded, and the opposite-coloured bishops always favour the attacking side.] 19.Na4 f6 20.b4!? Another attempt to change the character of the game. 20...Rgc8!

But Anand calmly proceeds with his plan and is already fully equalizing the game. After: [20...Bxb4 21.Rb1 Bxa5 22.Nc5!? (22.Rxb7 Rgb8 23.Rhb1 Rxb7 24.Rxb7 Kd6 is unclear) 22...b5 Bad is (22...Nxc5? 23.Bxc5+ Kd7 24.Rhd1+ Kc6 25.Ba3 b5 26.Rd6+ Kc7 27.Bxe6 Rgd8 28.Rc1+ Kb8 29.Rxd8+ Bxd8 30.Bd6+ Ka7 31.Bd5+-) 23.Bxe6 Nxc5 24.Bxg8 Bxg8 25.Bxc5+ White has an extra exchange, and should be better, as the black pawns cannot be advanced easily.] 21.Bc5 Bxc5 22.bxc5 Rc7 23.Nb6

23...Rd8! One more calm and subtle move after which the position will be soon exhausted. Black could have still go wrong after: [23...Nxb6? 24.cxb6 Rc6 25.Bxa6! Rxc1 26.Rxc1 Rxa6 (26...bxa6 27.Rc7+ Kd6 28.Rxg7 Bg8 29.Rg6 wins a third pawn for White and is close to winning for him) 27.Rc7+ Kd6 28.Rxg7 Bxe4 29.fxe4 Rxa5 30.g4±] 24.Nxd7 Rdxd7 25.Bd3 Bg8 26.c6 Rd6 27.cxb7 Rxb7 28.Rc3 Bf7 29.Ke3 Be8 30.g4 e5 31.Rhc1 Bd7 32.Rc5 Bb5 33.Bxb5 axb5 34.Rb1 b4 35.Rb3 Ra6 36.Kd3 Rba7 37.Rxb4 Rxa5 38.Rxa5 Rxa5 39.Rb7+ Kf8 40.Ke2 Ra2+ 41.Ke3 Ra3+ 42.Kf2 Ra2+ 43.Ke3 Ra3+ 44.Kf2 Ra2+ 45.Ke3 Ra3+ 46.Kf2

It is a fact that the players forgot to shake hands while they were discussing the eventual draw agreement with the arbiter. However, I believe that this was just coincidence, and not on purpose, as some chess fans claim. The press conference was honoured by the former world champion Antoaneta Stefanova. The reasons for this visit are a couple of Spanish journalists who were torturing the interpreters from the very beginning of the match, by asking their questions in Spanish. Since both Anand and Topalov speak fluently this language, the questions were answered in the same way, and remained mistery for the audience. Today Ety translated them in Bulgarian, and after Radislan Atanasov in English, and this was the way they made it. 1/2
This game should ring a bell in Bulgarian's camp as it seems like that the world champion is taking control over the course of the match.