Anand still Reigns the Chess World!

Topalov,V (2805) - Anand,V (2787) [D56]
Sofia BUL, WCC 2010 Game_12 Sofia BUL (12), 11.05.2010
Game twelve from the Sofia match was meant to be the last one. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0–0 7.e3 Ne4 The Lasker Defense came as a reserve back-up line. However as the Bulgarian's seconds discover during the game there was no player rated over 2500 ever to win a game as black. 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 c6 10.Be2 Nxc3 11.Rxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd7 13.0–0 b6 14.Bd3 c5 15.Be4 Rb8 16.Qc2 Nf6 17.dxc5 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 bxc5

At first sight it seemed that Black has problems as his pawn structure is ruined and in the long term this can be lethal. However, the strong bishop, and active heavy pieces nivelate this drawback. 19.Qc2 Bb7 20.Nd2 Rfd8 21.f3 Ba6N [21...Qd6 22.Nb3 Ba6 23.Rd1?? Qxd1+ 0–1 Bellmann,H (2158)-Schulze,G (2012)/corr 1998/UltraCorr2/]] 22.Rf2?! Not the best place for the rook. Topalov could have tried: [22.Rc1 instead.] 22...Rd7 23.g3 [23.Ne4? Rxb2 24.Qxb2? Rd1+ 25.Rf1 Rxf1#; 23.h3 Rbd8 is good for Black.] 23...Rbd8 24.Kg2 Bd3 25.Qc1 Ba6 26.Ra3 White had to settle for a draw with: [26.Qc2=] 26...Bb7 27.Nb3 Rc7 28.Na5 Ba8 29.Nc4 e5 30.e4 f5!

Anand plays in accordance with the position trying to prolong the diagonal for his bishop. 31.exf5? The beginning of the end. Topalov should not lose control over the e4 square in particular, and the long diagonal in any case. Safer and stronger is: [31.Nd2 Qg5 (31...fxe4 32.Nxe4 Rd4 (32...Bxe4 33.fxe4 Rd4 34.Re3 is a draw as White's only weakness on e4 can easily be protected.) 33.Re3 c4 34.Qc3=) 32.exf5 e4 (32...Qxf5 33.Re3 Rcd7 34.Ne4=) 33.Qc2 exf3+ (33...e3? 34.Qb3+±) 34.Nxf3 Rf7 (34...Rf8 35.Qc4+ Kh8 36.Qf4 (36.g4 Rxf5 37.Kg3 is a recommendation by the comuter, but it is impossible for a human to play this way.) 36...Qxf4 37.gxf4 Rxf5 38.Kg3= Black has a strong bishop, but white knight on e5 won't be worse.) 35.Qxc5 Rxf5 36.Qxa7 as the best that Black can profit from the pin is perpetual: 36...Rxf3 37.Raxf3 Bxf3+ 38.Rxf3 Rd2+ 39.Rf2 (39.Kg1 Rd1+ 40.Rf1 Rxf1+ 41.Kxf1 Qc1+=) 39...Qd5+ 40.Kg1 Rd1+ 41.Rf1 Rd2=] 31...e4 32.fxe4? Played in less than a minute thought! After this move White's game is beyond salvation and the world crown stayed in India. [32.Re3 exf3+ 33.Kg1 could have still kept the hope alive, although the position after: 33...Qg5 34.Qc2 Rcd7 is disgusting for White.] 32...Qxe4+ 33.Kh3 Rd4 34.Ne3 [34.Rf4 Qg2+ leads to a forced mate.] 34...Qe8

It is hard to imagine what did Topalov missed as this move is quite obvious for this level. At the press conference he gave part of the explanation "Five years ago I lost the title in rapid games on the date 13. If I had drawn this game we would have to play the rapid at the same date, therefore I tried to press too hard today." 35.g4 h5 36.Kh4 The line: [36.Ng2 Bxg2+ 37.Rxg2 hxg4+ 38.Kh4 g3+! 39.Kxg3 Qe5+ 40.Kf2 Rcd7 underlines the lack of coordination in White's camp.] 36...g5+ [36...Qd8+ is an alternative win, with the point: 37.Kxh5 Kf7 and Qd8-h8-h6 mate to come.] 37.fxg6 [37.Kxg5 Rg7+–+] 37...Qxg6 38.Qf1 Rxg4+ 39.Kh3 Re7

With the threat Rxe3+, Rh4+ and Qg4 mate. [39...Qg5 40.Rf8+ Kg7 41.Qf2 Re4–+ is a computer-made line.] 40.Rf8+ Kg7 [40...Kh7 41.Rh8+ Kxh8 42.Qf8+ Qg8 43.Qxe7 Qc8 44.Qf6+ Kg8–+] 41.Nf5+ Kh7 Anand has calculated everything thorougly. [41...Kxf8?? 42.Nxe7+ Qf7 43.Ng6+ Rxg6 44.Qxf7+ Kxf7 45.Rxa7+ at least saves White.] 42.Rg3 Rxg3+ 43.hxg3 Qg4+ 44.Kh2 Re2+ 45.Kg1 Rg2+ 46.Qxg2 Bxg2 47.Kxg2 [47.Rf7+ will win back the queen but will not save the game: 47...Kg6 48.Rg7+ Kxf5 49.Rxg4 hxg4 50.Kxg2 Ke4 51.Kf2 Kd3–+] 47...Qe2+ The rest is easy for the world champion as there is not even a hint of a fortress. 48.Kh3 c4 49.a4 a5 50.Rf6 Kg8 51.Nh6+ Kg7 52.Rb6 Qe4 53.Kh2 Kh7 54.Rd6 Qe5 55.Nf7 Qxb2+ 56.Kh3 Qg7

Unfortunately in a match of two one has to lose. Flawless game for the World Champion who retained his title. As a consolation for Topalov we can say that thanks to his efforts small Bulgaria saw a match for the World Championship for the first time in our history, and this was one of the greatest matches ever. Congratulations for Topalov for his uncompromised play, and congratulations for Anand for being the more complex player. Long live the Champion! 0–1

1 comment:

Unknown said...


I like to re-post a comment posted on chess vibes on 12th game about future candidates tournament.

'I would like to mention a few things from a patzer's perspective. A candidates tournament is scheduled to select the next challenger. Judging by the players, the tournament itself would be a historical one. Probably not as strong as the AVRO but a very close one. Now lets look at some contenders.

My favorite player and former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, is an opponent to be feared by every one. He needs some changes in his playing style though as the anti Kasparov playing style is no more to point. Kramnik needs to play more dynamic, sharp chess in general, also he needs to add flexibility in his play such that he could play two consecutive games with two different style, say tactically and positionally.

Magnus Carlsen, the young talent, currently ranked no 1 in the live rating list, is many peoples favorite to win the tournament. I have my concerns on that though. First he is not experienced enough in highly tense world championship cycle. Look at Fischer in his earlier tries for the title. Fischer the greatest in the game (IMO), could break through only after his 1970-1972 huge jump. Also it appears that Carlsen underestimates Kramnik's point that match is different from tournament. If he continues to do so, he will get his lesson in practice, not the wisest choice. The solution in my opinion is that he play some friendly matches with top 5 or 10ners. At least 6 games per match, classical time controls.

The great fighter Veselin Topalov, has his chances too. Unfortunately sometimes he and co seem to be complaining about irrelevant matters instead of trying to play better. Also he appears to have difficulty at adopting his mind and so his play, when the nature of the game changes drastically. Some heavy analysis of such situations in his games and specially taking care and moving with the flow, when the changes happen in practice, might help.

The Armenian Loven Aronian, has an excellent understanding of the game. If he manages to play practically at the same level too, he could be a serious contender.

Veteran Gata Kamsky, plays matches better than tournaments, and I suppose like Kramnik, he needs to diversify his playing style, and play according to the specific situation of each game.

In any case, the world champion would have yet another difficult task to overcome the new challenger, as playing 2010 chess would not suffice for the new situation.'