Fifth Game Drawn

Topalov,V (2805) - Anand,V (2787) [D17]
Sofia BUL, WCC 2010 game_5 Sofia BUL (5), 30.04.2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 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 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bxc4 a6 14.Rc1

Anand spent some minutes here, obviously trying to figure out what had the Topalov team prepared. Then he went- 14...Rg8 just like in the third game, but after: 15.h4 opted for 15...h5 The idea of placing the pawn on h5 is not new, but it was used usually when the the white king is on e2, and he is deprived from the manouver Ne2-f4. However probably this is the main line that was prepared from the champion. For example he used the same method against Kramnik in their match in Bonn when he did not show his best move in the famous Slav games. 16.Ne2 Bd6 17.Be3 Somewhere around here the electricity stopped. It appeared that there is a problem in the central part of the city, but the actual mistake was made by a worker, who forgot to switch on the reserved generator in advance, and the players had to wait for some fifteen minutes to resume the game. 17...Ne5 [17...Ke7 is not a solution of the problems, as after: 18.Nf4 Bxf4 19.Bxf4 f6 the white bishops force concessions from the black side- 20.Bd2! a5 21.Bb5± and since the a5 pawn is a target White has a powerful threat- 22.Rc7 that is hard to be prevented.] 18.Nf4 Rc8 Topalov is not afraid from the opposite-coloured endgame that can occur after: [18...Nxc4 19.Rxc4 Bxf4 20.Bxf4±

since the black bishop on g6 is excluded, and White has large endge thanks to his superb pieces.] 19.Bb3 Rxc1+ 20.Bxc1 Ke7 21.Ke2 Rc8 22.Bd2 This is inaccurate, and White is throwing away his advantage. After the correct: [22.Rd1!

with the general idea not to let the black bishop get back in the game with: 22...f6? a) 22...Rc6 is the computer defense, when play may continue: 23.Be3! not (23.Bd2? Rb6) 23...Bc5 24.Bd2 Rb6 25.Bc3 Rxb3 26.Bxe5 and Black has serious problems, for example, the piece sacrifice: 26...Bxe4 27.fxe4 Re3+ 28.Kf1 Rxe4 29.Nd3 Bd4 is not enough as White is clearly better here after the simple 30.Bg3±; b) Also no good is: 22...Nc6 as it will gain the bishop pair for White, and break Black's pawn structure. 23.Nxg6+ fxg6 24.Bg5+ Kd7 25.Bf4 e5 26.Be3±; 23.Nxe6 Bf7 24.Nxg7 Bxb3 25.Nf5++- So, after 22.Rd1 Anand would have faced definite problems. After the game continuation he comfortably equalized.] 22...f6 23.Nxg6+ Nxg6 24.g3 Ne5 25.f4 Nc6 26.Bc3 Bb4

The bishops are exchanged, there is a perfect symmetry, and draw is inevitable. 27.Bxb4+ Nxb4 28.Rd1 Nc6 29.Rd2 g5 30.Kf2 g4 31.Rc2 Rd8 32.Ke3 Rd6 33.Rc5 Nb4 34.Rc7+ Kd8 35.Rc3 Ke7 36.e5 Rd7 37.exf6+ Kxf6 38.Ke2 Nc6 39.Ke1 Nd4 40.Bd1 a5 41.Rc5 Nf5 42.Rc3 Nd4 43.Rc5 Nf5 44.Rc3

Another good defense for the champion, and Topalov is a real danger now, as he has to defend two black games in a row. Any mistake from the challenger might bring the match beyond salvation. 1/2

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