Great Draw in Game Seven

Anand,V (2787) - Topalov,V (2805) [E11]
Sofia BUL, WCC 2010 game_7 Sofia BUL (7), 03.05.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 This is new for the match, but not for Topalov himself and probably is the better strategy from him-to change the lines all the time as Anand is relatively new in the Catalan. 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.Bf4 dxc4 9.Ne5 b5 More usual is: [9...Nd5 10.Nxc4 Nxf4 11.gxf4 Qc7 12.e3 b6 13.Qb3 Bb7 14.Nc3 Nd7 15.Rfd1І but this is slightly better for White, the last sample being: Sharevich,A (2322)-Kovalevskaya,E (2439)/Kallithea 2008/CBM 126 Extra (59)] 10.Nxc6 Nxc6 11.Bxc6

11...Bd7!N Another strong novelty by Ivan Cheparinov. Ivanchuk used similar sacrifice, but Topalov likes to keep his bishop working on both sides: [11...Ba6 12.Bxa8 Qxa8 13.Qc2 Qc6 14.Bg5 Bb7 15.f3 e5 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.d5 Bxd5„ 1/2 Gelfand,B (2750)-Ivanchuk,V (2748)/Nice FRA 2010/The Week in Chess 803 (33)] 12.Bxa8 Anand accepts the challenge, and the following play is quite forced: 12...Qxa8 13.f3 This seems logical as it closes the long diagonal. However, the king's flank is somewhat weakened now. Another possibility is: [13.a3!?] 13...Nd5 14.Bd2 e5 15.e4 Bh3! The point of Black's play, he now sacrifices a whole piece for a pawn, but the strong central pair will give him excellent counter-chances. 16.exd5 Bxf1 17.Qxf1 exd4

18.a4! Everything is correct, Anand needs some air for his pieces. 18...Qxd5 19.axb5 Qxb5 20.Rxa7 Re8 [20...Bc5? 21.Ra5] 21.Kh1 So far Topalov was practically blitzing (while Anand used an hour from his time), spending mere three minutes mainly for technical operations (moving the pieces, writing the moves, pressing the clock, etc.). Now was the first moment that he took his time to decide what to do (and his choice was should he continue, or just force a draw). Two other natural moves must have been analyzed by the Bulgarian's team: [21.Kg2 Bd6 and the play will be similar like in the game with the move Re8-e2 coming a tempo in some lines.Here is a sample line: (21...Qxb2? 22.Qxc4 Qxb1 23.Rxe7+- as the back rank is weak) 22.Qd1 Qxb2 23.Qa4 Rf8 24.Qxc4 Qxb1 25.Qxd4 Bb8 26.Bc3 Qc2+ with perpetual check. ; 21.b3 is another option, that seems to lead to a forced draw: 21...Qb6 (21...d3!?) 22.Rxe7 (otherwise c4-c3 is coming) 22...Rxe7 23.Qxc4 (23.bxc4?! d3+ 24.Kh1 Qb3 25.c5 Qc2 26.c6 h6 and Black is much better as he will soon snck with the white c pawn) 23...h6 24.Qc8+ (24.Qd3 Ra7 25.Be1 Ra1 is too dangerous for White) 24...Kh7 and the players should force repetition of moves: 25.Qf5+ Kg8 as (25...Qg6 26.Qxg6+ Kxg6 27.Kf2 is worse for Black) 26.Qc8+ Kh7=] 21...Bf8 Topalov wants to get the maximum from the novelty. He could drew by simple means: [21...Qxb2 22.Qxc4 Qxb1+ 23.Kg2 Qb2 24.Rxe7 Qxd2+ 25.Kh3 Qh6+ 26.Kg2=] 22.Rc7 Another good defensive manouver by Anand. He is fixing the pawns thus freeing squares for his light pieces for a stable blockade. 22...d3 23.Bc3 Bd6 24.Ra7 h6 25.Nd2

25...Bb4! The only move. The pseudo active: [25...Re2? 26.Qh3 gives White the opportunity to bring his pieces into the game with decisive attack. Among the possible threats is Ra7-a8-h8 and Qxh6xg7 mate. And in case of: 26...Qg5 27.Ra5 Qe3 28.Ra8+ Bf8 29.Qc8 the knight successfully defends the white king and Black needs to go into passive defense.] 26.Ra1! The Indian brings reserves to fight the mighty passer on d3. 26...Bxc3 27.bxc3 Re2 28.Rd1 Qa4! Again rejecting the draw, that was possible after: [28...Qe5 29.Nxc4 Qxc3 30.Nd6 Qc2 (The threat is Re2-f2xh2, and after the exchange of the rooks and the queens Black promotes his pawn. 31.Ne4 only move f5 32.Rc1 fxe4!? (32...Rxh2+ 33.Kg1 Rg2+ 34.Kh1 Rh2+=) 33.Rxc2 dxc2

and White can still make a mistake: 34.Qa1 (34.fxe4? Rd2 35.Qc4+ Kh7 and Black wins as the e4 square is unavailable for the white queen.; 34.f4 should be also draw; while 34.Qxe2 c1Q+ 35.Kg2 e3 leaves some practical chances for Black) 34...exf3 35.Qc3 f2 36.Kg2=; 28...Qb2 might lead to the previous line, or White can force a draw with: 29.Qh3 Rxd2 30.Qc8+ Kh7 31.Qf5+=] 29.Ne4 Qc2 Or: [29...f5 30.Rd2 fxe4 31.Rxe2 dxe2 32.Qxe2 Qa1+ 33.Kg2 Qxc3 34.Qxe4= and White is ready for perpetual.] 30.Rc1 Rxh2+ 31.Kg1 Rg2+ [31...Qb2 32.Rb1 Qc2=] 32.Qxg2 Now it is Anand who rejects the drawish line: [32.Kh1 Rh2+ 33.Kg1=] 32...Qxc1+ 33.Qf1 Qe3+ And again Topalov who insists on winning. But this time it seems that he is very close to crossing the boarder. [33...d2 34.Nxd2 Qxd2 35.Qxc4=] 34.Qf2 Qc1+ 35.Qf1 Qe3+ 36.Kg2 These repetition rejections have also strong psychological impact on the match. Both players want to show their courage, and to stress the fact that they are not afraid. After being into the defensive for the bigger part of the game now it is the Indian's term to play a bit without risk. 36...f5 37.Nf2 Kh7 38.Qb1 Qe6 39.Qb5 g5 40.g4 fxg4 41.fxg4 Kg6 42.Qb7

Shipov proposed a plan for a win after: [42.Qa4!! (not letting the black pawn reach the d2 square). At first I could not find anything convincing after the simple exchange of material: 42...h5 43.gxh5+ Kxh5 But then some computer manouvers clarify the situation: 44.Qa7 Qd5+ (44...Qf5 45.Qd4±) 45.Kf1 Kg6 46.Qe7 Kf5 47.Qf8+ Kg6 48.Qe8+ Kf5 49.Qc8+ Kg6 50.Qg4± and probably Black is really losing.] 42...d2! Now it is draw, that was signed a few moves later. 43.Qb1+ Kg7 44.Kf1 Qe7 45.Kg2 Qe6 46.Qd1 Qe3 47.Qf3 Qe6 48.Qb7+ Kg6 49.Qb1+ Kg7 50.Qd1 Qe3 51.Qc2 Qe2 52.Qa4 Kg8 53.Qd7 Kf8 54.Qd5 Kg7 55.Kg3 Qe3+ 56.Qf3 Qe5+ 57.Kg2 Qe6 58.Qd1 This was another great game from a great match. Topalov made perfect preparation and was pressing for the biggest part of the game. Anand in his term showed his excellent defensive skill and self control, and was even close to winning at the end. The world champion is still leading, but the challenger has one extra game with the white pieces in the remaining five classical games. 1/2

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