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World Chess Championship 2010 (10)

Anand - Topalov World Championship Game 10

Anand is under the spotlight after the disappointments of the last two games. Photo ©

Anand is under the spotlight after the disappointments of the last two games. Photo © |

The 10th game of the World Chess Championship was another fluctuating struggle which ended in a draw after around 5 hours play and 60 moves.

Veselin Topalov would have been looking to press with the white pieces after his escape the previous day. Viswanathan Anand returned to the Gruenfeld Defence and departed from game 1 with 10...b6 and they entered theory popular in the 1970s. Anand seemed to be getting close to equality before Topalov found 25.Ba6 which breathed new life into the position. Anand found what he thought was an equalising continuation but was probably surprised when Topalov headed straight for an ending.

This ending quickly became most awkward for Anand and many commentators were saying that it was close to lost, at least in practice.

Topalov continued to squeeze but 44.Be6 seemed to allow Anand back into the game by 44...Nd6+ and 45...Nc4. After this the position seems to be drawish and Anand played very accurately to achieve his draw.

Perhaps even the slight feeling he got out of jail today may prove to be a psychological advantage to him after a couple of disappointing days.

Final version of Malcolm Pein notes now up.

Just two games left. Game 11 on Sunday and Game 12 Tuesday.

Notes and comments by Mark Crowther and IM Malcolm Pein.

Game 10 start. Photo © who are on the spot with commentary, photos and reports.

Topalov,Veselin (2805) - Anand,Viswanathan (2787) D86
WCh Sofia BUL (10), 07.05.2010

IM Malcolm Pein

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 b6

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 10....b6

Varying from the disaster in game 1. This line was briefly popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was first played by English GM Tony Miles It was recommended in a 1981 book on the Exchange Variation. The author wrote: "

This might be one of the best new ways of countering the Exchange Variation"

Can't remember the chap's name. Four letters, unusual spelling, begins with P, it'll come to me...

10...Na5 11.Bd3 b6 12.Qd2 e5 13.Bh6 cxd4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.cxd4 exd4 16.Rac1 Qd6 17.f4 f6 18.f5 Qe5 19.Nf4 g5 20.Nh5+ Kg8 21.h4 h6 22.hxg5 hxg5 23.Rf3 Kf7 24.Nxf6 Kxf6 25.Rh3 Rg8 26.Rh6+ Kf7 27.Rh7+ Ke8 28.Rcc7 Kd8 29.Bb5 Qxe4 30.Rxc8+ 1-0 Topalov,V (2805)-Anand,V (2787)/Sofia BUL


11.Rc1 Bb7 12.d5 Ne5 13.Bb3 c4 14.Bc2 e6 15.dxe6 Nd3!= Polugaevsky-Miles Wijk aan Zee

11...Bb7 12.Rac1

9 minutes thought

12...Rc8 13.Rfd1

10 minutes thought




Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 13...cxd4

13...Na5 14.Bd3 e5 15.dxe5

(15.dxc5! bxc5 16.c4 Ba6 17.Qc2

intending Qa4 and Ne2-c3-d5


15...Bxe5 16.Bh6 Re8 17.Qe3 Qe7 18.f4 Bg7 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Ng3 Rcd8 21.Bb5 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Rd8 23.Rxd8 Qxd8 24.Be2 Nc6 25.h3 Qe7 26.e5 f6 27.exf6+ Kxf6 28.Kf2 Qxe3+ 29.Kxe3 Ne7 30.Bf3 Bd5 31.a3 Ke6 32.Ne4 Bxe4 33.Bxe4 Nd5+ 34.Bxd5+ Kxd5 35.a4 a6 36.Kd3 b5 37.c4+ bxc4+ 38.Kc3 h5 39.g4 h4 40.a5 Ke4 41.Kxc4 Kxf4 42.Kxc5 Kg3 43.Kb6 Kxh3 44.Kxa6 Kxg4 0-1 De Boer,G (2335)-Smejkal,J (2540)/ Berlin West 1984/MCD

14.cxd4 Qd6

14...Qd7 15.Bh6 Na5 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Bd3 Qa4 18.d5 Qa3 19.Nf4 Qd6 20.Qe3 Qe5 21.Bf1 Qb2 22.e5 Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Rc8 24.Rxc8 Bxc8 25.d6 Nc6 26.e6 fxe6 27.dxe7 Nxe7 28.Nxe6+ Bxe6 29.Qxe6 Qf6 30.Qd7 a5 31.g3 Qe5 32.Qb7 1/2-1/2 Bondarevsky, I-Petrovs,V/Moscow 1940/ URS-ch


Played quickly. Clearly he has decided what to do after his last two thinks. Anand should still be in preparation but he started to think. By transposition this is the first new move.

15.e5 Qd7 16.e6 fxe6 17.Nf4 Rxf4 18.Bxf4 Nxd4 19.Bf1 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Qd5 21.Qe3 Bf6 22.Rc7 h5 23.Qd3 Kf7 24.a4 Bc6 25.Rxa7 h4 26.h3 Bg7 27.Ra6 Qc5 28.Be3 Bd5 1-0 Noori,A (2135) -Aghamohammadi,M/ Iran 2000/EXT


15...Ne5 During the game I couldn't refute 16.Bb3 Ng4 17.Bf4 Be5 18.h3 Bxf4 19.Nxf4 Ne5 or

(19...Nf6 20.Qe3 Qe5!



15...Ne5 16.Bb3 Ba6

Note that 15...Ne5 16.Bb5 is less effective as a6 and b5 is possible, the knight isn't hanging on a5

16.Bb5! Rxc1

16...e6 17.dxe6 Qxe6 18.Bd7 Qxe4 19.f3+/- 16.Bd3 is met by e6 of course

17.Rxc1 Rc8

Standard procedure but why not e6 now?

17...e6 18.Bf4 Be5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.Nc3 may be an edge. The centre survives and Black's minors aren't great


Rather passive. Topalov probably figured he was not better here and indeed in such positions without rooks it's often hard to prove an advantage for White but I'm biased

18.Rxc8+ Bxc8 19.Qc1 Bb7=

18.Rxc8+ Bxc8 19.Nd4 might be an edge

A) 19...a6 20.Be2 e6 21.dxe6


21...fxe6 with a queen swap likely

B) 19...Qc7

18...Rxc1+ 19.Qxc1 e6

The standard Gruenfeld counter

20.Nf4 exd5 21.Nxd5 f5!

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 21...f5

Looks best and reasonable for Black with two good bishops and a knight which may be offside but restricts the Bb5. However I can't see anything wrong with Qe5-a1 = Now Topalov's Nd5 is unstable but there is not threat to capture on d5 twice as Black's king would be vulnerable

21...Bxd5 22.exd5 Qxd5 23.Qc8+ Bf8 24.Bh6 and Black is in danger.

21...Nc6 22.Bxc6 Bxc6 23.Qxc6 Qxc6 24.Ne7+ wins.

21...Qe5= The opening has been a success for Anand


22.Bf4 Qc5=

22...fxe4 23.fxe4 Qe5

White has 55 minutes, Black 1 hour

24.Bd3 Nc6

Bringing the knight back into play rather than grab a hot pawn 24...Bxd5 25.exd5 Qxd5 26.Qc8+ Black would have to be careful


Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 25.Ba6

A sharp try that challenges Anand to enter unclear complications.


Anand has plenty of time so he took about 10-15 of them to work this out. But I wonder why he played this as

25...Bxa6 26.Qxc6 Qa1+ should lead to a draw.

A) Perhaps 27.Kf2!? Qxa2+ 28.Kg3 Qa3 29.Qc7!?


B) 27.Kh2 Be5+ 28.Nf4 Qc3 29.Qe8+ Kg7 30.Qe7+ Kg8=

26.Qc4 Bxd5 27.Qxd5+

Topalov heads straight for an ending where he can press for a long time. This is better for Topalov and will require patient defence from Anand.

27...Qxd5 28.exd5 Be5 29.Kf2 Kf7 30.Bg5

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 30.Bg5

White has two bishops but Black has complete control of d6, a well placed knight and no weaknesses. With a knight on d6 he may try to set up an impregnable position but White is always slightly better with an unchallenged light bishop

30...Nf5 31.g4 Nd6 32.Kf3 Ne8

Anand is heading for another setup. He wants to get the queenside majority moving rather than just sit there

32...Bf6 33.Bf4+/=

33.Bc1 Nc7 34.Bd3 Bd6 35.Ke4 b5 36.Kd4 a6 37.Be2

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 37.Be2

Topalov can play on for a very long time here. g4-g5 and h4-h5 is in reserve perhaps with Be2-f3 to free the king. Anand probably has to sit tight. Any more queenside pawn moves might expose the pawns to attack

37...Ke7 38.Bg5+ Kd7 39.Bd2

One benefit of putting the bishop here is it can go both ways amd will successfull disrupt any attempt to put the black king on d6. Now Bd3 and h4-h5 beckons


Waiting and stopping h4


Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 40.g5

Increasing the bishops scope and fixing h7, not pleasant to defend and requires accuracy. Next stage, evict this bishop and play h4-h5

40...Bf2+ 41.Ke5 Bg3+ 42.Ke4

42.Kf6 Nxd5+ 43.Kg7 Bf4! Shipov completely escaped my notice during play

42...Ne8 43.Bg4+ Ke7

43...Ke7 Now Black has to reckon with Bg4-e6-g8 but not quite yet 44.Be6 Nd6+ 45.Kd3 Nc4 46.Bc1 Be5 47.Bg8 Kf8 48.Bxh7 Kg7


Given that Bg8 is not a threat yet I would prefer something else here and my suspicions are confirmed by Sergey Shipov who proposed

44.Kf3 Bd6 45.Bc8 Nc7 46.Ke4 When White can play on

44...Nd6+ 45.Kf3 Nc4!

Active defence and Black ought be OK

46.Bc1 Bd6 47.Ke4 a5

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 47...a5

In the absence of the light bishop from the queenside Anand tries to push a4 b4 and b3. This is easily stopped but it challenges Topalov to prove something and provokes simplification. The h4-h5 plan never happened


Topalov has dithered and Black has made progress these last five moves


Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 48...Ba3

This should equalise. The queenside pawn majority compensates for the better mobility of the bishop and in the absence of the dark bishops the king can attack d5 - should be a draw now


49.Bf4 Bd6

49...Nxa3 50.Ke5 Nc4+ 51.Kd4 Kd6 52.Be2

52.Be6 Ne5 53.Bg8 b4 54.Bxh7 a4 55.Bxg6

(55.h4 a3 56.Bxg6)

55...Nxg6 56.Kc4=


Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 52...Na3

52...Na3 53.Bd3 b4 54.h4 a4 55.h5 gxh5 56.Bxh7 b3 57.axb3 axb3 58.g6 Nc2+ 59.Kc3 Ne3 60.g7 Nxd5+ 61.Kxb3 Ne7

53.h4 Nc2+ 54.Kc3 Nb4 55.Bxb5 Nxa2+ 56.Kb3 Nb4 57.Be2 Nxd5 58.h5 Nf4 59.hxg6 hxg6 60.Bc4 1/2-1/2

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 60.Bc4

In this final position Topalov seemed to try and offer a draw through the arbiter. Anyhow the players quickly shook hands. They could play down to the end but there is no point. The pawns will disappear.

Game 10 start. Photo © who are on the spot with commentary, photos and reports.

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