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World Chess Championship 2010 (11)

Anand - Topalov World Championship Game 11

In play in Game 11 where Anand played the English Opening. Photo ©

In play in Game 11 where Anand played the English Opening. Photo © | http://www.europe-echecs.com

Game 11. Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov drew after 65 moves of an English Opening.

The players observed a minutes silence before the game in memory of Andor Lilienthal. The first surprise was that Anand opened with the English Opening. This wasn't a bad choice as Anand has tried all along to put his opponent on the back foot by varying but Topalov found a way to equality after around 30 moves. Indeed it looked like Topalov might get to press again but Anand sacrificed his weak b-pawn for activity and a very interesting ending ensued. The position was sharp but after a few adventures a draw was the correct result.

Text by Mark Crowther game notes by IM Malcolm Pein.

The final game is on Tuesday. If that is drawn they will have one day of rapid and if necessary blitz games to decide the winner.

The players shake hands at the start of Game 11. Photo © http://www.europe-echecs.com who are back on the spot for their video reports.

Anand,Viswanathan (2787) - Topalov,Veselin (2805)
WCh Sofia BUL (11), 09.05.2010

IM Malcolm Pein

1.c4

Keep em guessing, always the best plan. The English is only played in a small minority of games at the top level

1...e5

This limits White's options, after 1...Nf6 we could get anything. 1...c5 is another common reply

2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5

4...Bb4 Is the other main move played in games 2,4 and 16 of the KvK match in 1987 at Seville 5.Bg2

5.cxd5 Nxd5

In essence a Sicilian Dragon in reverse. Topalov was on the white side of this against at Vallejo at Linares this year. Vallejo opted for a quick g5 but Topalov plays the normal and more sedate way

6.Bg2 Nb6

6...Be6 7.0-0 Be7 8.d4! Black must control d4 otherwise White gets a nice Sicilian

7.0-0 Be7 8.a3

8.Rb1!?

8.d3 Main line as is this

8...0-0 9.b4 Be6 10.d3 f6 11.Ne4 Qe8

Veselin Topalov

r___qrk_
ppp_b_pp
_nn_bp__
____p___
_P__N___
P__P_NP_
____PPBP
R_BQ_RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 11...Qe8. Played after some thought and may be a novelty.

Black often trys to control b3 after a4-a5, b4-b5, Nc6-d4 and Qe8-f7 but this move seems to be new. 11...a5 12.Nc5 has been played a few times and the natural 11...Qd7 as well

11...a5 12.Nc5 Bxc5 13.bxc5 Nd5

11...Qd7 12.Bb2 a6 13.Qc2 Bh3 14.Nc5 Bxc5 15.Bxh3 Qxh3 16.Qb3+ Kh8 17.bxc5 Nd7 18.d4! White won brilliantly Miles-Timman Tilburg 1984. This gives you some idea of the active plan Anand may aim for

12.Nc5 Bxc5 13.bxc5 Nd5 14.Bb2 Rd8 15.Qc2

The pawn on c5 is a bit ugly but Anand has the bishops. Question is can he activate them? Topalov needs to keep some control of d4 to prevent this.

15...Nde7 16.Rab1 Ba2 17.Rbc1 Qf7

Veselin Topalov

___r_rk_
ppp_nqpp
__n__p__
__P_p___
________
P__P_NP_
bBQ_PPBP
__R__RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 17...Qf7

Ruling out the Qh5 and attacking plan for the moment

18.Bc3 Rd7

At some point Bd5 should arrive. Anand's position would be less attractive without the Bg2

19.Qb2 Rb8 20.Rfd1 Be6

Veselin Topalov

_r____k_
ppprnqpp
__n_bp__
__P_p___
________
P_BP_NP_
_Q__PPBP
__RR__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 20...Be6

Unless he wants to play b6 or b5 Black lacks an active plan at present. Anand is happy to slowly prepare d4 rather than contemplate f2-f4 trying to increase the scope of the bishop. He just wants to maintain the tension, good strategy in what has in essence become a 2 game KO with tie breaks where both players are already very tired.

21.Rd2

Anticipating Bb3 but allowing Ne7-d5 x c3 I am slightly puzzled

21...h6 22.Qb1!

Veselin Topalov

_r____k_
ppprnqp_
__n_bp_p
__P_p___
________
P_BP_NP_
___RPPBP
_QR___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 22.Qb1

Quite a clever regrouping

22...Nd5 23.Rb2

23.Ba1

23...b6

Topalov can't exchange the bishop as 23...Nxc3 24.Rxc3 Leaves b7 too weak, if 24...Nd8 25.c6!

24.cxb6

24.Bd2!? Nde7

24...cxb6 25.Bd2 Rd6 26.Rbc2 Qd7

Veselin Topalov

_r____k_
p__q__p_
_pnrbp_p
___np___
________
P__P_NP_
__RBPPBP
_QR___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 26...Qd7

White is just a little better now. He has kept the bishops, re-opened the 'c' file and d3-d4 may still come one day. It's almost as if Black had arranged a Maroczy Bind with a pawn on c5 and White had engineered b2-b4 to remove it. Bd2-b4 may be possible here or Qb2 or Qb5

27.h4 Rd8

27...Rd8 28.Bb4 Ndxb4 29.axb4 Bd5 30.b5 Nd4 31.Nxd4 Bxg2 32.Kxg2 Rxd4 33.Rc7

28.Qb5 Nde7

Solidly played. Now 29.Qa4 Rd4!?

28...Nc7 29.Qb2

(29.Qa4 b5 30.Qe4 Nd5-/+)

28...Nce7?? 29.Qxd7 Bxd7 30.e4+-

29.Qb2 Bd5

This looks close to level again but Anand decides to force the exchange of the passive bishop and secure the c file.

30.Bb4 Nxb4 31.axb4 Rc6

Veselin Topalov

___r__k_
p__qn_p_
_pr__p_p
___bp___
_P_____P
___P_NP_
_QR_PPB_
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 31...Rc6

Trading down to equality. Times also equal at about 40 minutes each

32.b5

All the rooks might come off

32...Rxc2 33.Rxc2 Be6

Now how to proceed, perhaps play for d4 again. White is a little tied down to b5

33...Be6 34.e3 Qxd3??

(34...Bd5)

35.Rd2

34.d4

Veselin Topalov

___r__k_
p__qn_p_
_p__bp_p
_P__p___
___P___P
_____NP_
_QR_PPB_
______K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 34.d4

Aha, or just play d4 !

34...e4 35.Nd2 Qxd4 36.Nxe4 Qxb2 37.Rxb2 Kf7 38.e3 g5 39.hxg5 hxg5 40.f4

Times 21 minutes to

40...gxf4 41.exf4 Rd4

Bd5 to follow perhaps. The game is level b5 and a7 are both weak but Anand's options are more limited

42.Kf2 Nf5 43.Bf3 Bd5 44.Nd2 Bxf3

44...Ke6?? 45.Bg4+-

45.Nxf3 Ra4

Topalov has emerged somewhat better but with a little care from Anand this should be a draw. Topalov intends Nd6 so Rd2 now followed by Kg2

46.g4 Nd6 47.Kg3 Ne4+ 48.Kh4

48.Kh3 Nc5 49.f5= Ra3 50.Kg2 Nd3 51.Rc2 Nf4+ 52.Kg3 Nd5

48...Nd6

48...Nc5 49.Kg3 Nd3-/+ also looked strong. Another twist in the match?

49.Rd2!?

Playing for activity 49.Kg3 Rc4 50.g5 Rc5 51.Nd4 fxg5 52.Ra2 Nxb5 53.Nxb5 Rxb5 54.Rxa7+ Kf6 55.fxg5+ Kxg5=

49...Nxb5 50.f5

Veselin Topalov

________
p____k__
_p___p__
_n___P__
r_____PK
_____N__
___R____
________

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 50.f5

Anand hopes his kingside play will hold the balance, he is sorely testing his fans. If I was Topalov I would be sensing weakness

50...Re4

To answer Rd7+ with Re7

50...a5 51.Rd7+ Ke8 52.Rb7 Rb4

(52...Nd6 53.Rxb6 Nxf5+ 54.Kh5)

53.Rxb6 Nd4! 54.Rxf6 Nxf3+ 55.Kh5 a4 56.Ra6 should be drawn

51.Kh5 Re3 52.Nh4 Nc3 53.Rd7+ Re7 54.Rd3!

Veselin Topalov

________
p___rk__
_p___p__
_____P_K
______PN
__nR____
________
________

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 54.Rd3

Anand has worked out that he gets serious counterplay with Kh6 Ng6 and rook to the 8th threatening mate. It's odd now that he has been the one playing faster and putting pressure on the opponent who seeks the win as Topalov did to him in game

54...Ne4 55.Ng6 Nc5 56.Ra3

56.Nxe7 Nxd3 57.Nc8 seems to draw to me 57...b5 58.Nd6+

56...Rd7 57.Re3

With the idea of Kh6 and Nh8+ drawing - how clever

57...Kg7 58.g5

This is the kind of scenario Anand was going for when he left b5 go, plenty of counterplay before the black pawns get going. Ng6-f4 and then even g6 might be a plan. If Topalov captures on g5 there is enough counterplay

58...b5 59.Nf4

Veselin Topalov

________
p__r__k_
_____p__
_pn__PPK
_____N__
____R___
________
________

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 59.Nf4

59...b4

59...fxg5 60.Kxg5

(60.Ne6+ Nxe6 61.fxe6 Rd8 62.Kxg5)

60...b4 61.f6+ Kf7 62.Kf5 b3 63.Ng6=

60.g6=

Brilliant, now we some nice lines

60...b3 61.Rc3

61.Re8 was certainly a try 61...b2 62.Rb8 Rd4 but the lines are pretty much the same 63.Rxb2 and the stalemate or 63.Ne6+ =

61...Rd4

61...b2 62.Rxc5 b1Q 63.Ne6+ Kg8 64.Rc8+ Rd8 65.Rxd8# is the main idea

Veselin Topalov

___R__k_
p_______
____NpP_
_____P_K
________
________
________
_q______

Viswanathan Anand

Analysis Diagram after 65.Rxd8 mate

61...Rc7 62.Rxb3 Nxb3 63.Ne6+ Kg8 64.Nxc7 a5? 65.Ne8!+-

62.Rxc5

62.Ne6+ Nxe6 63.Rc7+ Nxc7 Stalemate !

62.Ne6+ Nxe6 63.Rc7+ Kg8 64.fxe6 b2 65.Rc8+=

62...Rxf4

Veselin Topalov

________
p_____k_
_____pP_
__R__P_K
_____r__
_p______
________
________

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 63...Rf4

63.Rc7+ Kg8 64.Rb7

64.Kh6?? Rh4#

64...Rf3

64...Rxf5+?? 65.Kh6+-

65.Rb8+ Kg7

Veselin Topalov

_R______
p_____k_
_____pP_
_____P_K
________
_p___r__
________
________

Viswanathan Anand

Final Position 65...Kg7

1/2-1/2

Finally a draw. Another very interesting ending.

Game 11 start. The players had a minutes silence for Andor Lilienthal who died yesterday. Photo © http://www.europe-echecs.com who are back on the spot for their video reports.

Game 11 start. Photo © http://www.europe-echecs.com who are back on the spot for their video reports.

Game 11 start. Photo © http://www.europe-echecs.com who are back on the spot for their video reports.

Game 11 start. Photo © http://www.europe-echecs.com who are back on the spot for their video reports.

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