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World Chess Championship 2010 (12)

Anand - Topalov World Championship Game 12

The players shake hands at the start of Game 12. Photo ©

The players shake hands at the start of Game 12. Photo © | http://www.europe-echecs.com

Game 12: Viswananthan Anand successfully defended his title 6.5-5.5 against Veselin Topalov by winning the final game.

The game has started with a Queen's Gambit Declined Lasker Variation. This variation exchanged a lot of pieces but because Topalov played for a win the game became very sharp. However with 32...fxe4 in an uncomfortable position he blundered very badly and although things were complicated Anand followed up correctly and indeed extremely precisely to bring home the full point.

Mark Crowther with the comments and IM Malcolm Pein (in Sofia) the game notes.

The players at the start of Game 12. Photo © http://www.europe-echecs.com who are back on the spot for their video reports.

Topalov,Veselin (2805) - Anand,Viswanathan (2787) D56
WCh Sofia BUL (12), 11.05.2010

IM Malcolm Pein

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.e3 Ne4

The Lasker Variation has a reputation of being very solid. Anand is clearly looking for a draw with this. Anand has had this variation three times, twice as white (rapid), once as black (blitz).

8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 c6 10.Be2 Nxc3 11.Rxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd7 13.0-0 b6

13...e5 14.Bb3 Re8 15.Re1 e4 16.Nd2 Nf6 17.Rc5 Be6 18.Re5 Bxb3 19.Qxb3 Qc7 20.Rf5 Nd5 21.Rc1 Qb6 22.Re5 Qxb3 23.axb3 Rxe5 24.dxe5 Re8 25.Nxe4 Rxe5 26.Nc5 Re7 27.Nd3 f5 28.Kf1 g5 29.Rc4 Kg7 30.g4 fxg4 31.Rxg4 b6 32.b4 Nf6 33.Rc4 Re6 34.h3 Ne4 35.Ke2 Nf6 36.Kf3 Kf8 37.h4 Ke7 38.hxg5 hxg5 39.Ke2 Nd7 40.Rc1 Kf6 41.Ra1 Ne5 42.Rxa7 Nxd3 43.Kxd3 Rd6+ 44.Kc3 Kf5 45.f3 Re6 46.Kd3 Rd6+ 47.Ke2 Rh6 48.Kd3 Rd6+ 49.Kc3 Re6 50.Kd3 Rd6+ 51.Ke2 Rh6 52.Rb7 Rh2+ 53.Kd3 b5 54.Rb6 Rxb2 55.Rxc6 Rxb4 56.Rc5+ Kf6 57.Kc3 Rb1 58.Kc2 Rf1 59.Rxb5 Rxf3 60.Kd2 1/2-1/2 Grischuk,A (2736)-Anand,V (2788)/Moscow RUS 2009/The Week in Chess

14.Bd3 c5 15.Be4

15.Qc2

15.Bb1

15.Bb5

15...Rb8 16.Qc2

16.Qa4 Bb7 17.Bxb7 Rxb7 18.Rd1

(18.Qc2 a5 19.Rd1 Re8 20.h3 e5 21.dxe5 Nxe5 22.Nxe5 Qxe5 23.Rcd3 Rbe7 24.Rd5

1/2-1/2 Anand,V (2790)-Kramnik,V (2772)/Monaco MNC

)

18...b5 19.Qb3 a5 20.dxc5 Nxc5 21.Qc2 Na6 22.a3 b4 23.Rc6 Rc7 24.Nd4 bxa3 25.bxa3 Rfc8 26.Rxc7 Qxc7 27.Qe2 Qc4 28.Qf3 Nc7 29.h3 1/2-1/2 Anand, V (2735)-Kramnik,V (2765)/ Koeln GER

16.Bc6

16...Nf6

16...a5 Is the main move but there are other alternatives. 16...Nf6 is a very rare choice and obviously the result of Anand's preparation. It's a more dynamic plan, accepting the weak c pawn in return for the superiority of bishop over knight.

16...Bb7

16...Ba6

16...b5

16...e5

17.dxc5

Viswanathan Anand

_rb__rk_
p___qpp_
_p__pn_p
__P_____
____B___
__R_PN__
PPQ__PPP
_____RK_

Veselin Topalov

Position after 17...dxc5

Of course this is the way to unbalance the game and test Anand's idea

17...Nxe4 18.Qxe4 bxc5

18...bxc5 19.b3 Bb7 20.Qf4

(20.Qe5 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Rbc8 22.Rd1

1/2-1/2 Olsen,H (2376)-Grabarczyk, M (2516)/Klaksvik 2008)

20...Bxf3 21.Qxf3 Rfd8 22.Rfc1 Rd2 23.R1c2 Rbd8 24.g3 Rxc2 25.Rxc2 Rd5 26.Kg2 Qd6 27.h4 a6 28.Rc4 Rd2 29.Ra4 Qd3 30.h5 f6 31.g4 Kh7 1/2-1/2 Kulaots,K (2531) -Grabarczyk,M (2510)/ Borup DEN 2008/The Week in Chess

19.Qc2

Viswanathan Anand

_rb__rk_
p___qpp_
____p__p
__p_____
________
__R_PN__
PPQ__PPP
_____RK_

Veselin Topalov

Position after 19.Qc2

The next two moves are pretty much forced to avoid a capture on f3 when Black would be comfortable placed

19...Bb7 20.Nd2

20.Nd2 Rfd8 21.f3 Qd6 22.Nb3 Ba6 23.Rd1 Qxd1+ 0-1 Bellmann,H (2158)-Schulze,G (2012)/Germany 1998/Corr

20...Rfd8 21.f3 Ba6 22.Rf2

Viswanathan Anand

_r_r__k_
p___qpp_
b___p__p
__p_____
________
__R_PP__
PPQN_RPP
______K_

Veselin Topalov

Position after 22.Rf2

Topalov now moved ahead on the clock. By defending the knight he makes the threat of taking on c5 closer to becoming reality. Previously it could be met by Rxd2 now only Rxc5 Rxb2 remains a problem. In positional terms the bishop on a6 rules out the a5-a4 plan in answer to a possible b2-b3. Anand needs to decide where his rooks go now. The b file will soon cease to be useful so a rook to c8 or more dynamically, an attempt to double on the d file suggests itself particularly as d1 is vulnerable. Rd7 or Rd5 perhaps

22...Rd7 23.g3

Viswanathan Anand

_r____k_
p__rqpp_
b___p__p
__p_____
________
__R_PPP_
PPQN_R_P
______K_

Veselin Topalov

Position after 23.g3

Admittedly the c5 pawn is not going to get stronger but Anand could get quite active here. In practice he ought be OK but one innacuracy can leave him with an indefensible weakness, he must maintain the activity

23.Nf1 Bxf1 24.Kxf1 Qh4 gives you some insight into the reasoning behind this and the king needs some air in case of a back rank check.

23.g3 Rbd8 24.Nf1 Rd1

23.g3 Rbd8 24.Nc4

(24.Nb3 Bd3!-/+)

24...Rd1+ 25.Kg2 Ra1!?

23...Rbd8 24.Kg2

Viswanathan Anand

___r__k_
p__rqpp_
b___p__p
__p_____
________
__R_PPP_
PPQN_RKP
________

Veselin Topalov

Position after 24.Kg2

Good prophylaxis from Topalov. Trying to neutralise Black's threats in advance but Black looks very active now. I think it might be time for the elephant to sit down.

24...Bd3

and so he does

25.Qc1 Ba6

draw?

26.Ra3

no thanks

26...Bb7

Anand points the bishop at the king so e3-e4 must be a plan for White now

26...Bd3 27.e4 f5!?

27.Nb3 Rc7

Viswanathan Anand

___r__k_
pbr_qpp_
____p__p
__p_____
________
RN__PPP_
PP___RKP
__Q_____

Veselin Topalov

Position after 27...Rc7

27...Rd1 28.Qxc5 can be played with impunity and demonstrates the value of Topalov's preparatory moves on the kingside

27...Rc7 28.Rc2 c4 29.Rxc4 Bxf3+ 30.Kxf3 Qf6+ 31.Kg2 Rxc4 32.Qxc4 Qxb2+

27...Rc7 28.e4 f5<=>

28.Na5 Ba8

28...Ba8

A) 29.Rc3 e5 30.Nb3 Bd5

(30...Rcd7 31.Rxc5 Rd1 32.Qc2)

31.Rxc5 Rxc5 32.Qxc5 Qxc5 33.Nxc5 Bxa2 34.b4 Bb1 35.e4 Bd3= 36.Rd2?? Bf1+

B) 29.Nc4 e5 30.e4 f5 31.exf5? e4

29.Nc4 e5

Now e4 is met by f5 and I would rather be Black. If Topalov wants to fight he may go this way, the safer move is Rd2

29...e5 30.Rd2 e4 31.f4 Rd3! 32.Ne5 f6!

30.e4 f5

Topalov 40 minutes Anand 39. I think Topalov needs to be careful now

31.exf5

Viswanathan Anand

b__r__k_
p_r_q_p_
_______p
__p_pP__
__N_____
R____PP_
PP___RKP
__Q_____

Veselin Topalov

Position after 31...fxe5

Really ?

31...e4 32.fxe4

Viswanathan Anand

b__r__k_
p_r_q_p_
_______p
__p__P__
__N_P___
R_____P_
PP___RKP
__Q_____

Veselin Topalov

Position after 32.fxe4 which isn't even a move in this position.

32...Qxe4+

I am astonished by this, off to the playing hall to report on the body language

32...Qxe4+ 33.Kh3 Rd4 34.Ne3 Qe8!! 35.g4 h5 Is clearly what Topalov missed. Has Vishy seen it ??

33.Kh3 Rd4 34.Ne3 Qe8!!

Viswanathan Anand

b___q_k_
p_r___p_
_______p
__p__P__
___r____
R___N_PK
PP___R_P
__Q_____

Veselin Topalov

Position after 34...Qe8

It's over. Topalov must have missed this somewhere, perhaps when he played 30.e4 It's a very computer move and easy to miss. After all other moves White is fine

35.g4 h5 36.Kh4 g5+

36...Qd8+ looks cleaner to a computer but the human would rather win the queen which happens now 37.Kg3

(37.f6 hxg4 38.Nxg4 gxf6 and Rh7)

37...Qd6+ 38.Kh4 Qh6-+

37.fxg6

37.fxg6 Qxg6 38.Qf1 Rxg4+ 39.Kh3 Qg5 40.Rf8+ Kg7 41.Qf2 Re4 42.Rxa8 Rxe3+ 43.Rxe3 Qg4#

37...Qxg6 38.Qf1 Rxg4+ 39.Kh3 Re7

39...Re7 40.Qd1 Rd4 41.Qe2 Qg5

39...Qg5 40.Rf8+ Kg7 41.Qf2 Re4 42.Rxa8 Rxe3+ 43.Rxe3 Qg4#

40.Rf8+

Viswanathan Anand

b____Rk_
p___r___
______q_
__p____p
______r_
R___N__K
PP_____P
_____Q__

Veselin Topalov

Position after 40.Rf8+

40...Kg7 41.Nf5+ Kh7 42.Rg3 Rxg3+ 43.hxg3 Qg4+ 44.Kh2 Re2+ 45.Kg1 Rg2+ 46.Qxg2 Bxg2 47.Kxg2

Now 47.Rf7+ Kg6 48.Rg7+ Kxf5 49.Rxg4 hxg4 50.Kxg2 Ke4 wins

47...Qe2+ 48.Kh3 c4 49.a4 a5 50.Rf6 Kg8

Viswanathan Anand

______k_
________
_____R__
p____N_p
P_p_____
______PK
_P__q___
________

Veselin Topalov

Position after 50...Kg8+

Emphasising the vulnerability of the white pieces. The rook cannot leave the knight. b2 can be captured next move and Kh4 runs into Qg4#

51.Nh6+ Kg7

When the rook moves Qf3 threatens Qh1# and sets up the decisive skewer or fork

52.Rb6 Qe4

OK Vish y is going to use his h pawn as well

53. Kh2 Kh7 54. Rd6 Qe5 55. Nf7 Qxb2+ 56. Kh3 Qg7 0-1

Viswanathan Anand

________
_____Nqk
___R____
p______p
P_p_____
______PK
________
________

Veselin Topalov

Final Position after 56...Qg7

Malcolm Pein's account in the Daily Telegraph

And here Topalov shook hands and resigned the game and match. Topalov started an animated and friendly conversation discussing lines from the game with Anand as they signed the scoresheets and for a short while afterwards. Topalov then shook hands with his opponent once again before leaving the stage. In the last moments of disappointment he behaved with perfect sportsmanship. Also at the board Anand didn't look overly elated either, probably he was tired and just glad he accomplished his mission.

Indeed I applaud the spirit and dignity with which this whole match has been played.

Apparently post-game Topalov was explaining to Anand the miscalculation that cost him the match (it took Anand a little time to take it in before you could see he understood the point). As Malcolm Pein speculated it seems he missed Qe8, although to me the position looked truly frightening for him anyway. In addition Topalov has apparently admitted later he should have tried to repeat when Anand played Ba6. Apparently the superstition over the date, the 13th when the playoffs were, just as they were in 2006 against Kramnik also played on his mind. See Ian Rogers on game 12 at the USCF Site

At least Topalov can say he didn't leave anything at the board, he went down fighting, even if he should probably have taken a draw on move 26 which seemed to be on offer. I think on reflection he will understand that he played quickly when he shouldn't (and indeed is good enough to really understand where he really went wrong if this analysis isn't quite right). Playing quickly and putting pressure on Anand on the clock worked on some occasions but on others it definitely didn't, it also became especially apparent that Topalov played quickly when he didn't like his position. On the other hand I think Topalov seemed to expose Anand's discomfort in playing some technical endings also he did well to set testing problems in the most unpromising looking positions. If he gets another chance I'm sure he will have learned a lot.

For Anand he has ticked yet another box in a now glorious career. He has retained the World Chess Championship, which many of his predecessors didn't, and in his opponents back yard. Anand's flexibility showed as he obviously had a theory about the kind of positions Topalov wouldn't enjoy and had the ability to steer for those, he steered for a completely different category of position when he beat Kramnik. Anand also managed to keep playing after some moments in the match which might have broken a lesser man. I'm sure he too has learned something from this match which he will take to the next match when he defends in 2011 or 2012. Could this be against Magnus Carlsen, or can Veselin Topalov get back to fight again?

My thanks to Europe-echecs and Chessdom who allowed me to use their photos during the match.

Chessdom have several final day photo galleries, a 12 photo gallery is here: http://photo.chessdom.com/thumbnails.php?album=255 with over 50 photos. Anand's team (Ganguly, Nielsen, and Kasimdzhanov) and the final handshake are here http://photo.chessdom.com/thumbnails.php?album=255&page=2 and at page 3 http://photo.chessdom.com/thumbnails.php?album=255&page=3

In play during Game 12. Photo © Janis Nisii.

The players during Game 12. Photo © http://www.chessdom.com who have full on the spot coverage of the match.

The players shake hands at the start of Game 12. Photo © http://www.europe-echecs.com who are back on the spot for their video reports.

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