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World Chess Championship 2010 (3)

Anand - Topalov World Championship Game 3

Draw in Game three. Photo © Europe-Echecs

Draw in Game three. Photo © Europe-Echecs |

Viswanathan Anand chose a solid line of the Slav against Veselin Topalov in Round 3. There were a lot of ways that Anand could have got into trouble but he seemed to avoid them all and by move 26 didn't seem in much trouble.

After the first rest day game three got under way with a flurry of moves. Anand did not repeat the Gruenfeld from game one, instead he played a Slav Defence (Wiesbaden variation). Anand chose a solid line used with success by Vladimir Kramnik against Topalov at their WCC match in 2006. There was a small pantomime at the end as Topalov tried to find a way to agree the draw without speaking to his opponent.

The resulting position would not be to everyone's taste, Anand was cramped but solid. The position was actually pretty interesting in that it required accuracy from both players. After 32 moves Topalov allowed a liquidation to a sterile rook and pawn ending.

Two different defences in the first two games does raise the possibility that Anand won't be repeating any of his black defensive lines in the match.

Before the match Silvio Danailov stated that although Anand disagreed with using the Sofia rules Topalov would play by them anyhow. This means not speaking to your opponent and no draw offers. Whilst the idea of playing until the last possibilities of the position have been exhausted is good for chess, it would have been better to nod and sign the scoresheets or something a few moves before the end.

As it was, the players had mentally agreed a draw. Topalov called the arbiter to watch the players blitz out the final moves until a draw by three fold repetition was engineered, Topalov claimed this from the arbiter and the players signed the scoresheets. Topalov was no doubt making a point about being serious about observing the Sofia rules, but I didn't think it was necessary.

They didn't shake hands at the end but both said they forgot. Watching the webcam live I think this is the right explanation, they were busy signing scoresheets and then left the stage. Relations on the stage look fine at the moment so not too much should be made of it

Malcolm Pein annotates Game 3

Topalov,Veselin (2805) - Anand,Viswanathan (2787) D17
WCh Sofia BUL (3), 27.04.2010


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 7.f3


7...Bb4 8.e4 Bxe4 9.fxe4 Nxe4 10.Bd2 Qxd4 is a wild line but Vishy decides to avoid anything sharp and follows a plan devised by Kramnik and used in the 2006 match.

8.e4 Bg6 9.Be3 cxd4 10.Qxd4 Qxd4 11.Bxd4 Nfd7 12.Nxd7

Topalov thought for a couple of minutes here

12...Nxd7 13.Bxc4 a6

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 13...a6


Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 14.Rc1

14.Ke2 Rg8 15.Rhd1 Rc8 16.b3 Bc5 17.a5 Ke7 18.Na4 Bb4 19.Nb6 Nxb6 20.Bxb6 f6 21.Rd3 Rc6 22.h4 Rgc8 23.g4 Bc5 24.Rad1 Bxb6 25.Rd7+ Kf8 26.axb6 Rxb6 27.R1d6 Rxd6 28.Rxd6 Rc6 29.Rxc6 bxc6 30.b4 e5 31.Bxa6 1/ 2-1/2 Topalov,V (2813) -Kramnik,V (2743)/Elista RUS 2006/The Week in Chess 621/ IM Malcolm Pein

14...Rg8! 15.h4 h6 16.Ke2

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 16.Ke2

Position after 25 minutes

16...Bd6 17.h5 Bh7 18.a5 Ke7 19.Na4 f6 20.b4

White has gained some space but if the rooks come off the game is dead

20.Nb6 Nxb6 21.Bxb6 Rgc8 22.Rhd1 Rc6 23.b3 Rac8 24.Rd3 Bb4 25.Rcd1 Rd6=


Avoiding 20...Bxb4 21.Rb1 Bxa5 22.Nc5

(22.Rxb7 Rgb8 23.Bc5+)

22...b5 23.Bxe6


Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 21.Bc5

21.Nc5 Rc7 22.Nxe6 Rxc4-/+

21.Nc5 Rc7 22.Bxe6 Nxc5 23.bxc5 Bf4=/+

21.Nc5 Bxc5 22.bxc5 Rc7 unclear

21...Bxc5 22.bxc5 Rc7

22...Rc6 23.Rhd1 Rac8 24.Rxd7+ Kxd7 25.Nb6+ Rxb6 26.cxb6 Bg8 27.e5+/=

23.Nb6 Rd8 24.Nxd7

24.Bd5 Was possible but Black does not have to take and can play 24...Ne5 25.f4 Nc6=

24...Rdxd7 25.Bd3 Bg8

25...Rd4 26.c6 Ra4 27.Rb1 Ra2+ 28.Ke3 bxc6 29.Ra1 Rxg2 30.Bxa6 and this is what Topalov was aiming for, a strong passed a5 pawn

25...f5 Kasparov - looks equal 26.c6 Rxc6 27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Rb1 fxe4 29.fxe4 Rd4

26.c6 Rd6!

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 26.Rd6

A great move played very quickly in return by Anand. Black keeps an eye on a6

26...bxc6 27.Rc5

27.cxb7 Rxb7 28.Rc3 Bf7 29.Ke3

29.Rhc1! Be8!

(29...Bxh5 30.Rc7+ Rxc7 31.Rxc7+ Rd7 32.Rc6+/=)

29...Be8 30.g4

30.Rhc1 Bd7!

30...e5 31.Rhc1 Bd7

31...Bb5 32.Rb1

32.Rc5 Bb5!

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 32...Bb5

This equalises, a6 is no longer weak

33.Bxb5 axb5 34.Rb1 b4 35.Rb3 Ra6 36.Kd3 Rba7 37.Rxb4 Rxa5

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Position after 37...Rxa5. The players would normally shake hands here but Topalov said before the match that he wouldn't offer draws. Around here he called the arbiter and who then stood by the board. The players quickly engineered a three fold repetition. Which Topalov claimed. They shook hands after the decisive games, but not here.

38.Rxa5 Rxa5 39.Rb7+ Kf8 40.Ke2 Ra2+ 41.Ke3 Ra3+ 42.Kf2 Ra2+ 43.Ke3 Ra3+ 44.Kf2 Ra2+ 45.Ke3 Ra3+ 46.Kf2 1/2-1/2

Viswanathan Anand


Veselin Topalov

Final Position after 46.Kf2

Here Topalov said to the arbiter this was a three fold repetition and claimed the draw.

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