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World Chess Championships 2010 (4)

Anand - Topalov World Championship Game 4

Game 4 saw Anand score a crushing victory. Photo © ChessDom

Game 4 saw Anand score a crushing victory. Photo © ChessDom | http://www.chessdom.com

After the draw in game 3 it was Anand who is looking to make progress with white in game 4. Anand opened with the Catalan as Kramnik did in his match against Topalov in Elista.

Anand played a novelty with 10.Na3 which led to a long think from Topalov. It may be Topalov had studied this position but not for a while. But in the end he played 10...Bd7. So the big question was if Anand's preparation could cause serious problems for Topalov.

The answer was an emphatic, yes. Topalov's pieces gradually got tied up on the Queenside and far away from his king. Anand needed no second invitation to go for a sacrificial attack which he prosecuted with no problems at all.

Now it is up to Topalov to strike back with white on Friday. This has been a match where the white pieces have dominated (three wins and a draw so far) but Topalov will have some recovering to do after this loss.

Final version of the notes now up.

Game 4 Anand and Topalov. Photo © http://www.chessdom.com who are on the spot with commentary, photos and reports.

Anand,Viswanathan (2787) - Topalov,Veselin (2805) E04
WCh Sofia BUL (4), 28.04.2010

Notes IM Malcolm Pein

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3

I think we get Anand's match strategy now, play like Kramnik and remind Topalov of his favourite person :)

4...dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Qc2 Bxd2+

The seventh world champion preferred 7...Nc6 8.Qxc4 Qd5 9.Qxd5 exd5= Browne-Smyslov Las Palmas 1982

8.Qxd2

The Catalan has been all the rage since Kramnik started to play it. For the latest theory it is best to consult the brilliant book by Boris Avrukh.

(Grandmaster Repertoire 1.d4 Volume 1 - UK Shop (with link to sample PDF Download) Link or

Grandmaster Repertoire 1.d4 Volume 1 US Shop Link

I refer to it all the time. 8.Nbxd2 b5 9.a4 c6 10.b3 cxb3 11.Nxb3 0-0 unclear White has some play but not enough for advantage - Avrukh

8...c6 9.a4

9.Ne5 b5 10.Nxc6 Qc7= Avrukh 11.Qg5 Nxc6 12.Qxg7 Ke7 13.Qxh8 Bb7 14.Qg7 Nxd4-/+

9...b5 10.Na3

Veselin Topalov

rnbqk__r
_____ppp
__p_pn__
pp______
P_pP____
N____NP_
_P_QPPBP
R___K__R

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 10.Na3. A new move.

A novelty !

10.axb5 cxb5 11.Qg5 0-0 12.Qxb5 Ba6 13.Qa4 Qb6 14.0-0 Qxb2 15.Nbd2 Bb5 16.Nxc4 Bxa4 17.Nxb2 Bb5 18.Ne5 Ra7+/= Kramnik-Topalov game 1 Elista 2006 but Avrukh suggests Black can improve

10...Bd7

10...Ba6 11.Ne5 Nd5 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.axb5+/=

11.Ne5

11.axb5 cxb5 12.Qg5 h6! 13.Qxg7 Rh7!-+

11...Nd5 12.e4

Veselin Topalov

rn_qk__r
___b_ppp
__p_p___
pp_nN___
P_pPP___
N_____P_
_P_Q_PBP
R___K__R

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 12.e4

12...Nb4

12...Nb6 Anand is already ahead on the clock after the novelty 13.axb5 cxb5 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.Qg5!+/- Qxd4? 16.Rd1 Qf6 17.Qxb5+

13.0-0 0-0 14.Rfd1

Veselin Topalov

rn_q_rk_
___b_ppp
__p_p___
pp__N___
PnpPP___
N_____P_
_P_Q_PBP
R__R__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 14.Rfd1

A new but typical Catalan position where White has full compensation. Black has to watch out for d4-d5 opening the Catalan bishop and undermining his queenside pawn chain

14...Be8

14...Qe7 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.d5 exd5 17.exd5 cxd5 18.axb5 Rd8 19.Qg5+/=

15.d5!

Well timed and I guess still preparation

15...Qd6

15...exd5 16.exd5 cxd5 17.axb5 Nd7 18.Nc6 Nxc6 19.Qxd5!+/-

16.Ng4

16.dxc6!? Qxe5 17.axb5 looks promising but Black can sacrifice back and is only a bit worse

16...Qc5 17.Ne3

Veselin Topalov

rn__brk_
_____ppp
__p_p___
ppqP____
Pnp_P___
N___N_P_
_P_Q_PBP
R__R__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 17.Ne3

The perfect square supporting d5. Topalov's problem is capturing on d5 opens the Bg2 but leaving it allows dxc6

17...N8a6 18.dxc6 bxa4

18...Bxc6 19.axb5 Bxb5 20.Naxc4! Bxc4 21.Rac1 with a nice edge

19.Naxc4 Bxc6 20.Rac1

Veselin Topalov

r____rk_
_____ppp
n_b_p___
p_q_____
pnN_P___
____N_P_
_P_Q_PBP
__RR__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 20.Rac1

White looks more comfortable here but nothing could prepare us for what follows. Topalov's sense of danger deserted him

20...h6?!

Stops Qg5 in some lines and challenges Anand to do something constructive which he declines to do and does something very destructive instead! Getting the queen near the kingside made sense

20...Qe7 21.Nxa5

(21.Nd6!?)

21...Rfd8 22.Nxc6 Nxc6 23.Qc3

21.Nd6 Qa7

Veselin Topalov

r____rk_
q____pp_
n_bNp__p
p_______
pn__P___
____N_P_
_P_Q_PBP
__RR__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 21.Qa7

22.Ng4!

Suddenly it's critical. The black pieces have deserted the king

22...Rad8?

Veselin Topalov

___r_rk_
q____pp_
n_bNp__p
p_______
pn__P_N_
______P_
_P_Q_PBP
__RR__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 22...Rad8

22...Nc5 Speelman 23.Nxh6+ (23.Rc4 maybe best here.) 23...gxh6 24.Qxh6 Ncd3

22...f6 is better than the game but still very bad for black.

22...Rfd8 23.Nxh6+ gxh6 24.Qxh6 Qe7 25.e5 Bxg2 26.Rd4 Bf3 27.Rcc4! sums up the attacking plan.

23.Nxh6+

Veselin Topalov

___r_rk_
q____pp_
n_bNp__N
p_______
pn__P___
______P_
_P_Q_PBP
__RR__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 23.Nxh6

23...gxh6 24.Qxh6 f6 25.e5

Veselin Topalov

___r_rk_
q_______
n_bNpp_Q
p___P___
pn______
______P_
_P___PBP
__RR__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 25.e5!

Anand reached to play this move, the brought his hand back then played it a minute later. Nerves? not surprising. It took him 10 minutes in total but now it's game over

25...Bxg2

25...Qg7 26.Qxg7+ Kxg7 27.Bxc6

26.exf6!

Veselin Topalov

___r_rk_
q_______
n__NpP_Q
p_______
pn______
______P_
_P___PbP
__RR__K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 26.exf6+

26...Rxd6

26...Qh7 27.Qg5+ Kh8 28.Rc4 Rg8 29.Nf7+! Qxf7 30.Rh4+ Qh7 31.Rxh7+ Kxh7 32.Qh5#

27.Rxd6 Be4

27...Bd5 28.Qg6+ Kh8 29.Rc4! you've guessed it 29...Bxc4 30.Rd4! Qh7 31.Rh4 Rf7 32.Rxh7+ Rxh7 33.Qe8#

28.Rxe6 Nd3 29.Rc2 Qh7 30.f7+ Qxf7 31.Rxe4 Qf5 32.Re7 1-0

Veselin Topalov

_____rk_
____R___
n______Q
p____q__
p_______
___n__P_
_PR__P_P
______K_

Viswanathan Anand

Final Position after 32.Re7

At the press conference after the game Anand wasn't getting carried away with his win and Topalov didn't really seem too down either.

Anand: After Ng4 I thought it was quite strong for white, if he plays h5 I play Ne5.

Topalov wasn't slow to pinpoint his main error.

Topalov: I think ...h6 was especially bad and I think after the move Nxh6+ I think I was lost.

Topalov found time for some dark humour. How could he explain his bad result today?

Topalov: If I was able to answer this so easily then probably the result would have been different.

Topalov added that he was taking the loss philosophically.

Topalov: ...if you play according to the Sofia rule draws are usually very rare and if you have such complicated games, and high tension of course you will suffer some losses as well.

Both players were not in much doubt that black was busted after the Nxh6 sacrifice. So they go on to Friday's game where Topalov has the white pieces.

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