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World Chess Championship 2010 (6)

Anand - Topalov World Championship Game 6

Anand - Topalov Game 6. Photo ©

Anand - Topalov Game 6. Photo © | http://www.chessdom.com

Could Anand take advantage of the white pieces in Game 6 to extend his lead to two points? Well the answer turned out to be no, in fact Topalov was quite impressive in holding the draw in spite of facing yet more preparation from Anand.

Commentary IM Malcolm Pein

Game 6 Anand against Topalov. Photo © http://www.chessdom.com who are on the spot with commentary, photos and reports.

Game 6 sees the first of two games in a row where Anand has the white pieces. White has dominated proceedings so far so this is a key couple of games. The regulation whereby Anand has white twice is in my view wrong-headed. It is a cure that is worse than the disease. The idea is to switch the player who has the white pieces immediately after the rest day around (there are two days play followed by a rest day). A much better solution would be to eliminate the extra rest day before Game 12 and go Game 6 then Rest Day, Game 7 then Rest Day which would achieve the same thing but not use this rather false construct.

Anand,Viswanathan (2787) - Topalov,Veselin (2805) E04
WCh Sofia BUL (6), 01.05.2010

IM Malcolm Pein

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 6.Ne5 c5 7.Na3 cxd4 8.Naxc4 Bc5 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bg5

Anand deviates from game 2.

Veselin Topalov

rnbq_rk_
_p___ppp
p___pn__
__b_N_B_
__Np____
______P_
PP__PPBP
R__Q_RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 10.Bg5

10.Bd2 Nd5 11.Rc1 Nd7 12.Nd3 Ba7 13.Ba5 Qe7 14.Qb3 Rb8 15.Qa3 Qxa3 16.bxa3 N7f6 17.Nce5 Re8 18.Rc2 b6 19.Bd2 Bb7 20.Rfc1 Rbd8 21.f4 Bb8 22.a4 a5 23.Nc6 Bxc6 24.Rxc6 h5 25.R1c4 Ne3 26.Bxe3 dxe3 27.Bf3 g6 28.Rxb6 Ba7 29.Rb3 Rd4 30.Rc7 Bb8 31.Rc5 Bd6 32.Rxa5 Rc8 33.Kg2 Rc2 34.a3 Ra2 35.Nb4 Bxb4 36.axb4 Nd5 37.b5 Raxa4 38.Rxa4 Rxa4 39.Bxd5 exd5 40.b6 Ra8 41.b7 Rb8 42.Kf3 d4 43.Ke4 1-0 Anand,V (2787)-Topalov,V (2805)/Sofia BUL

10...h6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6

Veselin Topalov

rnb__rk_
_p___pp_
p___pq_p
__b_N___
__Np____
______P_
PP__PPBP
R__Q_RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 11.Qxf6

Strictly speaking this is a novelty but the previously played 11. gxf6 looks very odd.

11...gxf6 12.Nd3 Be7 13.Qd2 Kh7 14.Rac1 Ra7 15.Qf4 Nc6 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Qe4+ Kg7 18.Qg4+ Kh7 19.Qe4+ f5 20.Qxc6 Rc7 21.Qa4 Bb7 22.Na5 Ba8 23.Rxc7 Qxc7 24.Rc1 Qd6 25.Nc6 Bg5 26.f4 Bf6 27.Qb4 Qxb4 28.Ncxb4 a5 29.Nc6 a4 30.b4 axb3 31.axb3 Rc8 32.Nce5 Rxc1+ 33.Nxc1 Kg7 34.Ncd3 Bd8 35.Kf2 f6 36.Nc4 Kf7 37.e3 dxe3+ 38.Kxe3 Ke7 39.Kd4 Bc7 40.b4 Bb8 41.b5 Bd5 42.Nb4 Bxc4 43.Kxc4 Bc7 44.Na6 Bb6 45.Nc5 Kd6 46.Nb7+ Ke7 47.Nc5 e5 48.Na4 Bg1 49.fxe5 fxe5 50.Kd5 Kf6 51.b6 e4 52.Nc5 Bxc5 1/2-1/2 Raetsky,A (2399)-Mahesh Chandran,P (2441)/Biel SUI 2004/ The Week in Chess

12.Nd3 Ba7 13.Qa4

Veselin Topalov

rnb__rk_
bp___pp_
p___pq_p
________
Q_Np____
___N__P_
PP__PPBP
R____RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 13.Qa4

and here Topalov thought for about 10 minutes. Anand yet again has a position that he is prepared for and his opponent is less so or not at all.

13...Nc6

A sensible developing move.

13...b5 14.Qb4 bxc4 15.Qxc4 and the Catalan bishop on g2 strikes again

14.Rac1

14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Qxc6 You don't normally give up 'the precious' for a mear pawn although 15...Rb8 16.Nd6 Looks decent for White as he exchanges the Nd6 for the Bc8 and his Nd3 dominates the Ba7 to an extent. This is the kind of position Anand is looking for I suspect

14...e5 15.Bxc6

Anand played this quickly. It is almost impossible to believe that this hasn't been prepared by him. This must be a worry for Topalov.

15...b5

15...bxc6 16.Ncxe5 c5 17.Nd7

(17.Rc2 Bh3 18.Nd7

Computer - enhances this idea

17...Bxd7 18.Qxd7 I would be worried about this kind of position for Black, it may be OK but it's a bad dark squared bishop and fixed pawn weaknesses

16.Qc2 Qxc6 17.Ncxe5 Qe4

Veselin Topalov

r_b__rk_
b____pp_
p______p
_p__N___
___pq___
___N__P_
PPQ_PP_P
__R__RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 17.Qe4

There is no way to keep the queens on which is Anand's idea

18.Qc6 Bb7 19.Qxe4 Bxe4 20.Rc2 Rfe8

Veselin Topalov

r___r_k_
b____pp_
p______p
_p__N___
___pb___
___N__P_
PPR_PP_P
_____RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 20...Rfe8

This looks like the kind of position Anand can grind away in. If he can engineer the exchange of Black's light squared bishop he could be seriously better.

21.Rfc1 f6 22.Nd7 Bf5 23.N7c5 Bb6

Veselin Topalov

r___r_k_
______p_
pb___p_p
_pN__b__
___p____
___N__P_
PPR_PP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 23...Bb6

24.Nb7

24.Nb7 Re6 25.Rc6 Rxe2 26.Nf4 Rae8 27.Rxb6

(27.Nd6 Re1+ 28.Kg2 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 Re5 30.Nxf5 Rxf5 31.Rc6+/=)

27...Re1+ 28.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 29.Kg2 Be4+ 30.f3 d3

24.Nb7 Bd7 25.Nd6 Re6 26.Nc8 Bd8 27.Rc5 Rxe2? 28.Rd5!

24.Nb7 Rac8 25.Nd6 Rxc2 26.Rxc2 Bxd3 27.exd3 Re6 28.Nc8 Kf8 29.Nxb6 Rxb6 30.Kg2 Re6 31.Kf3

24...Bd7 25.Nf4 Rab8

25...Rab8 26.Nc5 Bf5

(26...Bxc5 27.Rxc5+/=)

27.Nxa6 Ra8 28.Nc7 Bxc7 29.Rxc7 Rxa2 30.Nh5+/-

26.Nd6

Veselin Topalov

_r__r_k_
___b__p_
pb_N_p_p
_p______
___p_N__
______P_
PPR_PP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 26.Nd6

26.Nd6 Re5 27.Nc8 Ba5 28.Na7

A) 28...Ra8 29.Nc6 Bxc6 30.Rxc6 Bd2 31.Rc8+ Rxc8

(Or 31...Re8 32.Rxa8 Rxa8 33.Rc6 Bxf4 34.gxf4 White can play for a win)

32.Rxc8+ Kf7 33.Nd3 Rxe2 34.Rc2!

B) 28...Rbe8 29.Nc6 Bxc6 30.Rxc6 Bd2-/+

26...Re5

26...Re5 27.Nc8 Ba5 28.b4? Bxb4 29.Nd3 Ba3 30.Nxe5 fxe5-/+

27.Nc8

Veselin Topalov

_rN___k_
___b__p_
pb___p_p
_p__r___
___p_N__
______P_
PPR_PP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 27.Nc8

It's remarkable how little scope the bishops have and it's hard for Topalov to keep them both. The d4 pawn is still a long-term liability

27.Nc8 g5!? 28.Nxb6 Rxb6 29.Nd3 Re8 30.Nc5 Be6

27...Ba5

27...Ba5 28.Nd3 Re6 29.Na7 Ra8

28.Nd3

28.Nd3 Re6 29.b4 Bd8 30.Na7

28...Re8

28...Re8 29.Nd6 Re6 30.Nf5 Bb6 31.Kf1 Rbe8

29.Na7

Veselin Topalov

_r__r_k_
N__b__p_
p____p_p
bp______
___p____
___N__P_
PPR_PP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 29.Na7

29.Na7! I think a very deep idea. Anand is happy to lose e2 to leave Black with bad bishop and a d4 pawn that is also weak and chances to attack a6 29...Bb6 30.Nc6 Bxc6 31.Rxc6 Rxe2 32.Kf1 Ree8 33.Rd6 Red8 34.Rxd8+ Rxd8 35.Rc6 Rb8 36.Nf4 Kf7 37.Nd5

29...Bb6

Topalov declines but I think Anand is still slightly better but it's not that much

30.Nc6 Rb7 31.Ncb4 a5 32.Nd5 a4 33.Nxb6 Rxb6

Veselin Topalov

____r_k_
___b__p_
_r___p_p
_p______
p__p____
___N__P_
PPR_PP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 33.Rxb6

Topalov has played this well, Vishy would have liked to exchange the white squared bishop not the bad dark squared one

34.Nc5 Bf5 35.Rd2 Rc6 36.b4 axb3

Veselin Topalov

____r_k_
______p_
__r__p_p
_pN__b__
___p____
_p____P_
P__RPP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 36...axb3

Topalov 's a5-a4 not only got the pawn off a vulnerable square but inhibited b2-b4

37.axb3 b4!?

Veselin Topalov

____r_k_
______p_
__r__p_p
__N__b__
_p_p____
_P____P_
___RPP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 37...b4!?

Dynamic defence. Topalov does not want to allow b4 fixing b5 and he goes for activity

38.Rxd4 Rxe2 39.Rxb4 Bh3 40.Rbc4 Rd6

Veselin Topalov

______k_
______p_
___r_p_p
__N_____
__R_____
_P____Pb
____rP_P
__R___K_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 40...Rd6

Black has some compensation of course with very active pieces. For the first time in the match I feel Topalov has matched Anand in the middlegame

41. Re4 Rb2 42. Ree1 Rdd2 43. Ne4 Rd4 44. Nc5 Rdd2 45. Ne4 Rd3 46. Rb1 Rdxb3 47. Nd2 Rb4 48. f3 g5 49. Rxb2 Rxb2 50. Rd1 Kf7 51. Kf2 h5 52. Ke3 Rc2 53. Ra1 Kg6 54. Ra6 Bf5 55. Rd6 Rc3+ 56. Kf2 Rc2 57. Ke3 Rc3+ 58. Kf2 Rc2 1/2-1/2

Veselin Topalov

________
________
___R_pk_
_____bpp
________
_____PP_
__rN_K_P
________

Viswanathan Anand

Final Position after 58...Rc2. Draw.

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