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Van Wely – Topalov LIVE!

Corus 2008 live commentary with GM Dimitrov

Corus 2008 commented games

Round 1: Mamedyarov Carlsen / Aronian – Topalov / Spoelman – Cheparinov / Peng – Caruana

Round 2: Topalov – Ivanchuk / Kramnik – Radjabov / Cheparinov – Movsesian

Round 3: Adams – Carlsen / Polgar – Topalov / Smeets – Cheparinov

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PGN Van Wely Topalov

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{Today’s game between van Wely and the ex-World champion Topalov is quite interesting from psychological point of view. Veselin spoiled completely winning position in the 1st round and eventually lost. That surely affected his play as he has not won a game yet. Yesterday Loek missed an easy win in the endgame. Would they overcome those disappointments and make us happy with another spectacular encounter, as usually happens in their games?}

1.d4 e6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 exd5 4.cxd5 d6 5.e4 g6
{Topalov chose an unusual move order to get to Modern Benoni structure against his well versed opponent, evading this way some nasty lines.}
6.Nf3 Bg7 7.Bd3
{A tricky move. White aims to castle as quickly as possible. If 7.Nc3 then after 7…a6 8.a4 Bg4 Black is OK.}
7…a6 8.h3 { preventing Bc8-g4 } Ne7 9.O-O h6 10.Re1 {White’s plan is simple – a4,Nbd2,Ra3 and prepare the e4-e5 breakthrough. Topalov is a known expert in such positions, so it is intriguing how would he counter.} 10…O-O 11.a4 g5 12.Nbd2 Nd7 13.Nc4 Nf6 {The standard reaction would be 13…Nb6 with slightly inferior position for Black. Topalov shows completely different approach – instead of attempting to trade a couple of Knights, he presses the ‘d5’ pawn. to secure the center. As this leaves the queen-side somewhat vulnerable, 14.Bd2 followed by b2-b4 seems logical.} 14. Bd2 Rb8 15.Bc3 {threatening 16.Nxd6 } g4 {Black is in fact forced to play this move. Now comes the time for a thematic 16.e5.} 16.hxg4 {van Wely prefers not to enter complications, even if favorable, against Topalov and goes on with the central strategy.}16… Bg4 17.e5 dxe5 18.Bxe5 Nexd5 19.Bxb8 Qxb8 20.Nce5 {Topalov finally got some space for his pieces but at the cost of an exchange.}20…Be6 21.Qb3 Ne3 {As White was intending to play Bc4 and to get a technically winning position after the ensuing simplifications, Topalov starts complications. However, variations such as 22.Qc3 Nfd5 23.Qxc5 Nxg2 24.Kxg2 Nf4+ 25.Kf1 f6 26.Bc4 still favor van Wely.} 22.Qb6 Ned5 23.Qxc5 Rc8 24.Qd4 Ng4 25.Rad1 b5 26.axb5 axb5 27.Qe4 Ndf6 28.Qe2 {Topalov is trying at his best to complicate things but up to now with good central moves van Wely increases his advantage.} 28…Qb6 29.Bb1 h5 30.Rd2 (30.Nd4)Re8 31.Qd3 Bh6 32.Qd4 Qb8 33.Rdd1 Bg7 34.Qd2 Qb6 35.Qd4 Qb8 36.Qd2 Qb6 37.Nxg4 hxg4 38.Qd4 Qb8 39.Ng5 Bb3 40.Rc1 Rd8 {The time trouble is over. White kept his advantage but still experiences technical difficulties.} 41.Qe3 Bd5 42.Rcd1 Re8 43.Qd3 Rxe1+ 44.Rxe1 Bc4 45.Qe3 Bh6 46.Qe5 {Topalov was constantly finding ways to create problems for his opponent but after the Queens are traded White’s win is question of endgame technique only.} 46…Qxe5 47.Rxe5 g3 48.fxg3 Ng4 49.Rc5 Kg7 50.Be4 Nf6 51.Kh1 Nd7 52.Rf5 Nf6 53.Bc2 Ng4 54.b3 Ne3 55.Rc5 Be2 56.Nf3 Nf1 57.Nd4 Nxg3+ 58.Kh2 Bf4 59.Nxe2 Nxe2+ 60.Kh3 Nd4 {After depriving Black of his Bishop pair, van Wely has easily winning ending. It is curios that even exchanging all the pawns he would still be winning.} 61.Kg4 Bd2 62.Rd5 {White has to get with his King to e4. In order to do so the coordination of the Black minor pieces should be disrupted.} 62…Be3 63.Be4 Kf6 64.Rh5 Bd2 65.Rd5 Be3 66.Bf5 b4 67.Bd3 Kg7 68.Rd7 Kf8 69.Be4 {Black has it difficult to parry the threats to the light squares.} Ke8 70.Rb7 Bd2 71.Bd5 f6 72.Kh5 Nf5 73.g4 Ne7 74.Be6 Kf8 75.Rb8+ Kg7 76.Re8 Nc6 77.Rg8+ Kh7 78.Rc8 Ne5 79.Rc7+ Kh8 80.Rb7 Be1 81.g5 {and there is no defense against Kh6 followed by Rb8 mate. In this game van Wely got opening advantage and methodically,step by step ana taking no risks, converted it into a win despite the stubborn resistance of his opponent.}

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