2014

Veselin Topalov holds Shakhriyar Mamedyarov to a draw

Topalov and MamedyarovVeselin Topalov defended with Slav against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov who already on the 4th move employed the rare 4.Nbd2.

Topalov proceeded to develop in Gruenfeld-like fashion and quickly struck in the center with c6-c5. The queens went off as early as on move 9, but the game nevertheless remained very interesting.

Black established the knight on a strong outpost on e4 and opened the a-file for the rooks. At the same time white was looking for a chance to invade the 7th rank and attack the opponent’s exposed king.

Mamedyarov admitted that he didn’t get anything from the opening, but after maneuvering the knight to d3 he thought he got some chances. Near the end of the game he thought that he was on the brink of winning, but he just couldn’t finish black off, as there always was some only move that saves the day for Topalov.

In the end the Azeri was forced to drop the ambitions and take a draw with perpetual check.

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