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Mtel 2005 r8

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All three games finished drawn. Topalov is a man on fire, unbelievable. His exchange sac against Polgar was sensational, but she held on and forced him to force her to force a draw. Something like that. Ponomariov and Kramnik had mild pressure on Anand and Adams, respectively, but both were drawn without acrobatics. Ponomariov looked like he had the better chances.

Many of the notes on the nice official site are badly translated and occasionally incomprehensible. "I wouldn`t say I am a favorite. I came just to play my game. But since I was not involved in the World Championship in Argentina, the system of completion is not that good." That from Ponomariov. I'm not sure if this refers to his cancelled match against Kasparov and his poor subsequent results, or is about not being able to play in San Luis. I assume the latter.

This one from Kramnik yesterday, oddly timed after his disaster against Anand, is clear enough: "This tournament is so strong and the games so exciting that it could also be named "World Championship." I think I get his point, and I certainly agree about the Sofia games, but hasn't anyone shown him the Brissago games?! If he had played such exciting chess in Brissago it would have been a world championship for the ages. Of course Leko would also be champion...


Dear Mig, you are not exact, - Topalov was completely outplayed by Judit and has lost position at the end ! Only thing prevented this, was time trouble near second time control, - Polgar didn't find simple 59...Rf2 (with the idea Rf8)...

yep, Topalov sets fire to the board all right, and most times to the opponent as well. Gotta wear asbestos britches to play him. Another incredibly complex game. Got a headache trying to understand the moves. Polgar is great too, I'm really starting to think she's as good as anybody in the bunch now.

Completely outplayed? Crazy. Yes, Polgar neutralized the sacrifice eventually and played well, but Topalov was where he wanted to be for most of the game. Black was on the defensive and had to play very precisely not to lose.

Simple? Missing ..Bg8+ and a long perpetual? Simple for your Fritz maybe. And the position is still very difficult even after the best 59...Rf2. Post analysis proving the win instead of looking at an eval. Black is definitely for choice at that point, but simple it is not.

I just want to point out that Topalov-Polgar was a very exciting game and I think Polgar missed a win somewhere. Of course I still don't understand most of the moves, but when I saw Bg8+ I was sure Vesselin had found a very nice way to escape. Congratulations to both players and to Mig for his dedication an love for chess.

Crazy? :) Topalov, yes, pushed (he has white), but Polgar taked initiative after 45...Na6,- eventualy all black pieces joined to atack. What do you will play after 59...Rf2,- 60.Bg8+? Then 60... Kxg8 61.Ra8+ Rf8 and where perpetual? But Polgar was in time trouble :-( .I like Topalov, but true is true.

I don't think 45 moves of initiative is being outplayed!

No, the perpetual isn't there immediately after 59..Rf2, but that doesn't mean it's an easy win for Black. You still need to show a winning plan after even simple moves like Bc4, Ra6, or even b5. Playing b5 brings the threat of Bg8+ back with perpetual, by the way. Amazingly, it controls the a6 square so there is no mate in one when the black rook is on d6. So White has time for h7. Incredibly difficult stuff.

The threat of perpetual is always there against the open black king and the bishop is dangerous. Play that position out against your computer, you taking black, and see if you can win one. I'd consider myself very lucky to score 50% against Fritz with black in that position. It's very complex.

Sure, Polgar and Topalov aren't Fritz, but that makes perpetuals all the more likely, as we saw in the game.

So how about this for a scenario

Round 9
Veselin Topalov 0.5-0.5 Ruslan Ponomariov
Judit Polgar 0.5-0.5 Vladimir Kramnik
Michael Adams 0.5-0.5 Viswanathan Anand

Round 10
Ruslan Ponomariov 0-1 Michael Adams
Viswanathan Anand 0.5-0.5 Judit Polgar
Vladimir Kramnik 1-0 Veselin Topalov

Leaving everyone on 5 points. Despite the fact that the tournament outlawed the draw, the entire tournament would be a draw!! What a peach.

Kramnik compared Sofia and San Luis, implying that nowadays you could call any double round robin involving the top players a "world championship." The blogmaster has voiced similar sentiments. Is it fair, however, to compare for excitement value Sofia, a tournament, with Brissago, a 14-game match? Tournaments are often filled with exciting chess. WC matches, on the other hand, from Capablanca-Alekhine, through Karpov-Kasparov, to Kasparov-Kramnik, to Kramnik-Leko, typically feature a handful of exciting games among many less eventful.

Chessplayers have criticized both Kasparov-Kramnik and Kramnik-Leko for their lack of excitement. When reporting on site in London 2000, however, the blogmaster managed to convey the excitement of that event. Perhaps if he'd undertaken a similar assignment in 2004 he'd have found more to interest him in the Brissago match.

The blogmaster suggests that "[i]f [Kramnik] had played such exciting chess in Brissago it would have been a world championship for the ages. Of course Leko would also be champion..." Perhaps Kramnik will now abandon his recent attacking performances in favor of the "plus-two" style through which he has so often prevailed, taking to heart the blogmaster's well-intentioned counsel.


What did you think of Kramnik's effort in the last few games of Brissago? I thought that in those as well as a couple of the earlier matches he showed some pretty good matches. Granted, there were only four wins in Brissago. But there were also not as many blunders as there have been in San Luis.

I agree with mig on the 59. ..Rf2! move for Polgar. It appears as though it's better for Black, but White can sac the Bishop and still get a perpetual. As mig says, its not that easy to play after 6 hours of marathon Chess.

I haven't analyzed the ines yet, but it seems like a long drawn out draw even after 59. ..Rf2...

Here's one variation tha draws for White after 59. ..Rf2!:

59...Rf2 60.Bg8+ Kxg8 61.Ra8+ Rf8 62.Rxf8+ Kxf8 63.Qf6+ Ke8 64.Qc6+ Kf7 65.Qd5+ Kf6 66.Qd4+ Kf5 67.Qd5+ Re5 68.Qf3+ Ke6 69.h7 Qc1+ 70.Ka4 Rh5 71.Qe4+ Kf7 72.h8N+ Rxh8 73.Qd5 ==

Bg8+ is the key move!!

Your line saguni after 67.Qd5+ Re5 makes no sense. Re5??, is an illegal move for one thing in that position. And I doubt you meant Re6 because you then next have the king go to e6.

Ignore my above comment. In my head I skipped from 64 to 66. :/

K, I found the hole, for real this time. :)

On move 69, ...Qa1+ prevents the perpetual.
ie 69.h7 Qa1+ 70.Kb3 Rh5 71.Qe4+ Qe5.
After that there is positively no perpetual and white is just lost.

How come nobody wants to play Sicillian Sveshnikov all of a sudden...ok so Leko is not here...but Kramnik plays it...even Kaspy had started playing it....any ideas ?

"When reporting on site in London 2000, however, the blogmaster .."

-What?! Mig witnessed how Bad Boy Kramnik dethroned his Beloved Kasparov??

That explains nearly everything.

PS Apologies for not knowing it..

We need an analysis of Topalov's performance rating before and after the goatee.

Someone please call the fire marshalls. Topalav has set another fire in Sofia - this time on Pono's board. Its unbelievable that Pono was lost as soon as he played 15. ...f5 which looks like a normal move.

Topalov is filling Kasparov's huge shoes in style. Maybe, as Mig alluded to, he was the highest bidder was Garry's laptop :-)

omigod! Vesselin "Asbestos Britches" Topalov did it again in R9! I'm officially switching my allegiance from Moro to Topy. This man rocks.

Big deal this game. Pono played like an amateur and was punished like any top-20 player would have punished him. The value it has is instructional I guess.

I sure hope acirce has a GM title to back up his comment. Amazing game with rook+knight sacrifice for a mating attack, nice pun in the end, Be4+ - ouch.

I think we will have result in Polgar-Kramnik too.I am rooting for Polgar.

I might be over optimistic.

2 years ago Anand lost to Sasi in FIDE World Cup held in Hyderabad, India. Sasi buried Anand's bishop in a corner and squeezed him to death.

Anand seems to be doing the same to Adams - burying his bishop on h3. But I'm not sure if this will bite, since Anand is Black again and Sasi was also pushing his isoltaed d-pawn in that game.

The patzer in me tells that Anand should have followed through with a h4 after the h5 push.

what is happening with Adams-Anand?

As far as I can see, Adams is just losing - I guess he must have miscalculated.

As suspected, Anand managed to win Adams' bishop for 2 pawns. Now Anand has a majestic Bishop (overworked though!) guarding two of Anand's isolated pawns on 2 flanks and blocking the White passer on d6.

Whether this is enough to win or not, we have to wait and see. The Queens are still on the board - so a draw is still feasible...

come on acirce Pono is not an amateur
great home preparation from Veselin indeed

I didn't say he was.

Anand is definitely winning now.

Great win by Anand.Does this win make his No.2 ranking(behind Kasparov) safe?.
The real supremacy war NOW is between Anand-Topolov and Leko.I wish Kramnik to recover qucikly and beat Topolov tomorrow to be contention.

Pavani, you are jumping to conclusions based on a few games. Most people were critical of Topalov at the mid-way stage after he lost to Pono and now they are hailing him as the greatest only after a few games.

In all, it has been a great tournament and the best in recent times. Those who are only comparing based on the draw percentage don't seem to understand chess.


Topalov could easily have lost to Polgar and he *was* lost against Adams (although not easy to find). Things could very well have been looking quite different. And it's true that he didn't impress much at all the first half of the tournament.

Besides it's hard to give this tournament so much significance. I view it more as a fun (?) experiment.

I don't agree, kapalik.Topolov ascendency started from WAZ(though he was behind Anand and Leko), peaked at Linares and so far maintaining at Sofia.His risky play may boomerang eventually as I believe he is less solid but more tactical.Till that happen we need to concede, he is the real man in town.Don't foget he is +12-4 vs Anand's +8-3 in three super tournaments so far this year.I too was under the impression he expensed his luck at Linares.Thats seems not true.He may loose to Kramnik tomorrow and Anand may wrap up the tourny beating Polgar.Still Topolov's play so far talks loud about his home prep than luck or something like that.
Anand vs Topolov match should be very exciting and worthy of a WC title as of today.

Acirce- viewing a top class tournament with slow controls as a "fun experiment" seems bizzare especially since if I am not mistaken u were one of the people claiming these rules wouldn have much effect anyway since draws arose only because of the high level of chess.It seems that the number of desicive games,or perhaps the nature of the results prompt this view anyway I think these rules are pretty good.
I dont think its at all clear that most top 20 players would find Topalovs attack,I personally am sure that Kramnik or Bareev for example would never have pkayed that.Is it that you think tactical brilliancies are very easy at that level?

I certainly dont find it hard attaching significance,this is the strongest tourney in a long time and I dont think laws forcing players to play chess detract from the significance.

You don't think Kramnik would have played this attack given the chance? Get real. There was, given the elite level, nothing extraordinary at all about this. People just tend to get all wild just because they see some "daring sac". Topalov just played normal moves, maybe except 20.Bf4, but there was already more than one clear way to win by then.

I was certainly claiming that I suspected that the rules would make the players unnecessarily tired which would get consequences. We have seen more bad chess than we would have in a tournament with sensible rules.

Stop this bs about bad chess cause the players are tired and so on. Now when the players for once have started playing chess instead of some friendly handshake after a few moves that belongs on the cafe, I canīt understand the criticism. Personally I consider this to be the real tournament of the year and hopefully the drawoffer will be forbidden in all tournaments in the future. Its the same for every player and chess is a tiring game.

Johan, if you have to make such silly exaggerations to make your point, it makes it seem more like you don't have one. Yes, in every tournament there are a few quick not-out-of-theory draws. The vast majority isn't. Big deal.

I wouldn't go as far as calling it bad chess. It has blunders, then again Kramnik also lost to a blunder in Linares (or was that Corus?) to Topalov.

This can be improved by adding more rest days and ensuring that whites and blacks are evenly spaced for players so that they don't tire too much in one segment of the match.

All in all, its a good tournament. I hope Kramnik's health gets better soon. I think his drop is nothing to be worried about. In a way, its bad luck that Leko and Topo have gained strength during his bad streak. Anand also lost some 40 points between 2000 and 2002, but didn't drop below #3 in rankings. Now he is inching towards his old peak (2797?).

I have no doubt that a younger Kramnik will also be able to pull it off soon.

Kramnik said after the games that he wants to learn to reach such positions after the opening just like Topalov did today:) He said this with a smile of course. He said also that for the professionals it was clear that position after 12th move was won for white (in Topa-Pono game)
Pono to the question how he evaluates the play of his opponent answered that 'there was no much to evaluate' - with suggestion that all was decided in the opening and the home preparation
just my POV

Ok forgive me if i was using to strong languish for telling my opinion. But Iīm not really good at english and I hope you donīt take offense acirce because it was not my meaning to insult you. I just wanted to tell my opinion about the drawoffers in a direct way.

Saguni - more rest days is a must, I believe.

centerman - No problem, I didn't consider it offensive, just an exaggeration.

In any case, it should be an interesting final round. Lots of possibilities. Topalov may opt for a draw and Kramnik, given his form, may not try too hard. In which case, Anand has to beat Polgar with white. Another nice thing is that there won't be any short draws as it happens in the last round of most supertournaments.

Any idea, what the tie-break rules are?

saguni and acirce:
One game per day is good enough. This is not a WC match please. More rest days does not guarantee any better chess than this. Given more rest days you think Kramnik would have done well? What kind of great players are these if they cannot play one game per day?

Maybe future organizers can get a best of both worlds. Something like the "MTel Draw Rules" will only go into effect in the last 3 rounds ?

Ofcourse knowing these um proffessionals, they will conserve energy in the early rounds by opting for more draws !! Then again I could be wrong.


Playing high level chess is mentally draining. Even kasparov had a rest day after each round when he played Deep Junior and he still managed only a draw.

I don't pretend to imagine the level of mental energy expended during these games. So, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt...

Saguni, that is specially important against a computer, because if you want a battle in more or less equal times, as the computer doesn't get tired, you should give the human player time to recover. But in a human tournament, all players are under the same rules.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 20, 2005 2:08 PM.

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