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2005 FIDE WCh r11

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r11 pairings: Adams-Topalov 1/2, Anand-Kasimdzhanov 1-0, Svidler-Morozevich 1-0, Polgar-Leko 1/2. Been too busy to keep up around here. Topalov still cruising far about the atmosphere. He even eschewed a draw against Morozevich yesterday before missing a win. This is the second time he's drawn two pawns up. When talking to Kasparov about the games I suggested that perhaps Topalov was preparing for a Terry Chapman match. Polgar has flamed out entirely, failing even in the sharp positions she usually excels in.


Has Topalov slipped on a banana peel? I don't see anyway for Adams to make progress, but that means nothing....

With Svidler apparently about to beat Morozevich, tomorrow's Topalov - Svidler figures to be *the* climactic game of this tournament.

Friday's game, Svidler - Anand could be something big too.

What a brilliant game by Adams(-Topalov)! My favourite so far, and deserving of brilliancy price (if given here). And Topalov defended accurately.

sacateca? brilliancy price? didnt u see the polgar-kasim game? or the anand-adams game? :-)

Anand-Kasimdzhanov was an amazing massacre. Lots of fun!

"What a brilliant game by Adams(-Topalov)! My favourite so far, and deserving of brilliancy price (if given here). And Topalov defended accurately."

kramnik-fan, this is sacateca's definition of a good game:

a) if Topalov loses the game is good.
b) if Topalov wins the game is not good.

Adams-Topalov today was the closest Topalov came to losing, so it is sacateca's favorite game of the tournament.

Incidentally, sacateca was praising Morozevich's game yesterday (called Topalov lucky for not having lost) but analysis by Sergei Shipov showed that Topalov had a consistent advantage throghout the whole game, and probably even blew up a win.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Topalov actually draw Adams-Topalov quite comfortably?

Though materialistic chess engines liked Adam's position quite a bit in the exchange vs. pawn ending, Seirawan actually gave slight preference to Black's position.

Additionally, the facts that Topalov willingly gave up the exchange instead of entering the forced draw starting with ...gxh5 and that Adams sacced back the exchange to get a perpetual seem to me to support the idea that if anybody was pushing to win, it was actually Topalov.

Everyone reading Nigel's commentary on ChessBase? Great stuff...

Well, that's why the brilliancy price...because Topalov found all the best moves in defense, but Adams never put himself in risk and had a very powerful attack. i said before, that a draw is a natural result of a brilliant game.
As for Kasim-Anand, it was a great game, but Anand made a number of inferior moves. And Topalov-Morozevich game? GM Shipov may have proved in post-game analysis that Topalov was not in danger, but it certainly didn't look like that on the board. Whoever was on top, it was still a very high quality game in which both players unfortunately made one or two mistakes.
What it comes to Topalov losing or winning being decisive if i think a game is good, the fact still remains that Topalov has won very few brilliant games and that might be reflected in my opinions. Which does not mean i don't appreciate his chess, it's just not my favourite type.
But what can i say? Excuse me, if you don't agree with me.

Even at his best, many of Kasparov's wins exploited blunders by his adversaries. In Linares 99 he was worse in both games against Adams but managed to turn the tables. Anand missed a trivial chance to draw in his White game against Kaspa in that same tournament. And what to say of all of Shirov's gifts to Garry in various tournaments over the years? Another example: the mistakes in San Luis pale to some of the ones in Fischer-Spassky 1972.

Another point to mention: as chess engines get better, it becomes easier to find the best move in any position. No wonder Kasparov's Predecessor series - which includes novel computer analysis of old games - has shown that many old-time brilliancies concealed gross mistakes (an example that comes to mind is the Pillsbury-Lasker classic).

Since no human can play perfect chess and engines are ever-so-better at finding the perfect move, it is all the easier for amateurs to claim that the GMs in San Luis are playing poor chess. This is even more so for players like Topalov, who consistently play wild tactical chess where computers are provably superior. Thus, according to these amateurs, the only correct human play is Kramnik-style positional maneuvering when computers can't predict the best move.

Last but not least, I have a hard time giving credibility to amateurs who claim that Tal's play in 1960 was superior to Topalov's play today. I wanna see *one* GM who will say the same thing.


You probably need to study some more GM games if you think explosive and sacriicial chess is the best form of chess. It's a supericial thought.

Murali: i don't know about better, i know it's more poetic, which to me is a worthwhile quality on its own.

Mehul: i've gone through literally hundreds (all Kasparov's MGP books so far), and appreciate Botvinnik even more than, for example, Tal. i just don't agree Adams' game was superficial, he presented a lot of practical problems for Topalov.
As for Yasser saying he preferred black, that was, more, i think a decision based on principles than concrete calculation. In the end, black had nothing in the position, if he had, Topalov certainly would've found it. He had to play the Qf2 to force Adams to go for repetition...and even then, it would've been possible Adams would have had a tactical chance, many places to give checks left, but unfortunately that was not to be. Which is natural when your opponent's pieces are optimally placed.

So, Svidler must now win with black. Statistics, of course, are just another form of lying, but a food for thought nevertheless:

- In this tournament so far, black won 7 games out of 44, that's 14%. Not a bad harvest, considering that white hardly ever loses on this level of chess. So Svidler's odds are pretty good, no?
- Well, at closer examination, over half of the black wins were achieved by Topalov! The rest of the field actually won with black only 3 times in 38 games, 8%.

Not saying of course that Svidler can't win, just that statistics are against him.

Will Topa make it?
A couple of times I have mentioned the threat of an attack by the title-fiever (like the well known GM-fiever).
What is Mig's analysis/forecast?
Should be nice to hear :)
If Svidler wins tonight...maybe also Anand,
Topa can be catched on the Finish line. Like a runaway cyclist leading the race alone for 164 kms and fighting till the taste of blood to win the the race. He can hear the pack coming and his moral collapses...

Another interesting statistic: Playing Jeff Sonas for a few minutes, I have concluded that Anand's chances to win the WC are actually higher than those of Svidler - and that's in spite of trailing the latter by 1/2-point!

Why, you ask? Well, because a draw in Topa-Svidler game is the most likely result, and it puts Svidler completely out of the running - but not Anand! He will only trail by 1 point if he wins in Rd 12, and have better tiebreaks than Topalov.

Sorry, he will trail by 1.5 points, and be equal with Svidler. Still, having the better tiebreaks gives him a better chance than Svidler.

Lets say Topa loses today.
Then he must produce 50% in the 2 nxt games to be sure to become the new Champion of the World.
But a melt down of the brain is not excluded, that close to 240 000 USD.
Maybe in the hotelbed he is thinking about what he can buy in Bulgaria for that amount.
Not to talk about all the spin off incomes raining on a real title holder.

Uhm, actually if Topa loses today, he will only lead by 0.5 over Svidler, with better tiebreaks, and 1.0 over Anand (assuming Anand wins), with worse tiebreaks.

Under these circumstances, he needs 1.5/2 to guarantee the title. 50% still may not cut it.

If he draws, he'll need 1.0/2, assuming Anand keeps winning all the way. And if he wins, he'll need only 0.5/2 to keep Anand at bay - even if the latter wins everything.

Finally, if Topalov wins today and Anand doesn't, the title can be decided with 2 rounds to spare.

Interesting, Alex.

Moro has played 1.Nc3 against Polgar - you've gotta love the guy :)

SonOfPearl, how are the games going?

I can't even get updates from TWIC at the moment. Damnit, doesn't Mark C. know that a lot of us are depending on him? And he goes and plays a game of CHESS?! The nerve!

Topalov-Svidler drawn in 21. Peter is out of the title race. Tomorrow, no doubt, Topalov will not lose with white against Polgar.

Anand must win all games now to give himself any chance. Of course if Topalov beats Polgar, or draws with both Polgar and Kasim, he's the champion regardless of how the others do. And if Anand doesn't beat Leko today, we will no doubt see tomorrow 1.e4 DRAW in Topalov-Polgar. Oh well, Toppy haven't been playing particularly exciting chess in the 2nd leg, but he deserves to be above the field still.

Thanks for the update, Alex.

Actually, I think Topalov slowed down at the end of the first half. He played the Berlin Defense in round six, when he was only at plus four. He just took advantage of Judit's mistake. He hasn't seemed to be scared of complications or a fight since round five, but he hasn't been looking for them that hard either. Not that I blame him, and it's still been a pretty fun tournament to follow.

So what's the next big event on the calendar? Anything between now and WAN? Is Tops going to take a victory lap around the chess world?

Actually in the white game against Kasim he was looking for complications (Rh1 when he could have just exchanged rooks on the a-file). Also the white game against Moro, he avoided exchanges on d4 with immediate draw and played for a win - which almost paid off. But yeah, I agree that he did take a somewhat more opportunistic approach ever since his win over Svidler in r5. That was probably his last do-or-die effort, from there he just went with the flow.

Answer to:

"So what's the next big event on the calendar?" (Icepick)

Well, you've got the 2nd Samba Cup i Skanderborg, Denmark starting Friday. With this interesting lineup, you could almost ;-) call it an alternative World Championship:

Ivanchuk - the highest rated player not invited to San Luis
Nisipeanu - reigning European Champion
Bruzon - reigning Pan-American Champion
Carlsen - possible future World Champion
-and many others... (Peter Heine was supposed to play too, but he's in Argentina - I hope he finds the time to visit Larsen while he's there)

Anand has an interesting next couple of rounds, playing White against Morozevich and then Black against Svidler. I'm actually most interested at this point, to find out how Morozevich fares next to Leko and Kasimjanov.

Will Topa have fear of the no. 13?
At least the round is on a Tursday, not a Friday:)
Kasim will go for a revenge after his loss in the first half against Topa. He has nothing to lose and will take the chances necessary.
To create a real upset inches before the Finish line. Topalov plays with nerves outside his shirt.

R. Kasimdzhanov - 1:0 Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams - 0-1 Peter Leko
Vishy Anand - 1-0 A. Morozevich
Judit Polgar - 0-1 Peter Svidler

Veselin Topalov - 0,5:0,5 Judit Polgar
(Judit has had enough. A quick draw)
Peter Svidler - 0,5:0,5 Vishy Anand
(Nobody wants to lose money, but they will give everything they have got to cath up with the running away train! Perhaps 5 years till next title chance..)
A. Morozevich - 0,5:0,5 Michael Adams
(We are tired now)
Peter Leko - 0,5:0,5 R. Kasimdzhanov
( Lets finish off this)

And Topa wins the title half a point ahead of the pack. Just half a point. The difference between heaven and hell.

Thanks, Bondegnasker. Didn't Nisipeanu finish in the Semifinalss of one of FIDE's knockout tournaments?

You're welcome! Yes, I think Nisipeanu was one those surprising semifinalists that Kasparov characterized as 'tourists'. By the way, here's the url: www.skanderborgskakklub.dk/gm2005 - click on the British flag if you want the site in English :)

And they're still fighting for place.

The way the seeding for the 2007 WC cycle is set up, finishing 2nd in San Luis is better than finishing 3rd--and finishing 4th is MUCH better than finishing 5th.

The World Cup (knockout) will still be one route to the candidates. So will the Last Chance Super Tournament (which invites some players by rating). But once you get to the classical time control part of the 2007 cycle, it goes like this:

Places 3 and 4 from San Luis will be invited to the 10 player Candidates matches.

The 5 winners will join #2 from San Luis for the Quarter Finals.

Those 3 winners will join #1 from San Luis for the Semi Finals.

And those 2 winners will play in the Finals for the 2007 title.

It's a nice format for fans, because it means there are reasons to fight even in mid field.


Fighting for place in the upcoming World Champioship cycle, I'm sure, is very important to the players, but there's also an advantage in prize money. Someone, somewhere else on this blog, gave a rundown of the prize fund for all the finishes. Could that someone, or someone else, please refresh my memory? Thanks in advance.

voss, the following was posted by Giannis in the "Topalov: 'No Fischer'" comments:

The prize fund in San Luis goes like this:

1st 300,000
2nd 200,000
3rd 140,000
4th 100,000
5th 80,000
6th 70,000
7th 60,000
8th 50,000

20% from the above is deducted and kept by FIDE.

Posted by Giannis at October 7, 2005 09:14 AM

bondegnasker, thanks for the link. I'll check it out when I get home tonight.

And thinking about the prize fund, I wonder if the $40,000 will be any kind of salve on the wounds for Polgar.

Wait a minute, are the prizes in dollars, Euros, Swiss francs? I'll try to find out how the payouts are denominated.....

bondegnasker, I'm pretty sure that Nisipeanu and Vladimir Akopian were 'tourists' in 1999, Las Vegas. That was the year Khalifman won.

(Yeah, work is dull today. So sue me.)

The San Luis prize fund is in USD.

Thanks, Icepick.

My nonplaying co-worker, who patiently listens to my chess rants and raves, was actually impressed by the prize fund for this tournament. Them's some real money!

Thanks Giannis for clearing that up. I thought I had read USD somewhere, but I couldn't find it. And yes, this prize fund represents some nice scratch!

All they had to do is sit around and play chess for a couple of weeks. Sweeeet! ;-)

Masterful job by Jeff Sonas. Love his analyses. Great stuff, Jeff!!!!

Kazim-Topa: 2 mins on Kazin's clock and producing stunning moves. Fantastic game

Ohh... 39. Rb8, Topa saves the game. maybe wins

Topa ... amazing nerves. How does he do it ... again ... and again

With all other games drawn and the consensus on Topalov's game is that it is either won or drawn, we are ready to declare him the new FIDE world champion.

It's official. Draw. Topalov is sole winner.

Viva Topalov! New FIDE World Champion!

Congratulations to Topalov!

FIDE World Champion and most likely the best player in the world at the moment.

Thanks for the updates, pd and Jeremy.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 10, 2005 2:32 PM.

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