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2005 FIDE WCh r6

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r6 pairings/results: Polgar-Topalov 0-1, Anand-Svidler 1/2, Adams-Morozevich 1/2, Kasimdzhanov-Leko 1/2. Links to other coverage. After beating his closest rival in round five Topalov is now a preposterous 1.5 points ahead of the field. The other standings are irrelevant and will be until Topalov loses a game. +4 wins this tournament. Only Anand has what it takes to catch up, and that will require some help. Clarin called him the topadora, which means steamroller. Yup.

The same report (with pic of Topy) also makes mention of Topalov signing autographs for three girls near the lake. Maybe they heard about the $300K prize fund? Or maybe it's the goatee. (One of my favorite Spanish expressions is the name for Topalov's type of facial hair: candado, or "padlock." Describes it perfectly.)

What more can be said about Veselin Topalov? As with a few greats of the past, the Bulgarian's powerful chess is amplified in strength as his opponents crumble under his relentless pressure. Against Svidler he unleashed a piece sacrifice novelty of the sort we are becoming used to with him (see his games at the Mtel Masters). Svidler managed to survive into an endgame with two bad pieces for a rook and two pawns. Black was pressing hard when Svidler stepped into a fatal pin in time trouble, lost a key pawn for nothing, and soon resigned. Hardly hari-kiri after such expert swordsmanship by Topalov.

Morozevich worked some of his voodoo to recover from a terrible position and equalize against Polgar. (31.Ng5 looks very annoying, controlling e4 to stop Black from blocking the file with his bishop.) Is there anything a bishop pair can't do? Anand dented Leko's Sveshnikov shield and ran his b-pawn for a solid plus, but had no chance of winning the exchange-up endgame with all the pawns on one side.

Adams-Kasimdzhanov was a meandering line of the Sveshnikov. It shows what happens with both sides get everything they want and then can't do anything with it. Nice knight on d5. So? Nice ..f5 break. And? White's Bb3 and Nc3 just sit there waiting for exchanges that never come. If Adams plays on with 27.Qh3, Black shouldn't be worse with the open g-file and central phalanx.


"Is there anything a bishop pair can't do?"
Apparently, they can't beat (or draw against) Topalov. Ask Svidler. ;-)

If the last FIDE Knockout World Championship had been measured in terms of points, as this tournament is being measured, Topalov would have been the winner hands down, as I recall...

TWIC is reporting that Anand-Svidler was drawn. Does anyone have any more recent updates? I'm stuck at work, dangit....

All the other games are still going. Topalov is winning against Polgar with black. Scary. Sneaky guy played the Berlin! Show off.

Topalov is going to win all his games with Black! Unreal! Note that he has four Whites in the second half of the tournament, so expect him to slow down. He's only scoring 75% with White, LOL.

Oh, and thanks, Mig.

It looks like Topalov is going to win again and everybody else has either drawn or are going to draw. It's looking like the real drama is going to be who comes in second.

Yep, Judith resigns..

The real drama for me is whether Topalov can continue winning such a huge percentage of his games.

He does not play chess, itīs maybe voodoo. If he win miniatures with white, my hypothesis will be confirmed.

Planet Topalov

I'm going to grow me a goatee, I am.

Could anyone tell what the general plan for Topa would have been had it not been for Judit's ill-fated g4 pawn advance?

Topalov only winner for second day. All other games drawn.

this is awesome

Voodoo. I like that. Is the era of voodoo chess that Topalov is ushering in?

Maybe Toplaov will win by a landslide and then fail the drug test at the end, so FIDE will give the title to the runner-up who scores +1 or so.

well if he is taking a drug we all will want to know what it is and take it ourself. LOL.

well there is still one player he has not faced yet in this first half. he must be shaking in his boots.

I would be.

Kramnik was last seen ducking out and disappearing into the night never to return.

Howard Staunton refused to play Morphy.

Kramnik will refuse to play Topalov. HaHa I wonder why.

Well the world champ is dead. Long Live the World Champ.

Garry Kasparov had a succinct explanation for Topalov's success: "He is playing chess."

--- This is actually the biggest compliment Kasparov gives to chessplayers he respects, so it means everything that he said this. It's definitely a stamp of approval. Gracious and fair.

I suppose that GK is really bestowing the supreme accolade on Veselin. He is "playing chess", and that is what GK used to do.

It's pretty obvious Topalov has this tournament sewn up. The only question, for me, is whether he'll rest on his laurels and cruise to easy victory, or keep going in full Terminator mode.

With most players, I'd wager on the former. With Topalov, I'm daring to hope for the latter.

Between you and me and the rest of us: I don't think Topalov is capable of resting on his laurels. That's just not the kind of player he is.

It's a bit amusing: even if he beats Kasimdzhanov in Round 7, his Tournament Performance rating will probably fall from its current level of 3142.

One can only hope that he continues to play for the maximal result. Right now, it makes sense, since Anand is still a threat, and will have White in their 2nd game. If Anand beats Topalov, and manages to score 3 more wins than Topa in the final 8 games, he could put the pressure on. I think that Topalov has great respect for Anand, and knows that Vishy could put together a major winning streak, especially since he'll have 4 Whites for the 2nd leg.

Obviously, Topalov will have an excellent result, even if he draws the rest of his games. However, if he can get a massive result, he'll have achieved a feat of historic significance.

He has real chances of obtaining the best Tournament Performance Rating ever, surplanting the mark set by Karpov when he scored +9 =4 for 11/13 at Linares in 1994. Linares 1994 was Category 18, with an average rating of 2684. that earned a TPR of about 3000 (2985) However, the size of the field was larger, so some of the players were not as uniformly high ranked. [Karpov beat players such as Beliavsky, Illescas-Cordoba, Bareev, and Lautier].

Topalov does have some practical incentive for scoring a huge win, in that it increases both his marketability and exposure, and confers a greater legitimacy on his title, which affords him greater leverage, either in negotiating a unification match with Kramnik, or in his dealings with FIDE.

Addendum to Doug's comment: Among the players losing to Karpov at Linares 1994 was a young Topalov.


If Topalov continues as he has started, and wins the tournament in such a convincing way: Who cares about a reunification match with Kramnik?? Topalov's title will in my have a lot more weight than Kramniks. He's got the results from other tournaments this year to back up the claim for being the real world champion (the strongest player in the world). Kramnik's results from the last few years are not exactly convincing.

Susan Polgar said on Fred Wilson's Chessfm show tonight that, according to her sister, Judit, Michael Adams is the only player in San Luis without a second.

If this is true, I don't think it says much for Mickey and it might help to explain his current place in the standings.

I think that Topalov will probably want to ensure that he hits 2800+, so he may just lay back cautiously while pouncing when the opportunity presents itself. This is the way the Judit game went today. I mean he played the Berlin and then she made this move g4? which more or less lost a pawn by force after the obvious h5! She no doubt could have made an easy draw given the choice of opening, in which case we would be saying that he had played it cautiously in this game. But then again, maybe not. Of course, it may have just been a game against her style as well. She is dangerous as hell in sharp positions but maybe not as dangerous when the game is more sedated so he kept it quiet in the hope that she would get overly agressive. If this is the case, it seems doubtful he would whip out the Berlin against Anand or Adams next time around. If he will play for a draw against these two he will probably use Petroff. If he is playing to win then he will most likely use Najdorf. The further course of the tournament will tell.

I have posted a complete list of sites where you can find annotated games and news from the World Championship:

I am really disappointed with Adams so far in this tournament. I don't know how much preparation he did for it, but so far it does not seem to be working well. He is playing too predictably and I think his confidence is not very high after a mediocre year highlighted by his drubbing by Hydra. He should have a second who could advise him of opening lines that his opponents might not expect. The way he is going, he'll probably finish last.

i hope you're wrong, Kirk, and fortunately it's still only the 1st half of the tournament. He already started playing better on r6, and if he can keep it up he will also win some games.
He playd well in the summer in the match against Leko, i enjoyed that match a lot.

There's no doubt that Topolov desereves the title of the World Champion. And judging by his full-throttle play he might even qualify for the all-time-Greats list. Kramnik's hope for yet another boring match against the Champion is a joke. Kramnik's performance at the moment is well below the bottom three of the Elite bunch. He needs sometime to recover from his embarrasing blunders at Wejk aan zee. Chess fans can only hope that Garry suddenly decides to come back and challanges Topolov (assuming he does become the champion). Kramnik nearly lost his match against Leko, and now look at Leko's performance...

To blame Adams' poor performance on his lack of a second seems a little odd to me. Did Adams fail to analyze one of his adjourned games?

Personally, I think a Kramnik Topalov match would be very close and very interesting. I hope it happens, and would certainly cover any short-odds bets on Topalov if people here wanted to put their money where their mouths are.

If Topalov survives today, he will start on the second leg of the tournament as the only unbeaten player.
The more he is consuming the distance unbeaten, the less aggressively will his opponents act.
Don't forget: much money at stake also for the non-champions.
The second leg is like a short tourney: 7 rounds.
In his present form he should easily make a 50 % performance - with a majority of Whites even-, and + 5 should largely be enough for the title.
Unless attacked by the title-fiever in the last rounds - like a player who needs a normal, not difficult result in the very last rounds to fulfill the 3d and decisive GM norm. But the sudden GM-fiever makes the candidate play far beyond par - and he loses games and GM-title.

If Topalov continues his rage, I see no point in a unification match against Kramnik, for both players lack the proper incentives. Topalov wonīt gain any moral authority as WC beating someone like Kramnik, who wonīt risk to detract himself even more by badly losing such a match (of course, other results are possible, but not likely). Then politics comes in, justifying the no-match decision with less relevant arguments, like funding, format, date, chair size, etc. For unification to happen, both players should see each other as equivalents.

Where can I find Kasparov's comment/compliment
("he's playing chess")? Is it online ? Thanks.

You and others like you are truly underestimating the number of players out here who understand the history of chess and will consider Kramnik the champion no matter what until a reunification match takes place. I don't see why Topolov would be content to have a warped semi-title from a corrupt FIDE when he could instead fight for the ultimate true title of World Champion.

I disagree that Topalov-Kramnik would be pointless. I think it would be a fantastic match as Kramnik would HAVE to find his very best form to survive. I don`t think he would duck such a challenge either, nor do I believe he gets the credit he deserves; after beating Kasparov it is only natural that his motivation has gone and a match with Topalov - where the winner would be unquestionably the World Champion - could be just what he needs. And perhaps just what the chess world needs too . . .

"Money where your mouth is" -expression shows such deep respect for money that i am flabbergasted. i hold my mouth, and the words that pour forth from it, in much higher regard than the lowly figure that is the sum total of my bank account. The two are unfortunately also bear no relevance to each other.
As it is, if Toppy was to beat Kramnik in WC match, you'd have a victory over my sentiment that he will not, but it would still hardly negate my point that beating an out-of-form Kramnik makes him a worthy WC. For Toppy to become a worthy WC in my humble opinion, i don't suppose anything short of beating Kasparov (or in the very least, Karpov...or Fischer) in a match would suffice.
Argue what you want, but Kramnik is not irrelevant. And he would indeed have been a fool to put his title on a line on something as fickle as a single tournament.
This doesn't change the fact that i think he should've played a match with Kasparov long ago, thus things would be much better right now, or whatever else bad things he has done, but things are the way they are and they are not going to morally improve by ignoring Kramnik.

Btw, saying "for Toppy to become a worthy WC in mho, i don't suppose anything short of beating Kasparov..", i got a little over-excited. Yes, he would be a WC after beating Kramnik, also in my opinion, i suppose i kind of wanted to say that to prove his worth in salt he'd have to do better than beating a presumably out-of-form Kramnik. Which of course, wouldn't hold true if Kramnik found his true form. So if the match was of high quality, that certainly would suffice to me. Sorry for making inaccurate statements.

When people express a firmly held belief, such as that a Topalov Kramnik would be too one-sided to be worth playing ( sacateca hasn't said that, but some have ) and are then unwilling to back this with even a small amount of money at attractive odds, that suggests to me that they are actually a good deal less certain than their words would suggest, and may have another agenda.

By the way, congrats to whoever keeps backing Kasim to win the whole thing. I think you're wrong, but I like the spirit.

I would also disagree that a Topalov-Kramnik unification match would be pointless. If Topalov finishes this tournament in good form, perhaps there will be financial incentive for the match. By winning such a match, Topalov would be able to claim to be both FIDE World Champion and the Classical World Champion. And Kramnik would have to play or lose any remaining status as the Classical World Champion.

nick faulks: you are operating under the impression that people really care about money and whether or not they'd put up money for something is the true measure of what they really believe. Bollocks.

words are cheap

on reflection, perhaps that's unfair. Sacateca may belong to the rare breed that despises money so much that they would refuse to accept three $5 bills in return for a ten. But I still believe my comment is generally valid.

Steven Craig Miller: I don't think anyone would say Mickey's lack of a second is the ONLY reason for his last place standing but doesn't it indicate something?

All the other players bring them but he doesn't. To me, that sounds like a guy who really didn't think he could win the tournament, so why bother? It has always been rumored that Adams is a bit lazy and I think the lack of a second helps to confirm that.

Seconds help the players in preparing their openings and also, I should think, can greatly help their morale.

I'm afraid I agree with Petroff, it really doesn't look as he went there to win.


I'm not sure who is backing Kasimdzhanov to win the whole thing. It's improbable. However, your previous argument was that Rustam Kasimdzhanov cannot compete with these players. You denuded his previous success only to rapids and gave statistics on how poorly he has fared against this field in classical events. Well... he has proven that he can compete with (and beat) top players in classical which is of course moot since he once got a 2701 rating by succeeding in classical events. So far, he's on 3-3 and 4th position which is quite respectable. We'll see how he does against Topalov.

Of course, the winner of the unification match can claim to be both FIDE World Champion and the Classical World Champion. I have no quarrel about that. As a chess fan, I dislike the current state of affairs and strongly support unification. My point was other: Will it happen? If it is agreed that FIDE is corrupt, warping a semi-title for Topalov, as some say, could someone explain why would Kramnik risk his own, legitimate title? Altruism and "the best interest of the chess community" may not be enough. Itīs simple not of his interest, I suppose. Maybe I was too pessimistic pointing out that if unification does not happen it is because of playersīlack of interest, but that is not the same as not supporting the match.

"Money where your mouth is...", and perhaps mine is only worth my traditional two cents, but if Topalov does win in San Luis (and while I am a fan, the tournament is not yet half over...)he is the FIDE champion, and most worthy. I also respect and agree with the idea of a championship "bloodline" to which Kramnik is heir.

A reunification match is really the only way to settle the question of who is the true champion. I think and expect that Kramnik will have to play or become irrelevant in the Fischer mode.

However, to argue that Topalov would not be a worthy world champion should he defeat an "out of form" Kramnik also misses the point. It is Kramnik's responsibility to be in the best form he can achieve, or step aside - other world champions have perhaps not been able to do their best for various reasons - Steinitz/age, Lasker/age, Alekhine/alcohol, Tal/health, etc. But it doesn't matter - all that counts is the title going to the winner. Should Topalov win San Luis and beat Kramnik, he will be the WC, period.

And should that scenario play out, no one else would have any claim at all - having beaten or finished ahead of everyone, he would of course be a worthy champion. I'm not qualified to state that the quality of his chess is lacking in some way, but he displays tremendous (and very refreshing)fighting spirit and creativity, and has played some almost unbelieveable games. I guess I'm not sure (again, provided he does win the tournament) what he has to prove, or how Kramnik's form would be relevant. As Tal said when questioned about his form after losing the return match to Botvinnik(and I wish that more players/sportsmen/athletes would say things like this), "In general, one must look to the form of the winner".

I think that Topalov would love to hold the title of WC descendant of Steinitz and having thrashed Kramnik around of late would believe it quite likely that he would prevail in a match. What excuse could Kramnik contrive to avoid the match after such a brilliant showing? I also don't think funding will be an issue after such a performance and therefore think that this match is almost a sure reality if Topalov wins.

I think, if Topalov wins this championship, he would be more than willing to play Kramnik for the classical title. But still its hard for him to win this event with hhis do or die play style.

Knight: Who knows,like Kramnik, Leko might be suffering from the Brissago match? As for Adams, he mentioned that before the match, that his chances are very low.

Topolov's legitimacy as a World Champion will stem not from a "corrupt" FIDE but from the fact that he outplayed almost all of the best players for the exception of Ivanchuk and Kasparov. The first should've been invited to Argentine but political correctness hindered that, instead he was replaced by someone who is generously treating us with '??'-moves since round one. If we forget the day-light robbery of Ivanchuk, the FIDE Championship should be regarded as THE legitimate and only way to glory. I am not sure if we need another title. So whoever wins in Argentine can claim a moral and legal right to be called the world champ. Nobody quite likes FIDE but the truth is at some point Garry decided that not only was he the best chess player but that he could perhaps reorganise world championship all by himself. The result was a disaster which lasted 15 years until Illumzhinov finally brought us the current spectacle.

Knight you sound like you are not interested in chess history. The classical title is still in Kramnik's hands. No doubt, the winner of this event will have a moral and legal right to be called a world champion. But it does not solve the chess problems. We will again end up with 2 world champions. The chess world would like to see one world champion. Don't you like to see one WC instead of two? This tournament is not different from any Super-GM tournaments like Linares. According to your views, a Linares champion can very well call himself a world champion.

Ronald, there would be no risk, if either Topalov or Anand, wins this tournament. Both are the top rated chess players in the world at the moment, with Anand being rated #2 or #3 for over a decade now.
Kramnik holds the title, and everyone knows this. I am sure if Topalov wins this tournament, he himself will know that until he beats Kramnik, he isn't World
Fide was smart for once with this tournament, bringing together the top people(Yes others could have been included), instead of making it some lottery as before. This alone gives the winner true legitimacy in being the rightfull challenger to Kramnik.
Kramnik has defended his title against Leko, and I am willing to bet he will defend against the winner here. If he chooses to duck, then I think we might have a situation where Kramnik's title loses all value, as no one can support a coward.

For some odd reason, I am in the mood to feed the ridiculous troll:

"The first should've been invited to Argentine but political correctness hindered that, instead he was replaced by someone who is generously treating us with '??'-moves since round one."

Are you referring to the winless Adams or the equally winless Morozevich? I'm guessing not. Btw, how exactly does political correctness (which i despise) get one's rating well above 2700?

Knight was referring to Judit.

Ryan, I know that. Read my post again. I was giving him the sarcasm he deserves.

Peter, that is what I meant when I was referring to the leverage that Topalov would be able to exert, if he scores a smashing victory in San Luis. Indeed, Topalov will be able to dictate the terms of the match to Kramnik, if indeed he wants to play him at all. Topalov would be able to insist on receiveing the "Draw Odds", the length of the match, the venue, etc., etc. Not to mention the "cut" of the prize money.

Kramnik is of course one of the greatest talants around and we all like him. Unfortunately at the moment he doesn't look as if he deserves another free invitation. Like Ponomorev he ducked Kasparov since 2000. His choice of Leko was well, just about O.K. Leko like Kramnik can sometimes be overly defensive with his out of date Sveshnikov etc. At one point he had the boring Brissago match in his pocket but then he suddnely began to play for draws and...lost in a Caro Kann. So let's say Brissago was probably not the pen-ultimate test of Kramnik's title. But his current form since Wejk aan Zee is just embarrassing. He was throwing away pieces like a club-player in Wejk aan Zee. And after Linares the teenage winner Najditch said (in Sovetskij Sport) that something terrible has happened to the once mighty Kramnik. O.K. Kramnik is still a force to reckon with but that is as far as it goes. We all know that he at one point in the distant past he managed to trick Garry with an opening preparation. After losing to him Astana 2001 he literally escaped Kasparov whwerever he appeared. When Kasparov declared his intention to play in the Russian Super Final Kramnik suddenly felt ill and needed to withdraw...Do you think this gives any moral authority in the eyes of fans? I doubt it very much that anybody wants to see 14 rounds of the Berlin all over again.

Unless - maybe - Topalov's playing it. Nah, I still prefer the Najdorf.

Absolutely, at the moment Topolov can get away with 1.b3

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 4, 2005 2:36 PM.

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