Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Corus 2007 r11

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Preview: The home stretch begins! The final three rounds have some potential for drama, but it will take either backbone and great play from Radjabov or a near miracle from Anand to produce it. Topalov is a full point up at +5 and should have no trouble winning clear first if he can maintain that score. Radjabov is at +3 and with black against Kramnik in round 11 and white against Topalov in the final round. Anand, who is back to +2 after being dropped to an even score by Topalov just a few days ago, has by far the easiest pairings at the end and has won two games in row. He could be considered a favorite to score 2.5/3 and storm the podium. Topalov-Kramnik on Saturday is likely to be anticlimactic unless Topalov really wants to prove a point and play for a win he doesn't need on the crosstable.

Speaking of Topalov, his exchange sac against Carlsen the other day has more of precedent than I thought, as was mentioned by a few people on the ICC and by rdh in the comments. Kasparov had the Kempinski game below in his database (natch) but it's absent from mine. I don't have any games from last year's ZMD Open in Dresden, in fact, and in TWIC 585 Mark mentioned there didn't appear to be any games available. When (where) did they pop up? Topalov didn't seem to be aware of it and Carlsen certainly wasn't. The ChessBase online database does have it, as well as many more from the tournament.

Update: In an amazing twist, Marc Kirszenberg sends in this "Chess in Switzerland" Jan. 25 Georges Bertola column from the Tribune de Geneve. He annotates a game from the Geneva International currently in progress. It's Khenkin-Maze from the third round on January 22, two days before Topalov Carlsen. The opening is identical up to move 15, where Maze plays 15..b6 instead of Carlsen's futile piece giveaway. (Bertola writes that a reader informed him of the Topalov game and another said of Carlsen's 15..Nxc5 that it cures the problem of white's passed pawn but kills the patient.) Khenkin won convincingly with his passed pawn.

UPDATE: Round 11 packed a punch and brought some drama back to the leaderboard thanks to one game: Svidler-Topalov. It looked like Topalov was about to put away the entire tournament with his fourth win in five games. Instead there was an abrupt turnaround and Svidler won to tighten the field considerably. Aronian also won, handing Karjakin his third straight loss and moving to +3 into a joint tie for second with Svidler and Radjabov. They are all a half-point behind Topalov.

Svidler tried a new twist on the currently vogue 10..h5 line but I'm not convinced his experiment was a success. (According to the official site he may have just stumbled.) When Topalov simply castled out of danger and offered the d-pawn it looked like Black had all the chances. White has nothing going on the kingside and would need flawless defense to have a chance of survival on the queenside, pawn or no pawn. Topalov duly crashed through and was winding up for the big crush. Just when it looked over (Kasparov suggested 31..Qd4 as the killer blow) Topalov took the wrong path. He must have believed his 33..Rc5 was simply mating but White had miraculous salvation in a pretty queen ricochet to save the day and after 35..f5? Black was in a worse rook endgame. Topalov failed to put up much resistance according to my Chess.fm co-commentator Larry Christiansen and he wasted all our analysis by going under rather quickly. A stunning turnaround.

In Wijk aan Zee for uschess.org and coming on Chess.fm to talk to us and share tidbits, Macauley Petersen got a soundbite from Peter after the round. It was something to the effect of not being his best game or best event, but a point's a point. No doubt. He also spoke with French 16-year-old Vachier-Lagrave, who lost today to drop out of the B Group lead after a torrid streak. (Eljanov now leads the B by a full point.) Nice to talk to a player, but minimal answers with minimal English is not the stuff of great radio, unfortunately. It was kind of him to make the effort after a horrible loss today. Still, it provides a bit of that "being there" feel and adds some variety to the show. Five hours of listening to me and Larry Christiansen see who could sound sleepier isn't the hottest of tickets. We both had late nights on Thursday.

Karjakin's collapse continued – this time the beneficiary was Levon Aronian. Kramnik's Catalan is really catching on and the Armenian used it to squeeze until breaking through on the kingside. White's Larsenesque h-pawn lunge didn't look that convincing but Karjakin never managed to put together any real counterplay. The breakthrough came right when Karjakin hit time trouble and there was probably no hope even before 38..f5? Funny, that move was a loser in both decisive games today.

The long-awaited Kramnik-Radjabov duel was indeed a King's Indian and it looked like the crafty world champ found a way to impose his will on the kid's KID. The clever maneuver 19.Nb5 Qe7 20.Qe2 threatened tactics on e5 and won a pawn. But instead of clamping down with 24.Qe3! (after which Kasparov gives White a big plus) Kramnik inexplicably liquidated both his pawn and his advantage with a knight tour to e6. Radjabov decided to count his blessings and offer a draw instead of trying to make something happen with his center pawns. A strange miss by Kramnik, but when you play for small plusses you have to play perfectly. The kid, and the KID, survive!

Four other draws rounded out the round. Anand needed a win but couldn't make anything of a crippled extra pawn against Shirov, who played the Petroff. Carlsen played an insipid line against van Wely's Najdorf but managed to get a tiny edge. He was then totally outplayed and came very close to losing. The endgame saw a very cute drawing trick by Carlsen; either it's wrong bishop and rook pawn, a permanent pin, or White's last pawn goes. Loek played R+B vs R to the legal limit but didn't get a Norwegian gift. Motylev played a great shot against Navara and came out a pawn to the good but couldn't make it count with opposite-colored bishops. Navara is blundering his way to the finish line of this long event. Tiviakov's Accelerated Dragon survived another scare and he was even looking ambitious for a brief moment against Ponomariov, but the moment passed quickly.

The electrifying Nepomniachtchi won again to move to 9.5/11 but Krasenkow also won to stay a point behind and keep some interest in the C group standings. Hou Yifan also won, although Spoelman cooperatively placed his queen en prise. Sure he was in trouble already, but yeesh. Cute overload, chess dept: Petersen says Hou Yifan came up and got Kramnik's autograph after the round. She must come up to his navel; I'd love to have a picture of that. The way she's going he should have asked her for hers in return. It could be worth a lot of money in five or ten years.

I'm back live on Chess.fm with Larry Christiansen tomorrow and Sunday. Remember that the last round starts an hour earlier.

[Event "Dresden ZMD op playoff"]
[Site "Dresden"]
[Date "2006.08.05"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Kempinski, Robert"]
[Black "Mchedlishvili, Mikheil"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2567"]
[BlackElo "2561"]
[PlyCount "94"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 O-O 7. e3 c5 8. dxc5 Nbd7 9. Rc1 Qa5 10. a3 Bxc3+ 11. Rxc3 Ne4 12. b4 Nxc3 13. Qa1 Qc7 14. Qxc3 Re8 15. Be2 Ne5 16. Nd4 a6 17. O-O Ng6 18. Bf3 h6 19. Bf4 Nxf4 20. exf4 Qxf4 21. Bxd5 Rd8 22. Qc4 Kh8 23. c6 bxc6 24. Nxc6 Qxc4 25. Bxc4 Rf8 26. Ne5 Ra7 27. Rd1 Kh7 28. Rd6 g6 29. h4 Kg7 30. Rc6 Rd8 31. Kh2 Re7 32. f4 Bb7 33. Rb6 Rd2 34. Bf1 g5 35. hxg5 hxg5 36. fxg5 Bxg2 37. Nc4 Ra2 38. Bxg2 Ree2 39. Kg3 Rxg2+ 40. Kf4 Rgc2 41. Ne3 Rf2+ 42. Kg3 Rae2 43. Rxa6 Rh2 44. Nf5+ Kh7 45. Rf6 Rhg2+ 46. Kf4 Rgf2+ 47. Kg3 Rg2+ 1/2-1/2


I find it curious that Kasparov is still maintaining his database so diligently. *smile/wink*

An amusing update added about the opening added above. It was played two days earlier up to move 15 at a tournament in Geneva!

Shades of Speelman-Short; d'you reckon Cheparinov's Swiss girlfriend saw the paper and mentioned it to Ivan C?!

At least one can say Carlsen's Nxc5 was BS.

Yes, Carlsen's 15... Nxc5 blew!
I guess you have to try the computer suggestion of 15... Re8 with Nf8 to follow. Otherwise this line of the Rogozin should be put to rest!

Topalov thought 15...Nxc5 was best in the press conference. Bd7 being better than Be6 and Rc4 being the final error.

Radjabov essaying the KID........... hmmmnn should be good against Vlad the Impaler

Nobody's backing down - Radja playing the same way he's had trouble with in the past; Topalov playing his pet ...h5 against Svidler. If Svidler is ready for him anywhere (doubtful the way he's playing) then surely it's here.

Well, Mig's had a good round to comment on anyway, at least as far as the top two games go. I see that old crowd-pleaser Shirov has wheeled out the Petroff, though. Truly the Latvian Tal.

Today I put my money on Svidler. His position is good enough for some nasty kicks.

Yep, Svidler will be motivated here- he must have seen first hand the effect of Topalov's behaviour in Elista and will want to soften him up for his old mate Kramnik tomorrow.

If I was playing bliz, I would prefer Radjabov's position.. Come on Radja!!!

Kramnik needs to activate his rooks.

Well Radjabov is surely lost - very powerful-looking new idea by Kramnik in the opening. Susan P is very down on Svidler's position, but he's a pawn up, at least. And given SP's usual bias, if she gives Topalov only =+, the other guy must have a chance.

Radjabov is lost? I'm a much weaker player than you, but surely there is compensation for the pawn? Potential pressure on the open files, the bishop pair?

Vladdy's pawn is gone now. I think Nc7 was no good move. Now black is even better.

Looks odd indeed. I hope Vladimir knows what he is doing.

Well, he didn't have to give that pawn back at all. Unless he's miscalculated something this should be very good for White. You can see it's very critical right now whether White has a manoeuvre to nail down d5 or not - if he does he'll be cruising; if not he can even be worse.

rdh is demonstrating as is his wont, that an IM title doesnt always mean anything :-) I took a quick look at the position, and really liked the attacking possibilities of radjabov's position. Bh6 and Bf4 looked really strong, and the white Q is struggling for squares. Looks like Kramnik thought the same, and decided to exchange off one of Black's bishops and give up his extra pawn rather than defend that. Now it may be drawn, but Black looks better to me. Of course I'm not an IM...

It doesn't take me to demonstrate that an IM title doesn't always mean anything, d, and as I haven't got a board I could easily be totally wrong: would be neither the first nor the last time. I am comforted by the fact that assuming my Russian is up to the task Shipov agrees with me, but then a GM title and a 2650 rating don't always mean anything either.

I agree though that it doesn't look so clear at the moment, so perhaps you were right.

Carlsen losing Knight after Van Wely's Kf7 :-(

I see in fact that the soperniki have soglaseelas nichyio, so evidently you were right.

Hmm. I will be interested to see annotations of this game. Hats off to Radjabov defending his KID again, though.

Surely there was something better than the Nb5-c7-e6 tour?

Topalov looks like he's crushing El Svid now. Rc5 cannot be pleasant (32.Rc5)

Hou Yifan won quickly, but Spoelman just blundered his Queen...

Ha, maybe Carlsen found a home for his knight after all!

enough 10 second analysis for me! Have a great weekend everyone...

The kid keeps proving the KID is alive - but that looked like a rather weak effort by the World Champion.

Strong play by Topa. 19.- 0-0 was da good move. Nevertheless, draw chances for Big Pete?

More than draw chances. Computers undervalue long term benefit of passer. Unless Topo can win it somehow cuz I don't see mate.

Aronian is going for the execution.

Topalov's incomprehensible Bb1+ (instead of Qd4)gave most of his advantage away. No point to simplify in such a position unless you have a forced win.

Well, the way Susan P is calling it, Topalov is now almost lost (after 35 ...f5? 36 Qd2! - her punctuation).

Topalov could have won the d-pawn already with 33.- Rc2+ 34.Rxc2 Qxc2+ 35.Ka3 Qc5+
Now it's draw.

"Topalov's incomprehensible Bb1+ (instead of Qd4)gave most of his advantage away. No point to simplify in such a position unless you have a forced win."

I think he was trading a dynamic advantage for a structural one (Or at least he thought so). He must have assumed he would come out of it with an extra pawn (ie winning the d pawn in some lines). He just miscalculated.

I see on the other hand that Shipov is more restrained - "now begins play for three results". Very Russian.

I abhor Topalov's off-the-board antics as much as anyone does (it's sad he is apparently under the control of Svengali-Danailov), but you've got to admire his fighting spirit.

Kramnik-Radjabov agreeing to a draw today in an unbalanced position highlights, by contrast, Topalov's great quality: the man wants to play chess.

To exchange an active bishop for a passive knight is a horrible positional judgement. Quite an elista-like blunder: achieving a winning position and then throwing it away. Now he has to fight for survival.

GM Landa on Chesspro: Literally, in two moves, Topalov ruins a won position.

If I was playing Vesselin I would never resign early. Give him enough rope and he will not if not hang himself certainly cut off circulation sufficiently to hurt himself. As shown in the first two games of Kramnik-Topalov, Topalov has difficulty executing on the board in later stages if he has an advantage, against an opponent who stands still and is willing to play on and defend himself competently. Which certainly lends credence to Topalov's strength lately being very strongly owing to Cheparinov's home preparation of the openings.

Meh, the point is that it is only a blunder and anti-positional because he wasn't able to win the d pawn. If he had been able to as was possible in many lines, he had a clear plus. Being short on time his decision makes perfect sense.

Well, if Svidler could win this, that would make the last two rounds of the tournament a lot more interesting, especially if Aronian wins today.

I understand nothing. 38 d6 won immediately, didn't it? d6 Rc8; d7 Rd8; Ka3 Kf6; h4 Ke7; Ka4 Rxd7; Rxd7 Kxd7; Ka5 resigns.

Innit? Perhaps the great d can tell me where I'm wrong.

Or, it is just a product of his chess personality. Some see the board more optimistically than is warranted. This is both a plus and a minus.

"but you've got to admire his fighting spirit."

Well, no, you don't.

I don't "admire" Topalov's approach, nor do I "admire" Kramnik's. They are both doing what works for them and neither way of playing the game deserves any particular praise.

As I told you many times, Kramnik cannot play long games (long tournament) without computer help. You can check now in Corus, who is the players with the shortest draw? Who is the players with many short draw? The answer is Kramnik! Yes, only Kramnik!

Mikhail Ogienovich

Love that Landa quote. They really don't like Topalov in Russia, do they? Reminds me of that Russian dossier on Fischer.

I played Landa once - his main weapon is body odour. Awesome. They had to agree a short draw at the next table.

Mikhail, you're off your rocker.

Mikhail Ogienovich, it takes 2 to draw. An alternative explanation could be offered in that he is the most feared opponent also, so his opponents choose sterile lines.

Hello Mig,

Exact french translation: it's another Swiss player, Cédric Pahud, who mentionned to Georges the Carlsen-Topalov game and who commented on the
remedy killing the patient! ;-)

« Le joueur Suisse Cedric Pahud me signale que 15...Cxc5 a été joué par Carlsen contre Topalov le jour suivant à Wijk aan Zee, un remède de cheval qui règle le problème du pion passé mais tue le patient. »

A reference to Moliere, n'est-ce pas? Although I can't remember the name of the play now.

Hah, rdh, that was pretty funny. I can just see the image in my head.
Ahhh, once again, my boy Topa blows it. It's like watching women's figure skating at Olympics - tastelessly waiting for someone to fall on triple lutz. It's part of the sporting experience I guess, and with Topalov, all three results are in order as Shipov says - although that's applicable to just about any part of the game for Topa.

Yes Yuriy, and none of the other GMs err when having the advantage...
Mate in one anyone?

Ah, of course, if White amateurishly rushes in as I proposed above Black can still queen a pawn on the kingside with g5 at the right moment, and wins.

re: rdh
what's wrong with Petrov?:)

"Innit? Perhaps the great d can tell me where I'm wrong."
The guineas son, the dosh. I told you my fees are high.

I am not a GM, but I don't see the kind of mistakes he makes in such situations as being result of too optimistic.

Landa is not so much anti-Topalov as pro-Russia. He is cheering Svidler on and hoping him or Kramnik will win the tournament.

Miguel, in that game, Kramnik made what is probably the biggest blunder by world champion in recent history. Now, let's put it aside and look at their history over more than one game.

Topa was winning the d-pawn with Bxb1, wasn't he? As in:

Bxb1+ Kxb1
Qxc1+ Ka2
Rc2+ Rxc2

then ..Ka1 Qd1+ or Ka3 Qc5+.

This is the first time I see a game of Svidler where he got to move 40. Maybe it happened before, I don't recall seen it, but I'm impressed.

hehe! good one aasj

Ok, so Bb1 wasn't a capture and Topalov is playing black, not white, but otherwise my last post made sense :)

I thought Topa made it to move 40 the last time they played, when Svidler crushed him in that Berlin, no?

Last time they played was actually round 6 of MTel 2006. Topa made it to move 40 that time as well, although of course he lost in the end.

This is the first time I see a game of Svidler where he got to move 40.

-- Posted by: aasj at January 26, 2007 11:55

That's because he's playing Topalov.

Can Topalov hold the rook endgame after blundering away a winning position?

Doesn't look good. Topalov toyed around with the D-pawn, acting smart, postponing and now, drama again. He creates ther drama, if nobody else does, he does it for himself...


Topa was winning the d-pawn with Bxb1, wasn't he? As in:

Bxb1+ Kxb1
Qxc1+ Ka2
Rc2+ Rxc2

then ..Ka1 Qd1+ or Ka3 Qc5+.

-- Posted by: Chuckles at January 26, 2007 11:55

Good lines. Why Topalov did not choose to play the queen endgame up by a pawn is beyond me. He must have missed the mate defense Qb8+, Qb4 that Svidler played.

44... Rb8 45.d6 Rxb4 46.Kc5 Rb3 47.d7 Rd3 48.Kc6 Kf5 49.Re8 Kg4 50.Re6! Rxd7 51.Kxd7 Kxh4 52.Rg6 a5 53.Ke6 a4 54.Kf5 a3 55.Kxf4 a2 56.Rg3 g5 57.Kf3 g4 58.Kf4 a1 59.Rh3 gxh3 60.g3X

gmnotyet exactly. That was my feeling as well. Sadly now he's busted.

Very instructional loss for Topalov. This is getting interesting.


Will Topailov accuse Svidler of getting secret help from his friend Kramnik during the game? Will they produce surveillance video showing Vlady paying suspiciously too much attention to the Svidler-Topalov position? How many times during this round did Kramnik & Svidler go to the bathroom together?

Stay tuned chess fans!

Svidler - Topalov 1:0

don't be ridiculous rp, Svidler won from a lost position while Kramnik bailed out from the game with that Ne6 (as expected from Kramnik of course)

all fine, sometimes Topa plays both colors, he made the moves and the game for both sides this time..Svidler likely shakes his head in wonder and ask himself what he was needed for in this game.

Svidler obviously received help from Kramnik. Kramnik plays the move Nc7 and Topalov sees it, can't understand the motivation behind the move, and spends his whole game thinking about what computer program suggested the move or if it's just another KGB blunder. The whole thing's obviously a well-calculated scheme by Kramnik to help Svidler and maybe also psyche out Topalov in preparation for tomorrow's game.

What exactly are Carlsen-Van Wely doing? Trying to earn an extra-hour pay, or what?


just testing the Kid...remember Aronian!!! ...:)

Svidler is not shaking his head. This kind of self-inflicted beating has happened for Topalov time and time again. When you choose to play a sharp line, you should calculate all of it through. When you choose the calmer waters of positional play, you lower the possibility of discovering a drastic advantage for yourself but also lower the possibility of making a loss. Kasparov had a similar dynamic style as Topalov did. But he did not make as many errors.

There is somebody shaking his head in Wijk Aan Zee today, and that person has to be Anand. Who knows what Topalov might have done on move 36 in the eighth round.

Well, Topalov's performance in this round is more admirable than Kramnik's.

At least nobody (sane) can accuse Topalov of cheating. Because if there was any cheating ever, today would have been the best time. Nothing more than in the form of pulling him aside and asking him to cool off a bit.


Topalov has an admirable record now of only two draws below 40 moves in the tournament and being in the lead by half a point.

Svidler on the other hand has the slightly more admirable record of +3-1=1 against Topalov in classical chess over the past year.

Why are people so happy when Topalov loses? He gave the game away today.
He is still the top player, is in the lead and will likely win the tournament. And he is still playing the most exciting chess of all.
Does anybody think Drawnik will suprise us going for win tomorrow or will he play one of his memorable drawish games again?

Why are people so happy when Topalov loses? He gave the game away today.
He is still the top player, is in the lead and will likely win the tournament. And he is still playing the most exciting chess of all.
Does anybody think Drawnik will surprise us going for win tomorrow or will he play one of his memorable drawish games again?

Miguel: "Why are people so happy when Topalov loses? He gave the game away today. "

Well, Miguel, perhaps you should go back and read about what happened in Elista last year, and then read Topalov's post-Elista comments. It will become clear why people are happy to see Topalov lose.


After Elista, you don't have to be a chessplayer to figure that out in regards to Topolov.

Russianbear: I agree Toplav's team acted bad in that situation. On a purely game level, when I watch chess, I want to see good and exciting games. Toplav is about the only player who has provided that in the past couple of years.

Miguel - I don't think people are necessarily happy to see Topalov lose. (Of course, some are) If he plays well, he deserves to win. But he was the one who established the precendent of making outrageous accusations to explain his losses in Elista. Those losses seemed to be caused by calculation oversights that couldn't have had anything to do with the opponent alledgely receiving computer assistance. Just like the mistake in today's game against Svidler.


Even though there's 7 minutes between our posts, I hadn't seen your reply to Miguel. I'd like to say that great minds think alike, but the answer to Miguel's question is too obvious. >;-)

Shredder tells me that White's position after 19.Bxf4? is already lost. 19.Qxf4 is stronger. This is understandable since the knight f6 is still pinned with the bishop g5.

One more comment: Seems like only yesterday we were talking about what's wrong with Svidler? Now, with two round to go, he's theoretically in position to win the whole shabang! To all the fault finders out there, I did say theoretically.

Well, kind of a testimony to Svidler's immense strength and talent. He is apparently struggling with some kind of health problems, and entered the tournament lacking energy as well as motivation. Still he is +3, only 0.5 points behind the leader, and with a fairly easy schedule in the last two rounds he might well at least tie for first! Sure, he was a bit lucky today. But let me just say he will be very dangerous in Mexico - just like he was in San Luis, sharing 2nd with Anand.

Svidler is immensely talented. Nothing to be ashamed in losing a Black game to Svidler, a 2740+ player.

Of course blowing a winning position is definitely something to be ashamed of.

Nice comeback by Peter Svidler. It doesn't count if it was a blunder by topailov.

History shows that you can’t write anybody off, least Topalov. Topalov has spoiled his fans with a lot of beautiful games, but when the victories start coming easy one gets sloppy. There must be a silver lining somewhere in Topalov’s loss today although it is hard to see it right now. Tomorrow he’s trekking the frozen tundra again -- if that wasn’t a lesson to be careful, I do not know what is…


And it goes on and on... New irresponsible cheating insinuations against Topailov: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/bundesliga/artikel/555/99456/

I'm pretty sure, though, that if Hensel was reported to leave the hall after every move of Kramnik's opponent to get his mobile phone from his jacket, and then soon returned to the same place in the hall where he could be seen by Kramnik, and he started to make what Breutigam called "strange movements" (seltsame Bewegungen) looking like gestures... the accusations towards the Russian KGB cheating Kramnik would fly all over the place.

I'll make a surprise prediction (at least, surprising to me as of even yesterday): Aronian will will. He is lossless, and has the easiest schedule of those on 7 points.

Of course, I meant "will win"

Yes, Aronian could won. With the upcoming pairings in the last two rounds, it's up for grabs.

With the latest information on cheating that acirce posted, I hope there isn't an upcoming World Championship. I rather not have one (at least in the current format discussed) and save the rest of us from another fiasco in chess. Quite frankly, I'm so sick of this s**t!

"Of course blowing a winning position is definitely something to be ashamed of."

No, not at all. I do it everyday. And of course also not by Topalov. He could have had a secure draw and went for more, then miscalculated. Nothing to be ashamed of!

Of course, I meant "win". Friggin Freud

The article has a continuation, but clicking on "next page" you get "page not found." Try this instead:


acirce, what's going on? Who is accusing whom this time?

If Danailov had to do any strange moves today, it should have been to yank Topalov by the colar of his shirt and splash a glass of cold water on his face. That would have been one damn good move to prevent what happenned today...


It is always good to win a lost game! : )
Topalov had tunnel vision on Bb1+, and after, he must have been so upset, he could no longer concentrate.

Pairings in the next round create the possibility of 6 players going into the last round tied for 1st Place. Even Ponomariov could still share 1st at the end of the tournament.

(1) http://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/bundesliga/artikel/555/99456/
(2) http://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/weitere/artikel/618/99519/1/

To summarize: the writer of this article was watching Topalov & Danailov during the game Topalov - Van Wely. Danailov was watching the game from between the spectators, positioned in view of Topalov. After each move by Van Wely, Danailov went outside and made a call on his mobile phone. Then he came back, put on glasses and made a lot of gestures, scrachting, adjusting his glasses etc. All this repeated many times after each move by Van Wely.
During the last part of the game, all Topalov's moves matched those of computers. After the game the arbiter said he was going to keep a watch on Topalov & Danailov.

Next game with Karjakin, at move 20, Danailov appeared again and the same thing repeated. At some point during the game the arbiter positioned himself in front of Danailov, with a disproving expression, but apparently didn't stay there. The trips outside etc continued. Topalov eventually managed to get a draw from a worse position. Spectators mentioned Danailov pushed other spectators away to be able to position himself in view of Topalov.

In later rounds Danailovs suspicious behavour was not repeated. Organizors however said next year measures will be taken, like anti-metal detectors.

A few regular observers (not fanatics, not players) have been telling me similar stories about signalling (alleged signalling) to Topalov at other events for quite a while. I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad these things are now public. Sigh.

Re the first post of this thread, by the way, I am finally enthused enough to fire up my database, and the Kempinski game is in Megabase 2007. Hard to believe these guys don't have that, and also Gazza's database wouldn't have taken a whole lot of maintaining to have it in. I guess maybe Carlsen plays so much he has no time to prepare and figures he's learning more this way and the occasional prep disaster doesn't matter.

I also fired up the Oxford Companion to Chess and am more convinced than ever that this line is the Manhattan or Westphalia variation rather than the Ragozin, which is characterised by the Tschigorin-like ...Nc6 without ...c5.

Great Svidler video at chessvibes, along with some entertaining vitriol from some of Topa's more moronic supporters on the comments ('This guy can't think at all - you can see from his commentary. It's a disgrace that he won., etc.' His followers are as sporting as the man himself.)

Danailov is such an idiot. I don't believe this stuff really is signalling, but why on earth does he have to fool about like this and lay his charge open to these allegations?

Mig, one question:

How wide-spread is (alleged) signalling by managers/spectators? Is it something nobody talks about too loud because everybody is doing it now and then?

And why is anyone allowed near the place with a cell phone? Ridiculous. It's not as if the organizers were caught off guard; they've had since October to prepare.

I haven't seen it so I can't comment on the signalling, or lack thereof. But I've always said I think that's a more realistic threat of cheating than all the high-tech stuff at the top level. Being caught with a device on you would end your career instantly. Signals will always be circumstantial. Even if your accomplice turns on you at some point it's his word against yours.

I was talking about this with Larry Christiansen off the air this morning. Some very un-conspiratorial people have said since early 2005 (pre-San Luis) that Topalov's friends in the room have exhibited behavior of moving into his line of sight and fidgeting in a consistent manner. The description in the German paper sounds just like an email I got over a year ago. We certainly don't need another cheating scandal or a "cheating" scandal, but we don't need associates with cell phones in the line of sight fidgeting day after day either.

How crude and primitive. I beg for a more artistic method, in line with our beautiful game. At least a stepdance by Danailov that would morse the moves.

Mig - why might you be sad about these allegations becoming public? Is it because you don't believe them and think they are motivated by spite, or because you do believe them and don't want the reputation of chess to be shattered further in the public eye?

The charitable view of Topalov's recent increase in strength is that he is taking advantage of great new opening preparation in conjunction with Cheparinov. This is certainly part of the equation. However I also am afraid that there is no smoke without fire. My observations are as follows:

Topalov's form has dipped where there has been good security preventing him from being able to see Danailov during the game - in particular in Elista.

Topalov plays relatively poorly (don't I wish I could play as poorly!) in rapid chess - i.e. he is down about 50-100 ELO. The type of signalling suggested is not feasible in rapid chess.

Topalov at times plays incredibly bad moves. I know it is true that Kramnik missed a mate in one, but sometimes Topalov plays complete nonsense (for example 24...f6 in game 10 in Elista). He was one up in the match, he had an obvious alternative (24...Bxb5) and 24...f6 has two refutations!

And of recent evidence consider his press conference after beating Shirov in round 4. In particular consider his comments after Shirov's 39th move. In the broadcast http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42TxZhGbL78&eurl= after about 6 minutes, he recommends 39...Nc5 as an alternative to 39...Nd8 and follows up with 40.Qd6 Kf7 41.Qc7+ leading to complications. However in fact 41.Bg5 wins at once. My point is that his analysis of 39...Nc5 was being done without assistance, and I cannot believe that any genuine 2800+ player in history would miss a move like 41.Bg5. My conclusion is that he is not a genuine 2800+ player - in fact he was a 2700 player for years and still is.

mcb, you're jumping to conclusions. Kramnik hung a rook in his press conference in one of the lines. Does that make him a cheater too?

Also, Topalov played extraordinary chess in the third rapid game of the tiebreak in Elista.

Sorry, I was wrong: Kramnik hung a queen. Double cheater.

"I cannot believe that any genuine 2800+ player in history would miss a move like 41.Bg5."


In the "old days" before the "Bart Carter" shuffling machines, one person would count cards (blackjack) play minimum flat bets and signal the "player" to jump in with large bets when the deck(s) went positive enough. The person that "signalled" was called the "gorilla" which when looking at Danailov I find appropo.

@@Great Svidler video at chessvibes, along with some entertaining vitriol from some of Topa's more moronic supporters on the comments ('This guy can't think at all - you can see from his commentary. It's a disgrace that he won., etc.' His followers are as sporting as the man himself.)@@

This gives me a good laugh. I remember years ago I was new to chess and won a game. Later my friends told me that my opponent had stormed out of the playing hall yelling

"How could I lose to this idiot."

I was of course the idiot. But I won the game. LOL.

Anyway we all got a good laugh out of it. I will admit it was one of my first wins. But I was not going to always lose all my games. I was working hard at chess and slowly getting better.

chesstraveler, actually the guy that jumps in with the big money is called the gorilla, but the same BJ cheating analogy came to my mind, too.

Do you know the story when the signalling device was under a girl's skirt, and it got overheated and smoke started coming out from under her dress, right there at the table while she was winning?
With using plain signals, all this sort of fun is gone from chess tournaments :(

"Signals will always be circumstantial. Even if your accomplice turns on you at some point it's his word against yours."

But would this really work if you and your accomplice are the same person?

I must make a comment on Danailov.

I really would have liked to see them keep this quiet and video tape Danailov as much as possible along with Topalov with time stamps.

Then sit down and break their code.

Then prove the code by being able to predict the moves from Danailov's movements.

Bust his Nuts.

He lost in Elista. They had walls up

He lost heavy to Judit etc

How come all of a sudden he is playing computer moves. I can see it from looking at the games while comparing to fritz and using a value judgment on how hard it is to pick the move. Some moves are obvious to a human. So skip those. But look for the moves that are hard for a human to find. Why does Topalov match those moves. That is my question.

I suspect that Topalov lost today because he was not able to get signals from Danailov because that story broke the news. What do all you Topalov fans think of that now. Your buddy got caught.

I definitely hope Topalov does not win the tournament. Any one but him. Do not be too surprised if his games from this tournament are later thrown out.

Get the video cameras going onto Danailov and Topalov for all the games. Dont miss a moment. Use time stamping on the videos if possible.

Nail his fowl mouth butt to the wall.

Why associate fowls with Topalov? What did they do to deserve the association? :)

Mig, do you know when the round update will show up on chessbase? Are they holding off while dealing with this latest scandal/story?

I don't know whether the suspicions against Topalov have any basis (I hope they don't), but they surely go to explain Topalov's and Danailov's paranoia over Kramnik's loo visits. When the word goes around that you may be cheating, it won't be long before you start to see cheaters everywhere yourself...

Surprising that an observation like this is published in a normal newspaper where not even 1% of the readers understand the evidence of the accusations.
If Danailov is not giving him hints why the hack is he acting like this, is this one of his newer jokes? An important question, but not a proof I have to say. More a case for the Fide ethic commission.
According to today's game it's a bit surprising that Topalov missed 33.- Rc2+ since I thought this was the idea behind 31.- Bb1+ (which was a good move).

Frank H - you take mere speculation as proof. That's not how things work. By the same logic, Kramink cheated too because his behavior was suspicious.
People said Topalov should be a pariah because of his baseless cheating accusations. Well, the accusations against Topalov by Morozevich were no less baseless. Does that mean Moro should be a pariah too?

Linux fan,

You're right. After I posted, I thought that might be the case but wasn't sure. Regarding the girl, I think I heard something about that but once again I'm not sure. Anyway, there's smokin and then there's...smokin!

Don't understand anything...

Topalov's making accusations and ceating interviews in newspapers, Fide made nothing against this unethetical behaviour, and the are dealing another match with no excuse from topalov's ...

Logical and chess were supposed to be together in all fields of logic but in chess...

Round 11 update added to the main item. I'll post a separate item later on the German newspaper and cheating allegations. Later though, it's Friday night and I've got bleeping live coverage at 7:30.


You'll post the cheating allegations and once again we'll take off on that tanget, ad nauseam. I know it has to be addressed but man is it getting old.

During a recent tournament where Grandmaster Evans was giving a lecture on "chess politics" a person in the audience replied something along the lines of "why should I care about what happens in professional chess, that's their problem not mine? I'm an amateur and I just want to enjoy the game." He's lower rated than I am, but perhaps a lot smarter.

Gentlemen: the solution is quite a bit simpler than you think. Kramnik and Topalov are BOTH cheaters. They fixed the world championship and used the mutual allegationd as a smoke screen. It's just like Fischer always said.

The thing about Fischer is that he didn't become paranoid until he realized that everyone was plotting against him.

I have watched the short analysis in the videos and I have two questions: (a) When this whole idea started; it is official stuff from the tournament? Who is filming this? (b) Did the players made the comments just after they won their games? (or they had time to analyze with computers or other assistance beforehand)

I must say that I have followed some lines in the comments on Radjabov, Kramnik, Topalov and Aronian and I consider (in my poor knowledge of a fan) the latter the "simplest" and least preachy (Kramnik and Topalov have even given wrong lines and Radjabov is very confusing and not only for the language). The guy has a natural talent and he also seems to be aware of his limitations (things, hopefully with work he can cover), according to what I have heard of him.

Whic player is going to win Corus? What do you guys think? (Aronian, Svidler seems to have a relatively "easier" set of opponents, but he does not look as energetic as Topalov or Radjabov to push for wins, and Kramnik does not care to win the tournament or not -it seems to me-).

With respect to all the cheating accusations and stuff, my proposal would be the following:

1) Allow computer assistance (with the software they choose to use) in classic tournaments, under the condition the players cannot contact any outside help besides their corresponding computers. In other words, give to the so called "advanced chess" legal status and no player can be called a cheater, because rules allow computer assistance.

2) Those "classical" tournaments mentioned in (1) must have character of exhibition tournaments and would be invitational (inviting the best players of the world); people who make chess software can be sponsors, for example.

3) However, the main important tournaments of the year, should not be with "classical" (7 hour) time control anymore; in other words, the idea would be to reduce the time controls, something slightly slower than the actual rapid control.

Think of this: We are using this hige time control that allows the possibility of cheating, visits to toilet, etc. And the classical time controls are not slower than many years ago, when the opening knowledge was less developed and players actually needed to spend more time in the opening, thinking more over the board, so a reduction is just logical.

Some people say that faster time control would be in detriment of the quality of chess. Well, (a) We are not expecting them to play like computers, (b) This would force players to get and practice more the endgame (I mean, if a endgame is played poorly is a player's fault, not fault of the time control). (c) As everything, once players adapt the new rules, the level will improve.

Am I the only one who think this???

I do not know what he has been paid, but the German author of these latest allegations doesn't deserve a dime. It doesn't take much, to put up a story that is half believable and doesn't flow against generally known facts. It's worse than scummy, it's stupid. The allegations are not at the level of scandalous even, they're boring. Written for audience like Frank H. (who missed that T. beat P. in blind chess recently, for example). That sort of thing. Strange choice of games too -- while Danailov was negotiating the $2 mil. on the cell phone, he must have used the wrong program because I thought it was fairly well understood that had White pressed their case, Game 3 would have ended otherwise. Pleasant reading. For people who like to read crap and produce crap in response there's no limit how far they'll go in satisfying that appetite. In this genre I recommend Ginchev's new book, I suspect it's written much better. Enjoy.


One thing I've learned in life: If you don't want to know the truth...don't ask.

Frank H - you take mere speculation as proof.
Posted by: Miguel


I do not think Topalov cheated. I simply want everyone to take time stamped video of Danailov and Topalov and match all the moves. Then of course we will have your "proof" that he did not cheat.

Come on Miguel don't you want the truth. I would think as a die hard Topalov fan you would want to prove your man is not cheating. This is one way to do it.

Of course if they figure out the system and then can forcast the moves from watching Danailov twitch and scratch, then you will be free to go find someone else to support as the best chess player.

Now don't be afraid. The truth will only hurt for a little while. Just take your medicine.

I never ever thought or considered that Topalov cheated at San Luis. I remember hearing the accusations and I staunchly supported Topalov. But then Elista came along and I know that people who accuse are usually guilty themselves. It is there own guilt showing through. You remember how the one who blows the fart is the first to smell it. We had lots of fun with that as kids.

Well you know Topalov and Danailov were farting so much at Elista that I have my suspicions now. I still have not made a decision. But I am very suspicious. I would of course feel much better if Danailov and Topalov apologized for their accusations and behavior and settled down. But they keep up this terrible behavior so I keep my suspicions.

I would love to have a definitive answer. Does he or doesn't he cheat. Well taking vidoes of Danailov and Topalov would help answer the question.

And why does Topalov play so poorly sometimes. And so perfectly other times. That does not make sense. Another thing is how does he rack up win after win so consistently and then play almost like an amateur. Something does not fit. I want some answers. Good solid Scientific answers.

The Magnificient Randi or James Randi


This guy is experienced in finding people who signal. He will catch them if they are doing it.

If you are a die in the wool Topalov fan then good. But I certainly hope you seek the truth and proof that your man is honest and truthful.

My experience is that honest and truthful people usually display a nicer personality than Topalov and Danailov displayed in Elista.

So I am waiting for some objective evidence that Topalov is not cheating. Where is the evidence. All the evidence I see tells me to be very suspicious.

Kramnik, I believe is definitely honest and not cheating. I see much evidence to support his honesty.

Frank H,

I know that we have our differences of opinion, but all chess aside, are you as masochistic as you appear to be. I'm sorry, but wow!

You can't prove a negative.

Less than 7 hours to the Topalov-Kramnik game that has all of a sudden become the BIG one! Also, after the article in the German newspaper, let's see whether Danailov can fart in Morse code

Yes I want to see how he does Saturday. I hope everyone watchs Danailov so he does not get a chance to play funny stuff.

I sincerely hope he is playing honestly. I want everyone to play honestly. After all it is just a game. Lets see how well we can play the game.

I cannot say that testing various engines confirms the allegations in the SZ article by M. Breutigam. En-masse they say Topalov's moves from 26.Bxc5 onward against van Wely were pretty obvious, except that 29.Rg4 is up there. Moves 20--23 against Karjakin in Round 3 have 2 definite non-matches to Rybka and to Fritz, and Moves 28 onward also can't be told apart from random for either engine.

Timing data on Game 3 especially would be helpful.

"To summarize: the writer of this article was watching Topalov & Danailov during the game Topalov - Van Wely. Danailov was watching the game from between the spectators, positioned in view of Topalov. After each move by Van Wely, Danailov went outside and made a call on his mobile phone. Then he came back, put on glasses and made a lot of gestures, scrachting, adjusting his glasses etc. All this repeated many times after each move by Van Wely."

For this to work, Topalov need to stare at Danailov for each move, which is pretty easy to spot.

"For this to work, Topalov need to stare at Danailov for each move, which is pretty easy to spot."

Not really. Even in one of Dvoretsky's books he talks about his experience being unintentionally cued by a spectator to the merits of his position. Even a signal that you have a forced win, draw, and just the specific piece to start a calculation with could be of help.
(Not that I think there is any merit to this.)

I'm sorry to say, I greatly admire Alexander Morozevich as a player but if - as it appears - he was the one who started this cheating paranoia about Topalov (almost certainly as unfounded as the one about Kramnik) it's hard to forgive him. Not that Danailov needs any assists, but if such baseless acusations hadn't already been going on in the chess world he would probably have needed to invent some other excuse to ruin the Elista match, a disease which I see is now starting to spread to most top chess events.
By the way, has Ponomariov finally managed to free himself from Silvio's clutches? I haven't been reading of any odd behaviour on his part lately (in fact I really enjoyed his NIC articles). If so, I'm glad for him and only regret this didn't happen before the match against Kasparov was so ridiculously sabotaged: perhaps Garry would still be an active player in that case!

just curious if Topalov has the guts to try again against Kramnik what he played in Linares '98 (i think) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7!? -that game was drawn-.

What exactly DID Morozevich say? I know that Dolmatov most definitely accused Topa of cheating, which was despicable. As for Kasimdzhanov, at worst insinuating, which is bad enough. As for Barsky and Morozevich, I don't know what exactly they said.

there we go !

is 12.Nd2 novelty ? anyone with databases ?

Frank H - Topalov does not have to prove his innocence. By the same logic, Kramink and everyone ever accused of something will have to prove their innocence too.
In the civilized world people have to be proven guilty instead.
I won't comment on other parts of your post because they sound way too childish.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 25, 2007 6:57 PM.

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