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Vassily Ivanchuk - 5/5 at MTel

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Photo by John Henderson for Chess.FM. / Larger versions here (800) and here (1200).

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Perfection leaves no room for improvement. You're on the wrong path Vassily!


On Topalov-Bu in Round 5:

It looks to me as if Bu was in trouble long before the "mistakes" identified by Chessbase's commentary. Allowing f2-f3 and e3-e4 with tempo, and the recentralization of the White knight from a2, smacks of planless play. Let's see:

After 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 dxc4 5 a4 Bf5 6 e3 e6 7 Bxc4 Bb4 8 0-0 0-0 9 Qe2, Bu tries ...Ne4, a relatively rare guest with a drawish reputation. Topalov's 10 Ne5 is not the most common response, but scored 100% in the Chessgames.com database.

After 10 Ne5, I would think the obvious response is to win a pawn by 10...Nxc3 11 bxc3 Bxc3 when White must choose between 12 Ra3 Bb4, 12 Ra2, (where Black even has the silly looking 12...c5!?) and 12 Bb2 Bxb2 13 Qxb2 Qc7 when White doesn't have either e3-e4 or Ra1-b1 due to the influence of Black's Bf5.

Yet Bu chose 10 ... Nd7 11 Nxd7 Qxd7 12 Na2! Be7 (12...Bd6 13 f3 Nf6 14 e4 Bg6 and 15 e5 forks) 13 f3 Nf6 (Maybe 13...Nd6 is an idea, planning to play on the Queenside, but the Bg6 is out of play) 14 e4 Bg6 15 Be3, when Bu has to find a plan, and it looks like, does (based on e6-e5 and adding the useless a7-a5 and b7-b6).

15...Qc7 16 Nc1 a5 (could Black play ...c5 here? The routing of the knight through c1 prevents White's use of the open file immediately, 17 dxc5 Bxc5 18 Bxc5 Qxc5+ 19 Kh1 Rac8, or 18 Nd3 Bxe3+ 19 Qxe3 Qb6) 17 Nd3 Nd7 18 Rac1 Rfe8 19 g3 Bd6 20 Nf4 e5 21 Nxg6 hxg6 22 f4 and the pawn Bu spent ten moves bringing to e5 must surrender its position.

Interesting game, but looked very good for white right out of the opening.

Nice pix.

Great performance by Ivanchuk and great professional coverage by the mtel website!

BTW, where are all the whiners yelling two years ago that Danailov and Topalov should disappear from chess?

Still here, rasi.

i'm still here, too. been rooting against him ever since.

awesome performance by ivanchuk so far.

so... any news on how the black and white party turned out? :)

chuckster is the epitome of awesome. chess's own mad genius.

Well, too bad they're still around :)

I have always wanted the Chuck Monster to be the next 007. Craig hasnĀ“t got a chance.

I predict this is the last Mtel. Topalov can't win it anymore, even with two gauranteed wins against his second. Poor fella.

Still here, too, rasi, though there's a slight possibility that Top might be salvageable if "The Manager" disappeared.

Also too bad that the manager is bringing in corporate sponsorship while whiners are still whining...

The whiners are taking a break, looking forward to Bonn. And a corporately sponsored toad is still a toad.

What a great tournament Mtel is, well organised, site working properly, live feed, and exciting field! Good on ya organisers! I suspect even the whiners are enjoying the chess..

The wheel fell of

Poor Chucky... he must be devastated... a draw today

I see Ivanchuk-Topalov is tomorrow. That could get interesting, if Topalov wants to give himself a chance to win this tournament.

Ivanchuk's superlative performance has overshadowed Topalov's excellent results so far but he is not really all that far behind. A win tomorrow and Topalov would have caught up. I would like to see Ivanchuk hold his nerve and win this tournament though.

All good things must come to an end.

Seeing the pattern in the previous Mtels, if Topa were to beat Chucky, Topa will win it again.

Topa really is amazing, a superlative positional crush of Aronian yesterday. Chuky is the cats whiskers, but imagine, +5 and he still hasnt put daylight between himself and Topalov. And today, if Topalov wins against Chuky, its +4 for both! What an awesome pair, and what an advert for Chess.

For every game that Ivanchuk has won, Xiangzhi has lost one, leaving him at -5. Aronian is also at an uncharacteristically low -3.

It's a bit surprsing to see Aronian struggling like this, but with Ivanchuk at +5 and Topalov at +4 others are suffering as well.

I think Topalov is actually at +3.

LOL at Topalov - Cheparinov. Black tries an opening he never ever played before, chooses passive Nd7 instead of well-known Nc6, and basically just dies quietly soon thereafter.

I recall a similar game by Svidler against Kramnik in Corus I think. :)

Which year, jaideepblue? Svidler didn't play in Corus this year.

"LOL at Topalov - Cheparinov."
Erm..well i suppose its natural to try something other than his normal repertoire, which he has analysed in-depth with Topalov? And what is so unusual about a player beating another 70 points below him? Cheparinov has been doing badly lately anyway. What kind of game would have satisfied you guys? Topalov has flattened many a player in his time.

My first thought on seeing Topalov-Cheparinov was does this guy know the Grunfeld?? He got mugged in the opening.

By contrast it doesnt seem good psychology to play the bayonet against Radjabovs KID although Aronian was doing ok until he lost the plot presumably in time trouble.

No surprise to see Cheparinov lose to Topalov each and every single time they play each other.

Topalov's little biitch has earned the bonus money...now Topalov just has to win the tournament

this one:

note that I'm not insinuating anything. it was just that there was speculation similar to whats happening now after that game - especially Black's 21st move.

Why they don't follow the order they played in the first half?

Today Topa played Bu, but in the first half of the tournament he played Radjabov.

So I assume they changed the order to get an EASY(!) win for Topa while Aronian might slow down Chuky and then in the final round, Cheparinov will give Chuky hard time. It seems that this plot didn't work today because Bu humiliated their idol...

Aronian is having a dreadful tournament I wonder whats wrong? It wasn't so long ago he was being tipped as a future WC now that seems far away. A brilliant player I hope he bounces back soon.


"Why they don't follow the order they played in the first half?"

Might it have to do with the black-white breakdown? Organizers do avoid giving the same player the same color three times in a row.

In any case, the schedule was announced the day before the tournament started, so I don't really see any reason to assume shenanigans.


01 Anand 2798,1 -4,9
02 Kramnik 2788,0 0
03 Ivanchuk 2780,5 +40,5


Let's remember Ivanchuck was 2787 just in the october 2007 list.

Someone mentioned this would be the last Mtel Masters with Topalov not winning. Far from it. At the prize giving ceremony, the sponsors announced they'd signed a contract to hold the tournament for another two years (Mtel, like most sponors, have a two-year rolling contract).

And yes, it is well-known that when two players who work with each other meet, they agree to forgo their usual opening repertoire - it has happened in the past and will also happen in the future. Also, it is standard in double round-robins to change the sequence of the second half to avoid players having three successive whites - and as pointed above also, there were no shenanigans going on as the draw was known the day before the players drew the lots!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 13, 2008 4:25 PM.

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