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MTel 2009: Topalov Strikes

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Topalov finally scored a win at MTel, beating Wang Yue smoothly in the fourth round. Topalov plainly put it to the Bulgarian press that he got a lot of help from his opponent in this one. Hard to disagree, although we did get a trademark exchange sac from Topalov. Wang Yue might have held on for a while had he accepted it and given it back with 26..Nxb6 27.axb6 Rd7 28.Bxc5+ Bxc5 29.Nxc5 Rxd5 30.exd5 Bf5+ 31.Ne4 Rb8.

Ivanchuk might finally be waking up. He played a "spectacular" (Kasparov) game with black against Dominguez, sacrificing his g7 pawn and playing startling moves quickly. But even so Ivanchuk just couldn't find the crusher despite the many on offer. The too-subtle 30..Qa7 lost time when the direct grab of the g-pawn by the knight (or even the bishop) left White with little hope. Still, moves like 32..Be2! you don't get to see every day. 33..Qf7 was another lethal option Ivanchuk missed. By the time move 40 rolled around Dominguez had dodged enough bullets to kill Rasputin and was actually better. Incredible. Ivanchuk managed to hold the draw or they might be fishing him out of the Vladaya by now.

Carlsen-Shirov was a typically wild battle in the Botvinnik Semi-Slav, this one "starting" at move 24. Carlsen had to play carefully not to get into serious trouble. Instead of the immediate reputation Black might have risked and played on with 33..a5 34.Qxf7+ Ka6 with a mad race even the computers don't want to bet on.

Carlsen and Shirov still lead on +1. Round 5: Shirov-Dominguez, Ivanchuk-Topalov, Wang Yue-Carlsen. That last match-up has been an entertaining one.


http://chessbomb.com/ broadcasts the M-Tel games with realtime Rybka analysis

"Ivanchuk might finally be waking up." (Mig)

Nope, he's gone back to sleep again on his home planet. He lost miserably to Topalov today. It was just stupid what he did.

Luke, lay off Ivanchuk. Go back to claiming chess engine analysis as your own and stop attacking your betters. You'll never be where he was sitting today.

It would be nice if you'd show more respect for Chucky , it could be worse , he could have you as his second.

But is Luke really claiming chess engine analysis as his own? He just uses the engine to find a) the critical points in the game, and b) the best lines. Then he goes back and works the whole thing out on his own without using the engine at all. Sounds fair to me.

Got it backwards, manu. The question is whether Chucky, (and Topalov, and Magnus, and the other boobs he criticizes in other threads) are worthy to be Luke's second.

A little something about why nobody gives a s... if Chucky loses one or 2 games:

Either Greg's comment is deeply ironic, or I don't understand it at all ... . How can one go "c)" [work the whole thing out on his own without using the engine at all] and completely forget about a) and b) which happened only moments earlier??
Anyway, if Luke's second name happens to be McShane, he arguably has a certain right to make respectless comments on games by top GM's - because he is (or was) at least reasonably close to Ivanchuk's chair, closer than most others posting here ... . But even then "his" own games also contained mistakes when he couldn't use engines while playing - which is a spectator's privilege.
Generally I can only repeat the suggestion I made in an earlier thread: if comments on games were "inspired by engines", then just say so ! And show some respect to top GM's who clearly know a thing or two (or two-hundred) about chess ... .

"Greg's comment is deeply ironic"
Yes. Yes is is. Indeed. 10/4.
To re-affirm that: the comment is ironic.

Clubfoot and Manu - I'm not sure what's wrong with you, and perhaps you don't know either. For some unknown reason, you seem to be offended that I said something bad about the way that Ivanchuk played in his last few games. The truth is, he played horribly, and you both know it.

"For some unknown reason.."

If you're requesting more reasons than those already provided, tough luck. It's enough that you continue to abuse a 2700+ GM for losing a chess game.

I've been out doing things, so I just got back home and would have replied earlier. I notice that you are also offended that I said something critical about Ivanchuk's recent play. What do you suggest is the best thing to do when I see someone (Ivanchuk, Topalov, Carlsen, whoever) make a stupid move? Perhaps you would prefer for me to not say anything at all?

Take it easy, share your knowledge with a more user-friendly interface , it actually seemed like you were talking about an inferior player ...
did you checked the link i pasted?
How do you think he speaks about/with his amateur opponents? Learn from him.

Hello Clubfoot -

Ok, it's clear now that you prefer to defend bad play and I prefer to criticize it. You shouldn't get so upset about that.

Hi Manu -

Yes, I looked at that chessdom story. Nice thing for Ivanchuk to do, good for him. But, if he makes stupid moves, they are still stupid moves, are they not? It doesn't matter who makes them if they are stupid moves. Fischer, Kasparov, Capablanca, or Mother Teresa could have made those stupid moves, and they would still be stupid moves. And Ivanchuk has certainly made some stupid moves recently. Why is that so troublesome to you?

Luke -- you post too often and you never listen.

Congratulations for learning a brand-new word today, but you persist in using it to mock a chessplayer who lost a game to a stronger opponent. If you enjoy being a mean-spirited cracksmoking retard, knock yourself out. But you could at least try to be more objective about other posters here and not argue that it's about "defending poor play." That's going pretty low, even for you.

Hello Luke - nothing wrong with being 'critical' about top GM's, but lots of things are wrong with the language you use ("stupid, miserable, horrible, ..."). Of course I/we do not know you and most likely never heard of you in person [I was also ironic when I suggested you might be Luke McShane], but I am wondering if you act in a similar way and use the same kind of language when meeting people FTF. If so, how do they (your friends, colleagues, family, casual aquaintances) react ???
[FTF = "face to face" - I wonder if such an acronym exists in the context of anonymnous Internet discussions ,:) ]

BTW, Clubfoot, while Topalov is stronger than Ivanchuk (at least in terms of current rating) Chucky is also capable of losing against weaker opponents from time to time. It doesn't matter, though - and in all other aspects I agree with you.

Ivanchuk seems like a great guy to me. Lot's of love for the game of chess and the people who play it. I find it very hard to imagine Kramnik doing something like that. At least without a contract, a manager and some cameras around.


I don't really care about his loss the day after. Chucky is so refreshing in this competitive and dull world.

I'm just waiting until someone reveals that Danailov hired the "amateurs" to weaken Ivanchuk up before playing Topalov :)

Don't know why you singled out Kramnik, bizz - he's hardly known for his desperate courting of publicity. I read somewhere else that Ivanchuk did the same sort of thing at Linares - with the other players just passing by and shaking their heads.

I'd rather he was less loveable if it meant he didn't ruin good games of chess with time trouble blunders, but it's a little late in his career to solve the problem of detaching the madness from the genius.

p.s. I misremembered - the other plays apparently passed by Ivanchuk playing with amateurs in Linares and just smiled (rather than shaking their heads!).

Hello Thomas -

Regarding your comment: “…lots of things are wrong with the language you use ("stupid, miserable, horrible, ...").

I think you are too easily offended just because I said that Ivanchuk made some stupid moves (which he did), and lost miserably (which he did), or played horribly (which he did).

I could be wrong, but I've noticed that you never seem to be offended when other people have criticized Ivanchuk’s poor play. It appears to be only me who bothers you. Why is that? For example, you remained absolutely silent following these remarks by Mig about Ivanchuk’s play:

“One of the worst 2700 games I can remember in that it wasn't just a simple piece of blindness that can happen to anyone on a bad day. Ugly. Kids, don't do drugs. Or whatever Ivanchuk was doing today, don't do it.” (Mig)

“Ivanchuk lost helplessly with white against Shirov yesterday…” (Mig)

“…wondering how this person can feed and dress himself before the game.” (Mig)

“I just hope he doesn't come completely unglued and really unbalance the tournament.” (Mig)

Now Thomas, you and I both know that you would have become very offended if I had said of Ivanchuk that he had played one of the worst 2700 games I could remember, or that he had lost helplessly, or if I speculated about a possible inability to feed and dress himself, or hoped that he didn’t become completely unglued…

So, why is that Thomas?

Thomas -- just hang it up and don't bother responding. This guy Luke is out there in the garbage and you don't need to jump in there with him. His burden is clear: Ivanchuk will recover from a loss, but Luke will be a bitter kibitzer-fish forever. You can't win against that, so let him drown in his own filth and misery.

"it's a little late in his [Ivanchuk's] career to solve the problem of detaching the madness from the genius."
I would say it is probably as impossible now as it was 10-15 years ago, simply because these are two inseparable sides of the same medal. In other words: if Cucky somehow ceased to be a madman, he would also cease to be a genius ,:) recently we actually enjoyed (or maybe not) both in the very same game(s)!
And while Clubfoot has a point, only that much (more) in response to Luke: Mig DOES see and mention both sides of the medal, and he tries to be humorous (a matter of taste if he succeeds, for me he does). You are just plain negative ... .

Very poor response Thomas, very weak. You and your friends know that as good as Ivanchuk is, he has made some horrible moves recently.

That is not the point. The point is you lack respect for your betters. And you bore us with your posts. Do you think we either want or need to hear from you that Ivanchuk has made "stupid" moves?
You, a patzer, have the audacity to criticize the play of a super GM in the most disrespectful language. Your use of "stupid" denigrates both move and man.
"It was just stupid what he did."
And all this defence from the man who yacks on about off-topic posts.
In plain terms, how about some manners, and a little humility? Don't waste your time with a sharp reply, they have failed to impress to date and will doubtless continue to do so.

Ok, I won't waste my time responding to you since you say you wouldn't be impressed anyways.

Let's not confuse Ivanchuk's Shirov game with his Topalov game.

The Shirov game was horrible, no doubt. It's been suggested he remembered the wrong move order. Whatever, it was a shocker.

But the Topalov game was not. He sacced a knight and conducted a strong attack for 20 moves. He spurned the perpetual, then a move later blundered (37 Qxb7). A blunder, yes. Horrible or stupid play, no.

Don't read this if you don't want to.

Topalov's position is maybe slightly better than Carlsen's after 17 moves.

Dominguez Perez - Wang is equal.

Shirov - Ivanchuk is equal after 12. Open Ruy.

The official site shows that after 15 moves, Ivanchuk has lost his queen for nothing. Let's hope it is just a transmission glitch at the Mtel site and not another bonehead move.

The official site has fixed the Shirov - Ivanchuk game, which looks about equal.

Dominguez Perez has been burning a lot of clock time against Wang for no apparent purpose.

Topalov - Carlsen has fizzled out to a drawn endgame. Now they just have to make it look good.

Shirov hasn't done anything exceptional against Ivanchuk, just made simple and obvious moves. Somehow, he's ended up with the advantage, and I'd bet on Shirov to win.

Dominguez Perez - Wang is now an opposite bishop dead draw.

Topalov - Carlsen is close to a draw. They are just goofing around now.

Shirov - Ivanchuk looks like a bishop vs. knight win for Shirov.

Draw, draw, win.

Hans Arild Runde:

Please keep Ivanchuk on your list even if he falls below 2700.00 for a while. He is a great player and I believe he will bounce back. Thanks.

His list says 2700 and above. If you are less than 2700, you don't make the list. You want a special exception for Ivanchuk?

"You want a special exception for Ivanchuk?"

Yes, that would appear to be precisely what he said-

"Please keep Ivanchuk on your list even if he falls below 2700.00 for a while"

The cool-handed M-Tel commentary above on this thread, from our favorite serial poster, reminds me of some lines from the Tennyson poem which begns "O babbling brook":

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles....

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.


Not bad, but after Luke the Retard's multiple posts, screaming and crying for someone to pay attention to him, it brought this more to mind:


...and that may be Luke in the top right corner trying to divert your attention from the poem.

Off Topic:
This concept of negotiating things and fighting about contracts in front of the public should be a thing from the past , IMO both FIDE and Mr .Resh are only showing that there should be replaced by others .
We should be only worrying about Chucky , not about the size of FIDE´s logo.

Mr. Resch is a chess enthusiast ready to throw four million euro at Anand-Topalov. His group was the winning bidder for that match. Why exactly should Resch be replaced? And by whom?

As long as Kirsan is permitted to do FIDE's monkey business in the dark you will have the usual diet of payola-elections, mid-cycle WCC changes, suspiciously failed events (Pono-Kasparov, Kasim-Kasparov) and, of course, Elista 2006.

The only hope for rationally organized chess is that someone shine a spotlight down on the FIDE cockroach nest. The hoped-for results of publically exposing FIDE's chicanery are that a) Kirsan will be shamed/pressured into rational behavior, or b) the chess elite will finally get sick of him and form their own organization.

Kudos to Resch.

If Resch was the responsable of not having the FIDE´s logo on the match in Bonn he should be replaced too , that kind of political manouvers do great harm to the integrity of any event.
Being a succesful businessmen is not the only quality that organizers should have ,Greg.
As for the money lets see if that amount is for sure , in the article its mentioned that there are other few possible groups interested , or so it seems.
I dont know what kind of companies is Kirsan talking about but i agree that there should not be any black company as sponsor , the Kramnik -Leko match is a bad precedent on that issue.

There's a curious thing about the Chessbase photo captioned, "No FIDE Logos in sight – Anand and Kramnik at the drawing of colours"... there is a clear FIDE logo, just to the left of Kramnik's head!

Kirsan's bullsh*t.

As published in Chessbase,the interviewer asks:
"What if UEP agrees to make a FIDE logo the size of a whole wall? And also consents that you will be supervising things, so that “bad” sponsors will not get through. In that case are you going to continue the negotiations with Resch?"

Kirsan's answer should be "yes."

But instead, Kirsan says "...we cannot allow that any company can become a sponsor."

Kirsan is trying to make it appear that he simply wants to veto "black" co-sponsors but according to Resch, Kirsan is demanding a veto on ALL co-sponsors. Which would of course, give Krisan the power to financially ruin UEP.

This sabotaging of UEP's bid is the latest in Kirsan's long, long, line of self-aggrandizing, power-mad, hypocritical nonsense.

But if nothing else, Resch has put the screws to Kirsan to either come up with a four million euro bid...or risk making some prominent folks quite unhappy.

Direct evidence is furnished by Mr Resch that FIDE was assimilated into the collective some time ago:

"And then we received a new contract, where a hand of Borg could be felt."

No wonder negotiation broke down. Kirsan probably flew in on his exposed spinal cord to the followup Chessbase interview.

World chess is doomed. Resistance is futile.


Resch was bidding for the 2010 challenger tournament and the 2011 world championship match. He was not bidding for the Anand Topalov match.

If you read Resch's interview he doesn't say anything against Kirsan, only against Geoffrey Borg.He was , incidentally, the campaign manager of Bessel Kok and his right move campaign and was drafted into Global Chess by Bessel Kok.


Thank you for the correction. Yes, it's about the 2010-2011 events.

What do you make of it all?

Hi Greg,
Why is he in charge? Kirsan has over the years put a lot of money on the table, and no one else has. He stepped up, no one else did.

I try to imagine a US State Governor giving millions of dollars to chessplayers, building chess-related buildings, creating a mini-vacation spot called Chess City, with multiple buildings, devoted to chess. Wow. I guess it is similar to cities building sports stadiums for football and baseball teams... but for chess?!

Is KI spending his own money? Tax money? Money of questionable origin? I don't know and will never know the truth on these questions. (Or, I may know it, but not know I know it.)

But if you're asking, how come Kirsan gets to call the shots, for good or bad? (and often bad?) Well, it starts with, he put up the money, and no one else did.

Thats the point tjallen , chess absolutely dont need at all anyone to ¨(give) giving millions of dollars to chessplayers, building chess-related buildings, creating a mini-vacation spot called Chess City, with multiple buildings, devoted to chess¨ , just an average administrator would do.
One that gets renewed every 4 or 6 years , each time from diferent natioanality until the circle is completed , like in the rotary club.
Corruption and dictatorship made their nest near the book of chess rules , Kirsan is just hatching their eggs.

Back to Ivanchuk and M-Tel.
Every so often, a player in bad form is fingered by his colleagues at an elite event. They strive for maximum points against him/her, he/she loses even more confidence and his/her downward spiral becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's happened to Tal, Korchnoi, Timman, Shirov, Seirawan, Speelman, Topalov, Leko, Ljubijevic, Judit Polgar (but not Kramnik or Kasparov) to name but a few.
It's a temporary dip in form and not a permanent loss of powers. I would back the great Vassily Ivanchuk to bounce back powerfully, and soon too.

If Shirov plays 30...Qd3 against Topalov, it's a 3-time repetition. If not, he loses.

Wang - Ivanchuk is about even. Ivanchuk has been thinking a long time on his 18th move. Wang has two bishops and an open board for them, but Ivanchuk has a 3 vs. 2 pawn advantage on the queenside plus a great diagonal for his g7 bishop.

It looked like Ivanchuk was willing to take a draw. He played 20...Qf8 and Wang could play 21.Bh6, forcing Ivanchuk to go back 21...Qe7, and then it's 22.Bg5 Qf8, 23.Bh6 Qe7 etc.

However, Wang is not ready for a draw yet, and played 22.f3, so the game goes on.

The position was repeated 3 times (moves 23, 25, 27), but Ivanchuk didn't claim a draw, perhaps because of the tournament rules, so they kept playing.

What was that Slav madness played out by Topalov and Shirov? Up to what point was it theory, anybody?

Also isn't Magnus in quite a strong position right now (move 30)?

Yes, he is winning. 33.e6 should do it. Dominguez really did nothing for the entire game.

Tal -

The entire game is a book line. What a joke.

An observation:

Luke | May 20, 2009 11:00 AM |
The position was repeated 3 times (moves 23, 25, 27), but ...

This passage is inaccurate.


The point which I am trying to make is that everything which goes wrong is not Kirsan's fault.

You are correct. I counted wrong. Only twice.

Luke - thanks for the play updates. I'll try to imagine the low tones of the chess announcer, pretending to whisper so as not to disturb the players.

Manu - good reply above and I mostly agree with you, but look: almost no professional chess players turned down KI's money, even playing in Libya, where some qualifying players were excluded for non-chess reasons. The cassian idealism didn't overcome Kirsan's money thru the 90s and most of the 00s, players' unions came and went, attempts at professional leagues, and he's still standing. Many chess players and their families have lived on his dime. He's now an indelible part of chess lore.

Manu, also, great writing above! I love your 'rotary club' and 'Kirsan hatching the eggs'. You should always write like that!

Thx ,tj .Maybe in the near future someone will enforce democratic standars into FIDE , we will all get drunk at that party.

Ivanchuk - Carlsen = Dragon
Dominguez Perez - Topalov = 6.h3 Najdorf
Shirov - Wang = Open Catalan

Perhaps a slight edge for white in all 3 games.

Ivanchuk - Carlsen will be an equal ending soon.
Dominguez Perez - Topalov is unclear.
Shirov - Wang is an equal RBN vs. RBB ending.

No clock problems yet in any game, although Ivanchuk and Dominguez Perez are both more than 15 minutes behind.

Amazing that Luke R. is the only one with access to live coverage and a home chess engine. Don't know how we'd cope without his rapier-keen analysis.

Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll follow up with tutorials on "How To Move The Horsey" and "When A Castle Is Not A Castle".

Ivanchuk - Carlsen is R+2P vs. N+3P, but a likely draw. (I see that they just shook hands).

Dominguez Perez - Topalov is starting to look good for White. He's an exchange ahead, but getting short of time.

Shirov - Wang has been a B vs. B draw for a long time, but they need to get to move 30 before shaking hands.

Nice defense by Topalov to save the game and reach a drawn position. Dominguez Perez got into time trouble and messed up a probable win.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 17, 2009 4:49 AM.

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