Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Anand-Topalov WCh, g5

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Not sure why I've been writing R for 'round' in the item titles for the entire match, but I won't let a foolish consistency trump accuracy. It's game five in Sofia and Topalov very much needs to strike back before Anand takes two whites in a row. (For the match newbies out there, they "flip" in the middle so the same player doesn't get white after a rest day every time.) Anand leads 2.5-1.5. Is the Grunfeld off the menu entirely after the blowout in game one and the success with the Slav? I hope not, as it guarantees excitement, not that we've been lacking that lately.

Anand beat Kramnik with black in game 5 of their 2008 match. That continued a bad streak with that number in matches for Big Vlad. That was number of the infamous forfeit against Topalov in Elista, 2006. Karpov beat Kasparov in the 5th game in three consecutive matches. Not that I'm into numerology or astrology or anything like that other than mixology, plus the occasional tautology. Official site. I won't be on the chat myself much today, but it's here if you wanna.

Update: Whoa, at 8:42, after 17.Be3 by Topalov, people are reporting a blackout in the playing hall. More of the game five curse?! This is what happens when you let Danailov rip all the cables out of the ceilings... -- Back on after around 30 minutes delay. Sure to be some controversy if there's a decisive result.

It is prohibited to send Mig fewer than three plates of spicy buffalo wings. ChessBase is violating this prohibition.


I wonder how long before Topalov decides to take bigger risks.Try something to put off Anand,who seems in a very calm state of mind.Topalov has allowed Anand to dictate the strategy for this match so far.e4 today?

Second that 1e4, so maybe my foolish consistency leads to accuracy in the end

And we come to the day of reckoning. Topalov must marshal his innermost powerful chess secrets - maybe show to the Sofia Rules superfine print that says the players can switch sides when one has become totally outplayed, and that the outplayer can then play for an extra point, or equality should the outplayed managed to bring the outplayer's advantage to a win. This procedure not to be counted as a draw offer, but the offer to switch must go through at least two arbiters and be translated back and forth between various languages.

Right. Chess. A glorious day for it. Mr. Topalov will be wondering about playing e4.

Inspired by this game.

With another Na3 motif.

thanks for the game link.Who will be inspired by the game?

i predict a Berlin Wall for today.

I doubt that, given that Anand is about the only top player who's never played it, and Topalov is an expert.

Another Slav of some kind has to be the favourite, surely?

Simply another quiet Slav.

How could Anand reach a quiet Slav if Topalov plays 1.e4 ?

What kind of question is that?

Same variation as in g2 :(

Now we have the same line as game 3, Topalov is unexpectedly stubborn.

Finally Topalov's prep gets to play in this match - at least assuming he has some idea here he wants to show it does. This will be interesting.

Since we are not paying any membership to MIG to hang around his blog, may I suggest we all alick on the ad icons - Ameritrade, Progressive, etc - on the chat window above to get some click and redirect counts going in favor of this site? Don't know if it's worth much, just seem like the right thing to do...

It was a joke ... mostly reacting to rdh writing "no Berlin, it's gonna be another Slav".

This line of the Slav does remind you a bit about the Berlin.

Vishy's suspicious; he's playing slowly. He can't be considering ..h5 instead of ...h6, surely?

I don't like this. Anand himself said that at one point in game 3 Black's position was dangerous, and Topalov said he could have done better with his advantage. Why would Anand walk into the same setup again?

well, Anand had already change a move with h5.

You were right. He played 15. h5.

LOL. What do I know?

It is a bit like the Berlin, isn't it? Yes, you're better, but what can you actually do?! Black has a plan and once he's executed it he's fine, and meanwhile White just doesn't seem to be able to get at him. Strange how Kramnik's two high-profile WC-match discoveries have both been of the same unusual character.

h5 a novelty?anyone

He spent most time on 14.-Rg8 and then indeed continued with 15.-h5 - sidestepping Topalov's preparation?
For the second time, the player who could be happy with the opening in an earlier game is the first one to deviate. In game 4, Topalov chose a different Catalan - even though his loss in game 2 was hardly related to the opening phase.

Its is sometimes a stare down contest:-)

I wonder what Black's plan is against Ne2-f4? I suppose just ...Bd6. And if g3 is he happy to take on f4? It looks kinda quaint.

Anand's a hard one to lay a glove on in opening prep, isn't he? Makes his debacle in game one all the more surprising.

Colin Crouch says in his new book that Anand is the best of all the top players in preparation. Seemed strange when I read it, but the more I think about it the truer I think it is. Anand's not a great opener of whole new fields - it's hard to think of an opening he's brought into fashion - but he's a great polisher of ideas and a very pragmatic player. That's his great strength of course; his very quick reaction to a wide range of game situations and perceiving how he can use them to his advantage.

Interesting insights rdh.

Gosh, I didn't think 17 Be3 was possible because of 17...Ne5. What's White going to do after that? If 18 Nf4 Nxc4 19 Rxc4 wouldn't just 19...Kd7 be fine - White can't make of much of the position with the doubled g-pawns with only the dark-squared bishops, can he? Or perhaps he can. I don't see what else he can play after ...Ne5.

Speelman on iCC says 17..Ne5 should be okay for Black now.

I see Shipov wants to go 17...Ne5 18 Nf4 Nxc4 19 Rxc4 Bxf4 20 Bxf4 Rd8 21 Ke2. I don't trust that for Black somehow. Is that what Speelman's talking about, jaideep, or does he want to let Nxg6 happen?

Anand has spent a lot of time after Be3, is he trying to recall the prep again ?

"Blackout in the Military club! The press conference room is dark and the Mundell press conference stopped. At the same time the official site live commentary stopped for the same reason. News from the scene in 1 minute!

Update: The playing hall is also dark! Werner Stubenvoll is asking what is happenning but there is no electricity in the whole building!" http://live.chessdom.com/anand-topalov-2010-g5.html

Blackout in the Military club! The press conference room is dark and the Mundell press conference stopped. At the same time the official site live commentary stopped for the same reason. News from the scene in 1 minute!

Update: The playing hall is also dark! Werner Stubenvoll is asking what is happenning but there is no electricity in the whole building! Chessdom.com reporting live by phone from the scene.


seemingly the electricity went off

yea smartass he is. whatever u think, he still leads this match and he still is WCC. not danailov

Finally Danailov did his JOB! For sure the have had training with Topalov without light and now they try this plan with Anand.

Oh Topalover, Ovidiu, maybe you might want to consider that Anand is thinking OTB.

Maybe that's beyond your ability to conclude, that to recall a prep you dont spend 15 mins time.

Are they now playing blindfold chess?

This 'black-out' was engineered by Danilov because Topalov did not prepare 15..h5

ok ... so we are to believe that a wcc was organized without a backup powere supply. What happens now. The match is replayed? Cause Anand did not walk into Topa's prep?
Very nice organization of a WCC

Ovidiu, your hero Topalov will probably have someone coming over to talk to him in the darkness and tell him what moves to make next.

And maybe Dani saw to it that the lights went off so Anand's clock keeps running. Haha.

Nice tactic. Would be even more effective against a computer. Any sites updating from a mobile device on the scene?

Firebird, Ovidiu really doesn't to be as much of a Topalov partisan as you think....did you even read his comment?

I think as per rules match will have to be replayed incase of natural disruption

Based on Danialov's rather infamous reputation, I think this is a calculated disruption to the game. I'm sure he will be passing the next moves to Topalov during this chaos of darkness. I think this is his sinister planning.

You have to be kidding me? Cancel because of a power outage? Surely stop the clocks, restore power, restart the clocks and carry on?

I must say that I am far from being a conspiracy theorist, but this seems suspicious... I'll wait to see how things out from here before passing judgement..

Chessdom is reporting by phone - signal blocking devices also seem to be out of order?

On the anand-topalov.com is Anand's time running. Anand has to stop the game and start from this posiation next day, because this is Hostcity's problem!

Hope Anand's legal team ensured that in such an event the game is abandoned. Whether it is replayed or not is another wrinkle but surely this game should not be continued as is.

What a distraction this is going to cause. What a shame!


No, the signal-blocking device is separately powered, by a squirrel on a treadmill.


I was referring to the troll's earlier comment (see below), and see CCR's response to Ovidiu's comment. I just seconded CCR.

Ovidiu >>> Anand has spent a lot of time after Be3, is he trying to recall the prep again ?

ccr >>> yea smartass he is. whatever u think, he still leads this match and he still is WCC. not danailov

This is chess, not Soccer by every weathe!

@rdh as far as i could tell, Speelman thinks its important the bishop at c4 be removed, more important than allowing the doubled g-pawns.

Power failure...hmm. Imagine if this had happened before Anand's Nxh6 the other day! right now its not a big deal i think. the position doesen't have too many tactics. they just need to get their focus back once the game resumes.

Its loss for Anand both ways, as he was the one with novelty so he had some ideas down the line! Topa and Danialov are back with game "5"

15 minutes have passed, this is "see you tomorrow"

just think if this had happened in India.The whole world would have been up against arms.

If this is a genuine power outage (and I can imagine that is possible) I don't think its such a huge distraction. Some parallels to this, remember Bobby Fischer vs Petrosian? I bet both players are thinking hard, and the lack of sight of the board will make hardly any difference to their visualisation. However the clocks HAVE to be stopped, this is OTB play, not blindfold. Then you carry on with power restored and the clocks restarted.

This reminds me of the 1989 Earthquake World Series in San Francisco. Without all the mayhem and loss of life of course.

This is what happens when you let Danailov rip all the cables out of the ceilings.

At least the "interesting discussion about the Euro and future of Euro zone" can continue: it seems that the press conference room has daylight, and Mundell speaks without a microphone.

electricity back..play shd be cancelled.topa dany back with new novelty on rest day

can you forgive organizers(Danialov) for not having backup in case this is genuine power outage

live coverage is back, Ne5 played, Anand lost 15 min the clock

Online coverage shows Ne5 played by Anand.

Game continues. 17...Ne5.

If Topalov wins, is the game same like Kramnik's present to him. If Anand wins, after this match Topalv has to say to Danailov: Adious Amigo! Your plans didn't work.

Depends pyada. In the west, power outages are so rare that many facilities won't have stand-alone back-up. If it's not uncommon in Sofia, then yes, they should have had back-up.

why was 15 mins taken off from anand.he could have replied immedeately after power cut so he could have saved 15 mins theoretically

Shall we all kick in a few bucks and donate an electric generator to the match organizers?

Anand lost about 15 minutes on the clock, so how is that resolved? I mean what do the regulations say.

This happened in the British League a few years ago when the fire alarm went off five minutes before the time control. One player I know adjourned with his opponent having mate in about seven available with checks. After forty minutes in the (freezing) car park the fellow came back and gave perpetual check. Either very honourable or suggesting a distinct lack of blindfold analytical ability while shivering in a greatcoat. I'm not sure we ever found out which.

Anyway, I guess if he allows Nxg6 as I suggested Black's problem is going to be darning the d-file, not the c-file. White has Bg5(+) with some force. Maybe he is planning to take on f4.

This must still be Anand's prep, surely - White's moves are very natural.

I am in US and see backup at imp institutions and events, I dont understand why not here

They continued playing on emergency lights. Hence Anand's time has been used up.


You mean to say the game never stopped at all

Chessdom reporting that Topalov's seconds entered playing hall. See Chess update below:

"Update: Now electricity is back and access to the playing hall will be again available. Interesting, GM L'Ami and GM Cheparinov have just entered the playing hall coming from the direction of their hotel, probably to see if moves can be seen on the stage. More info coming."

It may be simple economics, does it make sense to send x amount on contingency plans for a very small probability? Clearly this is not a critical thing, unlike say the power going off in a hospital emergency room or in a TV station or something.

Yes. It continued. Ipatov informed on Chess Bomb/Chessdom


Do not worry..There was good natural light plus emergency lughts.even if the seconds entered they cldnt have said anything unless this was a set up

I like 18 .. Rc8 rather than getting a horrible pawn structure with 18... Nc4. This is all right for Black surely?

According to ChessDom:

Chessdom: Emergency generator brought in the palying hall

Chessdom: the play was stopped during most of the power outage

Chessdom: tha clocks are correct

Chessdom: note: another power outage expected according to electrical experts

"Sofia rule" tragicomedy, act 2, coming up in a couple of hours.

I hope Topalov blunders so that Anand can perform an OTB blackout.

Or earlier.

How effortlessly did Anand draw this??

Topalov wasted White again with this drawish exchange variation.
He has black next thus he will play into Catalan again.

why not Rc1 on move 24 to exchange rooks?

the only thing to look forward now is how the draw will not be offered.

d_tal, there is still some work to be done, but the pressure is now off, for the most part. It did take some work for Anand to find ...f6, and after that, he could sit back and play effortlessly. Had he not noticed this move, it would've been a tougher ending to play.



I am not sure about this "electricity experts" thing.Surely predicting electricity cuts should fall within the domain of weather experts?

Anand is even slightly better here if he gets to play e5/Nd5, is B vs.N ending better for black

There have been talks about Anand playing in Bulgaria.
As this match is going I cannot help but thinking:
Well, Kasparov had no problem playing Short in London either... ;)

And how will the handshake via the arbiter be arranged?

Actually, Topalov missed ... f6, else he would have played 22. Rd1, not 22. Bd2 when 23... f6 would not be possible. Now its an effortless draw for Vishy.

Agreed, d_tal; it was strange to me that Topa didn't play 22 Rd1. Hard to imagine he overlooked so basic a trick, though.

29...g5!? I bet no-one saw that coming. Is Vishy playing to win.

yeah, g5 that woke me up a bit ... still, it's pretty hard to lose this ending. I'd lose it, but not Topalov (give the man credit for being 2800+).

Can they end this stupid game NOW. I have to board an airplane from Heathrow and can't stand not knowing whether someone will blunder this obvious draw.. Or, who knows what else..

Karpov is coming to Sofia on May 3 -- meeting with Borisov, Danailov.. Chess politics, I guess.


From Shipov after 29 ...g5 :
"A fine fellow Vishy! Well done! He managed to entertain the respected audience almost falling asleep at the hall"


hm ... not sure why Anad pushed on g4 now. h4 is now weak.

I enjoyed this game, it has been the most relaxing so far.

Once again Topalov gets nonchalant or whatever and allows Anand to play the obvious key idea - Nxh6+ in game 4, ..f6 here - wrongly assuming it wouldn't work.

(He apparently looked surprised when Vishy played ..f6, and after looking at the position a bit started shaking his head, "visibly upset".)

I meant h5 is now weak.

h4 is weak? I don't follow your thinking at all.



Okay, this makes more sense. h5 was weak all along, though, so he cut off the most reachable avenue to it. The game is not yet over, and it is certainly to be considered that dropping h5 also would likely mean losing g4, but I think things are under control.



just purely on general scheme. if white can get his rook on the 5th rank (Topalov just moved Rc2) unobstructed then black would have to spend resources defending it while white can pound on the queen side.

I understand nothing. Anand must be playing to win to do this, mustn't he?

it seems really confusing now..anyone has some clear idea..please

Neither do I. Why was it necessary to do this? What happens with 33. RC5 now?

now white can play Rc5 attacking the h5 pawn (need to calculate the details :-) )

to annoy Topalov, black is theoretically slightly better with N vs B and (not yet, but after e5) blocked central pawns

Shipov: 33.Rc5 Nb4!

33. Rc5 Nb4?

If Rc5, then Nb4 threatening Rd3+

Why did Anand play g5? Seems to introduce risk without corresponding return...

It may be that Anand is trying to win the position; theoretically this ending should be a bit better for Black as long as the rooks stay on.

Roamingwind: h5 isn't any weaker after g4 than after gxh4; g5-g4 rules out attacking the h pawn by Bb3-d1.

Maybe Anand will play Kd7/Nb4? More likely he's just playing it out for his own amusement to see if Topalov will blunder before he gives up.

"?" was a typo

Man, Anand likes to walk tightropes!

thanks for pointing out Bd1.

that "g5" plan was dubious, why did not aim for e5 and Nd4 ?

OK, repetition coming!

Maybe he was just contriving this Sofia draw.

Seems the g5 plan is holding up well tactically. In an endgame, the g4 pawn might be sac target for a passed pawn, but it's unlikely we will ever get there if Topalov can't get the rooks off and generate counterplay.

What a white Bishop... wish never have, better to have a Knight but aktive.

I don't know why some people are assuming that it is automatically a draw...as far as i can see, there is still some bite in the position.

It appears Topolov's insistence on adhering to Sofia rules from his side is showing some fruitfulness in this game. By move 30 it seemed equal and lifeless, but Anand had to play on and pushed ...g5 now Shipov says White is pressing.

It's by no means an automatic draw; I'm sure I could contrive to lose it playing either colour. But between these two players it's a certain draw.

Ha ha! Mig, you have just as much standing as Danailov to sue Chessbase.

its certainly a draw

Black has a little edge, I think. White's g-pawn can be attacked by Anand's knight. He can torture Topa a little but there might be a repetition of moves.

Yes, it looks like Anand has now the upper hand. Instead of taking the repetition offered by Anand on move 35, Topalov has reached the time control with an uncomfortable position, and he will have to play precisely to secure a draw. Too bad the Sofia rule prevents him to offer one.

Draw. Anand repeated moves, and they did shake hands :-)

No handshake again?

Draw from repetition. After Anand returns his knight to d4, Topa plays Rc5 then the knight returns to f4.

I'm glad to see them shake hands.

Good to know that they shook hands.

e6-e5 was intersting to play for win, but seems that anand doesn't need it...

And a warm handshake to Karlanandov

As I saw in the video, it seems that arbiter again had to come to declare the draw. But the arbiter was being wise and he already was near the board as he expected a repetition to avoid any problems like game 3. But I am curious if Anand offered the draw? And then the arbiter came in right then.

Solid play by both, no fireworks, well-played draw.

Karlanandov returns the gesture.

It seemed to me that Anand did offer the draw after ...Nf5 and Topalov just moved his rook back to c3 without bothering. And then the arbiter walked in and Anand mentioned "draw" to arbiter and then Topalov agreed.

Now Topalov needs a "plan B" for both White and Black. Very strange to prepare as the main weapon with White this "ending with some edge". He has played it before without much success.

If Topalov could come up with lines OTB he would have had plan B by now. But, no he is too dependent on home prep. He has to change his home prep.

It is amazing how Anand can defend so well. A good defensive player should be able to survive everything thrown at him and cannot become one if he relies on home prep alone.

Here is a surprise from the organizers

...... an apology for the power loss. wow.....dint expect this gracious act. very impressed.

The squirrel went down with an unkoown poison, thank god they a a hamster. And yes MIG this would have been very effective for Kaspy vs Deep Blue surprised it was not used in the last round.

There's millions being spent on the match. A native speaker proof reader could be had for peanuts. It looks really unprofessional.
That goes for a lot of other high-level chess communication,too.
I've worked as a translator and I don't know how many people I've seen who thought their high-school English sufficed for official documents.
This Slav line is very effective so far but I do hope we're not going to see it too often again, my love for it is waning fast.

What do you know, the organizers acknowledge a force majeure event.

I wonder whats going on in Topalov's camp.Why persistence with this line against slav? Now,tomorrow's game will be interesting.What Topalov is going to do? So far,he has allowed Anand to call the shots in the opening,and how the position develops on the board.

The critical move in the game 5 as noted by a number of commentators is 22. B-d2 instead of 22. R-d1

I subjected an evaluation using Stockfish 1.71 and here are results at the one minute mark using a depth of 16 or more for 22. R-d1 move. The eval varies between 0.2 to 0.6.

I'm surprised Topalov chose this variation for the game and even more surprised that afterall his team would have definitely looked at 15...h5, he did not continue 22.R-d1

I wonder if this will be discussed with any specific concerns by Topalov in the press conference.

I used the following for the position
FEN: 2r5/1p2kpp1/p2bp1b1/4n2p/P3PN1P/1B3P2/1P2K1P1/2B4R w - - 0 1

From a match strategy point so far Anand is executing really well by not letting Topalov, instead varying it first himself. Very similar to what he did with Kramnik.

I will be quite surprised if Topalov decides to continue to meet d4 with Catalan; Anand so far has called the shots after game 1 debacle and putting Topalov off balance.

If game 4 moves are repeated, there are no evaluations after move 15 which show any initiative passing into black's hands with precise play by white. It is white who is always holding the upper hand.

But to avoid Catalan,what can Topalov do? what moves should he play?

Topalov can play QGD 1.d4 with 1...d5 followed by 2.c4 e6 or he cal also play KID 1.d4 with 1...Nf6 followed by 2..g6

He can play the Slav himself like Anand has done. He has also played Benoni in the past.

If the line is 22.Rd1 Rc6 23.Be3 Bc5 24.Bd2 f6 25.Nxe6 Rxe6 26.Bxe6 Kxe6 27.f4 Bxe4 28.fxe5 Kxe5, then how is White going to win that? Can it be done?

May be Topalov can find from Anand as to how improve whites play against the slav by playing Anand's line himself tomorrow. well, but then that is too much of a gambit in a 12 match game.

do we have transcripts of the press conference yet

If Anand indeed offered a draw and Topalov (according to his stupid Sofia rules) 'had to' make a move instead of accepting and only AFTER making the move claim a draw based on repetition (and through the arbiter), the whole thing is completely ridiculous and Topalov looks like a stupid ass. But I guess Topalov doesn't care and Danaloiv cares even less - after all it is Topalov looking like an idiot. Go Anand!

Presumably Anand would respond to 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 with 3 Nf3 dxc4 4 g3 (or 4 a4 e6 5 g3), rather than playing the Slav lines with 4 a4, 5 Ne5 and 6 f3. Topalov has played an early ...c6 in the Catalan (in game 4) anyway.

The Catalan/Slav choice is really a choice that White makes, not Black. Besides, Topalov probably didn't prepare the Slav, and presumably Anand knows a few ways to make life uncomfortable for Black. White isn't forced to go into the Elista line.

I would expect to see another Catalan, unless Topalov is willing to try 1...Nf6. That would be a huge concession, I think, to lose two straight Blacks and then abandon your front line opening.

In addition to the 'opening experts' Topalov has hired 'electrical experts' to predict power outage so that he can play consecutive moves in the darkness and also set his clock back to 2:00 hrs

Crowther says that Anand has been the first to come up with new moves in all five games! That's some impressive home prep. He beat Kramnik by winning the prep battle, and he's showing up Topalov in this regard as well. I really thought that Topa's prep would have been at least the equal to Vishy's. I'd like to say that Topa's got a bunch of enemies and Anand has everybody secretly working for him, but I doubt that; especially since Anand's prep was clearly superior to Kramnik's in their match.

Fianchetto lines v Slav or Semi-Slav are not considered sidelines at this level and I doubt very much that Anand would use them.
"The Catalan/Slav choice is really a choice that White makes, not Black".
Except for game 1 Anand has completely imposed his will as regards openings, like he did for most of the match v Kramnik.
I would like Topalov to strike back hard, that would add even more spice to the match. I hope he has prepared the Semi-Slav. I expect Anand to meet it with a Nf3 and e3 line.

On the third move of the Slav, 3..dxc4 is not forced. He could play a semi-slav by playing 3..e6

Although that will potentially play into Meran lines that Anand has prepared before for Kramnik.

He does play 1..Nf6 and 2..e6 now; Most telling departure would be KID full of tactical possibilites for both sides

oops, remove "not"

"On the third move of the Slav, 3..dxc4 is not forced. He could play a semi-slav by playing 3..e6"

3..Nf6 is of course the usual move if you want to play a regular Slav. 3..dxc4 exists, but it's probably not particularly good. (And White would reply with 4.e3 most likely.)

Anyway, it's simply not true that "The Catalan/Slav choice is really a choice that White makes, not Black".

yes KID will be great, apart from Radjabov and occasionalyy by Ivanchuk we dont see it often.

@Anand has been the first to come up with new moves in all five games

He has clearly outprepared Topalov and I don't see how could this can change during the match, this is about your homework.

Partly is Topalov fault. Why choosing as Black the passive Catalan (instead of KID or Benoni) against a player who has not played 1.d4 for most of his career ?
And why this "ending-variation" of Slav as White (which Kramnik would gladly play as Black), it looks as an 'waisting White'-choice.

"Anyway, it's simply not true that "The Catalan/Slav choice is really a choice that White makes, not Black"."


A general point: It has been argued that Sofia rules would benefit Topalov, because he could exhaust (the five years older) Anand in lengthy battles. Apart from the fact that this strategy wouldn't require Sofia rules - "world championship rules" include the right to offer a draw AND the right to refuse a draw offer - so far none of the games continued far beyond the first time control.

This was also the case for Anand-Kramnik. By comparison, Kramnik-Topalov had six games beyond move 50, including four beyond move 60.

I dont think Topalov really prepared for this endgame in the slav. He just happened to have it due to the early novelties by Anand. If Anand had continued few more moves in the book, Topalov probably has a strong novelty at that time. Right now, they are all a waste. This game, his team might have come up on an improvement to game 3. Just that team Anand also happened to realize the same and he deviated before. I think the same story for the catalan.

When did we last see a novelty as early as move 10 (10.Na3) in a world championship match ?

@I dont think Topalov really prepared for this endgame in the slav.

It was all prep by Topa up to the move 21 according to chessdom.But it doesn't make sense to me to go for such "no-middle-game" positions with White. With 6.e3 you get a normal complex Slav and you choose from there a variation, keep your chances to use White and fight a whole game.

europe echecs has an interview with Anand at official site after game 4. Same question, same answer, nothing new. Vijay Kumar the interviewer always asks the same boring question.


In a couple of reports I read that one of Anand's team members had said that 10.Na3 was not a novelty, but a move that did not receive a lot of press.

Topalov-Kramnik, game#9, 10.f4
This was a different Slav (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3) - which we might see in the ongoing match?

@This was a different Slav

yes and one which is more worthy to invest time to prepare in-depth, even if it fizzes out there are still Qs on the board and you can still fight a game
Not the same with this technical ending chose by Topalov.

The Slav mentioned here is a more traditional one. By playing 2..e6 Topalov seems to be waiting to see if Anand would allow a Nimzo-Indian and that is where Anand has taken it down the Catalan route.

No doubt Anand has something in his prep for the more traditional Slav line. Topalov should at least try that. It would be very surprising if he did not prepare these lines at all.

Didn't Kramnik play a novelty on move six (of a Caro-Kann) in the last game of the Leko match in 2004?

Sorry, host shut down the database during the middle of the game. Apparently the flood of comments resulted in too very long and slow db processes. I may upgrade my Movable Type install tonight to see if that helps. Otherwise I'll chop the "recent comments" section out of the templates so it doesn't choke to death updating so much with every comment.

Novelty this, novelty that...
Everything is decided over the board. One has to play well to win, especially on this level. So far, Topalov hasn't. There's a lot of players out there who would have put significant pressure on Anand in that line, enough to make him sweat. The problem for Topalov is his superficial play and underestimation of the opponent's ability to find/execute really good moves. Nxh6 in Game 4 and ..f6 today are prime examples. Topalov simply has to play better. He's not going to win any more cheap games, he needs to extend games beyond the 30-move range and apply real pressure. Anand's loss in Game 1 and today's nervous play (g7-g5-g4 was really unnecessary and could have cost him dearly) should give Topalov a ray of hope - his opponent is a great player, but not invincible.

Nice one yermo, I agree.

"and today's nervous play (g7-g5-g4 was really unnecessary and could have cost him dearly)"

at ICC the commentators had the impression that g5 was an attempt for Anand to press for win. And in the end, it was Anand who was slightly better when the repetition was made. I guess different commentators differ.

Anand in the press conf mentioned that it dint make a difference whether to push g4 or take on f4 and both were easy draw.

Indeed, there seemed to be continuations for Anand that would have resulted in positions where he could play damn near anything to draw. Instead, he played the ending a bit provocatively and found some tactical rather than positional solutions. I can't be certain, however, whether this was by design. Yes, a draw today was a victory for Anand, and one school of thought is that he should have secured it in the most certain and direct way as soon as he had the opportunity. But I wonder whether, after the game was reasonbly safe, Vishy felt it was worth testing whether Topolov was inclined to press too far in an even position given the posture of the match. Topolov claims to be using quasi Sophia draw rules to outlast Vishy physically. I'm inclined to think that Vichy is picking his opportinities in precisely these types of situations to taunt a bit and show that he perhaps has the stronger nerves.

Actually, I think that would be classified as a "Closed Catalan".

I just watched the press conference after G5 at the FIDE site, and out of the 3 questions, 2 were in spanish, answered in spanish and translated into Bulgarian by Stefaova. The match is not being played in a Spanish-speaking country, Spanish is not the mother-tongue of either players (although they both seem to be able to handle it), there is an international audience eager to know about the players' thoughts which would be better served by Qs and answers in English.

Is it just me or other watchers also felt like the Spanish news reporters are hijacking these after-game press conferences?

Both players live in Spain.

both players are fans of real madrid.

both players are fans of real madrid.

They missed the Plan B already. The most cunning plan B for Danailov was to dump the Brahmin in the middle of Sofia nightlife on Friday night (there’s nothing like it anywhere if you know the back alleys) while the "manager" is sleeping. And then turn the lights off... He’d certainly forget his prep for a week ahead.. Now, if Topalov survives with Black tomorrow he still has a fighting chance. If not then it's all over for him and for my involvement with Chess blogs, etc.


When the match started I was very very suspicious of Topalov & Co.

But I'm slowly beginning to think that Danialov may be in the process of uncorking his biggest off-the-board novelty: "no shenanigans even when Topalov is down."

"dump the Brahmin in the middle of Sofia nightlife"

Wassup with that?

I had to think a while to realize that "Brahmin" refers to Anand. I'm not sure how impolite it is to refer to someone from India as a "Brahmin"? I'm guessing it's pretty rude. BTW, are you a proto-vulgarian?

"The team of the Bulgarian chess master Veselin Topalov hopes to have finally managed to figure out how to beat the defenses of world champion Anand in the remaining games of the World Chess Title Match in Sofia.

This has been stated before the start of the fifth game of the 12-game match by Silvio Danailov, the personal manager of Veselin Topalov. The Indian world champion Viswanathan is in the lead 2.5:1.5 points after the first four games.

“We hope to have finally figured out the secret of Anand’s defense. We have five people on our team working with top notch computers on this task, and we hope to see results today,” Danailov explained." http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=115790

Is this Topalov playing, it seems like Leko. I am not a fan of his person but of his chess definitely. Anand is just playing without any concern of losing now, poking around and just looking for a couple of weak moves to move in for the kill. Topalov was 1-0 and has played scared since, if I was him I would not go crazy but play my style and make Anand adapt to him, he is playing scared.

You are right. After first win "probably a gift to make him more happy and next sit him down on the ground" he started to be scared. I still think frist game was just a gift from India or a gift from Anand to him. Again you are right that Anand is waiting for his weak moves. But even more problems has Topalov, because he started to act & play like Anand. Mannn, this is chess and play your style. Topalov says: "I have a style like a streetfighter" But we watched 5 games, was he like a streetfighter? Now he is just trying to mix Anand & Kramnik & Kasparov & Mr. DANAILOV togheter and makes a new man in his self. My advise is for him, he MUST be Topalov and Topalov should find his own chess charakter back. I blieve he can win some games the next days. ,

>I'm not sure how impolite it is to refer to someone from India as a "Brahmin"? I'm guessing it's pretty rude.

Anand is a Brahmin. It is a statement of positive distinction. Don’t just “guess”, know! Otherwise, it doesn’t hurt to be less judgmental.


"We have five people on our team working with top notch computers on this task, and we hope to see results today"

Its better for Danailov that he not say such things and just tries things out and if it works then say if he wants to. It only makes him look silly from today's result.

In the press conference Topalov mentioned that he missed the ...f6 move. This suggest he is not in a bad form as ...f6 is a tactical shot for black to equalize.

Chess Live ratings: Can someone help me understand the comma separated numbers in “Rating column” and the interpretation of those numbers in the “Change” and “Games” columns?

Rank Name Rating Change Games
01 Carlsen 2813,0 0 0
02 Topalov 2806,0 +1 14
03 Anand 2797,4 +10,4 7

Pretty classy of Anand to motion the arbiter yesterday and claim a draw... a lot of players might have been tempted to repeat the same move again and let Topa then call him... after all it was Topa who decided it is better to call the arbiter than to simply say draw to opponent and shake hands.

Also, it would have been fun if Anand instead of calling the arbiter had offered draw himself to Topalov... what would Topa say... I'm not talking to you... and you are not allowed to say anything to me coz I made a pact with myself

TO BE CONSISTENT - Topa needs to play by this same no draw offer rule in all subsequent tournaments (even rapid events) that he plays... after all he can unilaterally impose them

comma is same as decimal point. Change is the change in rating since the last published FIDE rating.

I would say the role of novelties should be neither over- nor underestimated. If a novelty isn't crushing (a forced win or a forced draw in a line that was considered dubious before), it may still have two effects:
- a psychological one: you know (or at least think) that you are more comfortable with the resulting position than your opponent
- related: you gain the advantage on the clock. Maybe you later equalize on the clock again - this means that you kept precious thinking time for key moments in OTB play.

Both only applies if the opponent didn't anticipate the novelty, which means that only two of Anand's novelties were really efficient:
- Na3 in game 4, but that was rather obvious (at least common in other lines of the Catalan)
- Qa3 in game 2, a "strange" one and probably conceived over the board as Anand spent around 20 minutes on it.

Of course yermo has a point: If [team] Anand had provided me (an amateur) or him (with all respect, an average GM) with novelties, we wouldn't beat Topalov. But it may be a "tiebreaker" between two players of roughly equal strength?

And this is "interestingly strange": Do they actually think that whatever problems Topalov has in the match can be solved with better opening preparation? Do they think that whatever may have gone wrong during months of pre-match preparation can be resolved in a few days during the match?

Clearly Veselin is a man of honour – he ignored Danailov’s suggestion to rearrange the pieces when his manager cut the lights. :)

Is this the first world championship ever where the challenger had the temerity to decide the rules?

C'mon girls!

Don't panic. Topalov is ONLY one game behind. Everybody is talking like the match is over. One little win and things will look very different.

"Is this the first world championship ever where the challenger had the temerity to decide the rules?"

This is rather hilarious, really.

Both players are in Sofia, where the match is taking place. The challenger is making a big broohaha about "choosing to play by Sofia Rules". The defending champion has made it clear that he is playing by World Championship Rules.

Naturally, it stands to reason that the latter is going to win the match. :)

"Don't panic. Topalov is ONLY one game behind. Everybody is talking like the match is over. One little win and things will look very different."

Agreed, Irv. It will indeed look different with "one little win".
The reigning World Champion will then be +2.
:) :) :)

Please remember that Anand plays white both today and in the next game.
So by the time Topalov is white again, there is a reasonable chance that the match "is practically over".

waiting for the game to begin today. what will it be? another discussion in the catalan is what vishy fans must be hoping.

also, can someone tell the bulgarian dude who is commenting on the official website to stop coughing into the mike. the last time he did that (i have my earphones on), i almost fell off my chair in fright.

Another Catalan. Diverged from the G2 at 10Bg5.

When will the G6 thread be up?

Based on various accounts of the match available on the net one can see the organiztion is of highest caliber. Hats off for Danailov and the Bulgarians. I see some serious corporations listed as sponsors, well done Mr Danailov.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 30, 2010 4:13 AM.

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