Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Anand-Topalov WCh, g12

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And then there was one. Topalov takes the white pieces into the final game of regulation on Tuesday. A win and he's the undisputed world champion. A draw and they come back on Thursday for rapid and maybe even blitz tiebreaks. Not a fun thought, but 12 games is just too short to give the champion draw odds even if you agree with the old "the challenger must prove his superiority" philosophy given by Botvinnik and Kasparov, who, coincidentally, both drew world championship matches.

Last games are much like first games, as much about nerves and conditioning as anything else. Topalov should play this as aggressively as possible. Obviously because he has white, but also because Anand will be a heavy favorite in rapid chess. Not the same as having draw odds, but it's no surprise that Anand has a huge plus score in rapid chess over Topalov, who has never shown any particular flair at fast controls. (I believe Anand has nine wins and one loss, though all of their recent rapid games were drawn.) All that said, there is still a game 12 to play. Does the tired Anand go back to the solid but passive Slav and allow Topalov to squeeze him for hours or does he come back with another Grunfeld and force Topalov to consider playing for three results? The Bulgarian has a well-earned reputation for summoning tremendous energy in the final rounds of events and I imagine a long game with a slight plus would suit him fine.

It's a very tough choice. Give Topalov the sharp game he wants or pray you can maintain a high enough energy level in a slow grind to ward off a blunder? The extra rest day Monday can't hurt. A draw is always the safe bet in top-level chess, but my feeling is Anand can't just muddle through this last game on class. He should play the Grunfeld as much for self-motivational reasons as anything. Allowing himself to be subjected to 5+ hours of Topalov's destructive power without much counterplay with the title on the line is a lot to ask, no matter how much he's tried to play like Kramnik. Official site.


I hope Anand plays the Black Knights Tango.

I can only smile.

Odd wish!

I think Anand should go for a sharp game but use a deviation fairly early to put Topa off his preparation. Given Anand's show in past few games, it seems a slow grind will inevitably lead to a blunder - hats off to Topalov here for really piling on the pressure and making almost no obvious blunders of his own. I have to say its advantage Topa at this point.

There is no safe way for Anand. Topalov has the attacking abilities to win in a sharp Semi-Slav. Topalov has shown he can build up enough pressure in a slow Kramnik Slav.
Conclusion: The choice is easy for Anand - play whatever suits you best.
If he has another opening prepared, this would be a good time to lead Topalov into new territory.

I agree Anand should avoid being squeezed in a inferior position. He needs to play for all 3 resultsn. Grunfeld seems better in that respect. Most importantly, he should bring in his novelty before Topalov does. That will help with time and confidence. If Topalov over stretches, it comes with a risk and could backfire.

No off-day chatter? ;-)

Btw love the fundraiser banner. Karpov, Kasparov and Carlsen, yeah, whatever, but we'll also have special guests!

What has been surprising is that in this match most of the novelties (all games except 8), brilliancies (game 2,4), risky initiatives (10,11), blunders (1,9) have come from Anand, whereas these are things one would expect from Topalov. He has been relatively passive and un-Topalov like in his play so far. His only blunders were in game 9 (they both did) and his only novelty came in game 8. He has been more solid and less adventurous than what is expected of him. While everyone has been talking about how Anand has been Kramnik-like, this adaptability of Topa seems to have been ignored.


Anand is in trouble.

Could we please stop these disrespectful descriptions: Anand plays like Kramnik versus Topalov and played like Topalov versus Kramnik. He is too great a player to be someone emulating players who are at best his equals. In particular stating that Anand plays, has played or will play like Topalov is ridiculous. You want to see tactics and exchange or positional sacrifices ? Go look up Anands collection of best games or some of his Bundesliga kills.

If only this match would go on forever. Haven't had this much chess fun in a very long time.

I'm a little disappointed with Anand's play, truth be told. It's all very well trying to exploit your opponent's perceived weaknesses, and he did very well with a couple of Catalans, but with Black he hasn't impressed. Anand is a tactical wizard, I think at least as much as Topalov. A couple of times he's eschewed calculating long lines for "principled" positional play (that last manic endgame being a notable exception) that has led him nowhere, and a couple of times he's blundered in fairly simple tactics, even allowing for a memory lapse in Game 1. Come on Anand, you're better than this!! Let's see you produce one of your signature brilliancies with your back to the wall, and carry home the crown in style!

Hmm, would it be less insulting or disrespectful to compare Anand's play with dead or retired players - saying he played like Capablanca, Petrosian, Tal or Kasparov? Anyways, it's not about emulating players, but about learning from others - and he certainly learns some things from his (considerably lower-rated) seconds!?

With all respect for Anand's Bundesliga opponents (Kempinski is the latest example), they are a bit weaker than Topalov, hence Anand may play differently against them ... .

@..While everyone has been talking about how Anand has been Kramnik-like, this adaptability of Topa seems to have been ignored...

You are right. Save G2 (h5?/Ne3?) he has shown self-restraint, has abstained from his trademark (mis)-adeventuros play. After all he seeemed to have learnt form the painful "Elista-experience" where his recklessness only produced full points for the drawish Kramnik. And by adopting Kramnik approach Anand hoped to exploit this very thing.

So, yes you are right, and it served him well, but why should we be enthusiastic about it ? It results in less exciting games than otherwise.


I have been following this site ever since the WC and love the way Mig writes his columns, very straightforward and no-nonsense approach. I also like the comments of various individuals like d_tal, ovidiu, thomas and few others.

I wish Anand all the best. I agree Anand failed to convert his chances in this match, if he had trophy would be his at this time. At the same time, we need to recognize Topalov's fighting abilities. The games have clearly shown who has played better chess. If Anand is on song, I think Topalov wouldn't stand a chance simply of his all round play. I really think Anand will come out with all fire tomorrow and take on Topalov and I'm hopeful Anand is going to win this trophy. I admire Anand not only for his wonderful chess skills but also for his modest and unassuming behaviour. He though a giant in chess is also a gentle champion, who is never disrespectful of anyone. A role model for any sportsman to emulate on being humble in glory.

Wishing you all the best Anand! May HE give you the power to concentrate for the whole game.


I am pretty sure we will see something new again tomorrow by Anand to avoid all prep of Topalov... is one day enough to prepare Benko/Volga Gambit?

I guess most chess enthusiasts agree that 12 classical games are too short for a WC match. On the other hand, computer enhanced modern chess takes its toll and most players would get tired after about 8 games.

A convenient approach could be to decide the WC in a split match of 8 games each leg, for a total of 16 classical games. This approach could provide broader media coverage, potentially more sponsors, better quality of chess, comeback possibility, etc.

I hope either Anand or Topalov score the full point tomorrow and avoid deciding the match on rapid time controls.

I love this assumption that Anand is better than Topalov. Based on what? Topalov has been consistently higher rated than Anand for years. Anand has not managed to prove his superiority over Topalov in this match, thus far. And even if he wins tomorrow, you'd have to bear in mind it was a narrow win. Anand's result in the Kramnik match could have just been a peak in form.

A champion is a lot more convincing when he is rated number one. If Topalov were to win tomorrow, he could easily be number one on the next rating list. If Anand wins, then he has beaten Kramnik and Topalov in a match but not Carlsen and his lower rating always suggests that there is someone he would lose to in a match. He has not proved himself simultaneously as the most effective player generally. Just a case of primus inter pares, at least until he beats Carlsen.

>A champion is a lot more convincing when he is rated number one.

This argument has been going on for years; at least since Petrosian was king. In Botvinnik's time I don't think one heard it so much, although he wouldn't have been ranked world number one by any stretch in most of the 1950's.

It's cobblers, of course. How big a plus score you can make against van Wely and his ilk has very little to do with who is truly the best player in the world. A better guide - equally only a guide, but a better one - would be who loses the fewest games. That's what always shows true class. Sad but true.

Could you produce statistics supporting your claim? What I know is that the ELO peaks of Topalov were higher than Anand but his ratings also slumped more often. Since Topalov is 35 years - we could compare ratings in the last 15 years and average it.

I remember Kramnik showing admirable perspective about the rating list when he was first top of it, in 1996 or so. He said he was quite excited for about fifteen minutes but by the next day he'd forgotten about it. I suspect Carlsen is the same, with his excellent observation that it'd be time to worry about winning the world championship once he was the best player in the world.

Well said! I feel most of the people give excellent advises sitting at home without realising what would be going thru the players at the board. They have to make several calculations. one mistake and the title is gone. I too join u and pray HIM to give Anand enough strength to demolish this person called TOPA.

I personally don't assume prima facie that Anand is better than Topalov, I think the answer to that is best provided in this match. Proof is in the eating and all that. However I believe that Anand is better than some of the play he's shown in this match. At least used to be better perhaps. This is based on my understanding of Chess (i.e. not much) and my memory of his play in certain types of positions in the past. People like Svidler for example who are very careful with usage of the word genius in Chess, unhesitatingly call Anand a genius. For an example of what I'm talking about, I remember a game against Kasparov (I think in the match he lost but not 100% sure, could have been a tournament, maybe Wijk An Zee), where he played an incredible move, I think Nc6 (!!) as black where it didn't look possible in a variation that Kasparov had exhaustively analysed at home. Despite that, Kasparov had never even considered that move, and Anand came very close to equality in a crazy Q endgame though he eventually lost. I have seen nothing remotely approaching that brilliance in this match. Perhaps it's credit to Topalov, but he seems to be so nervous and so fidgety, I wonder whether he's in the best of health. If somebody can remember that game against Kasparov that I'm talking about (I remember a memorable Mig On Chess article on it) I would love a link!!

I agree. Play the Gruenfeld and play for a win. I think Anand should be the one who deviates first or he will be walking into Topalov's AK47 home preparation.

So far Topalov has not shown anything special with white and Anand better keep it that way.

As for the rapid game, I think Topalov certainly has the edge. Past is past and clearly Anand is not the super fast player he was years ago. I think it is ridiculous to say Anand has a huge edge in rapid games. Based on the current speed of play, Topa is the one to watch out for.

All that being said, I hope Anand wins!

>I love this assumption that Anand is better than Topalov. Based on what?

Exactly! Better rapid/blitz player? No doubt. Otherwise, based on what? The result in the match so far? The lifelong results they have against each other? Their ELO peaks? Periods of time as number 1 in the rating list or some other form of "objective" dominance? Their overall results in tournaments in the past 10 years?

And a final question to all fans of Anand: who is the better player - Anand or Aronian? ;)

>I love this assumption that Anand is better than Topalov. Based on what?

Even though I'm an Anand supporter, I have some sympathy with this exasperated question from Topalov supporters.. It was somewhat similar before Anand-Kramnik, and I suggested that Kramnik's reputation as a wonderful match player was not based on facts. Needless to say, I was shouted down, though the result vindicated what I had been saying.

I agree.. if Anand is so much better than Topalov, it should be evident in the match score. If Topalov wins tomorrow, the most objective reason for his victory has to be that he played better Chess than Anand over 12 games, never mind this talk of luck. After all, what more can Topalov do on the board than win? However if it goes to rapids, I think it's a lottery, never mind who wins. It's checking superiority over a different TC, i.e. a fundamentally different form of Chess than they played in the 12 standard TC games.

Curious why everyone automatically assumes Topalov is going to play 1.d4. He must know his chances in the rapid are not very good, and that he should probably be approaching this game as a must win.

After Anand surprising Topalov with 1.c4, I do expect Topalov will play 1.d4;
If he tries 1.e4 I will not be surprised if Anand plays the Petroff.

Vasiliev at Chesspro has an interview with Danailov ("to be in Sofia and not interview the most famous manager in world chess would be absurd"). The second part is about Danailov's candidacy for the ECU - and how he'd make it a professional body with commercial sponsors, like UEFA. But the first part is more interesting, even if there's nothing new. It's a crying shame Vasiliev didn't confront Danailov on his comments about Russian chess. See, e.g. here: http://tinyurl.com/28j5ymn

- Silvio! When before the match began you declared that Veselin Topalov would play according to Sofia Rules did you think that it would bear fruit when Anand, forced to play each game to the end, would start to tire and that eventually that would tell?

- No, we didn't think about that. Because we didn't know how Anand would react. He's often played by Sofia Rules, including three times in Sofia as a participant in our M-Tel Masters super tournament, and he's never complained. He only rejected it because he's rejected all our proposals on principal.

- Could you tell us exactly which proposals?

- It doesn't make any difference. All of them, Anand rejected literally all of our proposals. That was his fundamental position: to always do the opposite of what we proposed. Sofia Rules are the future of chess. In the given case we insisted on the rules, but not because of one particular player. It's a conception and global approach to the future of our game.

I look at it as a business man, promoter and manager. We have a product we need to sell. In order to sell the product we need Sofia Rules, we have to have uncompromising games, such as those that we've had here. You've seen the match - can you really compare it to the monstrously boring match between Kramnik and Leko in Brissago? Or when in London Kasparov and Kramnik agreed to a draw after 14 moves. It's simply embarrassing! It's shameful for chess! We want to make chess a professional sport so we need to have clear professional rules. The success of this match has been that every game has been played to the end, from which everyone wins.

- Your computer guys have told me that the match has attracted twice as much attention as Topalov-Kamsky and three times as much as the M-Tel Masters tournament. Are you satisfied?

- And three times more than the match in Bonn. I'm pleased that we've produced a great advert for chess across the whole world.

- All the conversations about "cheating", I think, have stopped, as FIDE's supervisor Georgios Makropoulos told me that here they've installed a powerful Russian system which doesn't only exclude the transmission of any signals, but also pinpoints the source of such signals, if they exist.

- Those who were expecting scandals here, some kind of spy stories - we've already demonstrated that they're simply petty people, not worth talking about.


Mig, if you ever bother to read this rubbish, and if you possibly have time with all the stuff going on in your life, could I ever so kindly ask you if you remember a Kasparov-Anand game where the players were respectively ranked #1 and #2 at the time, which Kasparov won, and on which you wrote a wonderful MoC article? It is pathetic I can't remember when this game was played, who played white or what the opening was. However I do remember you wrote something along the lines of "They can't see me right now, but I am applauding both players.." and "This is the kind of game one expects when the World #1 plays the World #2".
I just remember that Anand played this amazing move in the face of some thundering prep by Kasparov, which was Ivanchukian in the way it surprised Kasparov.
Pretty please? :-)

Kramnik offers an interesting appraisal of the match in Zeit Online. Unfortunately my German is not accurate enough to offer an acceptable translation. See http://www.zeit.de/sport/2010-05/kramnik-schach-wm-anand-topalow

Yeah because the games in this match have not been exciting at all.


There can only be two explanation to the odd play by Anand in this match -- some strange blunders and missed wins. Its either he is not the player he was previously or its all part of the plan. I am sure it is the second. It is as I imagined that Anand is just playing around giving the illusion to Topalov's team that he has chances over the board to avoid off the board Danailov tactic. If he wins game 12 as black, then this will be obvious.

this match definitely has been a "great advert" for chess.just awesome

@..a game against Kasparov ..where he played an incredible move, I think Nc6 (!!) as black where it didn't look possible in a variation that Kasparov had exhaustively analysed at home... just remember that Anand played this amazing move (Nc6) in the face of some thundering prep by Kasparov

I think that you have in mind Anand-Kasparov, Linares 1999..27.Nc3!! (sort of) saved Anand

"Topalov has been consistently higher rated than Anand for years."

I decided to check your claim - to my slight surprise it isn't that clear: Since January 2005 the situation was as follows:
- advantage Anand 1/2005 (gap 29 points) and 4/2007-7/2008 (gap 14-36 points)
- advantage Topalov 7-10/2006 (gap 34 points) and since 4/2009 (gap 15-29 points)
- "too close to call" for the other periods/lists when they were separated by less than 10 points. Or does anyone claim that Topalov (2804) was superior to Anand (2803) in the 4/2006 list?

Topalov was clearly leading in 9 lists vs. 7 for Anand - but only because (official) rating lists are updated more frequently since 7/2009 ... .

As I was slightly surprised myself, I conclude that Topalov fans simply make more noise whenever their hero is #1 and/or >2800 ... .

Thanks Thomas. I bet results will be even more revealing if you include the pre 2005 period. It's a psychological phenomenon that we tend to remember peaks (in this case the ELO rating peaks) rather than consistent performance.

This fide grand prix that started today has received no media coverage due to this match. I looked to see if any game used some opening ideas from this match but no.

A bad start for Ivanchuk losing to Gashimov in a anti-Marshall. Leko not surprisingly drew in 18 moves even in a tournament where draws cannot be agreed. He managed to repeat moves.

Thanks (again) for translating! Hmmm, did the Topalov-Kamsky match really attract more attention than the Anand-Kramnik match?? Hard to believe, unless he means _Bulgarian_ attention!?

Maybe web statistics can be manipulated, and I guess he only considers those following at the official homepage and doesn't even have an idea about how many prefer (among others) ICC and Chessbase. Two things come to my mind:

- During the Topalov-Kamsky match the organizers threatened legal action against Chessbase and "the Germans" stopped their live transmission. Maybe then some Chessbase customers grudgingly(!) switched to the official homepage?

- For the current match, the clear added value of the official homepage is the live video feed - as far as I remember, during the Anand-Kramnik match this was also available but only as a paid service. Nice to have it for free, but this makes comparisons between the matches (based on those following at the official homepage) tricky.

As far as I am concerned, I mostly followed the Topalov-Anand games elsewhere but had the official site also open in a hidden browser window. I switched to the official video from time to time, and wnehever a draw was imminent - to see how it would (not) be offered ... .

Topalov is likely to play e4.

Just for fun...any mathematicians/rating experts out there...if a 2804 player played a 2803 player in an unlimited match which went precisely according to rating expectations, how many games would have to be played for the "superior" player to gain a lead?

Well there is one way that Anand has shown himself to be clearly superior to Topalov and it is the reason we are even playing this match today. Anand beat Kramnik where Topalov failed.

The end.

Oh thank you, thank you! I was wondering whether I had been hallucinating! In case anybody else is wondering what I'm babbling about, check out:

What an amazing game! Now finding 27. Nc3!! is pretty special huh??

This time only for Mondo: who is the better player - Anand or Aronian?

I think at Wijk aan Zee for instance, Anand was the only player who didn't lose a game. He also came in third as I recall.

I'm not sure the rest of the match is going to resolve the dispute Who Is the Strongest Player, Anand or Topalov? It IS possible for the stronger player to actually lose a match with only one game left and the weaker player can win. On any given Sunday (or Tuesday).

Agreed on the stats - leaving aside that it's very unlikely Danailov has any decent stats for Bonn, he's comparing apples and oranges. For the Bonn match they tried to charge for content with added value (though I think they lost money in the end). If Sofia only has three times more free viewers than Bonn had paying customers that wouldn't be very impressive at all! Of course, the Sofia website will have decent visitor numbers because of the video, but otherwise it offers almost nothing. On where the hits come from - somewhere I read a Bulgarian article expressing amazement that the website had so many American visitors...

Thomas, thanks for doing that little dig-up. Inspite of being a lifelong anand fan, I too thought topa does better ratings wise. theres hardly any difference.

All those complaining about 12game match, you should imagine Kramnik-leko playing a 16 or 20 game match. Fact is, this match has been so dramatic/exciting that people cant get enough of it. However I agree with 2-phase match. Its like betting after seeing flop/river. will add to the excitement.

Thx for posting Kramniks interview. Thought his views were (surprisingly)objective. I too believe that all the action in the match has been purely becoz of Anand. Wonder what happened to allof Topa's prep..

One thing I agree with Topa is abt his accusation of Anand not moving an inch to do something for the match. So many individuals/corporate houses in India can easily sponser a million-dollar duel. What were you doing Anand? Is it becoz all the media/attention/pressure in India is too much to handle? Anand never did well while playing in India.

The special curtain may not be necessary if it goes to tie breaks and that will enable the video clarity to be better. Considering the smaller time, trying to signal and get moves from audience is out of the equation.

I am also hoping that if it goes to tiebreaks, the official site will somehow increase its bandwidth capacity as there will be too many people following the video and chances of crashing.

Well ok, we still have game 12 and we may not have the rapids. But I just want this match to go longer :) even though I am an Anand fan. It will be a sudden lull in the chess world after this match.

"So many individuals/corporate houses in India can easily sponser a million-dollar duel. "

What a casual statement. First of all that statement is totally incorrect. Sponsors in India will rather put money on cricket especially with the current season showcasing the IPL (if you dont know about this, then dont comment such things)

Secondly, it is FIDE's job to find sponsors. And may be and not necessarily, the challenger can support this as he wants the title. Why the world champion?. He is happy being world champion and defending it when somebody finds a match going. simple.

The Bulgarians obviously want Topalov to fight for title and they are supporting this event. May be if Anand was the challenger, there could be motivation to find some sponsors. If not, I really cannot see a reason.

I am not a rating expert, but according to the site I found on the Web ( http://www.ecochess.com/elocalculator.htm ), in a single game the expected score for the stronger player is 0.501 points. Hence, a 500 game match "should" end 250.5-249.5 - but it takes only 251 games for a win to become more likely than a tied match.

On the other hand, if their "precise" ratings were 2803.6 vs. 2803.4 ...

"It will be a sudden lull in the chess world after this match."

Well, then the Astrakhan GP may get some attention!?

While there is another dedicated thread, I will answer your earlier post here: Wang Yue-Leko actually followed game 2 of the Anand-Topalov match but Wang Yue deviated on move 7 (7.Be3 rather than the pawn sacrifice 7.Na3). And normally I would primarily blame white for allowing/accepting an early repetition - of course both players have a peaceful reputation ... .

Before I write anything here, I must first say that I am mildly supporting Anand to win this match. I am first and foremost, a fan of chess, and not only of Vishy Anand. I like other players as well. But it would be almost perfect justice if Vishy were to lose his title tomorrow. He has proven to be a far from impressive world champion. He soundly defeated Kramnik in a short match, but it seemed that it was primarily due to crack pre-match preparation. I am willing to go along with Vlad's opinion that Vishy has been playing the best chess of his life, but he remains only third ranked at the moment. The problem is that there are other players as good as he, and I would include Kramnik in that list, though Vishy has dominated him of late. Topalov has slightly outperformed Anand over the last few years as evidenced by the rating list. Carlson is currently ranked #1, and he will likely improve faster than anyone else. Maybe Anand is just taking his brief turn as world champion amongst the trio of Kramnik, Topalov, and Anand. Carlson will destroy them all when he next enters the championship qualifiers. I'm spoiled in that I grew up during the time of dominating world champions such as Kasparov, Karpov, and Fischer. The world champion should indeed be the higest ranked player in the world, and not #3. One of my heroes, Vishy Anand doesn't deserve to be the champion if he loses tomorrow. His recent tournament results have been atrocious. Kasparov, Karpov, and Fischer always dominated tournaments, whether they were hiding preparation or not. I even think that Viktor Korchnoi had better results than Anand if you factor in rating inflation and computer-enhanced play. Somebody said that Petrosian and Botvinnik were not the highest rated players when they became world champion. Well, Botvinnik had the world champion cycle totally rigged. He was always guaranteed a rematch; and Petrosian actually become champion by beating who? Botvinnik! But for the most part throughout chess history, the world champion has also been the top ranked player in the world: Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine (for much of his career, anyway) Botvinnik (for a time) Spassky, Fischer, Karpov, and Kasparov.

What we are also forgetting is that every year the number of internet users is increasing at a fast rate - two years is a long time (Bonn).

Toledo, good points and this brings into focus what one means by "world champion" doesn't it? If the title requires that the player be on top of all tournament play for 2 years, and beat all comers in all matches, clearly Anand is not it. However, that is not how FIDE defines it, and we cannot blame Anand for "playing by the (FIDE) book". I get the sense that he's been conserving his energies lately - perhaps because of his age, or perhaps he's coming to realize that there is more to life than 64 squares - reserving them for big occasions like this precisely because FIDE defines these as "big". If he wins here, it would as creditable and deserving as say Nadal being crowned Olympic champion in spite of not being #1 in the tennis rankings.

My only perspective regards to your comments (which I find are honest and sincere)

1. I have been under the same impression that Anand's performance has not been good. Recently on this blog/comments section one of the posters talked about how matches are more challending due to lack of adjourments because of how powerful computers have become.
Then I realized that it is difficult to perform well in tournaments and yet also compete in WCh matches in quick succession. Anything revealed in a tournament will be analyzed to death. As much as Kasparov and Karpov dominated in their heyday, I do not believe they would have same level of domination in the prevailing system domionated by computer prep.

2. Until the time FIDE decides that WCh will be between the two highest rated players at Jan 1 2xxx (or use some other reasonable criteria), there is always going to be a situation where the top two players may not be playing in the Wch.

Historically what you have pointed is true that the highest rated player always played in the WCh. I feel that this will no longer possible because the WCh is taking place with higher frequency than when Kasparov and Karpov or others were playing. Anand won in a tournament, defended in Bonn and then is again defending - all within 36-42 month time frame.

So I feel that we cannot compare in an equal manner the WCh's before and those currently taking place. I feel that Anand would have had a better rating if he was not trying to win/defend for the third in just over 3 years in the computer dominated era

Current state of predictions for tomorrow's game at crestbook.com...

Topalov - Anand 1:0, 21 votes (including Shipov's)

Topalov - Anand 0.5:0.5, 18 votes (+1 for "the game won't take place"!)

Topalov - Anand 0:1, 12 votes

Hey guys!
12th game will be also a draw no matter what these two players try.Don't you see why?It is Topalov's sad fate to draw WC matches and lose in tie breaks!Hehehe.

Though it may not be clear who is the better player, there is no doubt Anand has afar bigger fan base than Topalov.

senthil, +1

btw, I hope G12 is drawn tomorrow and we get to see at least 4 more games. I predict a solid slav from Anand to push it to the rapids where his chances may be slightly better.

Sorry guys, i'll post off topic here because it's the only place i like to share. Plus, one could ever find there is a link with the wcc match : did anyone see the weird game Kurajica-Efimenko yesterday (Bosna 2010, R5)? They played 194 moves! Last pawn capture : move 68. Then a R vs R+N ending. Any explanation?
Sofia rules are for little boys.
Let's hope for a good result tomorow

>>"What a casual statement. First of all that statement is totally incorrect. Sponsors in India will rather put money on cricket especially with the current season showcasing the IPL (if you dont know about this, then dont comment such things)"

Harish, I KNOW what I am talking about. The India he left for Spain is much different from the India today. I stop as I dont think this is the right place/time to extend the discussion.

Maybe he prefers a private life to a high pressure Tendulkar like life style, and that is why he moved to Spain and does not want to work with Indian sponsors.

"So many individuals/corporate houses in India can easily sponser a million-dollar duel. What were you doing Anand?"

For the world champion to stage the match at home would really be unsporting.

Fully agree with the last post on match intervals.

Excellent comments, Senthil and Iceberg. Yes, it is possible that computers have narrowed the gap between the absolute best and his nearest contenders. We cannot rule that out. We'll have to see if someone like Magnus can create some separation in this computer age. If he can, then we still can return to a "great champions" era.

Great that we have a close match, the one in Bonn was decided a little after it started, now anything may happen.
Tomorrow I will be looking for GM commentary again, lately I find thisa one best especially having the fact Kosteniuk herself will comment http://games.chessdom.com/topalov-anand-game-12-live
Chesspro will also be fine, but my understanding there is not good. According to official site Zurab is not there, so not much to expect.

I feel like they should have played the rapids/blitz on the first day and used the winner of that to determine draw odds (which is what is effectively is) before the start of the Classical match.

This way at least both players know where they stand vis-a-vis the Classical match and adapt their strategies accordingly. Under the current system, determining the winner at the end based on the rapids seems like more of a lottery.

The other advantage is we'd be guaranteed the extra rapid games in any case. Would also introduce some interesting strategies in terms of what openings to play/show for the opening rapids.

Would in some ways be like qualifying in F1...having pole position is an advantage, but does not guarantee victory and all race contenders can optimize strategy based on where they end up in qualifying!

1) That Anand is playing poorly I would use Kramnik's opinion. He states that the match is of a high quality with the exception of one game.

2) Kasparov played his entire career in the computer era, or do we get to selectively decide when the real computer era begins to fit whatever idea works best with our worldview?

Very intriguing idea and a lot of things going for it (almost all of which you mention).

One negative is that it can take some of the shine away from the winner. Suppose Anand wins the blitz games played up front. Then Topalov wins classical games 6.5-5.5. Now the blitz games were seen to have been played for nothing, but not quite. Topalov's victory doesn't sound so great now considering he couldn't beat Anand in blitz.

On Computer Era: The first computer made appearance in 1940-45. I think your difinition would probably include Botvinnik's era within the computer era. I guess, the more logical way to see it could be when PCs along with chess related software became accessible to advanced players. I think this was in 1990's and certainly not in 1980s. It is indeed remarkable that pre computer era - barring a few exceptions - the chess related advanced knowledge was monopolized by the Soviets. What would be the chance that a bright talent in China would be able to compete with the mighty soviets. Now things are different through. A Carlson is definitely selected from a bigger talent base than a Karpov or even a Kasprov. The fact that Anand is ready to lock horns with the new crop - despite being 40 - who have grown up with these advanced tools says a lot about his character as a Chess player.

The computer era for chess is related to when top level players consistently used chess engines (trusted them) for opening preparation. Opening databases were always used even before that. The real computer era is when engines got more powerful and consistently better (around year 2000). Until then a novelty which is a !? move cannot be refuted without hours and hours of work at the board. But now its so easy and novelties are only good for that game and may be one more.

I will suggest - or rather point out - something else: In the past there was a clear number 1, but currently we have a clear top 5 - whenever one, two or more of them participate in a tournament it is surprising if someone else wins in the end.

The only other one "who could always win" is Ivanchuk. "In a good month", he can play at their upper level, form and arguably luck (surviving time troubles) permitting. But in a bad month, he plays like, for example, the current Kamsky ... .

Did such a situation - five players of roughly equal strength - occur earlier in chess history? Maybe with an unprecedented total number of players, it's simply very improbable that _a single one_ is the very very best??

WoW! Wish I'd thought of that. I LIKE it!! And I don't think the 'negative' Iceberg suggests is so bad. I, for one, would still consider the clasical winner the champ. After all, we DON'T want the winner decided in the rapids, right?


except that computers were about equals of the best GM-s back in Kasparov's days, now they are 3-400 elos stronger...

It has been a great match...oh, and thank you for the answer to the ICC GOTD trivia! It pays to read the dirt!

"mehul | May 10, 2010 2:55 PM | Reply

Though it may not be clear who is the better player, there is no doubt Anand has afar bigger fan base than Topalov."


Yeah sure, among ABCDs, desis and the mixture of ex-soviet expats and local geeks that is this blog's audience; is it really a big surprise?

You should go to chesspro.ru's forum. Even though Russians have reasons to dislike Topalov, there are much more people that appreciate his game/fighting spirit.

Shhh...don't be so loud. Danialov might be reading this and will know Anand's royal plan and rig tomorrow's game!

Also, Chessbase has an item up on Anand's career and DVDs. Maybe they have inside information that his reign will end today?! ;)

Maybe Anand has regained some solidarity in his play in games 10 & 11 following the blunders in games 8 & 9, and hence its ok to try a game 2-like slow squeeze?

It was a great game and was completely drawn after the amazing Nc3!! move by Anand. However, an exasparated Anand got sloppy and blew the draw in gthe Knight vs Knight vs Bishop end game..

@Mig:"..12 games is just too short to give the champion draw odds".

I'm an advocate of draw odds, so how many games should a match be for it to be considered 'fair' to the challenger to have draw odds for the champion?

Another important factor when it comes to online audience count (apart from the quality of the match/players) is the exponential growth of the internet - especially in the third world. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising if better events held in the past lose out to lesser ones of the future.

All Anand needs is a calm 'gayatri chant', which he does btw.

My personal, completely irrelevant, opinion:
Probability of a win by Topalov: 45%
Probability of a draw: 30%
Probability of a win by Anand: 25%

If draw:
Probability of Anand winning tiebreaks: 65%
Probability of Topalov winning tiebreaks: 35%

If my calculations are vaguely accurate, that makes Topalov the 56% to 44 % favourite.

Wow, this is quite a claim you are making conspiracyTheory. Of course, I believe you are wrong. No player, in his right mind, would fail to win winning games if he saw the way to that win. The match is only 12 classical games and any lead in wins is a very difficult thing to overcome. Anand is strong, but not that strong to give Topalov unnecessary breaks or chances. Anand has made those mistakes where he lost the games and failed to win a game not as a part of a plan to give Topalov a false sense of security, but mistakes that were just that, errors and blunders.

I have no problem with the games being decided in the rapids (of course a longer match would be preferable, say 24 games for traditions sake). If you (the player) have a problem with it, win it in the classical control.
Anand should play something solid tomorrow, preferably something new though and ideally something with an early novelty with some real bite to it. The main thing will be to play chess. With black get equality then go from there. After all it's easier to win from an equal position than an inferior one.

Patzer's opinion: 1.d4 d5 and active solid play.

Botvinnik Semi-Slav, Moscow Variation, even Tartakower QGD (does Anand even play this?), even the bishop sac line of the Ne5 mainline Slav, even Manhattan Variation (Kramnik game 8). It is less fearsome to run into Topalov's prep when the openings are sound and active; it is easier to hold the draw playing for the win.

Anand needs the initiative as much as Topalov does: the strange endgame in game 11 suggests as much.

The Grünfeld would be an excellent choice if Topalov were not expecting it....

I know my claims may look not possible, but judging from Anand's play and Danailov's history, i am not able to rule it out

My theory is based on the following

. Kh7 (excuse -- mixed up moves)
. ...f4 (simple missed tactic)
. defending well and giving up Bc6?
. giving up two wins when after playing the moves which seem to show he knows the winning idea. Ng5! (first time control) and Rg7! (second time control).
. mentioning in press conf to Peter cheerfully "You will have to ask me after the match" as to how he was able to psychologically overcome first game and come back to Grunfeld.
. Suddenly Anand plays fast in the endgame in last two games.
. c4 in his last game critical game as white saying to Topalov "I can hold any opening even if I have played only 1 classical game with it"
. Rd2 in last game... almost saying to Topalov "even if this is dubious, I can hold you in the endgame"

all look very deliberate. As I told before, if Anand wins tomorrow as black, that will support this.

Around what date do you suppose the CIA will assassinate Ilyumzhinov for revealing the truth about Area 51? Will they leave it till after the match?

Just 30% probability for a draw? Really?

For a 1 point strength difference between players, 348 games gives a greater than 1 point predicted spread, but it takes 1 more game to give the benefit of rounding up for the lower rated player. Expected 175 to 174 result.

7.5 hours to magic time!

do you have any theories, if Anand loses G12? such as.. "I wanted to prove to the world that Topalov won ONLY due to my blunders, otherwise he is just a dud.. hence deliberately lost G12"?
Really there is no cure for folks such as you and Pirc.

This whole series neither player got anywhere close to victory with Black, save a few fleeting moments. As much as I would love G12 to be a wonderful exception, the chances are slim would be my guess.

The question you need to ask is this: how many games do you have to play so that the higher rated player is expected to gain a lead with at least 80% probability (or any other high probability value of your liking).

Based on the 0.501 & 0.499 probabilities that Thomas posted, I believe the answer to the above question is about 180,000.

To those (e.g., Mig) who think they are going to see a different Topalov tomorrow: don't hold your breath. I think Topalov has already summoned his "tremendous energies" in this match with no avail.

Tomorrow whoever gets to play his novelty first will win. Psychologically both seem quite stable to me, although the pressure on Topalov is much higher. So, it comes down to home preparation, plain and simple.

Anands last day as champion, the beginning of Danailovs reign. Good luck to Magnus in his battle versus the dark.

If the best Anand "brilliancy" you can show is from a game he still lost, then what does it tell you? :-).

I think the current, very exciting, match just shows they are more or less equal. There's no point in arguing either one of them is actually better.

Who is? Read my comments please.

PaddyPower.com is giving following odds for winning world championship
Topalov 3/4
Anand 20/21
If today is a draw it will be interesting to see the odds see-saw

I think Anand is going to attack with Black. This can yield two results (Draw OR WIN) .

But, which opening he will choose? Gruenfeld seems to be a good option.I don't think he will get any play with black,unless Topalov pushes and makes some mistakes

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I am not sure Anand's advantage is as big as many seem to imagine if the game moves to rapid and blitz. Remember most top players do not reveal their real preparation in rapid games as they do not count for FIDE ELO rating points. If there are rapid games in this championship, the games will be based on deep preparation and I think both will have equal chances. Preparation will play a big role.

Iwonder what kind of excuses will be invented by the many Anand fans if Topalov takes the title. It will be something to see....

I'm quite impressed by Anand's play so far. It is not just me, great players too have opined on those lines during this match, his opponent Topalov too seems to highly respect his play. Anand would have retained the title by now if not for the 3 unlucky moments (not to take any credit away from Topalov), but it happens. But Anand is so cool.

Few things in general that Anand needs remember.

1. Remember to play a whole different defense, or a whole different setup.
2. Take Topalov out of theory at a very early phase of the game.
3. Take time but not lag too much on time. Shouldn't be a focus but if possible pressurize Topalov on the time front.
4. Last regulation game, so stay focussed till the end.

Go Anand Go!! The championship is yours!!

Pirc Alert please don't disappear from here should Anand resign today.

But I must say I haven't had so many tingling sensations as today...the anticipation is killing me. Can these guys start!!!

PircAlert -

I am an Anand fan too.
That said, please... stop... posting!


I have had it with all these Anand fans choking up this forum. The last month or so has been an absolute torture for me. I cannot believe I have been force-fed on such copious quantities of stomach churning curry.

Finally comes the day when these ABCD's can be shut up for a long time to come. A toast to the end of an error that has been the Anand reign.

Hey Mehul, do you think I will desert Anand just like that, knowing that my support to Anand was from the time when Anand had hardly any open supporters? I love his play! Game 12 will not change any of that opinion. Anand deserves to win and he WILL win this championship!


Let Pirc Alert enjoy today. It could turn out to be very painful for him and other Anand supporters like myself.

Today, all kinds of over-the-top Anand worship should be allowed. But I will certainly DIE if Vishy loses today.

If possible Anand should surprise his seconds for any possible preparation leak out benefitting his opponent. Non-aligning Anand win is not good for politicians, so Anand should watch out. Are the curtains drawn out? Are the jammers in place? Lets play!

Anand About his final game on twitter :

I just want to go there and play my best chess tomorrow, I am not even thinking about the result, what is destined to happen will happen.

I think the twitter account for Anand is a bogus one - I remember Dennis M on his blog thechessmind.net exposing the twitter account as bogus...

Yes, it's definitely bogus.

I love the cheesey "soft jazz" playing in the background

For once, I found little to object in Danialov's interview..he would do himself a big favour if he were this normal on more occasions..

20 minutes to game time and the coffee is still brewing.

If Anand "attacks" with Black, let's hope he has managed to gain some sort of initiative or advantage. Otherwise, he will be playing for the third result.

I finished mine :)

anand's latest tweet, does show today we r going to see changed and fearless anand

Queens Gambit (Declined?) Good choice Vishy (I hope :-))

It is a QGD.

Yeah! Pity it's not actually Anand though.

QGD Lasker! Been waiting for years for this to be played in a WCh match.

Vishy just needs to prepare e5 or c5, solve his bad bishop, nice draw and onto the rapids :-)

He's a cunning one, Vishy. Who if anyone called this?!

Interesting that the super-GMs almost never go 13...e5, which always seems very theoretically healthy to me. All I know about what's played is that Karpov beat Yusupov in it and Kramnik almost beat Kasparov and then lost to Deep Blue. Black has a piss-poor score in this line, in fact. Although since then there's been some Bologan game showing a new way to avoid the worst of the troubles with some pawn sacrifice. No doubt Shipov will be telling us all about this in a minute. I'd have been happier with 13...e5....

I'm not sure about this 16 Qc2 - is that the older move? I have an idea there's some two-step with Qa4 and then Qc2 which is supposed to be more annoying. All in Sadler. Anyone got that to hand?

A very good choice actually IMHO. It's just the sort of line where a micro-innovation might be enough to score a painless draw, even if you wouldn't want to be using it all the time and if, like that Slav endgame, you can't stick to it for a whole match. I'm rather surprised Topalov didn't go 5 Bf4. I'd have thought that suited him more - in fact didn't he play this in San Luis?

16.Qc2 was played by Karpov, Yusupov went 16..a5, 16..Nf6 may be novelty

c7 looks very weak as an invasion point. Presume Topalov gets a stranglehold on c file.

Now I like Anand's Bishop. It is the equalizer and maybe we will see more games in the rapid session.

I suspect Topalov will have quite a think on move 19. I don't see how he keeps a workable plus here.

GM Shipov after Black's N-f6:

It's a rare continuation which was used only by Polish GM Grabarczyk. I should mention that in Anand's team there is also a Polish GM Voytashek. Black is ready to pay for displacement or exchange of White's strong bishop by pawns weaknesses.

Does anyone know who are all on Anand's team?

c file is only half open. this is ultra solid for both colors. if the minor pieces come off, then its guaranteed draw.

Good result of opening for Anand. The King is still alive.

I'd be more worried about c5!

It's possible ...Nf6 was Bologan's move. I remember it involved some pawn sacrifice somehow, though I'm not sure Black's offering one here exactly.

GM Kosteniuk at Chessdom mentions the following game:

There was one interesting game played in this line which the players are still following between Kulaots and Grabarczyk: 19.b3 Bb7 20.Qf4 Bxf3 21.Qxf3 Rfd8 22.Rfc1 Rd2 23.R1c2 Rbd8 24.g3 Rxc2 25.Rxc2 Rd5 26.Kg2 Qd6 27.h4 a6 28.Rc4 Rd2 29.Ra4 Qd3 30.h5 f6 31.g4 Kh7 1/2-1/2 as we can see from this game Black was able quite easily to make a draw.

And Topy in no mood for a draw.

To humour this patzer. Qc2, Rc1 gobble c pawn. Does Black use B-b7xf3 to create pawn weaknesses or does black hang on to the bishop. Does white have anything else?

Make that Wojtaszek :) Looks like Anand's got everything he could have wanted - he dodged any Topalov novelty and has a drawish position & perhaps even some winning chances if Topalov's careless. Though of course nerves could still come into it...

Looks like a good start for the world champion. Vishy has a more playable game as black now than he has had in a while. Good chance for extra innings.

Don't let Ulf Andersson hear you saying that, Harish!

Hmm. Grabarczyk's a Berlin fan. Sounds about right!

19...B-b7 played offering the c5 pawn. Anand appears to have prepared this line.

u seem to have forgot the King never dies in Chess!!!!
The final game pressure for a Topy fan I guess.

now Ba6 by black though I amnt great into chess, wondering what-if Nc4?

Sorry, database went down again under the comment load. Back up and should be fine from now on.

22. Rf2 and suddenly the computers and Shipov think black's on top if Vishy finds the fairly obvious plan of doubling on the d file...

Come on, 21...Qg5 nothing fancy now !

Now after White's R-f2, Rybka gives a line with R-d7 where eval changes to =-/+ in favor of black

Actually various plans seem to work - black can tie white down & the bishop, pawn and rooks work very well together - with the queen able to threaten checks and taking on e3. Still only a small edge, but it looks very uncomfortable for white. I guess the main point is that white can't take the c pawn without unpleasant things happening...

...Bb7 does not give up c5 pawn. if rxc5 bxf3 gxf3 rxb2! qxb2 qxc5

whats anand thikin for so long..no obvious moves other than d file

remember G1. Anand is just making sure things are as they are to be

indeed...very interesting way to defend...

But he could achieve the same with ...Rb7 or ...Rb6, or even ...Rd5 (depending on whether you want to provoke e4 or not). Not sure if 23. g3 is a Topalov move here!? Though generally any move which works is also a Topalov move :)

Nice to see Shipov also wondered about provoking e4! His conclusion was that Anand probably thought - on e3 you can take the pawn in some lines, whereas on e4 it's unlikely.

Back in that chair and move Anand ! Time is runnng.

after K-g2 could black play B-d3?

Anand is in no danger of falling into time trouble anytime soon, what with an hour and a half to make 16 moves. He has done a good job of preparing away from the board for this game, and it is paying off handsomely on the clock.



c4 now would create a strong pawn-bishop pair.

Bd3 fireworks???

Anand played B-d3; He can potentially follow that up with Q-g5 attacking e3 pawn and if f4 then Q-d5+ introducting holes for his bishop

Rybka gives e4 in response to Q-g5 line that leads to wholesale exchanges and black should be very comfortable

In computer lines black seems to force the exchange of all the pieces other than the queen on d2 for a draw. Probably still some room for white to get over ambitious and come under a serious attack, though.

Topy still has some chances here after Qc1..aiming for a setup with e4, b3 and Nc4 (~Ne3-Nd5 if not B:c4)

Admittedly Qc1 neatly avoids that whole line :)

The Chesspro commentator's pretty critical of ...Bd3. The problem here will be if Vishy tries to play too safe. Instead of ...Bd3 there was ...h5 (or ...e5) and the commentator's point was that Topalov was quite likely to blunder in trying to defend his kingside (push pawns when he shouldn't). So even if it wasn't objectively better it might well have worked.

It must be psychologically tough to retreat the bishop again, though that's what the computers recommend to avoid giving white the advantage...

Now after Q-c1 here is one line:

c4; N*c4 B*c4; R*c4 R-d1; Q-c2 R-a1 threatening Rd8-d1 as well as the pawn on a2

Shipov mentions ...h5, h4, giving up the c5 pawn for the attack.

Hard for me to assess this position w/o and engine, but I don't see either side managing to gain much of an advantage here. So far, the Vish has done a great job of getting this match into extra games, where conventional wisdom has him as the favorite. Hard to see any decisive result from the current game.

26. Nc4 now, I guess.

I doubt if Topalov will repeat

Just force the repetition and off to rapids.

Good play by Topalov to keep the tension and give Anand the chance to blunder, though just returning to d3 with the bishop would leave white to show that he's got some sort of constructive plan.

Anand should still play B-d3 and keep Topalov constricted; Might be the way best wayy to play; Or potentially follow-up with h5, h4 plan

Although I always wince when people say "X played this game like Kramnik/Tal/Kasparov/etc" - the top players are a lot more versatile than most people think - Toppy's play here reminds me of a player I would never have associated him with: Petrosian. This odd rope-a-dope setup, going backwards in order to strike, etc.

I love the way Topalov keeps the position dynamic

Hey Paul,

Guessing right is a very difficult Art.


Ô Pète

With the number of blunders Anand has made in this match, I think it was unwise to go for 26...Bb6 to keep the game alive.

A wrong rook moment there for Vishy!? He gave up the d file very easily. Anyway, both players are refusing to settle for a draw... they must just love unbearable tension :)

Eventually white will commit and try to get the N on d6 with Na5, Nc4, then e4 and e5.

Probably both are wary of rapids . Historically, have novelties been used a lot in rapids?

Is Topalov playing with Vishy's mind? The same light-squared brought his downfall in game 8.

Just want to stick a quick congrats to both players for playing aggressive, fighting chess overall in this match. How many times have we seen Anand push for something in a balanced position where he could easily take a draw? These guys seem fearless. This is by far the most interesting world championship match I have watched.

The big question must be whether Vishy's going to feel free to throw his kingside pawns forward, despite it being the final game. Though after he put the bishop on that diagonal I think he's probably obliged to if he wants to justify it.

28..Na8, probably intending e5-e4

29...g5, Vishy (or perhaps ...f5). Now's not the time for half measures!

The more I look at it, the more I like Black's position. Isn't this a Tartakower rather than a Lasker btw? This is very typical of a QGD Tartakower I would have thought, with activity on the long diagonal and threats against White's king providing long term compensation for space and p-structure. I must say that I think Black looks too comfortable too early here! What did Toaplov do wrong? Is it that easy to equalise in the QGD? :-)

Ok, 29...e5's not a terrible start :)

In the Tarkatower, Black develops with b6; B-b7; IN the opening it is not so easy to equalize; White has nagging plus due to better space; Alot of Kasparov - Karpov games featured this;

I think Topalov's Q-c2 was not correct positionally

On the web cam Vishy had a moment's hesitation before continuing ...f5, though the last time he did that was game 4, so it's not necessarily bad!

"In the Tarkatower, Black develops with b6; B-b7;"

Well he eventually did! I guess the move order was Lasker's defense. However the final resulting position after Vishy's Q-side fianchetto looks very reminiscent of a Tartakower to me.

30...f5....way to go Mr. Anand...kick that Bulgarian in the b"lls.....

"Hey Paul,

Guessing right is a very difficult Art.


Ô Pète"
Especially trying to guess the moves of 2800 rated players, when I don't have any emotion nor great concentration invested into the position, as they have.
Besides, the Knight ended up on c4 anyway!

Hey, can't you for once hide your low class...


Wow! Topalov took the f pawn...

And took again!!! It should be over...

Topalov took on f5. The man has guts.

The WEasel took the bait !!

The K will walk out to h3 - very double-edged!

The better chances lie with Vishy in this position. If white plays 30. e4, then ...f5 looks very dangerous for white.

Anand's got all the time in the world to calculate ...Qe4+ - did Topalov only look at ...Bxe4+!?!?

Wow!! Rybka jumps to -3.28 in favor of Black. What is happening?

Is Black winning? Wow!!

I can't believe this. Stockfish +4.6 for black!

now he took in e4 ... either he has guts and a complete genius or his safety valve sensor has stopped working.

Topalov has blundered. Will Anand spot this and retain his world title is the question here.

> Wow!! Rybka jumps to -3.28 in favor of Black.

How about giving the line it's looking at?

Or maybe he missed ...Rd4 threatening mate on g4? After the king goes to h3.

To Dimi, Manu, Mondo and other patzers ...
thats the way the cookie crumbles :)

Rybka: R-d4 by Black

crazy Topalov, he has the courage of a kamikadze, I was writing a comment with "now 31.Nd2 seems forced, 31..fe4 32.N:e4 B:e4 33.f:e4 Rd4 etc.) when I saw 31.e:f5 !??...now it's wild

wow, my live feed was dilatory and I was a few moves behind. The game has really opened up now. Topalov definitely has some balls, but there was also a forced nature to his position.

I'm not watching the video... When did Topalov's body language change? May be mishanp can tell us since he is on site...

Ok so Lasker was what it took to win with Black :)

Black's winning??!!!

Rd4. Qe8 next

Ultimately Topa's 'Sofia Rule' bounced on him very badly.

Please let's not allow elegance have the best of ourselves... and the game is over when it's over. Go Vishy!

After N-e3 the line given is (34... Qe8 35. g4 h5 36. Nc2 hxg4+ {Rybka Aquarium (0:00.15)} {-4.39|d16} {Black has a decisive advantage})

He still has to find ...Qe8 & ...h5, so it's not totally trivial - but surely easy for someone of Anand's class.

I think the real wild-man move was 30.e4, practically begging for ...f5. Once Anand had played ...e5, Toppy should have changed gears.

If Anand can find the key move Qe8, this should be easy for him.

Anand plsss plsss dont misss qe8.i am a novice and i dont miss it..u r a super gm..plssss

Move 34...Qe8....Topalov is toast, I think.

Vishy nodding serenely on the web cam :)

He found it...wow!!! it's a win for black!!!??

34..Qe8!! Vishy!!

ur right ... i only too clearly remember game 9

Anand found Qe8. The game's not over yet, so I don't want to jinz Anand, but wow, what a meltdown by Topa.

Anand just played Qe8.

So much for Topalov's ability to "summon tremendous energy" and his "mental toughness" and other BS. Topalov is human. He was under a lot of pressure. He cracked. Game, set, match Anand.

He found Qe8. :-) if Anand blunders now and lose i bet there will be some heart attacks accross the internet land.

Anand playes Q-e8;

White has to play g4 then black plays h5;

Anand has plenty of time too;

rofl........ my theory will be proved today :)

The whole match was part of Anand's plan

Sadly I'm not on site - I was only there for games 2, 3 & 4.

"Sofia Rule"..."Sofia Rule"..."Sofia Rule"..."Sofia Rule"

Danailov's advice cost Topa another WC match!

Was ..Qe8 the only winning move?

Well, he still has to play ...h5, but nobody above maybe 1800 would miss such an obvious continuation after Qe8. Anand has a tiger by the tail.



Who would say that the decisive blunder was Topalov's?

...h5 played with no hesitation at all - and Vishy goes for a drink! You wouldn't envy Topalov now... though perhaps there's still time for a localised power cut!? :)

Now that's smart from him! Well, apparently today he's finding all the moves. 35 g4, h5 played.

Your theory is pure rubbish. Yes, Anand should win this 12th game, but that doesn't mean his previous errors and blunders were all part of a grand strategy. I know Anand would laugh at your thinking.

Topalov, new World champion after 35. ...h5!

Man, the white position looked terrible even if you miss the key moves! Too exposed! What was Topa thinking??

Yep, ...g5 kept an edge but only half a pawn.

I would win this game as black now.

after K-h4 36... Qd8+ 37. f6 {Rybka Aquarium (0:00.16)} {-5.30|d11} {Black has a decisive advantage})
* {[*]}

The rook on a3 is a far-away mute spectator.

Qd8 now!! Cmon Vishy!!

Breaking news : Danailov is leading a private army with clear intention to invade India, calling for justice after Anand cheated to keep his wc title

36...g5 looks interesting. I don't see how Topa survives this. Very well played by the Vish.

Poor Topalov pressed too hard!

I was wondering when the pressure might tell - for either player. The white exchanges were suicide... at the very least if you're going to allow ...Qxe4 with check you have to have calculated everything perfectly, but Topalov played quickly (despite having plenty time).

After g5+ Rybka gives: (37. fxg6 Qxg6 38. Qf1 Rxg4+ 39. Kh3 {Rybka Aquarium (0:00.00)} {-2.97|d14} {Black has a decisive advantage})

Vishy played g5. Does he know the en passant rule?

Vishy, please don't delay only moves... (37...Qxg6) Surely the tension can't lead to both of them making incredible blunders...

Topalovs pieces getting bi* slapped.

Yes, he took only one minute to play fxe4. That's just bizarre really.

Time to resign...

After Q*g6 if Q-g1 then black can play R-h7

wow jus look at them ... their mannerisms are unreal

29...e5 deserves a !!! Very few people - if any - were looking for it. Topalov himself must have been planning for 29..g5. Six moves later, it all looks over for Black.

Rybka gives

(38. Qf1 Rf7 39. Rxf7 Rxg4+ 40. Kh3 Bg2+ 41. Qxg2 Rxg2 42. Rf4 Re2 43. Nf1 Qe6+ 44. Kg3 Rxb2 45. Re3 Qxa2 46. Rf5 Rg2+ 47. Kh3 c4 48. Re8+ Kh7 49. Rxh5+ Kg7 50. Re7+ Kg8 51. Re8+ Kf7 52. Rhe5 c3 53. R5e7+ {Rybka Aquarium (0:01.40)} {-3.75|d17} {Black has a decisive advantage})

..Six moves later, it all looks over for Black. Topa must be wondering what hit him.

I doubt this is so obvious OTB as it seems to us with computers. 36...g5+ already wasn't the most clinical. Is it so obvious what follows after 38 Qf1 Rxg4+ 39 Kh3? It's not obvious to me, though obviously White isn't happy.

Even I can calculate this: Rxg4+ Kh3 Bg2+ Nxg2 ( Qxg2 Rxg2 -/+) Rg4+ and Qg4

Vishy's not gonna see the Rybka Rf7 move.

Toppy completely lost his sense of danger (so much for the Petrosian association). After 30.e4, black's attack is automatic.

Topalov's blunder happened with 32.fxe4??. He should have played something like 32.Kh3, though Black looks comfortable. It would probably have been better for Topalov to play 31.Nd2 instead of helping Black open lines with 31.exf5?!


Oddly the game still only seems to end in a Queen v. Rook + Knight ending where black wins because of the passed pawn and mating threats.

I fear that Vishy will not see the computeresque Rf7 and Topa will squirm out of this.

He may indeed see Stockfish Bc6 which seems more obvious to find and still puts him on a -2,82 at 21 ply.

Anand has to be careful. There are lots of tactical tricks involved. One mis-step and it could turn the other way.

Either R-f7 or R*g4+ and then R-f7 the game is winning for Anand

Would 36..Qd8 have closed this out faster?

Do you guys see the video? Doesn't work for me...

Tons of curry getting spilled on every corner of New Dehli in honor of the greatest indian player since the immortal Mahatma Gambit!

Or even worse Rybka has a line where white still has a pair of rooks. After the blunders Topalov's gone back to playing precise chess and shouldn't have to resign any time soon (I'm tempted to add, or at all, but surely Vishy will convert this!!).

Sophia Polgar alias "Zsuzsa" Polgar just can't get over the fact that her favourite Topa blundered. She thinks it is the biggest blunder in the final game, in the history of Chess


That is what Rybka suggested but the winning lines may have taken longer to calculate for Anand. I think he chose a winning one, a line easier to calculate

Aruna Anand, overcome with joy, carefully shines the red dot on her forehead in anticipation of her winnning husband's return to their love nest.

Shipov: Black has a great number of ways to win. But, it seems, not a single short one. It's a good job this wasn't taking place in time trouble!

If only Anand can find Rf7, it should be over.

Shipov and Ipatov (Chessdom) both like the human 39...Re7 - ah, and Anand's just played it.

Can it, Irv. This is no time for racism, even from you.

Susie P obviously hasn't studied the Steinitz-Tschigorin matches very closely, or was it the penultimate game where T allowed mate in two in a winning position?

"I can barely stand the tension. Come on Vishy! You can do it! Kill him! Rip him limb from limb!" -- Nigel Short :)

Hey this is NOT combinations 101, there are some tricky moves to find. I mean 39. ... Re7 isn't all that straightforward is it?? Having said that, what kind of insanity must possess you to go for this line for a pawn???

After the contiuation R-e7 Anand chose Rybka gives

(40. Rf8+ Kh7 41. Rh8+ Kxh8 42. Qf8+ Qg8 43. Qh6+ Rh7 44. Qf6+ Rhg7 45. Qh6+ Qh7 46. Qxh7+ Kxh7 47. Nxg4 hxg4+ 48. Kg3 c4 49. Rc3 Bd5 50. Re3 Kh6 51. Re2 Rf7 52. Re5 Bf3 53. b3 cxb3 54. axb3 Kg6 55. b4 {Rybka Aquarium (0:00.55)} {-3.04|d17} {Black has a decisive advantage})

Anand will take the Prize money, World Championship Title and give a goodbye kiss to Bulgarian PM, BCF, Danailov and Topalov.

I dont know about you guys, but for a 2800+ player to be treated like this is embarrassing. Party over for White. One of Topalovs fans get the lights on the way out.

Why not Qg5?


I am novice...curious about the response to 39...Qg5


saw Topalov shake his head in disgust on the live video feed after Anand played Qe8 when he realized the implications of his pawn capture.

Can you losers PLEASE stop with the petty name calling, assorted bigotry and asinine crowing?

If Anand messes this up I am never playing chess again.

A heart-stopping moment on move 40... Stockfish at Chessdom initially gave ...Kg7 as throwing away the win (instead of ...Kh7) - but a little more thought and Vishy's ...Kg7 is fine too :)

My jaw dropped when he played Kg7. I'm glad to hear it's okay...!

after K-g7 Rybka: 41. Nf5+ Kh7 42. Rg3 Rxg3+ 43. hxg3 Qg4+ 44. Kh2 Re2+ 45. Kg1 Rg2+ 46. Qxg2 Bxg2 47. Rf7+ Kg6 48. Rg7+ Kxf5 49. Rxg4 hxg4 50. Kxg2 Ke4 51. Kf2 Kd3 52. b3 a6 53. Kf1 Ke3 54. Kg2 Ke2 55. a3 a5 56. a4 {Rybka Aquarium (0:01.27)} {-4.70|d16} {Black has a decisive advantage})

Do you know we may be witnessing the end of Topalov's chess career. This will finish him off. Maybe he will never recover from this. I expect to see him plummet in the ratings. Surely he is going out of top 4 within a few months. And with Carlsen & Co coming in this was probably his last shot at the world championship.

I think Topa would wiggle out with 40. Rg8+ Kh7 41. Qf5+

Rybka's line at Chessok now ends with a pawn ending with level pawns! Though it's won for black.

Saw it as soon as I posted. Nice. :-)

ok, maybe there are no quick winning lines for black, but Vishy is having all the fun nevertheless.

Crude stuff, Irv.

Can somebody with professional chess engine let me know whther Kg7 is throw away!!! I can't believe this, why not Kh7?? 40th Move syndrome for Vishy???
Remember game 9?

This was complex, but even I can see that the mating motifs with ...Rh4+ and Qg4++ are too much for White to withstand now. The issue is why give Black an unnecessary N check by moving 40 ...Kg7 rather than 40. ...Kh7 ?

The loser qualifies for the next candidates tournament, don't they? So a little early for anyone to hang up their boots... Besides, people give up chess early if they have something else to do - what would Topalov do?

(41... Kh7 {Rybka Aquarium (0:00.28)} {-5.10|d18} {Black has a decisive advantage})

Rybka is telling Kg7 is better than Kh7. But equal pawn ending where black wins easily. Has Anand calculated all the lines to pawn ending. I doubt it but if he has calculated it it is really something incredible.

"Do you know we may be witnessing the end of Topalov's chess career. This will finish him off. Maybe he will never recover from this. I expect to see him plummet in the ratings. Surely he is going out of top 4 within a few months. And with Carlsen & Co coming in this was probably his last shot at the world championship."

Spare us the dramatics, please. It will not be the end of Topalov's career, and Carlson will have everybody looking into his rearview mirror soon enough.

But allow Anand to enjoy this wonderful result (should he close it out.) He came through in the end in fine style.

On 40...Kh7 I was trying to puzzle out the effects of Rh8+ followed by Qf8+, but that didn't seem to be the problem.

Danailov has taken 40 trips to the toilet in the last 17 minutes...

After 41. Rh8 white can (has to) force an ending a bishop down, but with only a couple of pawns. Surely won for black, but maybe the limited material would create some study like chances. As said, Rybka preferred Vishy's move.

Anand playing his moves quickly; He has seen the winning line

Ah OK, thanks.

I think even I could win as Black from here.

Well said Toledo Paul; Could not have said it better

does anyone know how FIDE round their Elo points? Will they make Vishy's 2799.8 as 2800 on the next list? Or floor it to 2799?

Btw, this is what I meant by saying I was slightly disappointed with Vishy's play up to now, he seemed to avoid going in for long forced lines, preferring quiet positional lines. No such thing here, calculated precisely and went for it! Great stuff!! All started with 29. ... e5!

Interesting. With Topa's king locked in that corner he's in a kind of zugzwang where a lot of moves are bad.

Holy crap! Anand is gonna bag this!

This is a vicious beating, here. Topalov got taken to the woodshed.

A dramatic end to a wonderfully dramatic match. It only adds to Vishy's accomplishment to beat such a great player as Topalov.

Wonderful display by Anand but have to hand it to Topalov for being so difficult to put away as well ....... Wasnt that what Kasparov and others said distinguishes the real elite. Thought he behaved terribly in Elista but I've been impressed with him this match

I dont think Anand is "enjoing this moment". In such a situation you have to try to stay calm and not think about the importance of the game.
Just think about the position and play it.

If the job is done its time for celebrations...
I'd be so glad by the way...

a4? Really? Now he just loses the b pawn with ...Qxb2!

Please let it be Carlsen vs Topalov, 1-0

Bulgarian PM will put Topa and Danailov in the border reagion factory to work lifelong and re-pay the prize money.

a5 from Anand? Come on man...grab that b pawn and queen away...

Zsuzsa Polgar: "40...Kg7? Incredible! Anand is letting Topalov back in the game!"

I really like how Topalov is fighting it out.

Maybe. Topalov wants to get his king up the board, so Anand can't necessarily go pawn-hunting right now.

I hope everyone exercises some self-control. Especially the supporters of the winner. Let's all enjoy Anand's win and not jump on Topalov's grave, ok?

Anand needs to be careful not to fall victim to a surprise mate. His king is boxed in to a corner.

Zsuzsa Polgar: "40...Kg7? Incredible! Anand is letting Topalov back in the game!"

Awfully nice of you to criticize someone who is offering live analysis without Rybka.

Do you also critique at concert pianists on youtube?

Did she really say that? Bizarre. Why would such a strong player, and she's very strong, rely on 5 seconds of computer eval. 40..Kg7 was just as good (as 20 seconds of computer eval makes clear..) and the human didn't have to worry about crazy Rh8+ shots and a dozen checks. Maybe someone else with a comp is filling in for Susan at the moment. And he/she needs a quad-core.

Shipov mentions there's a chance for a fortress for white - if he can give up the knight for the c pawn and then put the rook on the 4th rank. Perhaps explaining why Vishy's suddenly taking his time...

Check out 47. Rf7+ instead of Kxg2. At first sight, that looks like either perp check or winning for White.

I think Anand is eliminating chances of blunders; These are the WCh nerves;

In this age, you really believe that Susan Polgar whose work involves to be in constant touch with Chess does not have a Engine.

Topalov cannot defend the b pawn; If R-b6 then Q-g4+;

50...Kg8 is really nice - black's in semi zugzwang (if he doesn't want to lose a piece), and the knight's forced away from the c pawn.

It looks to me like Rf7+ would be followed by Kg6 Rg7+ Kxf5 Rxg4 hg4 and then doesn't black have the angle on the queenside pawns?

That's not her worst mis-evaluation, is it? She later suggested 47. Rf7+ was much better, although even I can see that leads to an incredibly easy win in the King and Pawn endgame.

Not anymore :)

Would it be o.k if Anand stood up and slapped Topalov in the face at this point?

Please pardon my ignorance, did you mean white or black who is in semi zugzwang?

Omigawd, you have a point there!!!

Susan is devasted at finding Topalov in this position and the patzers she has eating out of her hands are imploring her to support Anand for once.

It's quite hilarious what's going on there :-)

Rybka gave that variation as winning for Black; see the variation below from move 47

after K-g7 Rybka: 41. Nf5+ Kh7 42. Rg3 Rxg3+ 43. hxg3 Qg4+ 44. Kh2 Re2+ 45. Kg1 Rg2+ 46. Qxg2 Bxg2 47. Rf7+ Kg6 48. Rg7+ Kxf5 49. Rxg4 hxg4 50. Kxg2 Ke4 51. Kf2 Kd3 52. b3 a6 53. Kf1 Ke3 54. Kg2 Ke2 55. a3 a5 56. a4 {Rybka Aquarium (0:01.27)} {-4.70|d16} {Black has a decisive advantage})

Thanks! I missed that line.

Three players at 2800+:

Carlsen 2813
Topalov 2804
Anand 2800

I think it's a first!

Despite the result Topalov has played close to his best in this match. Vishy's age is beginning to show, but his class prevails eventually. Hopefully the Vishy fans will be modest in victory and Topalov fans won't be too bitter and use ifs and buts. He's behaved well enough here.

How does the 8-player candidates tournament look like? Just two more spots remain (Topalov, Kramnik, Aronian, Carlsen, Kamsky, Gelfand, +2 others)? One of the spots to be decided in the ongoing gp event and the last one being the organizer's nominee? Kinda hard to keep track with so many rule changes.

Watch for the lights going off...do you think Anand would notice if Topa sneaked in a white queen onto the board?

Thank you senthil!

Jonas is right, also possibilities of a B vs N endgame which is easily winning?

If R-b6 by White then Black plays Q-c2 winning the a4 pawn and then look to queen either of the pawns

"Did she really say that? Bizarre. Why would such a strong player, and she's very strong, rely on 5 seconds of computer eval"

Seriously, isn't that what she always does? And yes, what Bob pointed out was actually even worse. As I asked somewhere else - does she even look at the board at all when she comments?

I guess I will need to read this thread again when I have more time, such nice, hilarious and interesting comments :).

Could not find that comment, did she delete it already?

Definitely not nice comments at times.
"Its not over until its over"
Let the better player today win the championship :)
I hope this is the last 12 game world championship.

I kinda liked 54...h5 but Vishy looks winning anyway. White's pieces are uncoordinated.

I have a screenshot! :)

Relax now Ziv, Polgar just jumped the gun as usual. She was probably distracted while wiping tears off her keypad, and she's probably already rewritten it as "a brilliant resource holding a winning position!" If you haven't figured out her scam yet, buy some Florida swampland. She should give up chess and hawk pop-up ads for DIY liposuction and online medical degrees.

What's wrong with critiquing pianists on Youtube? (outside of Taimanov)?

now threatening h4; this is over; either white has to give up a piece or get mated

Indians and modesty don't go together...Anand's victory will be blown out of proportion. You gotta be kidding me...I wish I was in a chennai watching this game live...it will be like a riot over there.

Qxb2+. it's all over for white now. in normal tournament it is a good time to resign now.

I think Topalov is not going to resign as long as he has a rook on the board. So, why doesn't Anand take the b2 pawn and exchange the queen for the R+N? Surely Topalov will resign at that point.

Nice maneuvering by Vishy to get the b-pawn. Now trading Q for R+N (if possible/necessary) is a winning option.

Personally I'm very grateful to Susan and any other commentator who takes the time to do a little analysis during an important game. How many championships in the past did I have to wait a day before I even saw the moves let alone much analysis? And I expect anyone who's doing instant analysis to make some mistakes - I always just assume caveat emptor unless it's a Kasparov.
It's a little unseemly to be beating up on a commentator's analysis who isn't hear to defend themselves. Even if you think there's good reason to not like their personality or some other character trait, I wish we wouldn't discourage them from giving their opinions.

"I kinda liked 54...h5 but Vishy looks winning anyway. White's pieces are uncoordinated."

I meant 54...h4.

When one enters events like these, s/he has to be prepared to lose or win. No matter the result, I am astounded the en-masse lack of class exhibited here and really you should think how it reflects on you. Because life goes on.


Qg8. Looks all over even to me now.



Topalov resign...ANAND RETAINS HIS TITLE.......................LET THE CELEBRATIONS BEGIN!!!!!!!!

This is one of her sheepish qualities. She keeps editing her own comments to sound if she Goddess Caissa herself and never makes mistakes in evaluation of online games.

Official site is showing 0-1

Congrats Vishy!
Well played Topalov!!
Thanks for entertaining 12 games

Topa resigned finally. Anand showed his class by winning as black when it counted the most.

Congratulations to Anand, his team and India for retaining the title. Pretty good match overall !

Vishy Anand is the World Champ!! Kudos

0-1...Topa resigns! Good fight man...too bad you have a punk biatch manager...

Great finish by Vishy! Overall, I think he played pretty well throughout the match (now in retrospect.) Topalov likely played his best. Anand deserved the title.

Nice to see them chat amicably in the end.

I guess the result is fair, as Anand had more promising positions than Topalov over the course of the 12 games.

Excellent match!

Instant (as in written well before Topalov resigned) game and match recap up here:


Champagne for celebrating or drowning your sorrows thataway!

0 - 1. Congratulations to Anand. An amazing match.
Have to say Topalov played extremely well as well. It was a very close match, and
it could have gone the other way. I gained new respect for Topalov.

Still wonder what Topalov was thinking when taking f5 and e4.

That was awesome. I think the word 'choke' is overused in sports, but what the heck was Topalov thinking during moves 30-32?

Sad how it ended. Topalov looked at the Anand-Topalov banner, closed his eyes with his finger and thumb at the bridge of his nose, and then resigned. He was a fighter but class won out in the end.

Wonderful ending. I like how they lingered over the board, animatedly talking about the game, and shook hands twice. Giving a hint to their fans out here?

And there it is. Congratulations Vishy!

Topalov psyched himself out. He is admitting in the press conference he was trying to avoid tie breaks with Anand.

Topa won the first game, Anand won the last (and with Black). Nice :)

Wow.. The Chennai Super King went and conquered!

Congratulations, Anand! There is no stopping for you. Absolutely!!

This has gotta go down as one of the greatest world championship matches of all time.

I am a total Anand fan but I must say Topalov is one hell of a fighter. But Anand is just a genius.

Tomorrow Anand will start preparing for the WC match next year :-). Poor man :-), doesn't he ever get a chance to rest?

I think Topa was nervous from the start..Anand played fairly quick in the last 3 games.I think the lost game against Topalov while defending was a kick in his back

Logic prevails ...

Kramnik wins against Topalov
Anand wins against Kramnik
Therefore Anand wins against Topalov

Congrats to Anand for successfully defendig his title. I follow chess but not able to follow much these GM level moves :) - still want to make a comment. To stay on top for around 2 decades, that too in an era that saw some of the greatest names (Yes, I do agree Kasparov was greatest of them all)..that certainly isn't easy. Topalov and Kramnik both had higher peaks than Anand had, but not that continuity. Anand, sometimes, stumbles near the end- but he's easily managed to beat both Topalov and Kramnik, when it mattered most. People still remember that loss of Kramnik against Anand. In today's game too, though Anand missed some easy chances, but people couldn't see the sharp attack coming right in the middle of game- which suddenly changed the weight of game in favour of Anand. Weldone Anand. You truely are a champion. You deserve this win!!

Later on tonight I want to relax and re-read this thread...stuff on here was pure entertainment.

woohooo..time for a big celebration..

What a great match its been. As I said earlier, most of action/novelties were from Anand and he truly deserves to be the champ. I would have been heartbroken if he lost this becoz of couple blunders in previous games after so much action.

Thanks Topa. You were my second fav.player till toiletgate happened. Love that fighting spirit. And yeah, Why crib so much about sofia rules. Nobody seems to remember players playing it safe and accepting draws in complicated/unexplored positions.

Congratulations to Anand for a very convincing win! Topalov fan here, but I think it is undeniable Anand was better in this match. This was probably the most exciting match since the days of Karpov-Kasparov.

Many thanks to Topalov as well for making this what Anand called his toughest match experience. May we always experience such fighting chess at the World Championship level.

I hope all Anand fans will finally give Topalov credit for helping create this absolutely fantastic match.

I am glad that this is over. I had midterm on a game day and I was worrying more about this match than my exam :). I guess I can have my life back now, lol.

Anand, will you kindly post that comment for the rest of us :) ?

i copletely stopped working today...:)..Hope boss doesnt find out..even if he does i ll offer him QGD

Just reading through some of the thread again & no need to "pardon your ignorance" - I did get white and black mixed up for that zugzwang comment :)

Anand can now be considered the dominant player of the Kasparov-Carlsen interregnum.

anyone can please update what topalov and anand s reactions are..and whats the current rating after this..in classical matches i guess now its 14-14 anand topalov

Congratulations to Anand and his team - and to the Bulgarian organisers who did a wonderful job of promoting both Chess and Bulgaria. And amazing job Mig of an instant analysis!!

I have a feeling the problems over the volcano delay would have been sorted had Anand and his team communicated a bit more with the organisers earlier. Wonder what Nigel Short has to say - I found his (reported) earlier comment that Anand was a middle aged flabby Indian offensive and racist, but perhaps it was out of context?!

The world championship with (pseudo) Sophia rules actually made the games long, hard fought and interesting. So Topalov and Danialov were right IMO on this point.

What's all this anti Susan Polgar and scam talk? She's a very legitimate chess authority and has given a lot back to the game, especially with her teaching of chess. If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say it all!!

lol..here you go..enjoy..

She actually gave 40..Kg7 a question mark!

This was she said initially:

"40. Rf8+ The last hope for Topalov is for Anand to blunder with 40... Kg7 41. Nf5+ Kh7 42. Rg3 =+

40...Kg7? Incredible! Anand is letting Topalov back in the game!"

It was only afterwards that she edited it to that Black was winning anyway - i.e. it took a while for her engine to see it.

Congratulations to Anand and his team and commiserations with Topalov and his team. This was a truly engaging match of the very highest quality. Both players and their teams can be justly proud of providing high class entertainment and instruction to many fans. And I think both GMs still have a lot more in the tank (i shudder to think of the unused TNs) and will play important roles in the next 2 WCC cycles. Bravo.

This all seems strangely prescient now (of course, I was hoping this would be the case and that Anand would win the 12th game as black)!

Anand will likely never talk about this, but the sequence of events really does lead one to wonder if this was a grand rope a dope all along.

Worthies, allow me this childish glee...again light footed bishop wracked havoc on h1-a8 route for opponent, securing title for Anand. Black magics? :-)

I have been cheering for Anand but Topalov has played very well and kept very close.

But Topalov threw away today's game with those pawn grabs. Were those moves still in prep? Here is a humble Hypothesis - Topalov played those pawn grabs from prep, a computer told him it was okay, and this is a case of the materialistic computer grabbing pawns where humans immediately knew better.

I must also admit being a complete convert to the Sophia Rules, and I now find 14 move draws much more noxious. Anand and Topalov did a BIG BIG favor for professional chess - I hope the chess powers recognize it and begin to enforce similar rules throughout the professional chess world. No embarrassing GM draws between these two! Nothing embarrassing to explain to our non-chess friends. Just do it. A BIG sporting improvement!


Congrats Vishy! You are a deserving champion.

You are an ornament to the game. As usual, you play like a champion and behave with dignity.

Kudos to you for being so down to earth even after phenomenal success. May God bless you!

Well nice to see we got to the right outcome :-). I'm not sure tho I'm so taken with Anand's approach to the match. Blunders the first game - wins in Catalan a la Kramnik - and then a series of games in very tight closed positions in which both made errors.

I was interested in Kasparov's comment that QGD was a good opening for Anand - as it allowed him to play his best chess (something like that). I wonder if Anand really was determined to not let Topolov play his best suite (sharp positions with good prep) and in doing so got too many positions in which he wasn't at home either.

Hmm.... you try to sound intelligent but your cynicism shows off. Why are you trying to prove badly that Anand is not good, one wonders ??
He has beaten Kramnik, so he was in his peak? LOL.
Now he has beaten Topalov, so is he still in his peak? Or since Topalov is not that great, so he must not be playing in his peak? What would be your next argument to disparage him?
Please learn to respect and give credit where it's due. He is certainly better than Topalov!!! No doubt about it. Isn't a WC match not enough for you? When he beat him?

At 10:40 am NY time today, May 11; Game 12 inprogress; I would have bet my house(well maybe half of it)that Anand would win! And the rationale would be Mishanp's comment here

Today: Mishanp's comment: "On the web cam Vishy had a moment's hesitation before continuing ...f5, though the last time he did that was game 4, so it's not necessarily bad!"

Anand always pulls back his hand when he is winning!....In poker terms thats called his "tell"...Look at the evidence..

1) Game 4 (Anand-Topalov WCC 2010) move 25 e5 post by "r" on this blog
"Watching the live video feed is awesome! Vishy hesitated before playing the brilliant e5--he put his hand out to push the pawn, then withdrew his hand and thought some more:

2) Game 5 (Anand - Kramnik) WCC 2008

Check 01:46 of the video for game 5(make sure you clean your cache and delete all history otherwise Chessvibes doesnt load up the videos)..videos are in the middle of the page


3)Check out 0:02-0:08 in this Anand/Kasparov video


Another interesting point is in # 2 and # 3 above reaction by Kasparov and Kramnik is as if they were hit by a knock out punch in a boxing match!! Great reaction- specially for non-chess players

I don't play chess very well.....but I do read all the comments on this blog.....fascinating comments from people of all skill level!...very entertaining! Thanks to Mig or hosting

I hate Anand for playing 40 ......Kg7

I dont think that he had correctly analyzed it as being better than Kh7..I completely agree with d_tal: why give white an extra tempo to give a check with the knight and get whites rook on a3 back into life?

Anand's 40....kg7..is giving me heart attack even now...more than 12 hours later

I think that its proof that he is more prone to blunders in endgames than his peers..and by peers I mean not only Topalov, Carlsen and Kramnik (who are worthy peers) but also all the top 10-15 ever chess players (in any sane person's list)

If I were seconding / coaching any person playing against Anand, I would say, "Follow sofia rules and try to reach end game...and dont give up even if you would normally give up against a 2200 player"

So, Topalov's strategy of playing out till the end was appropriate...although I dont approve the way Danailov tried to say that "Sofia Rules" are the real "rules"!!

Octavian: "Would it be o.k if Anand stood up and slapped Topalov in the face at this point?"

LOL!!!... I am visualizing that in my head!!!

Your rant is ridiculous!

See Anish Giri's annotation og game 12, he doesn't think it was a mistake. In fact, Rybka liked that mode batter than kh7.

Are you ranting based on Susan's comment (former as she removed that later ;)

"How does the 8-player candidates tournament look like? Just two more spots remain (Topalov, Kramnik, Aronian, Carlsen, Kamsky, Gelfand, +2 others)? One of the spots to be decided in the ongoing gp event and the last one being the organizer's nominee? Kinda hard to keep track with so many rule changes."

I wonder how this will compare with San Luis 2005, and Mexico 2007?

Kramnik didn't play in 2005, Topalov didn't play in 2007, but Carlsen didn't play in either.
This Candidates' tournament looks to be stronger than the previous Tournament World Championships.
Gelfand has shown with his World Cup victory, and =2nd in Mexico that he can be a factor.

Kamsky has some time to prepare--I still think that he is better than his showing in the Match against Topalov, but his openings are the weakest of the group.

Aronian seems to be in his best form ever, but he's had problems with consistancy. Still, he seems to have improved over the past couple of years.

Radjabov seems to have the best chance of getting 2nd Place in the Grand Prix. He's currently in second place with 363.3. His two best scores (150 points in Sochi, and 153.3 points in Elista), effectively give him a 30 point cushion over Wang Yue. Gashimov is in 3rd Place, and addition 10 points behind. After 3 rounds of the Astrakhan Grand Prix tournament, Gashimov is co-leader at +1, so things are looking good for an Azerbaijani qualifying for the Candidates....

Ivanchuk, Jakovenko, and Leko are the Dark horses for the 2nd GP spot, while Mamedyarov and the rest are already Mathematically eliminated.

We will know soon enough who is the 2nd Place finisher in the GP.

Has the venue for the Candidates' Tournament been set yet? Obviously, that could give us some insight as to who would likely be the "Wild Card" invitee....
Last I read, Baku, Azerbaijan, is set to be the host of the Candidates' competition (whatever its Final Form), much to Aronian's discomfort. So, maybe BOTH Radjabov and Gashimov get to play in the Candidates, or perhaps Mamedyarov, who is the highest rated Azerbaijani amongst the three...

shd anand do what kasparov did: avoid playing in certain settings to keep his rating up, artificially high? shd he stop playing in the bundesliga, tournaments, and start hand picking his opponents for wcch matches? is this what you want? you want to here him talk about how great he is while he dodges this opponent, discredits another etc. give us all a break!

i hope you don't mind me using your line of logic but if its valid then we can also say: kramnik beat kasparov, anand beat kramnik and topalov therefore anand beat kasparpov :)

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 10, 2010 1:03 AM.

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