Bucharest Kings Rd6: Ivanchuk outlasts Topalov and wins gold

11/13/2012 – They say that luck goes to the strong, and that was certainly true as Vassily Ivanchuk found himself deciding the title with Veselin Topalov in a tiebreak. In the first tiebreak game, he was down a pawn and in trouble when the Bulgarian's flag fell despite the increment. This was enough to secure him a deserving gold after showing great verve throughout. Report, videos, and GM analysis.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

The Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade” of Bucharest is staging a double round robin tournament with four top GMs: Italian Fabiano Caruana, Italy's greatest player since the Renaissance, Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk, Veselin Topalov, former world champion and world number one, and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, the best Romanian player. The competition is taking place from November 7th to 13th 2012 in Bucharest, Romania. CCRL

Round six report

by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Round 6: Monday, November 13, 15:30h
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov

The last round in Bucharest didn't establish the winner, since the leaders' encounter Ivanchuk-Topalov finished in a draw after a short, but interesting game, marked by the fight for the initiative. Everything ended with a small combination from Ivanchuk which led to a perpetual.


Ivanchuk concentrates on Topalov's suggestions in the press conference

Game annotations by GM Dorian Rogozenco:

[Event "6th Kings Tournament"] [Site "Bucharest"] [Date "2012.11.13"] [Round "6"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D47"] [WhiteElo "2763"] [BlackElo "2769"] [Annotator "Dorian Rogozenco"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ROU"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bb7 {The Meran Variation.} 9. a3 (9. O-O {and}) (9. e4 {are the main moves, but 9.a3 is also currently fashionable at the highest level. For instance, among many other top GMs it was successfully played by Carlsen and Kramnik. Even Topalov used it on the White side before.}) 9... Bd6 10. O-O O-O 11. Bd2 a5 12. Ng5 h6 13. Nge4 Be7 14. Qc2 Rc8 15. Nxf6+ Nxf6 16. Ne4 c5 {As a rule of thumb, if Black succeeds in playing c6-c5 in the Meran he is doing fine. The present game is no exception.} 17. Nxf6+ {[#]} gxf6 $5 {One can only admire Topalov's fighting spirit.} ({Black could easily keep equal prospects with} 17... Bxf6 18. dxc5 Bxb2 {which actually has been played before. In that case the position is very drawish. For instance} 19. Bh7+ Kh8 20. Qxb2 Kxh7 21. Rac1 Bc6 22. f3 Qc7 23. Bc3 f6 24. Rfd1 Rfd8 25. Rd6 Rxd6 26. cxd6 Qxd6 27. Bxa5 { and both games in GM practice which achieved this position ended in a draw soon.}) 18. Rae1 $5 {Vassily Ivanchuk chooses the most ambitious continuation for White. This creative rook move has several ideas. First of all, the e-file is very likely to open soon and then the rook will be active on e1. Secondly, White is ready to place the queen on d1 (on its way to h5) without breaking the connection between the rooks. True, the rook on f1 is out of play for the moment, but apparently the Ukrainian GM considered this not such an important factor.} ({After} 18. Bxb5 cxd4 19. Qb3 f5 20. exd4 {White can hope to remain with an extra pawn, but in any case Black will have sufficient activity. Instead, Ivanchuk fights for the initiative himself.}) ({In case of the immediate} 18. Qd1 f5 19. Qh5 cxd4 {White is missing the rook on e4 to support the e3-e4 advance.}) 18... f5 ({The main idea behind 18.Rae1 can be seen in the following variation:} 18... cxd4 19. Qd1 dxe3 $2 20. Rxe3 {and White builds a strong attack.}) 19. Qd1 Bg5 20. e4 {[#]} Qxd4 (20... c4 {might have been more unpleasant for White, since after} 21. Bc2 Qxd4 22. Bxg5 Qxd1 23. Rxd1 hxg5 24. exf5 exf5 25. Bxf5 Rc5 {Black can try to play for a win without any risk. His queenside pawn majority is obviously more valuable than his opponent's majority on the kingside.}) 21. Bc3 $1 ({Ivanchuk avoids the line from the previous variation, which would have happened after} 21. Bxg5 hxg5 22. exf5 c4 23. Bc2 Qxd1 24. Rxd1) 21... Qd8 {The queen goes to d8 in order to be able to support bishop's retreat on f6, if necessary.} 22. Bxb5 (22. f4 Bf6) 22... Bxe4 (22... fxe4 23. Qh5 Kh7 24. Rd1 Bd5 25. Bc4 {looks dangerous for Black from the practical point of view.}) 23. Qh5 Bd2 ({Again} 23... Kh7 24. Rd1 Bd5 25. Bc4 {is something Topalov wanted to avoid.}) 24. f3 (24. Rd1 Qg5 25. Qxg5+ Bxg5 26. Bxa5 Bf6 27. Bc3 Bxc3 28. bxc3 $11) 24... Bxc3 25. bxc3 Bd3 26. Bxd3 (26. Rd1 c4 27. Qxh6 Qe7 28. Rfe1 Rfd8 {and the position is equal too, since the black queen comes to f8 to protect the king.}) 26... Qxd3 {[#]} 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28. Qg6+ Kh8 29. Qxh6+ Kg8 30. Qg6+ Kh8 1/2-1/2


Nisipeanu played true to his style throughout the tournament


Ivanchuk observes the game between Nisipeanu and Caruana, knowing full well that
Caruana might join the leaders in the last round were he to win.

Playing white against Caruana, Nisipeanu chose the apparently harmless Four Knights Variation and achieved a promising position. The Italian had to sac a pawn in order to free himself from White's pressure. The Romanian Grandmaster overestimated his chances and instead of slowly improving the position with an extra pawn, decided to go for direct action, but failed to increase the initiative and in the end the position only simplified. Soon the players agreed to a draw.

Game annotations by GM Dorian Rogozenco:

[Event "6th Kings Tournament"] [Site "Bucharest"] [Date "2012.11.13"] [Round "6"] [White "Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C47"] [WhiteElo "2668"] [BlackElo "2786"] [Annotator "Dorian Rogozenco"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ROU"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 {A surprise for Caruana. Nisipeanu played only once the Four Knights Variation before, but there he continued 4.Bb5. It is interesting that Caruana had never faced 4.d4 in his practice before, which certainly was considered by Nisipeanu in his preparations for the game.} exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O d5 9. exd5 cxd5 {[#]} 10. h3 {This continuation appeared in high-level practice only a few months ago, after Kramnik played it against Aronian and showed that Black's task is more difficult than was previously thought.} ({By far the most popular move is} 10. Bg5) 10... Be6 ({The above-mentioned encounter continued} 10... Re8 11. Qf3 c6 12. Bf4 Bd7 13. a3 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Ne4 15. Rfe1 Qf6 16. Bxe4 dxe4 17. Qe3 {and although the game Kramnik,V (2801)-Aronian,L (2825) Moscow 2012 ended in a draw, it became clear that White can set serious problems for Black in such positions.}) 11. Ne2 {A new move.} ({Only} 11. Qf3 {has been played before, but Black was doing fine in the following game:} Be7 12. Ne2 c5 13. c3 Rb8 14. b3 Rb6 15. Ng3 g6 16. Bg5 {and a draw was agreed in Filippov,A (2617)-Sokolov, I (2699) Sibenik 2012.}) 11... Bd6 12. Nd4 c5 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14. c4 {[#] White's bishop pair is compensated by Black's majority in the center. On the other hand the main question is whether the black pawns are strong or whether they may become a problem for Caruana?} Qc7 {Black keeps alive both possibilities: Bf4 and Be5 (and then eventually Bd4). It must be said that if Black succeeds in exchanging the (dark-squared) bishops, he can optimistically look into the future.} ({Another plan is} 14... Bc7 15. Qe2 Qd6 {but then after } 16. g3 {turns out that Black can hardly exploit the pawn advances in front of the white king.}) 15. Bg5 $1 {A subtle way to prevent 15...Bf4.} Be5 (15... Bf4 $2 {runs into} 16. Bxf6 Rxf6 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Qh5 {with a double attack on h7 and d5.}) 16. Qe2 {Prevents Bd4 and prepares Rae1. [#]} h6 {Generally, this is a concession, since it weakens the light squares. It wasn't easy to find a good alternative, for example the immediate} (16... Rae8 {is not good:} 17. Rae1 Bd4 18. Bxf6 gxf6 (18... Bxf6 19. cxd5 exd5 {loses due to} 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qh5+ Kg8 22. Rxe8) 19. cxd5 exd5 20. Qf3 {and Black faces problems with his broken pawn formation}) ({But the right way was established by the players after the game:} 16... Kh8 17. Rae1 Bd4 {and Black is only slightly worse, since} 18. Qxe6 {doesn't work for White:} Rae8 19. Qf5 Ne4) 17. Bh4 (17. Bxf6 $6 {would be weak. Then after} Rxf6 {Black follows up with Bd4 and his chances become even better: pawn e6 is well protected, the bishop comes to d4 and he can use the f-file for counterplay.}) 17... Kh8 18. Rae1 Bd4 {[#]} 19. Bxf6 $1 Rxf6 20. cxd5 e5 {[#] The critical moment of the game. Apart from being a pawn up, the light squares in Black's camp are weak.} (20... exd5 { loses by force:} 21. Qe8+ Rf8 22. Qg6 Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf7 24. Bg6+ Kf6 25. Bf5 Kf7 26. Be6+ Kf6 27. Qf5+ Ke7 28. Bxd5+) 21. Qe4 {Nisipeanu goes for forced lines, which strangely enough, don't promise any real advantage to White.} ({As pointed out by Caruana, after the simple} 21. Kh1 {Black's position is difficult. White is a pawn up and can slowly improve the pieces.}) 21... g6 22. d6 Qd8 {One way or another White will soon lose his extra pawn.} 23. Kh1 Rb8 24. f4 exf4 25. Rxf4 Qxd6 26. Rxf6 Qxf6 27. Rf1 Qd6 28. b3 Kg7 29. Qf3 Bf6 30. Qe4 Bd4 1/2-1/2

 
Nisipeanu and Caruana wrap up their last round game

Thus, after the final round Topalov and Ivanchuk shared first with 3.5/6, followed by Caruana with 3.0/6 and Nisipeanu with 2.0/6.

The tie-break match to decided the winner of the tournament consisted of two rapid games played at 15 minutes with a three-second increment per move. In the first game something quite unusual happened: while up a pawn in a simple endgame with a large advantage Veselin Topalov lost on time. This ultimately cost him the title as in the second game Ivanchuk had no problems keeping his advantage and drew comfortably. Having won the rapid match with a score of 1.5-0.5 Ivanchuk became the winner of the 6th edition of Kings Tournament.

Game annotations by GM Dorian Rogozenco:

[Event "6th Kings Tournament, tiebreak"] [Site "Bucharest"] [Date "2012.11.13"] [Round "1"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2769"] [BlackElo "2763"] [Annotator "Dorian Rogozenco"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ROU"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Nc7 7. O-O e5 8. a3 f6 9. e3 Bg4 10. h3 Bh5 11. g4 Bf7 {[#]} 12. d4 exd4 13. exd4 cxd4 14. Ne2 Bc5 15. b4 Bb6 16. Bb2 O-O 17. Nexd4 Bd5 18. Nf5 Re8 ({Better was} 18... Qd7) 19. g5 Qd7 20. N3h4 Ne5 21. gxf6 gxf6 22. a4 Bxg2 23. Kxg2 Nd5 24. Kh1 Kh8 25. a5 Bc7 26. Qh5 {[#]} Qf7 $2 ({After} 26... Rg8 27. Rad1 Rg5 28. Qh6 Rag8 {the position remains unclear}) 27. Qxf7 Nxf7 28. Rad1 {Now Black loses material.} Rad8 29. Rxd5 Rxd5 30. Bxf6+ Kg8 31. Rg1+ Kf8 32. Bg7+ Kg8 33. Be5+ Kf8 34. Bxc7 Re4 35. Bb8 Rxb4 36. Bxa7 Rf4 37. Bb6 Rfxf5 38. Nxf5 Rxf5 39. Rc1 Ng5 40. Kg2 Rf7 41. Rc8+ Kg7 42. h4 Ne6 43. Kg3 Kg6 44. Rc4 Rd7 45. Rb4 Ng7 {[#] Topalov lost on time. Which is surprising, considering the 3 seconds increment per move. A very disappointing result for the Bulgarian Grandmaster.} 0-1

Game annotations by GM Dorian Rogozenco:

[Event "6th Kings Tournament, tiebreak"] [Site "Bucharest"] [Date "2012.11.13"] [Round "2"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E73"] [WhiteElo "2763"] [BlackElo "2769"] [Annotator "Dorian Rogozenco"] [PlyCount "110"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ROU"] {In the second round game Topalov tried to level the score, but Ivanchuk never lost control of the position and rather securely achieved the desired draw.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Bg5 Na6 7. Qd2 Qe8 8. f3 c6 9. Bd1 b5 10. cxb5 cxb5 11. Nge2 b4 12. Na4 Bd7 13. b3 e5 14. Be3 Rd8 15. d5 Nh5 16. O-O f5 17. Bc2 {[#]} Bb5 18. Bd3 fxe4 19. fxe4 Nf4 20. Bxb5 Qxb5 21. Nxf4 exf4 22. Bd4 Bxd4+ 23. Qxd4 Rde8 24. Rae1 Nb8 {[#]} 25. Nb2 $1 {It is more important to improve the position of the knight on a4 than take the pawn.} (25. Qxa7 Nd7 26. Qd4 Ne5 27. Nb2 Rc8 {with good compensation. For instance after} 28. Rc1 Rxc1 29. Rxc1 Qe2 {White is in troubles}) (25. e5 dxe5 26. Rxe5 $2 {would be a blunder in view of} Nc6 $1 {winning}) 25... Nd7 26. Nd3 g5 27. Nxb4 Ne5 28. Nc6 Nxc6 29. dxc6 Qxc6 30. e5 dxe5 31. Rxe5 h6 32. Rfe1 Rxe5 33. Qxe5 {[#] The position is completely equal.} Qb6+ 34. Kh1 Rd8 35. h3 Qd6 36. Qf5 Rf8 37. Qe6+ Qxe6 38. Rxe6 Kg7 39. Ra6 Rf7 40. Kg1 h5 41. Kf2 Rc7 42. Kf3 Re7 43. Kf2 Rc7 44. Ra4 Kg6 45. h4 Rc2+ 46. Kf3 Rc3+ 47. Kf2 gxh4 48. Rxf4 Rc2+ 49. Kf3 Rxa2 50. Rxh4 Ra3 51. Rb4 a5 52. Rb6+ Kf5 53. Rb5+ Ke6 54. Ke4 a4 55. bxa4 Rxa4+ {[#]} 1/2-1/2


A pleased Ivanchuk revels in his victory


Topalov and Ivanchuk analyze the key moments of their game and match



A short interview with Vassily Ivanchuk the winner of the 2012 Kings Tournament

Final standings

All photos by Pascal Simon


Schedule and results

Round 1: Wednesday, November 7, 15:30h
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Round 2: Thursday, November 8, 15:30h
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Round 3: Friday, November 9, 15:30h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Round 4: Sunday, November 11, 15:30h
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Round 5: Tuesday, November 12, 15:30h
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Round 6: Monday, November 13, 15:30h
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Copyright ChessBase


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register