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MTel R10: Topalov wins M-Tel Masters

5/21/2006 – In (another) remarkable comeback Veselin Topalov wiped out his dismal first half score with four consecutive wins in the last four rounds in Sofia, to take clean first place, half a point ahead of Gata Kamsky. The American came second, Vishy Anand third. Wrap-up and pictures.
 

Round ten report

Round 10: Sunday, May 21, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Gata Kamsky
GamesReport

All games so far in PGN

Final Standings

Final wrap-up: Does the fact that Veselin Topalov performed a similarly miraculous comeback in this event last year make this year's effort more or less impressive? Last year he scored 4.5/5 in the second half to storm to victory. This year the world #1 came from a negative score to win his last four games and finish in clear first. Simply tremendous is all we can say. En route he routed and passed the early leader, Gata Kamsky. In the final round Topalov defeated Bacrot to edge ahead of Kamsky, who drew with Svidler.

Kamsky took clear second for an impressive result despite the bitter taste left after losing the lead. Anand should have equaled him but he was, shockingly for the legendarily speedy star, in time trouble again against Ponomariov. This caused him to miss a clear win with 37..g2! and the draw left him in third place.

Svidler finished a tepid event on an even score. In his final two games he declined to push on with slight advantages. The Russian got compensation by playing a terrific game to beat Topalov in the sixth round. Unfortunately for everyone else, that apparently awoke the sleeping Bulgarian giant. Ponomariov and Bacrot floated at the bottom of the pond during the entire event. Ponomariov missed a chance to play spoiler when he turned a win into a loss against Topalov in round eight.

Topalov and Ponomariov are the only players in the field who aren't joining their national teams at the Turin Olympiad. Topalov definitely earned a rest and Ponomariov needs a break!

Video impressions by Vijay Kumar


Vijay Kumar working his camera at the start of round ten


Photo report from Sofia


Sunday at noon: the chess pieces are ready, let the players begin


Peter Svidler, who badly wanted a win against Gata Kamsky


Kamsky wanted the win even more urgently, to keep in the lead


Etienne Bacrot (left) before the tournament decider against Topalov


Topalov (right) in great form, determined to win this event in his home town. [Correction
: Andrei Vrabtchev reminds us that Veselin was not born in Sofia but in the small town of Russe on the Danube river.]


Round ten under way, with all three games decisive for the final standings


The audience area is plunged into darkness, the players get to work


A cartoon of Topalov sent to us by Mike Magnan of Toronto. Mike, who does animation and chess art, calls this work "It's good to be king".


The real Veselin Topalov in the press conference after the game


Missed it by a hair – Gata Kamsky


Anand, disappointed but cheerful


At the hopelessly overcrowded closing ceremony, with M-Tel CEO Josef Vinatzer

Pictures by Frederic Friedel

Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, May 11, 2006

Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Gata Kamsky
Etienne Bacrot 
0-1
 Vishy Anand

Round 2: Friday, May 12, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Gata Kamsky 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Peter Svidler 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov

Round 3: Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand 
0-1
 Gata Kamsky

Round 4: Sunday, May 14, 2006

Etienne Bacrot 
½-½ 
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Gata Kamsky 
1-0
 Peter Svidler

Round 5: Monday, May 15, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Gata Kamsky
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot

Round 6: Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Peter Svidler
Gata Kamsky  
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot

Round 7: Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vishy Anand 
0-1
 Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Gata Kamsky
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Peter Svidler

Round 8: Friday, May 19, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
1-0 
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot
Gata Kamsky 
½-½
 Vishy Anand

Round 9: Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gata Kamsky 
0-1
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov

Round 10: Sunday, May 21, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Etienne Bacrot
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler 
   Gata Kamsky
GamesReport
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