Mtel R7: Anand beats Kramnik, Topalov wins with black

5/19/2005 – Round seven of the Super-GM tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, has ended with two decided games: Vishy Anand defeated Vladimir Kramnik in just 20 moves, Veselin Topalov beat Michael Adams with the black pieces. Here's a full report with great pictures and an ananlysis of Kramnik's loss.

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Round seven report

Veselin Topalov scored the first black win in this event, in a somewhat messy game against Britain's Michael Adams, who was a pawn up and looking for a way to convert this to a full point. Just before the time control Mickey spoilt it all, giving Veselin the initiative, then material and finally a decisive kingside attack. Judit Polgar and Ruslan Ponomariov traded down to opposite coloured bishops and three pawns on either side, after which the arbiter granted them the right to call it a day.

Round 7 (Thursday, May 19, 2005)
Judit Polgar
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
Michael Adams
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Viswanathan Anand
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Games – Report

The game of the day was of course the sensational loss by classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik in just 20 moves to the world number one active player Vishy Anand. Let us take a look.

Anand,V (2785) - Kramnik,V (2753) [C42]
Mtel Masters Sofia BUL (7), 19.05.2005

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6. The Petroff, the most potent weapon against the Sofia rule which denies players the right to offer draws. 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf5 11.a3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nc6 13.Re1 Re8 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bf4 Rac8 16.Qc1N. This is the novelty in a well-known position. Kramnik himself had it twice against Peter Leko in the 2004 world championship match in Brissago, reaping 1.5 points from it. The moves played by White are c4 (with a 50% score), Bd3 (77% in 11 games), h3, Qa4, Nd2. Confronted with Anand's new move Kramnik went on a 40-minute think. 16...Na5 17.c4 Qe4?? Kramnik thought for three minutes before playing this move.

The most incredible blunder in this tournament, and one of the most astonishing in Kramnik's adult career. The point is that the knight on a5 and the bishop on f5 are potentially forkable, and the queen is overworked, unable to defend both pieces adaquately.

18.Bd1! Where can the queen go? 18...Qc6 leaves both Na5 and Bf6 open to the rook fork on e5, so Black only has the d3 square, covering the bishop (the knight can be retracted or protected if attacked). Kramnik said that he had spent his 40 minutes befor 16...Na5 looking at lines like 18.Bf1 Qc2 19.Re5 (of course he had seen the fork) 19...Nc6 20.Qxc2 Bxc2 21.Re2 Bf5 and White is only slightly better.

18...Qd3. Re5 doesn't work -- yet. But the black queen is in a very uncomfortable position, right in the middle of the hostile and well-protected white camp.

19.Re3. Forcing the queen to abandon the protection of the bishop. Unfortunately she is unable to defend the knight instead.

19...Qxc4. Both pieces are now vulnerable to the rook fork. 20.Re5

Black will lose a piece and the game. Kramnik though about the situation for eight minutes and then resigned. 1-0.

The daily online chess magazine Chess Today has GM Mikhail Golubev reporting from the venue in Sofia. In the press conference Kramnik said: "If you are about to blunder, you would blunder in any opening, even in the Petroff". He thought that one extra free day would not harm the event, but admitted: "If I am tired or blunder, it's only my own problem." After this game he is determined to carefully analyse not the the game but the reason why he is blundering away games lately.

Golubev reports that Anand said that he did not really see the draw rule of Sofia making a real difference, but that he had no objection to it. Kramnik noted that in his games from other tournaments he very rarely proposes early draws. Judit Polgar called the experiment a "kind of education" for the players. Ruslan Ponomariov said that in his game against Judit Polgar he was afraid the arbiters would force them to play on until the 50 moves rule applied; but in his previous round game against Kramnik the rule had had a positive effect, since it prevented the two from agreeing to a draw in an unclear position.

Current standings

Pictures

Remember how we complained about the lack of visuals coming out of the Mtel tournament in Sofia? Well, our problems seem to be solved, with Valery Zahov of Erogance Lovestyle E-magazine sending us beautiful shots of the playing hall and round seven in progress. All of the following pictures are his work (and copyrighted to him).


The playing hall just before the start of the match


The game of the day: top seed Anand faces Vladimir Kramnik


Britain's top GM Michael Adams vs Bulgaria's number one Veselin Topalov


This is going to be another exciting round


Yesterday's winners today face each other


And round seven is under way


The audience, TV cameras and technicians in the hall


The book and chess store outside the playing hall

Schedule and results

Round 1 (Thursday, May 12, 2005)
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Ruslan Ponomariov
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
½-½
Judit Polgar
GamesReport
Round 2 (Friday, May 13, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
½-½
Judit Polgar
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Games Report
Round 3 (Saturday, May 14, 2005)
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
Michael Adams
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Judit Polgar
½-½
Veselin Topalov
GamesReport
Round 4 (Sunday, May 15, 2005)
Michael Adams
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
Judit Polgar
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
GamesReport
Round 5 (Monday, May 16, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
1-0
Veselin Topalov
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Judit Polgar
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Michael Adams
GamesReport
Round 6 (Wednesday, May 18, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Veselin Topalov
1-0
Viswanathan Anand
Judit Polgar
1-0
Michael Adams
GamesReport
Round 7 (Thursday, May 19, 2005)
Judit Polgar
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
Michael Adams
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Viswanathan Anand
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Games – Report
Round 8 (Friday, May 20, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
-
Viswanathan Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Michael Adams
Veselin Topalov
-
Judit Polgar
Games – Report
Round 9 (Saturday, May 21, 2005)
Veselin Topalov
-
Ruslan Ponomariov
Judit Polgar
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Michael Adams
-
Viswanathan Anand
Games – Report
Round 10 (Sunday, May 22, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
-
Michael Adams
Viswanathan Anand
-
Judit Polgar
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Veselin Topalov
Games – Report

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