Nanjing R07: Topalov wins, Anand pulls off Houdini escape

10/28/2010 – What an exciting day! Gashimov and Wang Yue played out 67 moves all the way down to bare kings; Etienne Bacrot, playing with the black pieces, became too optimistic against Topalov, blundered and lost; and Magnus Carlsen outmaneuvered Anand to reach a winning position, only to miss two straight wins, spoiling it to a draw. Round seven report and analysis.

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Nanjing Pearl Spring Chess Tournament

The 2010 Nanjing International tournament takes place from October 19th to October 30th in Nanjing, China. It is a ten-round double round-robin event, in which each player faces every other player twice, once with the white pieces, and once with black.

Time control: 40 moves in two hours then 20 moves in one hour followed by the rest of the game in 15 minutes with a 30 second increment as of move 61.

Game start: Rounds 1-9 at 2:30 PM local time (11:30 PM Pacific daylight / 2:30 AM New York / 8:30 AM Paris), and round 10 at 10 AM local time (7 PM Pacific daylight / 10 PM New York / 4 AM Paris)

Round seven report

Round 7: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
 Wang Yue
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vishy Anand


The spacious playing hall offering the red carpet treatment

At this juncture of the tournament, Gashimov and Wang Yue were both anxious to try and change their winless status, and they chose a line of the Petroff that has served both of them well. In the battle of maneuvers, Wang Yue took the lead as he built a nice advantage, but trying to convert it turned out to be problematic, and in the end his edge petered out.


Vugar Gashimov has made more than one opponent suffer this
tournament, but today was his turn to sweat it out.

Gashimov,V (2719) - Wang Yue (2732) [C42]
3rd Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (7), 27.10.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 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.g3 Bf6N [16...b5 17.Nd2 Na5 18.Nf1 Nc4 19.Bxc4 Qxc4 20.Ne3 Qe6 21.Nxf5 Qxf5 22.Re5 Qd7 23.Qe2 Bd6 24.Qxb5 c6 25.Rxe8+ 1/2-1/2 Karjakin,S (2720)-Smeets,J (2657)/Wijk aan Zee 2010/Mega2010 Update 07] 17.Nd2 Qd7 18.Nc4 Bh3 19.Qd3 g5 20.Be3 Qd5 21.Bf1 Bxf1 22.Qxf1 Ne7 23.Rab1 Nf5 24.a4 a6 25.Qd3 b5 26.Na3 c6 27.Nc2 Qf3 28.Qd1 Qxd1 29.Rexd1








29...Nd6! Wang Yue has managed to manuever his way to an advantage, but trying to convert it is problematic. 30.Bd2 Kg7 31.Nb4 bxa4 31...a5 was also worth considering. 32.Nc2 Kg6 33.Ne3 Bd8 34.Ra1 f5 and black is better. 32.Nd3 a3 33.Rb4 Ne4 34.Ra4 c5 Holding on to the pawn with 34...Be7 leads to 35.Be1 Bf8 36.Nb4 c5 37.dxc5 Rxc5 38.Rxa3= 35.Nxc5 Nxc5 36.dxc5 Red8 37.Rxa3 The position is now dead equal. 37...Rc6 38.Ra2 Rxc5 39.Rxa6 Rcd5 40.Ra2 Kg6 41.c4 Rd4 42.Rc2 Be7 43.Kf1 Bc5 44.Ke2 Re8+ 45.Be3 Rxd1 46.Kxd1 Bxe3 47.fxe3 Rxe3 48.c5 Kf6 49.Kd2 Ra3 50.c6 Ra8 51.Ke3 Ke5 52.Kf3 h5 53.Rc5+ Kd6 54.Rxg5 h4 55.gxh4 Kxc6 56.Rf5 Kd6 57.Rxf7 Ke6 58.Rf4 Ke7 59.Kg4 Rf8 60.Ra4 Kf6 61.h5 Kg7 62.Kg5 Rf7 63.Rf4 Rxf4 64.Kxf4 Kh6 65.h4 Kxh5 66.Kf5 Kxh4 67.Ke4 Draw. [Click to replay]

Topalov was also in the winless group, except that despite facing the bottom seed, he was also playing against one of the most inspired players in the event, and Bacrot had been close to winning against Carlsen just the day before. In fact, it is perhaps for this very reason that things happened as they did.


A tough but exciting game

The opening was a line of the Queen’s Indian that Bacrot has favored quite often and shortly after playing the game’s opening novelty, Topalov erred and was in danger of getting into trouble. Instead, it was Bacrot who got ahead of himself, and found himself in hot water. He fought back, and after several inaccuracies by the Bulgarian, he had recovered from his lapsus. Unfortunately, it was precisely when he had bailed out all the water from his sinking boat, that he suddenly stood up and capsized in two moves, allowing Topalov to finally get out of the rut he had been in, even if it was by means of a gift from his opponent.

Topalov,V (2803) - Bacrot,E (2716) [E15]
3rd Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (7), 27.10.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.d5 exd5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 This is a pet line of Bacrot's. 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rd1 Nc6 11.Qf5 Nf6 12.e4 d6 13.e5 Qd7 14.Qf4N Nisipeanu played Qc2 earlier this year in the European Championship, which led to a wild game, otherwise 14.Qxd7 had been the customary continuation. [14.Qxd7+ Nxd7 15.exd6 Bf6 16.Nc3 0-0-0 17.Ng5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 f6 19.Be3 Nb4 20.Rac1 Bxg2 21.Kxg2 Kb7 22.a3 Nc6 23.Nd5 Nde5 0-1 (55 moves) Shulman,Y (2648)-Bacrot,E (2721)/Montreal 2009/CBM 132; 14.Qc2 Nb4 15.Qe2 Ba6 16.Qe1 Nc2 17.Qd2 Nxa1 18.exf6 Bxf6 19.Re1+ Be7 20.Nc3 0-0 21.Ne5 Qc8 22.Nc6 Bd8 23.Nd5 Qg4 24.b3 Bb7 25.h3 Qh5 26.Nce7+ Kh8 27.Nf4 1-0 Nisipeanu,L (2661)-Pelletier,Y (2611)/Rijeka 2010/Mega2010 Update 13] 14...Nh5 15.Qc4 0-0 16.Nc3 Rae8 17.Be3 Nb4 18.Rd2? Topalov could have gotten into trouble with this. He had to first play 18.exd6 Bxd6 and *then* 19.Rd2 18...Ba6? Black would have gained the upper hand after 18...Qe6! 19.Qxe6 fxe6 20.exd6 Bxd6 21.Rxd6 Bxf3 22.Bxf3 Rxf3 23.Kg2 Rf7; 18...d5 19.a3 Nc2 20.Rad1 (20.Rxc2? dxc4) 20...Nd4 21.Rxd4 cxd4 22.Qxd4 19.Qb3 Nd3








20.Qa3?! The Bulgarian misses the most incisive continuation 20.Nd5! c4 21.Qa3 Bc8 22.Nxe7+ Rxe7 23.exd6 Re6 24.b3 b5








25.Rad1! Rfe8 (The pawn cannot be captured by either 25...Rxd6? 26.bxc4 bxc4 27.Ne5 Qd8 28.Nxc4; nor 25...Qxd6? 26.Qxd6 Rxd6 27.Bc5!) 26.bxc4 bxc4 27.Ne1! with a winning advantage. (Not 27.Bh3? Bb7! 28.Bxe6 Qxe6 and suddenly things are not nearly so good for white.) 20...Qc8 21.exd6 Bxd6 22.Rad1 Be7 23.Nd5 Nb4 24.Ne5 Nxd5 25.Bxd5 Nf6 26.Bg2 c4 27.Qc3 Bb5 28.h3








28...Bc5? Etienne had recovered very well and was in good shape, but this changes the evaluation against him. He had to play 28...Qe6 29.Bxc5 Qxc5? And with this, he is losing. 30.Rd5 Nxd5 31.Rxd5 Qc7 32.Rxb5 Rc8 33.Nc6 Rfe8 34.Rb4 Re2? 35.Bf3 Re6 36.Rxc4 Rce8 37.Kg2 1-0. [Click to replay]


Veselin Topalov visibly enthralled to finally post a win

The encounter between Magnus Carlsen, tournament leader, and Anand, who was on the comeback track after beating Wang Yue the day before, was a highly anticipated affair, and that did not disappoint. The opening already started the cat-and-mouse affair with Carlsen choosing a sideline against Anand´s Berlin, and Anand in turn selecting the least played continuation of the sideline. Carlsen emerged with an edge though nothing decisive, but managed to build up a strong attack that constantly threatened to go through. After a good deal of moving about, trying to find the most efficient way of winning, Carlsen was finally offered not one, but two clear wins within the space of two move, both of which he missed. Alas, the misses were also a sign that his footing was a bit unsteady, and the missed wins were punctuated by the evaporation of his winning advantage.


Let the maneuvering begin

Carlsen,M (2826) - Anand,V (2800) [C67]
3rd Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (7), 27.10.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 A slightly unusual continuation, side-stepping the main 5.d4 line of the Berlin. 5...Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1








7...Nf5!? Tit for tat. Nxe5 is by far the most usual continuation. Instead Anand goes for the least played. 8.Nf3 0-0 9.d4 d5 Though the pawn structure is symmetrical, remniscent of a Petroff, black's knight on f5 is a bit unusual. It could go to d6, but then the black bishop would most likely have to choose a more passive spot on f8. 10.c3 Bd6 11.Bd3 Nce7 12.Nbd2 c6 13.Nf1 Ng6 14.Qc2 Nfh4 15.Nxh4 Qxh4 16.g3 Qd8 16...Qh3?! 17.Ne3 Be6 18.f4! 17.Ne3 Re8 18.Bd2 Nf8 19.Nf5 Bc7 20.Rxe8 Qxe8 21.Re1 Be6 22.Qc1 f6 23.Qd1 Qd7 24.Qf3 Re8








25.h4 With his knight beautifully placed and all his pieces poised for the attack, Magnus smells blood. 25...Bf7








26.Rf1! My! What a big rook you have grandma! All the better to mate you with my dear. 26...Bg6 27.h5 Bxf5 28.Bxf5 Qf7 29.Kg2 g6 30.Bd3 f5 31.Rh1 Ne6 32.hxg6 hxg6 33.g4?








A mistake that overlooks Anand's next tactical trick. 33...Bf4!


The similarity between Anand and Houdini may not be obvious
to all at first, but a look at the game will make it clear.

34.Be3 34.Bxf4 doesn't win a piece since Black counters with 34...fxg4! and if 35.Qxg4? Nxf4+ 34...fxg4? But the Indian slips right after! 34...Bxe3! would have held the fort. 35.fxe3 Ng5 36.Qf4 fxg4 37.Rh6 (37.Qxg5?? Qf3+ 38.Kg1 Qg3+ 39.Kf1 Rf8+ 40.Ke2 Qg2+) 37...Qxf4 38.Rxg6+ Kf7 39.exf4 Re3= 35.Qxg4 Kg7








36.Rh5! threatening Rf5! 36...Bxe3 37.fxe3 Nf8 38.Rh3 Kg8 39.Rf3 Qe6 40.Qf4 Kg7 41.b3 41.Rh3! Qf6 42.Qh6+ Kg8 43.Bxg6 Re6 44.Bh7+ Kf7 45.Qh5+ Ke7 46.Bf5 Rd6 47.b3! 41...Qe7 42.c4 Rd8 43.Rh3 Rd6 44.Qh6+ Kg8 45.cxd5 cxd5 46.e4 Qg7 47.Qe3 Qe7 48.e5 Rc6 49.Qh6 Qg7 50.Qh4 a6 51.Rf3 Qd7 52.b4 b5 53.a3 Qc7 54.Kg3 Kg7 55.Bb1 Nh7 56.Ba2 Qd7 57.Bb3 Rc1 58.Kh2 Rb1 59.Bc2 Rb2 60.Rc3 Qf7








61.Kg3? For the last twenty moves, the Norwegian had been alternating from doing very well to being won, but now he misses his clearest chance. 61.e6! was winning. If 61...Qxe6 62.Rc7+ Kf8 63.Qh6+ Ke8 64.Qxh7 and Black does not have a perpetual. For example: 64...Qe2+ 65.Kg3 Qe3+ 66.Kg4 Qxd4+ 67.Kg5 Qg1+ 68.Kf6 Qb6+ 69.Ke5 Qe3+ 70.Kxd5 61...Nf8? 62.Rf3! Now White is clearly won, and it would seem Magnus will continue his rampage at the expense of Anand's comeback. 62...Qe6








63.Qd8?? 63.Rf6! Qe8 64.Rf2 Ra2 65.Qf6+ was winning. 65...Kg8 66.Bb3 Rxa3 67.Rf3 63...Nd7 64.Rf2? With this last mistake, the edge is gone and Anand can save. 64...Ra2 65.Kh2 Qg4 66.Qe7+ Kh6 67.Qd8 Qh5+ 68.Kg2 Qg4+ A heart-breaking miss for the tournament leader, whereas Anand must really feel he had more lives than a cat to survive this game. Draw. [Click to replay]

Pictures by Yu Feng

Cross table

Schedule and results

Round 1: Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Wang Yue
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov
Round 2: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wang Yue 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 3: Friday, October 22, 2009
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Wang Yue
Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Vugar Gashimov 
0-1
 Etienne Bacrot
Round 4: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Wang Yue
Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Etienne Bacrot 
1-0
 Vishy Anand
Round 5: Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wang Yue 
0-1
 Etienne Bacrot
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Round 6: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Wang Yue 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Round 7: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
 Wang Yue
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Round 8: Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wang Yue
   Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand 
   Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot  
   Vugar Gashimov
Games – Report
Round 9: Friday, October 29, 2010
Etienne Bacrot 
   Wang Yue
Vugar Gashimov 
   Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
   Magnus Carlsen
Games – Report
Round 10: Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wang Yue 
   Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen 
   Vugar Gashimov
Vishy Anand 
   Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report

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