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San Luis R13: Veselin Topalov is World Champion

10/14/2005 – With Vishy Anand and Peter Svidler both conceding early draws the FIDE World Championship was finally decided when the hard-fought Kasimdzhanov-Topalov game ended undecided. The Bulgarian is now a point an a half ahead of his nearest rivals and cannot be caught. Big illustrated report and videos.
 

The FIDE World Chess Championship is taking place in the Hotel Potrero de los Funes
Complex, in the Province of San Luis, Argentina, from September 27 to October 16, 2005.

Round Thirteen Summary

Round 13: Thursday, October 13th
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
½-½
Peter Leko
Vishy Anand
½-½
A. Morozevich
Judit Polgar
½-½
Peter Svidler

Current standings at the World Championship in San Luis

Videos to watch


World Championship Diary: Round 13

By Nigel Short – on site in San Luis

Lunchtime: Upon entering the room we beheld the heinous crime. What foul odious act! What dastardy! For twelve long days the team of Veselin Topalov and its talisman – yours truly – has taken its place on a table in the corner of the dining room before each game. This sacred union has given spiritual strength to “La Topadora Topalov” (Toppy the Bulldozer) and allowed him to surge to his commanding lead. Now we witnessed Morten Sand, Vice President of FIDE, sat smugly before us in the great Bulgarian’s chair, gluttonously gobbling down his prandial comestibles. This interloper, this Norwegian Goldilocks, appeared oblivious to his felony, perhaps on account of having arrived only yesterday. He was reprimanded sternly. Chastened, he apologized profusely – but the damage had already been done. Shaken, Toppy took his place at another table as Danailov tried to console him. Today is the thirteenth round. Not for nothing do they call it “unlucky for some.”


The daily routine: Nigel tries to take dinner with the event translators


Then Topalov and his team ask their mascot to please join them for lunch


Duty calls – after all there is a world championship title at stake


Please take your seat Nigel, Veselin indicates, while Silvio Danailov dusts off the chair


And that's how lunch must be taken, if Topalov is to continue his winning streak

4.00pm: One day it will doubtless be proven that the Berlin is not a very good opening, but for now its reputation remains intact . A misplaced king and poor development do not seem to matter when one has a firm grip of the f5 square. Topalov will be hoping to repeat his success against Judit Polgar in the same variation from earlier on in the tournament, but he will not find it so easy against Kasimjanov whose reign will end in a few hours and who will be intent upon reminding the world of his subtle and oft underestimated strength.


Never underestimate this man: Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Polgar-Svidler is heavy Marshall theory and a draw already looks likely. It is my view that, when White, either one should have some interesting new ideas up one’s sleeve or avoid facing it altogether. When preparing for me back in 1993 Garry Kasparov entrusted the surveyal of this opening to Efim Geller. The renowned Soviet analyst, after a thorough perusal of the main lines of play, returned to Kasparov with the conclusion that that White had no real advantage anywhere. He advised ducking it by playing 8.a4, which the great man duly did – and most successfully too.


Marshalling her forces: Judit Polgar

Polgar was probably influenced in her choice by her victory against Svidler at the Corus tournament but today she had no luck. A draw has been agreed this very moment. That has put paid to Svidler’s minuscule chances of becoming World Champion. Only Anand can hope to catch Topalov now.


Peter Svidler losing his final chance to catch Veselin Topalov

Anand's game against Morozevich looks like a fascinating fight. The Russian has reverted to his beloved French Defence after dabbling with other ancient openings. With kings castled on opposite wings, in the Classical Variation, time will be of the essence.


Anand taking a last shot at the title against Morozevich

5.15pm: The Indian has sacrificed his bishop. His queen and rook are bearing down upon the Black king. I would not have thought that he is taking a big risk because there is usually a perpetual check available if one needs to bale out.


Adams in his 13th round game against Peter Leko

Adams-Leko is tight manoeuvring game of unremitting tedium. If the Englishman wins he will move up a place or even two is he is lucky, as well as salvaging some pride. In the grander scheme of things this battle for the lower places is not very important though.


Veselin Topalov struggling against Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Topalov, meanwhile, would appear to stand worse. Faced with the prospect of his a-pawn being slowly annexed he had little choice but open up the center in a bid for counterplay. This turn of events is favourable to White, but whether he will obtain enough of an advantage to win is less clear. The presence of opposite coloured bishops always gives the inferior side some hope of survival in the endgame.


Peter Leko manoeuvering to a draw against Adams

6.10pm: Adams and Leko spared us from narcolepsy by agreeing to a draw. At the start of the tournament I was critical of a couple of games that finished prematurely (although in general the tournament has been remarkably hard-fought) but since then either I have become exhausted or a hypocrite or perhaps both. Seriously though, there was nothing to suggest either side had any prospects of winning the final position, played out to its conclusion though it was not.


Morozevich in his excitingly complex game against Anand

Anand-Morozevich has ended in a spectacular perpetual check – although not at all in the way I had anticipated. The White queen impaled herself to allow her two rooks to keep the Black king hopping ad infinitum. I think both sides can be praised for their uncompromising play. A draw was a very fair result. This means that unless Topalov loses today, he will be seriously celebrating tonight – and Morten Sand will escape being burnt in effigy.


Governor Alberto Rodríguez Saá watching the games

6.40pm: Veselin Topalov has just sacrificed the exchange in the endgame! This guy is amazing! He has been suffering for most of the game. He had to shed a pawn to avoid any even worse fate but manoeuvring his bishop to d5 it seemed as if he would create just about enough threats to save himself. Then came the daring sacrifice. This is bold indeed because if he has misjudged the position he will surely be lost – so great is his material deficit. It would appear though that his judgment is spot on. White is driven to passivity and has to be very careful to avoid losing himself.


The great Argentinian player Oscar Panno in the audience

7.15pm: The time control has been reached safely. The Black kingside pawns are most ominously poised and white will surely have to return the exchange soon. He has. The White rook supports the passed c-pawn, but the Black rook scurries back just in time. The king advances upon the g-pawn. It is defended. White pushes his h-pawn and…. draw! Veselin Topalov is the new World Champion! What a brilliant performance!


The governor congratulates the new world champion: Veselin Topalov

His tournament was won in the first half with a blistering Fischeresque series of victories. He was in serious trouble in only one game – the first – against Peter Leko. Michael Adams had him under pressure as did Rustam Kasimjanov today, but neither player missed anything concrete. On the other hand Topalov could and indeed should have defeated both Anand and Morozevich. He has outclassed everyone here and has deserved his success. Congratulations! Let us hope that he continues to thrill us with his exuberant brand of chess and not rest on his laurels – not that I think he will.


The new world champion in his post-game press conference

A Short Glossary

heinous – adjective; shockingly brutal or cruel

odious – adjective; extremely unpleasant; repulsive; from the Latin odium ‘hatred’.

dastardy – noun; base timidity; cowardliness.

prandial – adjective; of or relating to a meal; from Latin prandium ‘meal’.

comestible – noun; any substance that can be used as food.

narcolepsy – noun; a sleep disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep; an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings; from Greek narke ‘numbness’.

effigy – noun; a sculpture or model of a person; Latin effigies, from effingere ‘to fashion’.

All photos: Frederic Friedel; Word Chess Championship Press


Full schedule

Round 1: Wednesday, September 28th

Peter Leko
0-1
Veselin Topalov
A. Morozevich
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
Peter Svidler
½-½
Michael Adams
Judit Polgar
0-1
Vishy Anand
Round 2: Thursday, September 29th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Vishy Anand
Michael Adams
½-½
Judit Polgar
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Peter Svidler
Peter Leko
½-½
A. Morozevich
Round 3: Friday, September 30th
A. Morozevich
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Peter Svidler
1-0
Peter Leko
Judit Polgar
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Vishy Anand
1-0
Michael Adams
Round 4: Saturday, October 1st
Veselin Topalov
1-0
Michael Adams
R. Kasimdzhanov
1-0
Vishy Anand
Peter Leko
1-0
Judit Polgar
A. Morozevich
0-1
Peter Svidler
Free day: Sunday, October 2nd
Round 5: Monday, October 3rd
Peter Svidler
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
½-½
A. Morozevich
Vishy Anand
½-½
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
Round 6: Tuesday, October 4th
Judit Polgar
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand
½-½
Peter Svidler
Michael Adams
½-½
A. Morozevich
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Peter Leko
Round 7: Wednesday, October 5th
Veselin Topalov
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Peter Leko
1-0
Michael Adams
A. Morozevich
1-0
Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler
1-0
Judit Polgar
Round 8: Thursday, October 6th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Leko
R. Kasimdzhanov
0-1
A. Morozevich
Michael Adams
½-½
Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand
1-0
Judit Polgar
Free day: Friday, October 7th
Round 9: Saturday, October 8th
Vishy Anand
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
½-½
Michael Adams
Peter Svidler
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
A. Morozevich
1-0
Peter Leko
Round 10: Sunday, October 9th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
A. Morozevich
Peter Leko
½-½
Peter Svidler
R. Kasimdzhanov
1-0
Judit Polgar
Michael Adams
½-½
Vishy Anand
Round 11: Monday, October 10th
Michael Adams
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Judit Polgar
½-½
Peter Leko
Peter Svidler
1-0
A. Morozevich
Round 12: Tuesday, October 11th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Svidler
A. Morozevich
½-½
Judit Polgar
Peter Leko
0-1
Vishy Anand
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Michael Adams
Games – Report
Free day: Wednesday, October 12th
Round 13: Thursday, October 13th
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
½-½
Peter Leko
Vishy Anand
½-½
A. Morozevich
Judit Polgar
½-½
Peter Svidler
Round 14: Friday, October 14th
Veselin Topalov
-
Judit Polgar
Peter Svidler
-
Vishy Anand
A. Morozevich
-
Michael Adams
Peter Leko
-
R. Kasimdzhanov
Games – Report
Tie-breaks: Saturday, October 15th

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