Sofia 2007: Mamedyarov beats Topalov in 30 moves

5/13/2007 – Home favourite Veselin Topalov is propping up the table on just 0.5 point, after three rounds of the M-Tel Masters. Today he was beaten soundly by Shakriyar Mamedyarov, who now leads with 2.5/3. Adams won with an excellent sacrificial attack against Nisipeanu, to move into joint second place with Sasikiran, on a day when kings died of exposure.

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Third M-Tel Masters in Sofia, Bulgaria

There are six participants in this double round robin tournament that goes from May 10 to 20. Time control: 2 hours for 40 moves + 1 hour for 20 moves + 30 minutes to the end the game. The players are not allowed to offer draws, they must consult the arbiter, who will decide (usually against) allowing the offer to be made.

Round three report

By Steve Giddins

Round 3: Saturday, May 12 2007

Shakriyar Mamedyarov 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams 
1-0
 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Gata Kamsky 
0-1
 Krishnan Sasikiran

In his great book “Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy”, American writer John Watson pointed out that when one player gains the bishop pair in the opening, he often does so at the cost of development. This leads to the paradox that the player with the bishops needs to keep the position closed early on, whilst the player with the knights wants to open the position! Topalov has clearly not read his Watson lately. He opened the position with 11…exd4, but White’s better development soon led to the displacement of the black king. Simple chess gave Mamedyarov an overwhelming attack, and the rest was a demonstration of the attacking power of opposite-coloured bishops.

Mamedyarov,S (2757) - Topalov,V (2772) [D43]
MTel Sofia BUL (3), 12.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Qb3 Nd7 8.e4 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Qf4 10.Bd3 e5 11.0–0 exd4 (11…Be7 Euwe-Fine, AVRO 1938!) 12.Nxd4 Nc5 13.Nxc5 Bxc5 14.Rae1+ Kf8 15.Re4 Qf6 16.Qc3 a5 17.Rfe1 Bd7 18.R1e3 Bb4 19.Qc2 Qd6 20.Rf3 h5 21.c5 Bxc5 22.Bc4 f6 23.Ne6+

 

Yasser Seirawan on Playchess: "…my opinion is that Topalov has a lost position." 23...Bxe6 24.Rxe6 Qd7 25.Qf5 Qd4 26.Re4 Qd1+ 27.Bf1 Bd6 28.Rd3 Bxh2+ 29.Kxh2 Qxf1 30.Rd7 1–0.

Adams-Nisipeanu saw another uncastled king meet a dire fate. Nisipeanu avoided the most common (and reputable) move 11…Qc7, and one move later, provoked a dangerous piece sacrifice on e6. Adams was duly provoked, and by move 25, it was extremely hard to find moves for Black. Nisipeanu never managed to untangle his pieces from the pin on the e-file, and in the final position, he resigned in a state of almost comical paralysis.

Adams,Mi (2734) - Nisipeanu,LD (2693) [C07]
MTel Sofia BUL (3), 12.05.2007
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Ngf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 a6 11.Re1 Bd7 12.Bg5 Qc5

13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Nxe6 Bxe6 16.Rxe6+ Be7 17.b4 Qc3 18.Re3 Qc7 19.Qh5+ Kf8 20.Rae1 Re8 21.Qh6+ Kf7 22.Qh5+ Kf8 23.Qh6+ Kf7 24.c3 Rhg8 25.Qxh7+ Rg7 26.Qh5+ Kf8 27.g3 Qd7 28.Re6 Rg5 29.Qh8+ Kf7 30.Qh7+ Rg7 31.Qh5+ Rg6 32.c4 Kg7 33.Qd5 Qc7 34.Qe4 Kf7 35.c5 Qd7 36.Qf5 Kg7 37.Qe4 Kf7 38.Qf5 Kg7 39.Qh5 1-0.

Black is helpless against the threat of 40 Kg2, followed by f4-f5. If the Rook on g6 ever moves, Qxe8+ wins.

The remaining game was a triumph for the Sofia rules. In most tournaments, a draw would probably have been agreed somewhere around moves 20-25, but, thanks to the prohibition on draw offers, play continued and Black gradually took over the initiative. The small combination at move 34 produced a position where Black’s bishop and outside passed h-pawn proved stronger than White’s knight and passed b-pawn.

Kamsky,G (2705) - Sasikiran,K (2690) [D27]
MTel Sofia BUL (3), 12.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 dxc4 4.e3 a6 5.Bxc4 e6 6.0-0 c5 7.dxc5 Qxd1 8.Rxd1 Bxc5 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 b6 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.Rac1 Be7 13.Ne2 Rc8 14.Nf4 b5 15.Be2 0-0 16.Nd4 Nc5 17.Bf3 Nce4 18.Nd3 Bd6 19.Ne2 Rfd8 20.Ne5 Bb8 21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.Ng3 Bd5 23.Nd3 a5 24.b4 a4 25.a3 Nc3 26.Rc1 Bxf3 27.gxf3 Bxg3 28.Rxc3 Rxc3 29.Bxc3 Nd5 30.Bd4 Bd6 31.f4 f6 32.Kg2 Kf7 33.Kf3 h6 34.e4

34...Nxf4 35.Nxf4 e5 36.Ne2 exd4 37.Nxd4 Bxh2 38.Nxb5 Be5 39.Ke3 g5 40.Nd4 h5 41.Nf5 h4 42.Ke2 Ke6 43.Ne3 h3 44.Kf1 Bd4 45.Kg1 Bxe3 46.fxe3 g4 0-1.

Standings after three rounds

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