Sofia 2007: Nisipeanu beats Topalov with black

5/11/2007 – The first round of the Sofia tournament saw two decisive results out of three. The big upset was the defeat of home favourite Veselin Topalov, with white, against Nisipeanu, who surprised his opponent with a 3…Qd6 Scandinavian and secured a comfortable position. Topalov blundered on move 43. In the other games, Mamedyarov beat Kamsky, and Adams drew with Sasikiran. Report and games.

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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 one: Opening day defeat for Topalov

By Steve Giddins

Round 1: Thursday, May 10 2007

Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Shakriyar Mamedyarov 
1-0
 Gata Kamsky
Michael Adams 
½-½
 Krishnan Sasikiran

Nisipeanu surprised the top seed with the 3…Qd6 Scandinavian, and soon secured what looked like a comfortable position. A prolonged period of middlegame manoeuvering saw Topalov achieve nothing and his exposed king was already starting to cause him problems when the blunder 43 Qd3?? allowed a killing blow.

Topalov,V (2772) - Nisipeanu,LD (2693) [B01]
MTel Sofia BUL (1), 10.05.2007
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 c6 6.d4 g6 7.Bf4 Qb4 8.Nge2 Bg7 9.Qc1 0–0 10.0–0 Bg4 11.a3 Qa5 12.h3 Bxe2 13.Nxe2 Nbd7 14.c4 e5 15.b4 Qc7 16.dxe5 Nxe5 17.Qc2 a5 18.Rae1 axb4 19.axb4 Rfe8 20.c5 Nd5 21.Bd2 Nd7 22.Qc4 N7f6 23.g4 h5 24.Ng3 hxg4 25.hxg4 Qd7 26.g5 Rxe1 27.Rxe1 Ne8 28.Bf3 Nec7 29.Bg4 Qd8 30.Kg2 Nb5 31.Rd1 Ra1 32.Rxa1 Bxa1 33.Bf3 Be5 34.Ne2 Ndc7 35.Be3 Ne6 36.Bg4 Nbc7 37.Qe4 Bg7 38.f4 Qd1 39.Kf2 Bc3 40.b5 Qe1+ 41.Kg2 Nd5 42.bxc6 bxc6

 

43.Qd3?? Bd4! 44.Bxe6 Nxe3+ 45.Kh2 Qf2+ 46.Kh3 Qf3+ (46...Qf3 was actually mate in five) 47.Ng3 Qg2+ 0-1.

Kamsky suffered an opening catastrophe, and already by move 14 his position was so poor that he felt compelled to try a desperate piece sacrifice. It never looked adequate, but Mamedyarov’s subsequent play was unconvincing, and when Black lost on time at move 38, his position looked better than it had done for most of the game.

Mamedyarov,S (2757) - Kamsky,G (2705) [D10]
MTel Sofia BUL (1), 10.05.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.f3 Be6 6.Nge2 dxc4 7.Nf4 Qc8 8.e4 g6 9.g4 Bg7 10.h4 h6 11.b3 cxb3 12.axb3 Nbd7 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.e5

14...Qc7 15.exf6 Qg3+ 16.Ke2 Nxf6 17.Qd3 0-0-0 18.Rxa7 Kb8 19.Ra4 Rhf8 20.Rh3 Qc7 21.Be3 e5 22.Qc4 Nd5 23.Nxd5 Rxd5 24.Qd3 exd4 25.Bd2 Rf6 26.Kd1 Re6 27.f4 Qb6 28.Bg2 Rc5 29.Rc4 Rb5 30.f5 gxf5 31.gxf5 Rd6 32.Kc2 Qa7 33.Kb2 Re5 34.Ra4 Qb6 35.Bf4 Re2+ 36.Kb1 Rxg2 37.Rg3 Rxg3 38.Qxg3 1-0.

Adams-Sasikiran saw Black’s king forced to castle into an exposed queenside, but his active pieces held the balance. Adams sacrificed the exchange to eliminate Black’s superb centralised knight, but the Indian returned the material immediately afterwards and a drawn queen ending resulted.

Adams,Mi (2734) - Sasikiran,K (2690) [B14]
MTel Sofia BUL (1), 10.05.2007
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.Be2 Nce7 10.0-0 Bd7 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 12.Ne5 Bd6 13.Qb3 Qb6 14.Qf3 Bxe5 15.dxe5 Bb5 16.Bxb5+ Qxb5 17.a4 Qb4 18.Qg3 g6 19.Bh6 0-0-0 20.Qf3 Rd7 21.Rac1+ Kb8 22.b3 Rc8 23.Rxc8+ Kxc8 24.Rc1+ Kb8 25.g3 Qa3 26.Kg2 Qb2 27.Re1 Rc7 28.Bf8 Qc3 29.Qd1 Kc8 30.Re4 h5 31.Bd6 Rc6 32.Rd4 Qb2 33.Rxd5 exd5 34.Qxd5 Qc2 35.e6 Rxd6 36.Qxd6 Qe4+ 37.Kg1 fxe6 38.Qc5+ Kd7 39.Qxa7 Qb1+ 40.Kg2 Qxb3 41.h4 Qd5+ 42.Kg1 Qd1+ 43.Kg2 Qd5+ 44.Kg1 Qd1+ 45.Kg2 ½-½.

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