Sofia 2007: Topalov crushes Sasikiran with black

5/14/2007 – Bulgarian fans finally had something to cheer about today, as home favourite Topalov crushed Sasikiran in a 33-move King’s Indian. A razor-sharp game between Mamedyarov and Nisipeanu ended in a draw, as did a marathon between Kamsky and Adams. Entertainment was to the fore, in a Sunday evening slugfest.

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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 four: Topalov crushes Sasikiran with black

By Steve Giddins

Round 4: Sunday, May 13 2007

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

Veselin Topalov finally shook off his disastrous start, and opened his winning account with a crush of Sasikiran. The Indian seemed unprepared for Topalov’s King’s Indian, consuming much time over the opening and early middlegame. The engines preferred White around move 18, but although optically impressive, it is not clear how effective the knight on c6 really is. The crucial moment came with Sasikiran’s 19 f4. Whether the product of hubris or the precise opposite, the move severely weakened squares such as e3 and g3, and within a handful of moves, Topalov’s pieces had poured decisively into the breach.

Sasikiran,K (2690) - Topalov,V (2772) [E92]
MTel Sofia BUL (4), 13.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0–0 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh6 11.d5 Nd7 GM Seirawan on Playchess: "I suppose that Sasikiran is looking at 12.h4 g4 13.Nh2 f5 14.exf5 Nxf5 15.Nxg4 Nxg3 16.fxg3 and trying to decide if winning the pawn is a good idea or not. 12.h3 f5 13.exf5 Nc5 14.Nd2 Bxf5 15.0–0 e4 16.Nb3 b6 17.Nd4 Qf6 18.Nc6 a5

19.f4?! Bd7 20.Nb5 Bxc6 21.dxc6 Qxb2 22.Rb1 Qxa2 23.Nxc7 Nf5 24.Bf2 e3 25.Be1 Nd4 26.Nxa8 Nxe2+ 27.Kh2 Nxf4 28.Rxf4 gxf4 29.Rxb6 f3 30.Qd5+

30…Ne6! 31.Qxe6+ Kh8 32.Qg4 Be5+ 33.Kh1 f2 0-1.

Tournament leader Mamedyarov engaged in some razor-sharp fisticuffs with Nisipeanu. His 11th move novelty led soon to a short, forcing sequence, and a draw by repetition.

Mamedyarov,S (2757) - Nisipeanu,LD (2693) [E10]
MTel Sofia BUL (4), 13.05.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 b5 5.dxe6 fxe6 6.cxb5 d5 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.e4 d4 9.e5 Ng4 10.Ne4 Bb7 11.Nfg5N [Ehlvest,J (2610) - Alekseev,Evgeny (2661) [E10], Aeroflot Open Moscow RUS (5), 18.02.2007 11.Qe2 Bd5 12.Nxd4 cxd4 13.Qxg4 Nxe5 14.Qh5+ Ng6 15.Bd3 Bb4+ 16.Ke2 Qc7 17.a3 Be7 18.Bd2 0–0 19.Rhc1 Qb7 20.f3 Rf5 21.Qh3 Ne5 22.a4 Nxd3 23.Kxd3 a6 24.Qg3 e5 25.Ba5 Bxe4+ 26.fxe4 Rf4 27.Qe1 axb5 28.Bd2 Rff8 29.a5 b4 30.b3 Qb5+ 31.Rc4 Rxa5 32.Rxa5 Qxa5 33.Qc1 Qa6 34.Qd1 h6 35.Qg4 Kh7 36.Qd7 Qa2 0-1] 11...Ndxe5 12.f4 Bxe4 13.fxe5 Bf5 14.Bd3 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Nxe5 16.Qh3 Qf6 17.Nxe6 Nd3+ 18.Ke2 c4

 

19.Nc7+ Kd8 20.Ne6+ Ke8 21.Nc7+ Kd8 22.Ne6+ Ke8 draw.

Probably anxious to keep his latest preparation in the Marshall secret for his upcoming Candidates match against Shirov, Mickey Adams fell back on an old Spanish sideline that he has played a few times before. Theory has always frowned on Black playing Bg4 before White has played d4 in the Spanish, but the English Super-GM clearly has other ideas. White’s attempts to exploit the pawn weaknesses on the queenside were met by kingside counterplay, including a piece sacrifice. When the time-trouble smoke cleared, Black was a pawn up in a N+2P v N+P ending, but with all pawns on one side, he was unable to convert the advantage, despite 94 moves of trying.

Kamsky,G (2705) - Adams,Mi (2734) [C87]
MTel Sofia BUL (4), 13.05.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 d6 7.c3 Bg4 8.h3 Bh5 9.d3 Nd7 10.Be3 h6 11.Nbd2 Bg5 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.d4 Bxe3 14.Rxe3 0–0 15.b4 a5 16.a3 axb4 17.axb4 Qf6 18.Ra5 exd4 19.cxd4 c5 20.Qa1 Nb6 21.e5 Qg6 22.dxc5 dxc5 23.g4

23…Bxg4 24.hxg4 Qxg4+ 25.Kf1 cxb4 26.Rxa8 Rxa8 27.Qd4 Qxd4 28.Nxd4 c5 29.Nc6 Nd5 30.Re1 Ra6 31.Nd8 Ra2 32.Nc4 Rc2 33.Na5 c4 34.e6 fxe6 35.Nxe6 b3 36.Nd4 Ra2 37.Nxc4 Ra4 38.Re8+ Kh7 39.Nxb3 Rxc4 40.Nd2 Rc2 41.Ne4 Nf4 42.f3 g5 43.Ra8 Rc6 44.Rd8 Kg6 45.Rd6+ Rxd6 46.Nxd6 h5 47.Kf2 h4 48.Ne4 Kf5 49.Nd6+ Ke5 50.Nf7+ Kf6 51.Nd6 Nd5 52.Ne4+ Kf5 53.Nc5 Ke5 54.Nd7+ Kd4 55.Nf8 Nf4 56.Nh7 Ne6 57.Nf6 Ke5 58.Ng4+ Kf5 59.Ke3 Nf4 60.Nh6+ Kg6 61.Ng4 Nd5+ 62.Ke2 Kf5 63.Nf2 Ke5 64.Kf1 Nf4 65.Ng4+ Kd4

66.Kf2 Nd3+ 67.Ke2 Ne5 68.Nf2 Ng6 69.Ng4 Kd5 70.Kf2 Ne5 71.Nf6+ Ke6 72.Ne4 Kf5 73.Nc5 Nc4 74.Nd3 Ne5 75.Nc5 Nc6 76.Nd3 Nd4 77.Nc5 Ne6 78.Nd3 Nf4 79.Nb4 Ke6 80.Nc6 Nd5 81.Nd4+ Kd6 82.Nb3 Nf4 83.Nd4 Ke5 84.Nc6+ Ke6 85.Nd4+ Kd5 86.Nf5 Ke5 87.Ne3 Nd3+ 88.Kg2 Nf4+ 89.Kf2 Ne6 90.Nc2 Nc5 91.Ne3 Ne6 92.Nc2 Nd4 93.Nb4 Ne6 94.Nc2 draw.

Standings after four rounds

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