### (1) Anand,Viswanathan (2787) - Topalov,Veselin (2805) [E54]

World Chess Championship Sofia / Bulgaria, 06.05.2010

* [Giri, Anish]*

**
**The 9th game was one of the tensest of the championship so far, where we could see that both players get very tired and nervous. Anand desided to stop the Catalan debate and used his other weapon – the Nimzo with 4.e3. The champion was also better prepared and quickly got some edge in a complicated position with two rooks for queen. Later Topalov had some ways to equalize, but the position was too complicated. Anand also did not play perfectly. Nevertheless after the second time control he got winning position (for the second time in the game), but he erred on move 53 and the game was drawn. Another disappointment for the World Champion.

1.d4
Nf6
2.c4
e6
3.Nc3
Anand refuses the Catalan, which brought him two wins, and opts for another complicated opening – the Nimzo.

3...Bb4
4.e3
0-0
5.Bd3
c5
6.Nf3
d5
7.0-0
A very famous position, which was played in other World Championships as well. Here some very big theory starts, with thousands of games played.

7...cxd4
One of the main moves. [7...Nc6
8.a3
Bxc3
9.bxc3
dxc4
10.Bxc4
Qc7
and; 7...dxc4
8.Bxc4
Nbd7
are other big main lines.]

8.exd4
dxc4
9.Bxc4
b6
Developing the bishop first, which is much more flexible in this case.

10.Bg5
Bb7
11.Re1
Nbd7
12.Rc1
Rc8
So far everything was simple, both players were developing, but now Anand has a choice – which he already made at home.

13.Bd3
Not forcing anything yet. [13.Qb3
is what Kramnik managed to beat Kasparov with, in London back then in 2000. However, later Black found a way to deal with it. 13...Be7
* (13...Bxc3!
*is safer*) *14.Bxf6
Nxf6
* (14...Bxf6!?
) *15.Bxe6!
Is how Kramnik-Kasparov from the other World Championship Match went. ]

13...Re8
14.Qe2
Bxc3
Black has already made all useful moves, so now it is time for this exchange. White get's the bishop pair, but Black is solid and has an easy development.

15.bxc3
Qc7

16.Bh4
Trying to attack the queen that has just appeared on c7. [16.c4
is too early- 16...h6!
and if 17.Bh4
then 17...Nh5!
]

16...Nh5!
Typical way to meet all Bh4's.

17.Ng5
[17.Bxh7+
doesn't work: 17...Kxh7
18.Ng5+
Kg6!
19.g4!
Qf4!
20.gxh5+
Kh6
and Black will take over.]

17...g6

18.Nh3!?N
A new move. It seems a little bit ugly, but White protects the f4 square, which is more important. [Another possible and more logical way of solving the problem is 18.Qd2
but then Black is still able to go to f4, though this time with his queen. 18...Qf4!?
; 18.Nxh7??
Nf4!
]

18...e5
This breakthrough seems very good, but in fact now this pawn is kind of pinned and the pin is actually pretty anoying for Black. [18...Qd6!?
first, made sense, avoiding f3. 19.f3?
Rxc3!
]

19.f3!
protecting e4 and bringing the bishop to f2.

19...Qd6
[19...exd4
20.Qxe8+
Rxe8
21.Rxe8+
Kg7
22.Bf2!
; 19...Bd5!?
20.Qd2
* (20.g4
Nhf6
21.Bg3
h5
22.Nf2
) *20...Bc4
21.Bb1
Qd6
]

20.Bf2

20...exd4?!
Topalov just ignores the pin and sacrifices his rooks for White's queen. I think it was not needed. [20...Nhf6!
Seems much safer and better to me. Now exd4 and also e4 are threats. I think Black more or less equalizes: 21.Qb2
exd4!?
seems fine for Black. White knight looks odd on h3, and in case of cxd4 the black knight will enjoy the d5 square.* (21...e4!?
) *]

21.Qxe8+
Rxe8
22.Rxe8+
Nf8

23.cxd4
White also had an option of taking with bishop, which was strong, but Anand decides to go for a safe option. [23.Bxd4!
Black may try to transfer one of two knights to e6, but in both cases White will meet it with Re3 and the bishop will be free to go to e5. 23...Ng7
* (23...Bc6
24.Re3
Ne6
25.Be5
*And white is better.*) *24.Re3
Nge6
25.Be5
Qc5
26.Rce1
Nd7
27.Bg3
Nf6
28.c4!
And all the threats are neutralized and white's advantage is big and clear.]

23...Nf6
24.Ree1
Ne6
25.Bc4!
Very clever. White wants to play Bg3 without giving up the d4 pawn.

25...Bd5
26.Bg3
Qb4!
Topalov rightly decides to enter some complications [26...Qd7
was bad due to 27.Be5!
]

27.Be5!
Nd7!
The point of Qb4. Now the position gets complicated, and it seems that objectively Black is holding, though I may be wrong.

28.a3?!
Those moves are always nice to make- it seems not to change the position much, but it offers the opponent a choice and confuses him a bit. [28.Bxd5!
however, was objectively stronger. 28...Nxe5
29.Bxe6
Nd3!
30.Rc8+
Kg7
31.Rd1
fxe6
Now White has a choice: to grab the pawn, or not to and have a better piece cooperation. White has winning chances in both cases, but I would prefer to take the pawn. 32.Rc7+
* (32.Rc2!?
Kf6!
*protecting g5. Now White has nothing better than exchanging the knights *33.Nf2
Nxf2
34.Kxf2
*And White has winning chances, but because Black will have a passed pawn on the queenside I think he should draw this.*) *32...Kf6
33.Rxa7
Qb2!
Protecting f2 and keeping and eye on a2. * (33...Qxd4+?!
34.Kh1
Qb2?
35.Rd7!
) *34.Rf1!
Qxd4+
35.Nf2
h5
36.Ra3!
Nxf2
37.Rxf2
h4
And here White will slowly unpin and then be having very fine winning chances.]

28...Qa4
[28...Qb2!
Was equalizing easier, for example- 29.Bxd5
* (29.Rb1
Qc3!
30.Bxd5
Nxe5
31.Bxe6
Qxd4+
32.Nf2
Nd3
33.Rf1
Nxf2
34.Bxf7+
Kxf7
35.Rxf2
h5!
36.Rc1
a5
37.g3
h4
*with equality.*) *29...Nxe5
30.Bxe6
Nd3
31.Rc8+
Kg7
32.Rd1
fxe6
33.Rc7+
Kf6
34.Rxa7
Qxd4+
35.Kh1
h5
And the difference between the knights is the reason why Black holds this position easily.]

29.Bxd5
Nxe5
30.Bxe6

30...Qxd4+?
Topalov probably couldn't calculate all the complications of Nd3! till the end and opted for the "safe" option. In fact now Black's position becomes critical – he is maybe already lost. [However the complications after 30...Nd3!
are in his favour. Black seems to be equal in all lines. For example 31.Rc4!?
* (31.Bxf7+
Kxf7
32.Ng5+?
Kg7
33.Rc7+
Kh6!
*and it is not the black king but White who will be in trouble.*) *31...Qxa3
32.Bxf7+
Kxf7
33.Ng5+
Kf6
34.Ne4+
Ke7
35.Rf1
Nf4
36.Rc7+
Kd8
37.Rxh7
Qb2
38.Nf2
Ne2+
39.Kh1
a5
with counterplay that is enough for equality.]

31.Kh1
fxe6
32.Ng5!
Finally the knight is back!

32...Qd6

33.Ne4?
Anand decides again not to calculate everything but to play simple positional chess. [33.Rc8+!
was winning immediately! 33...Kg7
34.Rec1
Kh6
* (34...Qd2
35.R8c7+
Kg8
36.Ne4
*and White wins*) *35.h4
Qd4
* (35...Kh5
36.Rh8
h6
37.Re1+-
) *36.g3!
Nd7
37.Kg2!
and it is clear that Black is lost.]

33...Qxa3
34.Rc3
Qb2
Probably not the best square, but without a computer it is hard to see which square is best and why.

35.h4
[The immediate 35.Rc8+!
was also possible 35...Kg7
36.Rc7+
and Black is losing a pawn – h7 or a7... or both..]

35...b5?
I am curious, why Topalov touched this pawn on not a-pawn, which fits much more with queen b2. [35...a5!?
Was more logical than pushing the b-pawn, but perhaps it is not quick enough.. 36.Rc8+
Kg7
37.Rc7+
Kg8
38.Rd1
Nd3!
39.Rd7
Nc5
40.Ra7
Nd3
41.Kh2
Qe2
42.Rd2
Qe3
43.Nf6+
Kf8
44.Nxh7+
Ke8
45.Nf6+
Kd8
46.Ne4
and Black's position seems horrible – but may in fact be holdable..; The clever 35...Qb4!?
is interesting too; 35...Nf7
is safe, but I think Black shouldn't be passive, and his chance is in pushing the pawn – the a-pawn, not the b one...]

36.Rc8+
Kg7
37.Rc7+
Kf8
38.Ng5
Ke8

39.Rxh7
A safe move. [39.Nxe6!
was winning, for example 39...Nxf3!?
40.Rd1!
Nd2
41.Rxa7!
Qe5
42.Rxh7!!
Qxe6
43.Ra1!
Qc6
44.Ra8+!
and after playing five moves in a row with an exclamation mark White wins!]

39...Qc3

40.Rh8+?
Anand lets the black king escape, on the famous 40th move. Probably Anand thought that Black has to repeat the moves, missing 41...Nd3! after 41.Rd1. [40.Re2
was winning for White. Black has no pepetuals whatsoever, and White will eventually get to Black's king. For example 40...b4
41.Nxe6
b3
42.Kh2!
a5
43.Rc7
Qa1
44.Rb7
Qc3
45.Rb5
Nc4
46.Rb8+!
Ke7
47.Rxb3!
Qxb3
48.Nd4+
Qe3
49.Rxe3+
Nxe3
50.Nc6+
winning. That was of course just one of the possible lines.; 40.Re4
would win as well]

40...Kd7
41.Rh7+
[41.Rd1+
Nd3!
could be what Anand missed]

41...Kc6
42.Re4
Even though the black king is out of the dangerous zone, his position is still tricky and difficult to play.

42...b4?!
[The immediate 42...Kb6!
is much stronger, e6 is untouchable due to Nxf3! while Kb6 is neccesary in any case. 43.Re7
Nc6
44.R7xe6
b4
45.Nf7
Ka5!
and it will eventually finish in a draw.]

43.Nxe6
Kb6
44.Nf4

44...Qa1+
[44...Qc1+!
was drawing in a study like way: 45.Kh2
Nc6
46.Rh6
b3
47.Rxg6
Qd2!!
* (47...b2?
48.Nd3
b1Q
49.Nxc1
Qxc1
50.Ree6+-
) *48.Rc4
b2
49.Rgxc6+
Kb7
50.Rc7+
Kb8
51.Rc8+
Kb7
52.R4c7+
Ka6!
with a draw. Strangely enough White can't get anything more.]

45.Kh2
a5
46.h5

46...gxh5
Now it's over for Black again. [46...g5!?
was perhaps stronger, but it is not clear if it was enough to save the game. However, over the board it is not clear if it is better than gxh5, so we should forgive Topalov.]

47.Rxh5
Nc6
48.Nd5+
Kb7
49.Rh7+
Ka6
50.Re6
Kb5
51.Rh5
Nd4
52.Nb6+!
Nice check, forcing the black king to stay inside the mate zone. Now White is totally winning, for about the third time in this game...

52...Ka6
53.Rd6
Kb7

54.Nc4?!
Making things a bit more complicated, though White is still winning. [54.Nd5!
centralizing the knight was much simpler, and black can resign.]

54...Nxf3+
55.gxf3
Qa2+
56.Nd2
Kc7

57.Rhd5?!
Again an inaccuracy: [57.Rhh6!
was stronger. White will play Kg3 and Ne4 and mate Black.]

57...b3
58.Rd7+
Kc8
59.Rd8+
Kc7
60.R8d7+
Kc8
61.Rg7!
Here all Anand's fan were relieved again – he seemed to have found a win. But...

61...a4
62.Rc5+?!
Okay, just repeating the moves, nothing wrong yet... [62.Rdd7
a3
63.Kg3
Qa1
64.Rc7+
Kb8
65.Rb7+
Kc8
66.Nxb3
Qg1+
67.Kf4
Qh2+
68.Ke3
Qe5+
69.Kf2
Qh2+
70.Kf1
Qh3+
71.Ke2
Qh2+
72.Kd3
]

62...Kb8
63.Rd5
Kc8

64.Kg3?
This and the quick next move give away the win for the last time in this game. But to be honest, it wasn't so easy anymore, especially for someone who played for some five to six hours already. And, well, White had easier wins earlier in this game... [64.Rdd7
was an easy move, but the win wasn't easy to calculate: 64...a3
65.Kg3
Qa1
66.Ra7
Qg1+
* (66...Qe5+
67.f4
Qe1+
68.Kf3
Qh1+
69.Kf2
Qh2+
70.Ke3+-
) *67.Kh3
Qh1+
68.Kg4
Qg1+
69.Kf5
Qc5+
70.Ke4
Qb4+
71.Kd3
Qd6+
72.Kc3
Qe5+
73.Kxb3
Qb2+
74.Kc4
Qc2+
75.Kb5
Qb2+
76.Kc5
Qe5+
77.Kb4
Qd6+
78.Kc3
Qe5+
79.Kc2
Qc5+
80.Kd1
And the king managed to hide. Black had other possibilities of checks, but white always manages to hide somewhere.]

64...Qa1
65.Rg4?
[65.Rdd7
was probably still winning, but Anand played Rg4 almost instantly. 65...Qe1+
66.Kg4!
and I will just trust my Fritz, who says that White is winning...]

65...b2
Now it is already over, Black will draw easily.

66.Rc4+
Kb7
67.Kf2
b1Q
68.Nxb1
Qxb1
69.Rdd4
Black doesn't need his pawn to make a draw.

69...Qa2+
70.Kg3
a3
71.Rc3
Qa1
72.Rb4+
Ka6
73.Ra4+
Kb5
74.Rcxa3
Qg1+
With rooks on a3 and a4, it is obvious that there is a perpetual check.

75.Kf4
Qc1+
76.Kf5
Qc5+
77.Ke4
Qc2+
78.Ke3
Qc1+
79.Kf2
Qd2+
80.Kg3
Qe1+
81.Kf4
Qc1+
82.Kg3
Qg1+
83.Kf4
A very comlicated game, full of fight, but also mistakes.** 1/2-1/2**