Anand defeats Topalov, wins León

by ChessBase
6/12/2006 – The final of the Ciudad de León rapid chess tournament saw a determined Anand defeat FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov by 2.5:1.5. Topalov had chances in the first game, Anand in the fourth. The match decider came in game two when Anand dismantled the Berlin Defence of his opponent. He generally impressed the audience with his very fast play. Final report.

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XIX Ciudad de León

The 19th (XIX) Ciudad de León chess tournament took place at the Junta de Castilla y León building in León, Spain from June 9th to 11th 2006. There were two groups, each playing four games, with the winners meeting in the finals. The rate of play was 20 minutes for the game plus an increment of 10 seconds for each move. In case of a drawn match there were blitz tie-break games (5 minutes for all moves).

The event was won by Indian chess superstar (and former FIDE world champion) Viswanathan ("Vishy") Anand, who defeated the current FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov in the final. Anand had a somewhat rough time beating Cuban GM Lázaro Bruzón in the semifinal, whereas it was smooth sailing for Topalov in his semifinal match against Francisco Vallejo of Spain.

The winner of the 2006 Ciudad de León tournament Vishy Anand

In the final Anand had to defend accurately in game one, a Queen's Gambit Declined. In game two Veselin Topalov played a Berlin Defense in the Ruy Lopez, which Anand meticulously took apart. In game three, a Ruy Lopez Centre Attack, Topalov got nothing out of the opening and the game was drawn with a slight advantage for Anand. In the final game Topalov very logically tried a Sicilian Najdorf, but Anand took control and was close to winning. The final score was 2.5:1.5 for the Anand, who used much less time in his games than Topalov.

All results

  Name   Elo   G1  G2  G1  G2  B1  B2  B3  B4  Total
Semifinal 1
 Lázaro Bruzón (Cuba) 2652 ½ ½ ½ ½  1  0  ½  0 3.5
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2803 ½ ½ ½ ½  0  1  ½  1 4.5
Semifinal 2
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2804 1 0 ½ 0         1.5
 Francisco Vallejo (Spain) 2666 0 1 ½ 1         2.5
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2804 ½ 0 ½ ½         1.5
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2803 ½ 1 ½ ½         2.5

Picture Gallery

The playing hall, with giant projection screens for the audience

On the screens you can see the game and commentary

Topalov vs Anand before the start of game one

Anand, playing fast and with confidence

Topalov, who met his match against the Indian GM

Anand in the press conference after the tournament

Veselin Topalov talking about his games against Anand

Spainsh GM Miguel Illescas gives a simul for children

I wonder if I can beat a real grandmaster

This is going to be hard – very, very hard


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