Bilbao blindfold: Topalov beats Polgar 3½:2½

12/11/2006 – The six game blindfold rapid chess match between Veselin Topalov and Judit Polgar ended in victory for the former FIDE world champion, who won two games to Polgar's one. The rate of play was 25' + 10", the venue a theatre in the famous Guggenheim Museum in the Spanish city of Bilbao. Final report.

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Blindfold match Topalov vs Polgar

This match was held from December 7–9, 2006 in the world famous Gugenheim Museum in the Basque city of Bilbao. It was between former FIDE world champions Veselin Topalov and the strongest female player in the history of the game, Judit Polgar.

The match consisted of six rapid games, two played on each of the three days. Time controls were 25 minutes for each player + 10 sec. per move. The game were covered in a live Java broadcast provided by the official site, and in the broadcast room of Playchess.com. The match was won by Veselin Topalov with a score of 3.5:2.5 (two wins and one loss).

On the first day Veselin Topalov won the first game in 27 moves with the white pieces in a Keres Attack of the Sicilian Scheveningen. The second game ended after 55 moves in a draw.

The second day was similar. The former FIDE world champion got an early advantage in the first game, a Sicilian Taimanov, and converted it into a 46-move win (in the final position he was up by five pawns). The second game, a Sicilian Kan, ended in a draw by repetition after 32 moves. Topalov led by 3:1 points.

Day three started with Judit Polgar playing the Najdorf and not really getting anything – in fact she was in a spot of trouble around move 36. But she she shed a pawn and traded her queen for two rooks, trading down to an endgame Veselin Topalov did not believe he could win. The game ended in a repetition on move 44. The final game, another Kan, saw Judit fighting aggressively and picking up a pawn on move 25. She traded down to an endgame which she won elegantly to narrow the over-all victory of her opponent.

Final Standings
 Player
Rating
1
2
3
4
5
6
 Tot. 
Veselin Topalov
2813
1
½
1
½
½
0
3.5
Judit Polgar
2710
0
½
0
½
½
1
2.5

Impressions from Bilbao

By Nadja Woisin


The spectators in the theater of the Guggenheim Museum


Preparing the players for the start of a game


Two assistants enter the moves which the players dictate

The blindfolds and assistants entering the moves were only there for the start of some of the games. This setup was only used to demonstrate for the public what blindfold chess is. Above is left Topalov's manager IM Silvio Danailov (left) and GM José Luis Fernández operating the input. After some moves the players themselves took over.


The players in serious mode, with the moves entered on a computer keyboard


Press conference at the end of a round

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