MTel R6: Kamsky wins, Topalov loses to Svidler

5/17/2006 – Gata Kamsky bounced back from his loss to Topalov in round five with a convincing victory against Ruslan Ponomariov. Veselin Topalov tumbled down from that victory with a white pieces loss to Peter Svidler. Anand drew Bacrot in a difficult Marshall Gambit with chances for both sides. We bring you a big report with pictures and videos

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Round six report

Round 6: Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Peter Svidler
Gata Kamsky  
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot

All games so far in PGN

Standings

Round 6 wrap-up: American chess fans may be excused if they are starting to have flashbacks to Lake Placid, 1980 and the "Miracle on Ice." There aren't any Soviets in Sofia, or anywhere for that matter, but Gata Kamsky's run for the gold has all the elements of a schmaltzy American TV movie of the week. The retirement, the comeback, the lowest rated player in the field. It's like "Rocky" without biceps.

Today's supporting role was played by Ruslan Ponomariov. Kamsky outplayed the Ukrainian former FIDE champion in excellent style after following nearly twenty moves of Morozevich-Grischuk from the Russian team championship event that finished just a few weeks ago. When Ponomariov tried to give up a pawn for counterplay, Kamsky didn't miss the chance to break through with crushing effect with 36.e6! and it was soon over. Kamsky now has wins over everyone in the field except for Topalov and leads the tournament with an impressive +3, 4.5/6 score.

As always seems to happen, the Grunfeld has again risen like a phoenix from the ashes. Its leading acolyte, Peter Svidler, was thoroughly bashed in his favorite defense in Linares a few months ago. Today he used it to beat Veselin Topalov in a fine game. White's new idea in an old line, 16.c4, didn't pan out too well. Svidler kept the sacrificed c-pawn and in the end it was this passed foot soldier who dealt the killing blow. Svidler is now back to a +1 score while Topalov drops back to -1.

The draw of the day was an exciting Marshall Gambit game between Bacrot and Anand. It was quite typical of the breed. Bacrot had strong piece pressure with his rooks with black while Anand was betting on the long-term danger presented by his extra pair of passed pawns. Matter and anti-matter canceled out after harrowing complications and the game was drawn. Lots of theory on the boards today.

Video impressions by Vijay Kumar


Picture gallery


A good way of getting to Sofia is by using Bulgaria Air. Regular planes, nice afternoon flight, two and a quarter hours flight from Berlin Tegel, €177 for the return trip. What more do you want?


Driving into the Bulgarian capital, which has a beautiful mountain backdrop

Sofia is the capital of the Republic of Bulgaria and has a population of about 1.4 million. The mountains visible from anywhere in the city are part of the Vitosha massif. The first settlement here was in the 7th century BC by the Thracians, and remnants of their housings can still be seen today.


Everywhere you have parks and open-air cafés


The most convenient way to move around the city is on the improbably long tramcars


Impressions of the city


Going to dinner with a bunch of more-or-less identifiable chess players


The playing hall getting a cleaning and make-over the evening before


The Grand Hotel Sofia where the players stay and the event is staged


The M-tel chess tournament reception desk, with Ivan Cheparinov
neglecting his duties as Veselin topalov's second


The trio of arbiters: Boris Postovsky (USA), Joaquin Espejo
(Chief Arbiter, Spain), Panaqiotis Nikolopoulos (Greece)


Comeback star Gata Kamsky waiting backstage for the round to start


The media preparing to do battle for the best shots and TV footage


Round six starts with Bulgarian star Veselin Topalov on the front board


His opponent Peter Svidler, a picture of determination


Ruslan Ponomariov giving his opponent the stare


The start of a tense game in which both sides seemed to have winning chances


Anand working hard against Etienne Bacrot


Veselin Topalov feeling the heat in his game against Peter Svidler


By move 25 things are already looking quite bleak for the FIDE world champion


In the hotel lobby GMs Mihail Golubev and Topalov second
Baadur Jobava follow the games and enjoy a cup of coffee


Always the bright spot in the press center: Marina Makarycheva,
preparing her daily report for Russian television


Yuriy Vasiliev filing his report for "Sport-Express Daily"

Photos by Frederic Friedel

Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, May 11, 2006

Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Gata Kamsky
Etienne Bacrot 
0-1
 Vishy Anand

Round 2: Friday, May 12, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Gata Kamsky 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Peter Svidler 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov

Round 3: Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand 
0-1
 Gata Kamsky

Round 4: Sunday, May 14, 2006

Etienne Bacrot 
½-½ 
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Gata Kamsky 
1-0
 Peter Svidler

Round 5: Monday, May 15, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Gata Kamsky
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot

Round 6: Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Peter Svidler
Gata Kamsky  
   Ruslan Ponomariov
Vishy Anand 
   Etienne Bacrot
GamesReport

Round 7: Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vishy Anand 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot 
   Gata Kamsky
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Peter Svidler
GamesReport

Round 8: Friday, May 19, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Peter Svidler 
   Etienne Bacrot
Gata Kamsky 
   Vishy Anand
GamesReport

Round 9: Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gata Kamsky 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
   Peter Svidler
Etienne Bacrot 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
GamesReport

Round 10: Sunday, May 21, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Etienne Bacrot
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler 
   Gata Kamsky
GamesReport

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