Nanjing R6: Topalov beats Aronian, Bu beats Movsesian

12/17/2008 – Veselin Topalov is on the rampage. After drawing the first four games the top seed at the Pearl Spring Tournament has now won two in a row and is in the lead. He is accompanied by the Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi, who beat Sergei Movsesian for a second time in this tournament. Both GMs are a full point ahead of the rest of the field. We bring you a full illustrated report and interviews.

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2008 Pearl Spring Chess Tournament, Nanjing, China

Round 6: Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Bu Xiangzhi 
1-0
 Sergei Movsesian

Topalov,V (2791) - Aronian,L (2757) [D47]
Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (6), 17.12.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qc2 Bb7 11.e4 e5 12.h3 Re8 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.Be3 Qe7 16.Rfd1 a6 17.Ne2 c5 18.Bxc5 Qc7 19.f3 Bxb2 20.Qxb2 Qxc5+ 21.Qd4 Qe7 22.Bc2 Bd5 23.exd5 Qxe2 24.Bb3 a5 25.d6 a4 26.Bd5 Rac8 27.Rd2 Qe5 28.Qxe5 Rxe5 29.Bb7 Rd8 30.Rb1 g6 31.Bc6 Rc5 32.Bxb5 Rb8 33.Rdb2 a3 34.Rb3 Rc2 35.Rxa3 Rd2 36.Ra7 Nd5 37.d7 Kg7 38.Re1 Ne3 39.a4 Nxg2 40.Re4 g5 41.Rc7 Nh4 42.Rc3 Rb7

White is a pawn up and has essentially a winning position. But now Topalov blunders: 43.Re2? Rbxd7 44.Kf2 R7d5 45.Rxd2 Rxd2+. Now the game should be a draw. 46.Ke3 Ra2 47.Kd4 Ng2 48.Kc4 Nf4 49.Kb3 Ra1 50.Kb2 Re1 51.Rc5 Kf6 52.a5

52...Re5? 52...Re7 is the better defence. 53.Rxe5 Kxe5. This is going to be very difficult to hold – White can get the knight for his a-pawn and then win the bishop + two pawns against three pawns ending. 54.a6 Ne6 55.a7 Nc7 56.Bc6 f5 57.Kb3 Kd6 58.Bb7 Kc5 59.Kc2 Kd4 60.Kd2 h6 61.Ke2 Ke5 62.Ke3 Kf6 63.Bc6 Ke7 64.a8Q Nxa8 65.Bxa8 Kf6 66.Bc6 Ke5 67.Bb5 Kd5 68.Ba6 Ke5 69.h4 Kd5 "Mate in 30" says Prof. Dr. Fritz. 70.hxg5 hxg5 71.Bc8 Ke5 72.Bd7 1-0.


Levon Aronian in round six of the Nanjing Super-GM


Slovakian GM Sergei Movsesian

Bu Xiangzhi (2714) - Movsesian,S (2732) [D15]
Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (6), 17.12.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.a5 Bb4 8.Qa4 Be7 9.e3 0-0 10.Be2 b5 11.axb6 Nxb6 12.Qc2 Nxc4 13.Bxc4 dxc4 14.0-0 c5 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Rfd1 Qc7 17.Ra4 Be7 18.Bf4 Qc5 19.Ne5 Bb7 20.Rxc4 Qa5 21.Qb3 Rad8 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Ra4 Qc7 24.Rc4 Qa5 25.h3 Qa1+ 26.Kh2 Ba8 27.Nc6 Bxc6 28.Rxc6 Qf1 29.Qb7 Bf8 30.Bg3 a5 31.Rc7 h5 32.Rxf7 Qd3

33.Rxf6 gxf6 34.Ne4 Bg7 35.Qe7 Rf8 36.Qxe6+ Kh8 37.Qf5 a4 38.Bd6 Rf7 39.Qe6 Qb3 40.Qc8+ Kh7 41.Qf5+ Kg8 42.Ba3 h4 43.Nd6 Rc7 44.Qe4 Qb8 45.Qxa4 Bf8 46.Qg4+ Rg7 47.Qc4+ Kh7 48.Qxh4+. White now has a knight and four pawns for his rook. 48...Kg6 49.Qe4+ Kh6 50.Qe6 Kh7 51.Qxf6. Knight and five pawns for the rook. 51...Rg6 52.Qf7+ Bg7 53.Qf4 Bh6 54.Qe5 Bg7 55.Qe7 Kh8 56.e4 Bf6 57.Qe6 Kh7 58.Qf5 Qg8 59.g3 Qb3 60.e5 Bg7 61.Nf7 Qd5 62.h4 1-0.


Winning: Bu vs Movsesian at move 53


Peter Svidler before the start of round six in Nanjing


His opponent Vassily Ivanchuk, who was happy to get the draw today.


Computer operators enjoying the games


Lady commentators: WGM Gu Xiaobin, rated 2283, and WGM Shen Yang, 2450


Press conference with Topalov and Bu


Press conference with Topalov and Bu (second from right: WGM Zhang Jilin)

Question: This is the first game of the second round. You have won two games so far. Could you please tell us your current situation?

Topalov: Today I got some advantage at the opening. I had enough time to play it well, and almost got a winning position. But then I made a big mistake. The game started again and somehow I won finally. I don’t think it’s a good game, but the result is good for me.

Bu Xiangzhi: Today I play against Movsesian with white. Because I won the game with black last round, I think I had some advantage. The opening preparation was fine. But I was sure about the move Nc4 since I could have chosen to play a simple position or lead to a more complicated battle. I chose the simple one as I thought it is enough to have a slightly better position, and I was ready for a long game. He made a mistake after I developed my position and I had some initiative. Probably because of the simultaneous exhibition against 20 university students, he was a bit tired. After he made the mistake, I played well and sacrificed a rook for a bishop and won the game.

Jinling Evening News: Mr. Topalov, yesterday you said that you want to end the game earlier and buy a present for you girlfriend. It seems impossible so far – how will you fulfill your wish later? I have another question for Mr. Bu, yesterday you didn’t attend the activities and the banquet. Do you have more confidence to win the championship since you have a good start?


Veselin Topalov in the press conference

Topalov: Today I had some possibility to end it quickly, but I made a mistake. But only now I discover that there is a wall nearby and a very nice lake, so we went there. We wanted to see some animals, but we could not find them. There is a way to the wall and a temple on the top. But the tournament is more important. I hope to play better and find time to visit them.

Bu Xiangzhi: I planned how to play today’s game long before the break. I wanted to have a rest. I thought I might get tired if I took a sightseeing trip. But if I have time after the tournament, I will take a look around. It is hard to predict the final results of the tournament. What I want to do is to try my best. If I’m lucky enough, it is possible for me to win the championship. The game with Mr. Topalov will be an important one. So the result will be clearer after tomorrow’s game.

Nanjing Daily: I have a question for both players. What preparations have you made for the game tomorrow?

Topalov: I think it depends on my assistance Vallejo.He will have to work tonight.


Bu Xiangzhi

Bu Xiangzhi: I just prepared as usual. What is important is tomorrow’s game. Good preparation is necessary; my mental situation tomorrow is also important.

Hua’ao: Mr. Topalov, I saw that in your game today you had a big advantage and you played Re2 and you lost a good position. And I wondered what was in your mind at that moment? Tomorrow you will play against Mr. Bu Xiangzhi. Do you have any special strategy and anything to say about it?

Topalov: The mistake is very typical when you are reaching the winning position. It’s just because you are relaxed and it happens to everybody. For tomorrow, we haven’t played many times. Especially with black I have problems. So I will work and I have to think what to change.

Sina: Mr. Topalov, today you have showed us your excellent opening preparation. My question is, did you prepare it before you came here or just plan it here? Did you make a strong preparation just like what you did in Wijk Ann Zee?

Topalov: No, actually Vallejo prepared it yesterday. We were expecting Aronian to play like this. But it is very difficult to find good ideas. Finally he played this. We had a chance to play for an advantage with white.

China Chess Online: Mr. Bu Xiangzhi, you beat Mr. Movsesian twice. Do you have some special strategies against him?

Bu Xiangzhi: This tournament is the first time for me to play against him. I prepared very well last time, so I won. Maybe because he had much pressure and he was tired, he didn’t do so well today. I think this is an important reason.

Sina: I have a question for Bu Xiangzhi. In today’s game, your opponent wanted to have a draw with you. But you refused. Is that a decision you made after careful consideration? In the following games, will you try to play safe or be more aggressive?

Bu Xiangzhi: The position was quite unclear when he tried to play the third repetition. I think I had some advantage. So I made another move. I thought for a long time before I made the decision which wasn’t that easy for me. In the following games I will try my best to play each single game and play more aggressively. But there are still two more black games against strong opponents. I will just try to play as usual.


Standings after six rounds


Schedule and results

First half

Round 1: Thursday, 11 December 2008
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Sergei Movsesian 
0-1
 Bu Xiangzhi
Round 2: Friday, 12 December 2008
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Bu Xiangzhi
Peter Svidler 
0-1
 Sergei Movsesian
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Round 3: Saturday, 13 December 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Sergei Movsesian 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Bu Xiangzhi 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Round 4: Sunday, 14 December 2008
Sergei Movsesian 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Bu Xiangzhi 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Round 5: Monday, 15 December 2008
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Peter Svidler
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Bu Xiangzhi
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Sergei Movsesian

Second half

Round 6: Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Bu Xiangzhi 
1-0
 Sergei Movsesian
Round 7: Thursday, 18 December 2008
Bu Xiangzhi 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Sergei Movsesian 
-
 Peter Svidler
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Levon Aronian
Games – Report
Round 8: Friday, 19 December 2008
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
-
 Sergei Movsesian
Peter Svidler 
-
 Bu Xiangzhi
Games – Report
Round 9: Saturday, 20 December 2008
Peter Svidler 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Bu Xiangzhi 
-
 Levon Aronian
Sergei Movsesian 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Games – Report
Round 10: Sunday, 21 December 2008
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Sergei Movsesian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Bu Xiangzhi
Levon Aronian 
-
 Peter Svidler
Games – Report

Links

The games will be being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.



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