Sofia R11: draw with a heart-stopping finish

by ChessBase
5/9/2010 – The penultimate game of the match was an English Opening and, after considerable manoeuvering, Topalov equalized as Black. Anand was left with an unpleasant ending, but he held fast. It seemed the life had been sucked out of the ending when Anand ambitiously jettisoned a pawn to give his opponent a chance to err. In a real nail-biter Topalov defended and the game ended in a draw.

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World Chess Championship – Game eleven

Sofia, 9th May

Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov made 65 moves before signing truce in the eleventh game of the World Chess Championship after a highly taxing and exciting tussle in the ending stages. Anand made a desperate bid for victory with some scintillating moves in a rook and knight ending in a game which otherwise bordered on the unexciting, for most part.

This makes the final round one of the most crucial one with the scores even at 5.5-5.5. Tomorrow is a rest day and the final twelfth round will be played on Tuesday. Topalov will be wielding whites which is an advantage and both need a victory for the title. In case of a draw, the title will be decided by rapid tie-break games on May 13th.

Once again something new cropped up from NIIT MindChampion Anand’s opening repertoire as he discarded the Queen pawn opening with which he had opened five times in this Match and started with the English opening.
The players followed the previously played line between Magnus Carlsen (Anand had a brief working stint with Carlsen before the World Championship at Bonn) and Ivan Cheparino( Topalov’s second for a long time now) for the first ten moves.

This was one of those games which failed to excite spectators as the players resorted to some rather dull looking manoeuvering, just moving pieces in the hope of getting better squares and the indulging in exchanges.
Once the game was steered to a rook and knight each ending with identical number of pawns on board, a draw loomed large but once again as the case has been in this event, the players battled on.

Topalov had two pawns as against Anand’s one pawn on the queen side while it was reverse on the King –side with Anand having two pawns against Topalov’s one. Anand sacrificed his pawn on the queenside.

Anand played a few exciting moves in the ending and tried to press for a win and once again the position became razor sharp as Anand tried to barge into Topalov’s territory with his King and pawns. However just when Anand’s King and pawn started closing around his King, Topalov advanced his passed pawn on the queen side to gain counter play. Seeing no headway, draw was signed with Anand threatening perpetual checks with his rook.

Anand,V (2787) - Topalov,V (2805) [A29]
WCh Sofia BUL (11), 09.05.2010
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.b4 Be6 10.d3 f6 11.Ne4 Qe8 12.Nc5 Bxc5 13.bxc5 Nd5 14.Bb2 Rd8 15.Qc2 Nde7 16.Rab1 Ba2 17.Rbc1 Qf7 18.Bc3 Rd7 19.Qb2 Rb8 20.Rfd1 Be6 21.Rd2 h6 22.Qb1 Nd5 23.Rb2 b6 24.cxb6 cxb6 25.Bd2 Rd6 26.Rbc2 Qd7 27.h4 Rd8 28.Qb5 Nde7 29.Qb2 Bd5 30.Bb4 Nxb4 31.axb4 Rc6 32.b5 Rxc2 33.Rxc2 Be6 34.d4 e4 35.Nd2 Qxd4 36.Nxe4 Qxb2 37.Rxb2 Kf7 38.e3 g5 39.hxg5 hxg5 40.f4 gxf4 41.exf4 Rd4 42.Kf2 Nf5 43.Bf3 Bd5 44.Nd2 Bxf3 45.Nxf3 Ra4 46.g4 Nd6 47.Kg3 Ne4+ 48.Kh4 Nd6 49.Rd2 Nxb5 50.f5 Re4 51.Kh5 Re3 52.Nh4 Nc3 53.Rd7+ Re7 54.Rd3 Ne4 55.Ng6 Nc5 56.Ra3 Rd7 57.Re3 Kg7 58.g5 b5 59.Nf4 b4 60.g6 b3 61.Rc3 Rd4 62.Rxc5 Rxf4 63.Rc7+ Kg8 64.Rb7 Rf3 65.Rb8+ Kg7 ½-½

Full annotations by GM Anish Giri + pictures to follow shortly...

Current standing


Remaining schedule

Day Date Start of game Indian time
Monday May 10 Free day  
Tuesday May 11 14:00h CEST 17:30h IST
Wednesday May 12 Free day  
Thursday May 13 Tiebreaks  


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