Sofia R12: Vishy wins, retains World Championship title

by ChessBase
5/11/2010 – Viswanathan Anand, playing black in the final game, avoided a decision by rapid and blitz tiebreak. In a balanced Queen's Gambit Declined, the World Champion took a shot at weakening his Bulgarian challenger's king. Veselin Topalov panicked, as in a flash his chances were dashed and the Bulgarian could wrap up his defence. A fantastic final game by Anand who retains his crown.

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World Chess Championship – Game twelve

Sofia, 11th May

Viswanathan Anand successfully defended his World title by defeating Veselin Toplalov in the last 12th Game of the World Chess Championship which concluded at Sofia, Bulgaria late Tuesday night. Anand had won the title in 2000 in the knock-out format, in 2007 in tournament format, then in 2008 in match format against Vladimir Kramnik – and now has defended his title.

NIIT MindChampion Anand weaved a "Black Magic” net in the final game, a fitting reply to Topalov’s remark yesterday that he had an advantage in the 12th game as he was playing White.

Interestingly through, out this twelve-game match, Black was more or less always struggling for survival, and no victories had been scored with the black pieces by either player. It was a superb victory by 40-year-old Anand, albeit helped by inaccuracies on Topalov’s part.

Topalov opened with the queen pawn for the sixth time in this event and it was Anand who surprised him by opting for the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Laskar Variation, and soon had a solid set-up. This was an indication that the Indian wanted to play solid chess today.

A lively middle-game with open lines was fought on even terms, but Anand’s piece placement did offer him scope if he wanted to explore. The World Champion played actively, and his pieces were trained on the kingside. Topalov put one of his rook on the queenside and weakened his kingside by moving the pawns there. Later he tried to build sort of a fortress for his king. Anand, sensing a king hunt, started rolling his pawns in the centre and on the kingside. Topalov tried to play fast and blundered, opening up the gates to his king.

Soon Anand’s queen and rooks were swooping down on Topalov’s king and snared his queen for a rook and knight. Topalov stubbornly continued to play but resigned on the 56th move in a hopeless position. The final score was 6.5-5.5.

Topalov,Veselin (2805) - Anand,Viswanathan (2787) [D56]
World Chess Championship Sofia/Bulgaria (12), 11.05.2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.e3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 c6 10.Be2 Nxc3 11.Rxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd7 13.0-0 b6 14.Bd3 c5 15.Be4 Rb8 16.Qc2 Nf6 17.dxc5 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 bxc5 19.Qc2N Bb7 20.Nd2 Rfd8 21.f3 Ba6 22.Rf2 Rd7 23.g3 Rbd8 24.Kg2 Bd3 25.Qc1 Ba6 26.Ra3 Bb7 27.Nb3 Rc7 28.Na5 Ba8 29.Nc4 e5 30.e4 f5


31.exf5 It is hard to know what happened when he took, but now the position will crumble in a flash. [31.Nd2 was completely necessary so as to support e4, after which the position would have remained balanced. Ex: 31...fxe4 32.Nxe4 Bxe4 33.fxe4 Rd4 34.Qe3=] 31...e4 32.fxe4??


At the last minute, clearly fearful he was losing a grip on his position, he loses his nerve, and now it is all over provided Anand doesn't return the favor. [32.Re3 was the only move to try and hold. 32...exf3+ 33.Kg1 Qg5 34.Qc2 Rcd7 35.Re1 And while unpleasant, it isn't over yet.] 32...Qxe4+ 33.Kh3 Rd4 34.Ne3


34...Qe8! A lovely shot, and Anand plays the rest of the game nearly flawlessly. 35.g4 h5 36.Kh4 g5+ 37.fxg6 Qxg6 38.Qf1 Rxg4+ 39.Kh3 Re7 40.Rf8+ Kg7 41.Nf5+ Kh7 42.Rg3 Rxg3+ 43.hxg3 Qg4+ 44.Kh2 Re2+ 45.Kg1 Rg2+ 46.Qxg2 Bxg2 47.Kxg2 Qe2+ 48.Kh3 c4 49.a4 a5 50.Rf6 Kg8 51.Nh6+ Kg7 52.Rb6 Qe4 53.Kh2 Kh7 54.Rd6 Qe5 55.Nf7 Qxb2+ 56.Kh3 Qg7 0-1. [Click to replay]

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

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