Topalov wins Dos Hermanas Rapid

by ChessBase
4/21/2008 – Former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov and top Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo played the final of the XIV International Chess Tournament in Dos Hermanas. In the first game on Sunday Vallejo blundered on move 18 and Topalov won the game. The next three games were drawn, so that the Bulgarian was the overall winner of the knockout rapid event. Illustrated report.

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XIV International Chess Tournament


Veselin Topalov, Alexey Shirov, Judit Polgar, Francisco Vallejo

Dos Hermanas April 17-21 2008

The XIV Dos Hermanas tournament took place from April 18th-20th April, 2008, in the Teatro Municipal Juan Rodriguez Romero in Dos Hermanas, Spain.

Four players were in the knockout event, with four rapid games played at the rate of 20 minutes + 10 seconds a move. The tiebreaker is blitz games of 5 minutes + 3 seconds followed by a final sudden death game if required. The scores in the first round were:

Fri. April 18 2008
Francisco Vallejo 
 Alexei Shirov
Sat. April 19 2008
Veselin Topalov 
 Judit Polgar

On Sunday the final between Veselin Topalov and Francisco Vallejo was played. This is how the first game went:

Topalov,V (2767) - Vallejo Pons,F (2684) [C65]
XIV Rapid Dos Hermanas ESP (2.1), 20.04.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.c3 0-0 6.d4 Bb6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 d6 9.Qd3 Bd7 10.Nbd2 g5 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.Nxg5 hxg5 13.Bxg5 Kg7 14.a4 a5 15.Nc4 Qc8 16.Nxb6 cxb6 17.f4 Nxe4 18.d5

Black has a piece for a pawn but with a horribly exposed king. He underestimates the danger: 18...Nc5?? 19.Qg3. The threat is Bf6+ and mate in two more moves. 19...Ne4 20.Bf6+ Kxf6 21.fxe5+ Ke7 22.Qh4+ f6 23.exf6+ Kd8 24.Qxe4. Now White has three pawns for the piece and a withering attack. In spite of a brave defence Paco Vallejo does not survive this encounter with Veselin Topalov. 24...Bd7 25.Qe7+ Kc7 26.Rf4 Qe8 27.Re1 Qxe7 28.Rc4+ Kb8 29.Rxe7 Bf5 30.Rcc7 Rxf6 31.Rxb7+ Kc8 32.Rec7+ Kd8 33.Rg7 Kc8 34.Rxb6 Bd7 35.c4 Kc7 36.Rc6+ Kd8 37.Rg8+ Be8 38.c5 Ke7 39.Rc7+ Kd8 40.Rh7 dxc5 41.d6 Rxd6 42.Rxe8+ Kxe8 43.Rh8+ Kd7 44.Rxa8 Rd1+ 45.Kf2 Rd2+ 46.Kf3 Rd3+ 47.Kf4 Rb3 48.Rxa5 Rxb2 49.Kf3 Kd6 50.Ra8 c4 51.Rc8 Kd5 52.h4 Ra2 53.h5 Rxa4 54.h6 Ra7 55.g4 Ke5 56.g5 Kf5 57.Rc5+ Kg6 58.Kg4 Ra1 59.Rc6+ Kh7 60.Rc7+ Kg8 61.Kh5 c3 62.Rxc3 Ra6 1-0. [Click to replay]

The other three games were drawn, so that Topalov won the final with a 2.5:1.5 score.

Picture Gallery

The stage is set for the final of the 14th Dos Hermanas Rapid Chess Tournament

One move before the fateful blunder by Vallejo in game one

In the heat of battle, in game one, Francisco Vallejo blunders

"Paco" knows he has blown it, and probably the match

No defence against a player of Topalov's calibre

The press conference after the event

Topalov and Vallejo discuss the final with Spanish journalist Leontxo Garcia

The closing ceremony, with Vallejo, Topalov, Shirov and Judit Polgar on the left

Veselin Topalov receives his trophy as the winner of the tournament


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