Wijk R11: Topalov falters against Svidler

1/27/2007 – Once again he had a winning position, and that with black. But in his eleventh round game against Peter Svidler former world champion Veselin Topalov started to go astray, spoiled the win to a draw and then actually lost the full point. Levon Aronian beat Sergey Karjakin to join Svidler and Radjabov at second place. Report, pictures and videos.

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Round 11


Peter Svidler at the start of his game against Veselin Topalov


Caught between the flags: Veselin Topalov heading for his first loss in this tournament

Svidler,P (2728) - Topalov,V (2783) [B90]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (11), 26.01.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 Be7 10.f3 h5 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.Bd3. Karjakin-Topalov in round 3 saw White play 12 h3. 12...b5 13.Bg5 Nb6 14.f4 Rb8 15.Rhe1 Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Nc1 Qb7 18.b3 exf4 19.Bxf4 0-0 20.Bxd6 Bxd6 21.Qxd6 Rfc8

Ivan Sokolov, visiting the press room in Gibraltar where he is playing, commented that this position looked “very dangerous” for White. “All these open lines, for just one pawn!”

22.Nd5 Nxd5 23.exd5 Bf5 24.Rd2 Bg6 25.Re7 Qb5 26.Rc7?! 26.Qe5 looks a better defensive try. 26...Qa5 27.Rxc8+ Rxc8 28.Re2 cxb3 29.axb3 Qc3 30.Qg3 Bxc2+ 31.Ka2.

31…Bb1+? Fritz strongly prefers 31…Qc5, which should yield a winning attack in short order. 31...Bb1+ 32.Kxb1 Qxc1+ 33.Ka2 Rc5 34.Qb8+ Kh7 35.Qb4!

It may be that Topalov had missed this defensive manoeuvre. He can retain the advantage after 35…Rc5, but instead commits a further serious error. 35…f5? 36.Qd2! Suddenly the queen exchange is forced and White is better in the rook ending, thanks to his passed d-pawn. 36...Qxd2+ 37.Rxd2 Kg6 38.b4 Rc8 39.Kb3 Kf7 40.Ra2 Ra8 41.h4 f4? This is also very hard to understand. 41…Ke7 looks like the only chance. After the text, his king is cut off and the passed d-pawn decides. As Sokolov said, looking at the position after before Black’s 31st move, “it is incredible that within ten moves, Black can be losing this”. 42.Re2 Kf6 43.Kc4 Rc8+ 44.Kd4 Rb8 45.d6 Rxb4+ 46.Kc5 Rb1 47.Rd2 Rb8 48.d7 1-0.


Topalov's seconds Silvio Danailov and Ivan Cheparinov fretting over the game...


...and Peter Svidler analysing it later in the press room.


World Champion Vladimir Kramnik against top Azerbaijani GM Teimour Radjabov, 19

Vladimir Kramnik vs Teimour Radjabov: ½-½
Radjabov’s King’s Indian passed another test. He never looked in serious trouble against the Gligoric System , and even seemed to stand better when the draw was agreed at move 28.


Vladimir Kramnik in a good mood after the game

Vishy Anand vs Alexei Shirov: ½-½
The Petroff again proves itself fireproof. Anand tried to improve on Tiviakov-Kramnik from the third round with 14.c4, instead of Tiviakov’s 14.Qf3. Shirov’s 16…Rfd8 was a new move (16…Rfe8 was Anand-Ivanchuk from the Calvia Olympiad 2004), and although White reached an ending with an extra pawn, his pawns were too weak and he could not make any progress. Draw on move 30.


Alexei Shirov, still languishing at the bottom of the table

David Navara vs Alexander Motylev: ½-½
A sharp tactical exchange in the early middlegame saw White lose a pawn, and only opposite-coloured bishops offered him any hopes of salvation. Even so, with queens and all four rooks on the board, White should surely have lost, but Motylev failed to capitalise on his chances and a draw was agreed at move 42.


Ruslan Ponomariov at the start of his game against Tiviakov

Ruslan Ponomariov vs Sergei Tiviakov: ½-½
Tiviakov’s Accelerated Dragon led to an IQP structure where Black was comfortable, and possibly even a little better. The balance was never seriously disturbed, and the draw came on move 27.


Levon Aronian, Armenia's strongest grandmaster

Aronian,L (2744) - Karjakin,Sergey (2678) [E05]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (11), 26.01.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Ra7 11.Rc1 Be4 12.Qb3 Nc6 13.e3 Qa8 14.Qd1 Nb8 15.Ba5 Bd6 16.a3 Nbd7. Kariakin’s improvement over 16…Rc8, which would transpose into Kramnik-Anand, from earlier in the tournament. 17.Nbd2 Bd5 18.Qf1 c5. This is the difference. Anand could not play this, because of 19.Bb6, winning a pawn. 19.dxc5 Bxc5 20.Rc2 Qb7 21.Rac1 Bb6 22.Bxb6 Qxb6 23.Nd4 Ne5 24.Bxd5 Nxd5.

Black seems to have solved most of his problems, but White still has the open c-file, which gives him a small edge. 25.N4f3 Nxf3+ 26.Nxf3 Rd8 27.Qd3 Ne7 28.Qe4 Rad7 29.Kg2 f6 30.h4 e5 31.h5 Qb7 32.Qg4 Kf7 33.Rc5 Rc8? After this, things deteriorate for Black. Fritz’s 33…Qb6 seems to hold OK. 34.Rxc8 Nxc8 35.Qf5 g6 36.Qg4 Ne7 37.hxg6+ hxg6 38.Rh1. Suddenly, White is coming in. 38...f5 39.Rh7+ Ke6 40.Qg5 Qe4 41.Qh6 f4 42.Qf8 Nc6 43.Qc8 Ne7 44.Qe8 Kd6 45.Qf8 Qd5 46.e4 Qe6 47.Ng5 1-0.


Sergey Karjakin, prodigy in a slump

Commentary by Steve Giddins, photos by Jeroen van den Belt

All results

Round 11 - Fri. Jan. 26th
D. Navara - A. Motylev ½-½
R. Ponomariov - S. Tiviakov ½-½
V. Anand - A. Shirov ½-½
L. Aronian - S. Karjakin 1-0
M. Carlsen - L. van Wely ½-½
P. Svidler - V. Topalov 1-0
V. Kramnik - T. Radjabov ½-½
Round 12 - Sat. Jan. 27th
A. Motylev - T. Radjabov  
V. Topalov - V. Kramnik  
L. van Wely - P. Svidler  
S. Karjakin - M. Carlsen  
A. Shirov - L. Aronian  
S. Tiviakov - V. Anand  
D. Navara - R. Ponomariov  

Standings after ten rounds

Videos by ChessVibes


Peter Svidler analysing his win over Topalov (7:38 min)


Part II (7:08 min)


Part III (6:01 min)


Levon Aronian analysing his win (9:08 min)


Part II (8:06 min)

Other sections

Group B Group C
Round 11 - Fri. Jan. 26th
S. Atalik - D. Jakovenko
½-½
J. Werle - B. Xiangzhi
½-½
V. Bologan - G. Sargissian
0-1
D. Stellwagen - F. Nijboer
1-0
E. L’Ami - V. Georgiev
1-0
J. Smeets - T. Kosintseva
1-0
M. Vachier-Lagrav - P. Eljanov
0-1
Round 11 - Fri. Jan. 26th
E. Berg - T. Willemze
½-½
M. Bosboom - J. van der Wiel
0-1
H. Jonkman - M. Krasenkow
0-1
E. van Haastert - N. Kosintseva
½-½
Z. Peng - P. Negi
½-½
I. Nepomniachtchi - S. Brynell
1-0
H. Yifan - W. Spoelman
1-0

Standings in Group B

Standings in Group C

Live audio commentary by Yasser Seirawan

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