20 Feb 2010

Gashimov versus Topalov


These are my observations as I followed the game.

The complete game in a live board to play through, at the bottom of this post.

Linares 2010 Round 7

Ruy Lopez Berlin Wall C65

like in Round 1.

leading to

Is -c2- a poisoned pawn?
Can Black afford to take it?
Engines don't agree.
13.Qg5 *
13...Qxc2 or 13...Qe5?

Sofar it has been Gashimov who is slinging the traps at Topalov.
Both have 80 mins left and Topalov has already spent more than ten minutes on this move.


And now Black has yet again a difficult decision to make:

Is he going to trade Queens?
Bring his Rook over to the e-file to back his Queen?
Or is he going to counter on the a-file with a6?

He opts for Re8, boosting the center and let White initiate the Queen trade-off.
Wise choice. He ends up with his Rook in the midst of things and after the trade off on -b6- it is White who will have to do the thinking.

Although, Bf4 , pushing the Rook back, is probably an obvious choice.

But then what?
Rooks to the center?
Bishop out on a limb on -c7- or to -g3-?

The Rook is pushed forwards rather backwards as I had expected. What fun!

18.Bf4 Re4

Another one of Topalov's python moves rubbishing Gashimov's previous train of thought? Wicked. Psychology at its most effective.
It is always difficult to let go of a plan and start anew.

A rook move now is dangerous for White, and of course the previously suggested Bishop moves were daft even then.

So what then?

Bd6 is possible, and Bg3 is less lame.
-g3- deserves consideration.

Just when I have fallen for Bg3, he plays Bd6. What a pity.
Ah. Not to worry: it is a transpostion of the line I was hoping for. Goodie.

leading to:

50 mins versus 70 mins and White has to decide his course ahead.
Left - middle - right?
Eeenie meenie

Push the a-pawn?
Push a kingside pawn?
Rook to the middle?
Bishop back to open the d-file?

A touch too far? A waiting move?
We shall see.

Topalov doesn't hang about 25...Rc8

Still up to Gashimov to 'make a move' so to speak.
Same choices as before.

Black is producing a coordinated attack, while White seems to be hanging about as if wishing somebody else would take the decisions for him. I can't see him having a plan of any kind other than awaiting his fate.

There is no armour against fate

and it seems that White is not going to get through the time portal unscathed.

As far as I can ascertain Gashimov has been running on empty for quite a few moves.

the clocks must be wrong, as White has just played move 40.Kc1 and there has been no 0-1 sign posted.
So....... he is through, but has lost his earlier advantage. Not too badly behind though, in fact one might say even.

Still, now there is another 20 moves to be played, with Topalov having an extra 22 minutes on the clock.

Still time for all sorts of deviousness from His Devious Highness.

leading to:

6 pawns and a Rook each with White having the Bishop pair against Knight plus LSB.
Black seriously on his way forward,
White cowering a little.Still very equal.

Too equal apparently, as they decide on the draw.

Full marks to Gashimov for hanging in there,
It seems against Topalov that is the best you can expect when being White.

Play-through game below.

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