3 May 2010

WCC 2010 game 7

Today Topalov will play as White.
He must be relieved to have taken a draw out of game 6 (six) as Black.
Will this be enough to spur him on to achieve the full point today?
That would equalize the match but for the fact that Anand will have a game in hand.

Anand 3.5 vs Topalov 2.5

Hereby a Rose to both players.
Plus my best wishes for the games to come and grateful thanks for an entertaining match.

The running commentary will start at 12:00 GMT.
The play-through board will appear after the result is out.
Enjoy the game.

Topalov not as White today.
They must have switched after the halfway mark.

Yet another Catalan/ Well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

More research into the Catalan, incorporating novelties from Invanchuk as Black against Gelfand in Nice in a rapid earlier this year.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 (this time Topalov turns it into a Bogo-Indian, rather than the 5....a5/a6 moves from the previous games) 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Bf4 dxc4 (eschewing 8...Nbd7/b6) 9. Ne5 b5 (start of a develishly inventive line .) 10. Nxc6 Nxc6 11. Bxc6 Bd7 12. Bxa8 Qxa8 12. Bxa8 Qxa8 13. f3 Nd5 14. Bd2 e5 15. e4 Bh3 16.exd5 Bxf1 17. Qxf1 exd4 18. a4 Qxd5

It has been a forced sequence ever since 9..b5

19. axb5 Qxb5 20. Rxa7 Re8

leading to:

59 mins versus 117 mins
When the smoke clears: Black has the extra pawn, with two forward on the 4th rank. These are worth having.
White's -b-pawn is threatened by the Queen and not defended. But he has the Knight even though it seems a touch marginalized at the minute.

At least White managed to grab the a-7 pawn. Still Qc1 wouldn't have been too shabby either. A way to get the Rook to the center via Ra5 to Re5 - Re4

Important decision here for White. Lots of options now,

From the clocks it seems that Topalov is hardly using up any time at all, whereas Anand is doing a fair bit of thinking.

After 21.Kh1 Bf8 22.Rc7

These two moves cost both players a bit of time.
56 mins versus 99 mins

22. Rc7 d3 23. Bc3 Bd6 24. Ra7

Was 23...Bc5 a step too far? I don't think so. That would have prevented Ra7.

Anyway, this will give Topalov something to ponder on, and thereby me a chance to get some vittels.

Topalov wisely gives his King a bolthole

This doesn't necessarily mean that White can take his eye of the ball and start developing his Knight.

Oh yes it does. So he does it. Pity. 25.Qh3 Bb4 26.Qd7 QxQ 27.RxQ Bxc3 28.Nxc3 Rb8 was a good foothold for White.

Now all Topa has to do is find 25..Bb4 and of course, time not being of the essence for him he does find it.

So Anand has lost the edge.
Now he 'd better use that Knight wisely.
26. Ne4? Doesn't help much. The moment has passed.

I mourn the move 25.Qh3 line being missed by White.
Going out for some air and a stiff walk to dilute the frustration. Pity anand can't afford the time to do the same.

I can see a win for Black coming on.

Here is the play through game up till the move I didn't care for.

25.Qh3 would have given White an elegant way to use that extra Knight.
He can't have my rose now. Well...maybe later.

An hour later and they are still playing silly bluggers.
It spoils the game. People in the auditorium must be getting very restive.
Not to say climbing the walls. I honestly cannot see why Anand passed up Topalov's signal of a threefold rep draw. He can't really expect to get a win out of this now.
Or is he wilfully trying to give Topalov a taste of his own medicine in being stubborn? Strange business which leaves a bit of a bitter taste after this strikingly inventive game.

Kudos to Topalov to make the best of Black two games in a row. In my view a draw as Black is worth 5/8 of the split point, which makes his one point behind much better than it looks.