Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Melody Amber, Round 2

Today's blunder du jour is brought to you courtesy of perennial 2700 and Najdorf specialist Boris Gelfand.

In this position, many moves into a hard-fought, see-sawing Najdorf Sicilian, Gelfand has the worst of it against Peter Svidler. Nevertheless, with 40...Nc3+, Black should have good drawing chances after 41.Bxc3 Rxc3 42.Rg2, due to the opposite colored bishops and limited material. Instead, Gelfand forgot where at least one of the pieces were and played 40...Rb4+??. Unfortunately for Black, Svidler remembered, played 41.Bxb4, and Gelfand resigned.

For cruelly dispatching Garry Kasparov to the Elysian fields a week and a half ago, Caissa has apparently cursed Veselin Topalov. In the wake of his tie for first in Linares, Topalov is coming out of the gates here in a tie for last place. His latest tragedy comes at the hands of the leader, Viswanathan Anand (4-0!), but the wound may really have been self-inflicted.

Even after 41 moves of their rapid game, the characteristic outline of the Berlin Defense is still visible. (Scoffers, note: if even the ever-fighting Topalov is playing the Berlin - and gets an advantage with it against Anand - it's not some sort of limp beg-one's-opponent-for-a-draw opening.) Topalov has had everything go more or less according to the ideal recipe thus far, but because the Black king is stuck on the a-file I think the position is drawn. Let's see what happens:

42.Be1 is a good move, ensuring that the Black king stays put. 42...Bd8 (with the idea that if the Be1 moves, either the Black bishop gets to h4 and then g3, or else the Black king might start thinking of escape via b4) 43.Nd1 Ka3 (the Black king can't go out the door, but at least it can stand in the entryway) 44.Nb2 Be7 45.Bc3 Now, whether unaware of what White was up to, in too much time trouble to realize that there was a problem, or aware but unable to do anything, Topalov blundered with 45...Bf8? (45...Ka2! gives Black the defensive tempo he needs to hold, as 46.Nd3 Bxc4 and White doesn't have time to play 47.Bb2 because of 47...Bxd3+), and after 46.Nd3! Topalov was forced to resign, as there is no defense to 47.Bb2(+) and 48.Nc1# - 1-0

Round 2 Summary:


Ivanchuk-Pons 1-0
Shirov-Kramnik 0-1
Topalov-Anand 0-1
Svidler-Gelfand 1-0
van Wely-Bareev 1/2-1/2
Leko-Morozevich 1-0


Vallejo-Ivanchuk 1/2-1/2
Kramnik-Shirov 1/2-1/2
Anand-Topalov 1-0
Gelfand-Svidler 0-1
Bareev-van Wely 1-0
Morozevich-Leko 1/2-1/2



Anand, Kramnik, Svidler 2
Bareev, Ivanchuk, Leko, Morozevich, Vallejo 1
Gelfand, van Wely .5
Shirov, Topalov 0


Anand 2
Bareev, Ivanchuk, Svidler 1.5
Leko, Morozevich, Vallejo 1
Gelfand, Kramnik, Shirov, Topalov, van Wely .5


Anand 4
Svidler 3.5
Bareev, Ivanchuk, Kramnik 2.5
Leko, Morozevich, Vallejo 2
Gelfand, van Wely 1
Shirov, Topalov .5


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