Anand's Lasker Defence against Topalov

Anand's Lasker Defence against Topalov‎

GM thamizhan
13 | Opening Theory

by GM Magesh and GM Arun

This week we shall see The Queen's Gambit Declined - Lasker Defence used by the reigning World Champion Vishy Anand against former World Champion Veselin Topalov. As you may know, Anand used this solid system in his final game in the World Chess Championship match against Topalov. Anand, who was mainly using his Slav and Grunfeld defence during the match, suddenly came out with the Lasker system, which took Topalov by surprise.  Anand managed to snatch a full point to defend his WC title, even though his initial intention was to safely secure a draw and fight in the rapid match.

The interesting thing here is that Anand used this system again with Topalov five months later, in the Pearl Spring tournament - and came out successful again. Remember Anand's Slav Defence, which he used twice against Vladimir Kramnik in his world championship match in 2008?  There, he chose highly complicated variations against a positional master like Kramnik, but when he had to play against an aggressive player like Topalov he decided to use the solid QGD response. Both worked out well for Anand and infact gave him the WC title.

Our first game is the World Championship game:


White obviously over-stretched and lost the game due to the match circumstances. But it was a fantastic opening choice and a well-deserved victory for Anand. 


Anand made it feel so easy for Black. In the Lasker defence after 5. ... Ne4, basically Black wants to exchange pieces in order to reduce the pressure at the cost of development. But once the development is over, the position is easier to play for Black and there is no clear-cut way for White to prove his advantage.

We recommend the World Champion's choice to the readers who like to play safe and solid positions against both aggressive and positional players!!
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