The best from the middle.

The best from the middle.

VB84
GM VB84
May 8, 2010, 1:57 PM |
7

We are following a very attractive match! The games are fighting and nervous, unlike in some previous World championships. Aggressive Topalov’s play and the Sofia rule will undoubtedly increase the popularity of chess. In the middle of the match the opponents exchanged blows, having shown their strongest opening weapons. The fourth game could be called "the pearl by the Champion".

Anand - Topalov Sofia 2010 4th game. 

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Qc2 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 c6 9.a4 b5 

 

10.Na3! Earlier White preferred the position which appears after 10.axb5 axb5 11.Qg5 0-0 12.Qb5 but in games as Kramnik – Topalov 2006 and Leko – Kramnik 2008 Black had normal play.

 The further Anand’s play was irreproachable, and it's very difficult to say where Veselin made a mistake. 10...Bd7 11.Ne5 Nd5 12.e4 Nb4 13.0-0 0-0 14.Rfd1 Be8 15.d5 Qd6 16.Ng4 Qc5 17.Ne3 But I think the next moment is very important: 

 

 

 

 

Topalov played logical 17…N8a6?!, but then he couldn’t bring his knight back to the game. Another way deserves attention: 17…Nd3!? 18. dxc6 Nxc6 19.axb5 Nce5 20. Nec4 Nxc4 21.Qxd3 Nxa3 22.Qxa3 Qxb5, and though Black hasn't equalised yet he has more chances to do it than in the game.

18.dxc6 bxa4 19.Naxc4 Bxc6 20.Rac1



 

 

20...h6? Soon we will see that it’s not a useful move but, on the contrary, critical weakening of king’s position. Garry Kasparov, who watches this match closely, said that this move was the main and the last mistake in the game, despite chess programs suggest it. This circumstance once more shows us that Anand's play in this game can be called brilliant. 

21.Nd6 Qa7 22.Ng4 Rad8

 

 

 

 

 

 

23.Nxh6+!  A very spectacular combination played by Anand in a few minutes…

 23...gxh6 24.Qxh6 f6 25.e5!! - about the spectacular sacrifice, I meant this beautiful move: White sacrifices one more piece but his attack becomes decisive.

25...Bxg2 26.exf6 White has a threat: 27.Qg6+ and 28.f7, that’s why Black needs to give away their pieces.

26...Rxd6 27.Rxd6 Be4 The great finale could arise after: 27...Bd5 28.Qg6+ Kh8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29.Rc4!! Bxc4 30.Rd4! Qh7 31.Rh4 Qxh4 32.Qg7 mate  

 

 

 

 

28.Rxe6 Nd3 29.Rc2 Qh7 30.f7+ Qxf7 31.Rxe4 Qf5 32.Re7 1-0

Let's analyse another exciting game - the 7th game of the match.