Topalov Beats Laznicka 4-2 in Friendly Match
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In a short, friendly match held in Nový Bor, Czech Republic Veselin Topalov defeated Viktor Laznicka with a 4-2 score. The Bulgarian won games 1, 4 and 6 and lost game 2. A second match took place at the same time in which Czech junior FM Tadeas Kriebel drew with veteran GM Oleg Romanishin.
A match between Czech Republic's number two grandmaster Viktor Laznicka and Bulgaria's number one Veselin Topalov took place 19-25 September in Nový Bor, Czech Republic. The time control was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment per move.
David Navara has had many opportunities to practice against elite players in matches, and it's nice to see that Viktor Laznicka, the world's number 66 at 2677, had a similar chance last week. Veselin Topalov, the number 10 in the world at 2769, was of course the big favourite. His play in this match was vintage Topalov, with a very dynamic opening approach and lots of exchange sacrifices. (Isn't it great that he's in the Candidates?)
Topalov started agressivelt in a topical line of the Vienna (his 9.Qc2 was a new idea). Actually Black was fine out of the opening, and the result was just because of a blunder.
Laznicka struck back immediately with the white pieces. In an English game, Topalov gave an exchange to start an attack on the enemy king, but with accurate play his opponent proved that it wasn't correct.
In the third game the same Vienna line was played, and Topalov deviated with the more standard 9.Ne5. The Bulgarian found a refinement over a typical exchange sacrifice by GM Arnold introduced earlier this year, and obtained a dangerous initiative. Laznicka also missed a chance for an advantage, though.
The fourth match game was a Nimzo/Queen's Indian hybrid where Laznicka played the rare move 5.Qb3. Amazingly, Topalov's 7...d5 seems to be a novelty and probably 9.dxc5 was critical. Later on Laznicka was doing well, but taking that bishop on c6 was too dangerous.
Game 5 was the least interesting of the match. In a Slav, an ending came on the board that was not very problematic for Black.
And so Laznicka needed a win in the last game to tie the match, but he didn't come close. In an Exchange QGD, Black was fine out of the opening, got the initiative and never let go. In the end, White's knight got trapped.
At the same venue, a second match took place in which Czech junior FM Tadeas Kriebel drew with veteran GM Oleg Romanishin.
This report was cross-posted from ChessVibes with permission.