Topalov Loses To Vallejo In León

  • SonofPearl
  • on 6/10/12, 12:01 PM.

Leon 25th Anniversary logo.jpgWhatever happened to Veselin Topalov?  Just over 2 years ago he was a strong challenger for the world chess championship, just losing out to Vishy Anand in an exciting match.

Since then the Bulgarian seems to have struggled to recapture anything like his previous form and has gradually slid down the chess rankings and out of the world's top 10.

Francisco Vallejo Pons is a strong player, but the Topalov of 2 years ago would surely have beaten him with ease.

Instead, the popular Spaniard beat Topalov in their six-game rapid match in León by a score of 3½-2½ taking advantage of some terrible blunders from his opponent.

The match consisted of 6 rapid games played over 3 days from 8-10 June. The time control was 45 minutes plus a 15 second increment.

The match results are below.  The official website is here.

Name  Nat  Elo   1  2  3  4  5  6  Pts
Vallejo Pons, Francisco  ESP  2697  ½  1  1  0  1  0  3½
Topalov, Veselin  BUL  2752  ½  0  0  1  0  1  2½


Veselin Topalov Francisco Vallejo Pons
veselin topalov-1.jpg Paco Vallejo Pons2.jpg


Games via TWIC.

6424 reads 23 comments
3 votes


  • 4 years ago

    FM djano

    Anyway the games as predictad where very entertaining and sharp!

    Don't forget that Veselin is married. Do You know this famous Rule: "If you get married it will cost You 50 Elo Rating Points, and if you get a baby then 100..." Cool 

    Here is interesting interview with GM V.Topalov from Tata Chess 2012

  • 4 years ago


    It's obvious, he got married!....relationships demand time, he isn't putting the hours in.

  • 4 years ago


    Whatever, it was an amazing match between two greats fighters on the board, I am so happy for Vallejo, I think this will be a great year for him :)

  • 4 years ago


    I hate to say I told you so, but... I told you so.

  • 4 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    While Topalov is certainly by far not at his best, he never used to be a good (by the standard of 2800+ rated GMs) rapid player anyway. I remember how he went all-in during the final game of the Topalov-Anand match since he believed he had no chances in the rapid tie-break whatsoever.

  • 4 years ago


    Hey, if nothing else, the games were lots of fun.

  • 4 years ago


    @spassky Thanx, but I already got that from SonofPearl. I missed Ba5+, so I thought that line would not be winning. 

    On Topalov: if people claim Carlsen's results in the Tal Memorial right now are below expectation because he's rusty after nog playing since januari, you can't expect Topalov to play great chess. I count 14 games from him last year:

    Plus, it's rapid. A classical match would have probably given a different outcome?

  • 4 years ago


    Maybe Topalov has lost motivation, I can't remember him playing any tournaments since the Candidates Matches last year, though I would expect him to play the Olympiad for Bulgaria.

    He has made a lot of money, is married now, and is pushing 40. Perhaps the man has had enough.

    Anand, on the other hand, I don't think has lost his motivation. I think he wants to see how many World Championship matches he can win and add to his ever-growing legacy. The only Champions I would put ahead of him right now are Kasparov, Karpov, Alekhine, Lasker, Steinitz, and maybe Botvinnik.

  • 4 years ago


    I think it was a good match...Tapolov is not my favorite player , but he is playing OK aggressive chess. The difficult manuevering position showed that he had not lost his touch.

    Valejo is more or less an Elite GM he can beat some of the best some of the time !

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago


    I think Vallejo deserves a little more respect, kudos to him

  • 4 years ago


    No matter what anybody says, Topalov is way over the hill now. Whether he can turn around and climb it again is another story, but this isn't the only recent event where he has underimpressed. It almost seems like the intense Anand-Topalov WCC Match destroyed both players' motivation. :(

    Oh well, at least we have Aronian, Carlsen, and Kramnik to still play the best chess, and a whole bunch of people to play almost-best chess. :P

  • 4 years ago


    To hotwax:

    I re=posted Game 3 below with a long forced sequence added after 32. Rg8+.  The point of the sacrifice should become pretty clear after you play through it.

  • 4 years ago


    Andre as you can see Topalov is still higher rated, two years ago he also had a much higer rating but he also played a lot stronger. 

  • 4 years ago


    The Topalov of 2 years ago would have "beaten [Vallejo Pons] with ease?"

    I'm not so sure about that, though Topalov would be the favorite.

    Ratings aren't everything. No matter how many reminders the chess world has given of that over the years (and especially recently), many fans still worship the rating list.

  • 4 years ago


    Bravo Paco!

  • 4 years ago


    Thanx! Ba5+ escaped me, after correctly calculating the entire line :s

    At least the beginning of my analysis (which is apparently not visible) was correct :) 

  • 4 years ago


    @ hotwax - the win is forced after 32...Kxg8 33. Qg1+ Kf8 34. Qg7+ Ke8 35. Qg8+ Kd7 36. Qxf7+ Kd8 37. Ba5+ 1-0

  • 4 years ago


    Can anyone enlighten me on the ending of game three? I've been analysing the rook sac a bit, but I can't seem to find a win for white, although black needs to be very careful.

    (I could be wrong of course...)

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