News

M-Tel R5: Topalov beats Ivanchuk, now shared 1st

PeterDoggers
| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Round 5 in SofiaDespite a very quick draw between Wang Yue and Carlsen, the fifth round of the M-Tel Masters in Sofia was arguably the best so far. Two fantastic 6.Bg5 Najdorfs offered lots of excitement with Shirov-Dominguez eventually ending in a draw and Topalov beating Ivanchuk with Black, after the Ukrainian didn't go for perpetual check in heavy timetrouble. At half-time, Carlsen, Shirov and Topalov share the lead with 3/5.

The 5th M-Tel Masters takes place May 12th to 23rd in a glass pavilion on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov in Sofia, Bulgaria. It's a six-player double round-robin with Carlsen, Dominguez, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Topalov and Wang Yue playing. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves per player and 60 minutes per player till the end of the game. "Sofia rules" will again be used, so draw offers can be made only through the chief arbiter in the case of a threefold repetition, perpetual check or a theoretically draw position.

Round 5

Put Ivanchuk or Shirov behind the White pieces of a 6.Bg5 Najdorf and you know you will get a great game. Get both of them in the same round, and you'll have trouble chosing which board to look at for the rest of the afternoon!

Yesterday Kasparov called his play "spectacular" and today Ivanchuk was stealing the show once again, coming with the typical Nxe6 sac in the Sicilian and then following up with the blow 25.Rxf8!. At some point Topalov's defence mainly consisted of executing forced moves and as his king was stuck in the center anyway, he duly started a kingside attack himself. In timetrouble Ivanchuk should have gone for perpetual check, but instead he took Topalov's bishop, missing a very nasty pawn check that decided the game in Black's favour.

It takes two to tango and it must be said that Topalov's cool attitude, by playing several moves quite quickly, thereby increasing the pressure on the opponent, was impressive as well. This way he won his match against Kamsky, and today he fought himself back to shared first place in the standings.

In the same opening variation, Shirov was also clearly in his element. As if they had made a deal before the game, both Topalov and Dominguez went for the move 10...h6, which isn't the most popular choice against either 10.Bd3 or 10.g4. With a positional pawn sacrifice Shirov got a strong initiative that didn't stop when the queens were exchanged. His best chance for a win was probably at move 26.

Oh, and then there was also Carlsen-Wang Yue. A draw.

Game viewer

(Click here for more info on the new game viewer.) Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. Click on the arrow under the board just once, then the arrow keys of your keyboard also work.





[TABLE=717] [TABLE=722]

Round 5 in Sofia

First escaping a bombardment of piece sacrifices, then several perpetuals, and finally winning the queen ending - in another trademark comeback, Topalov fights back to shared first place...



Round 5 in Sofia

...while poor Ivanchuk keeps wondering why all this is happening...



Round 5 in Sofia

...no caption needed



Round 5 in Sofia

In another 6.Bg5 Najdorf, Shirov did take the draw when it was there...



Round 5 in Sofia

...and so Dominguez escaped as well



Round 5 in Sofia

On a semi-rest day, Wang Yue and Carlsen could join the spectators...



Round 5 in Sofia

...to watch a great show. (But no, the women in Sofia don't seem to like chess that much)



Links

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

Email: peter@chess.com FOR SUPPORT PLEASE USE chess.com/support!
Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

More from PeterDoggers
New Power Generation Shows Itself At Sharjah Masters

New Power Generation Shows Itself At Sharjah Masters

14-Year-Old Lu Miaoyi Wins Chinese Women's Championship; Wang Yue Takes Open

14-Year-Old Lu Miaoyi Wins Chinese Women's Championship; Wang Yue Takes Open