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Veselin Topalov - Viswanathan Anand

Round 4
Grand Slam Final
Bilbao

05.09.2008

The second featured game today is between the World Champion Anand and the former WC Topalov. Veselin seems to be in very good form while Anand is probably more concerned about the forecoming match against Kramnik. Having in mind the uncompromising fighter the Bulgarian is we may expect him to try hard to use his White color in order to extend his lead. Nevertheless the Indian is a top class player and Topalov's task won't be an easy one if he plans to go on winning. Parallel to this game you can follow the commentary of Carlsen - Radjabov, the chess prodigy clash.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.d5 exd5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.O-O Be7 10.Rd1 Qc8 A very fashionable and topical gambit line in Queen's Indian Defense.

11.a3 (11.Qf5 is the most popular continuation, but for the moment Black seems to be holding, so Topalov goes for a rarer move.)

11... Nf6 (11... Nc7 is an option)

12.Bg5 ( Precise move. 12.Nc3 d5 13.Bg5 Nbd7 makes it easier for Black to defend.)

12... d5 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Nc3 Spending a lot of time, Anand decides that this move is obligatory.

14... Bxc3 15.bxc3 Judging by the speed Topalov is playing up to now, this all has to be in his book. Time: 1.24 1.01

15... Na6 The typical way Black develops his Knight in similar positions.

16.Nh4 g6 Letting the White Knight on 'f5' would be extremely dangerous, so Anand prefers to give back the pawn in order to complete his development.

17.Bxd5 Bxd5 18.Rxd5 O-O 19.Rad1 Veselin takes control over the 'd' file, that combined with the weakened position of the Black monarch makes his chances clearly preferable.

19... Nc7 20.Rd7 Ne6 21.Qe4 ( Defending from the 'Nd4' threat: 21.Qe4 Nd4 22.Qe7)

21... Qe8 ( Once again a standard square for the Black piece. Anand is playing seemingly right moves but his position is becoming very dangerous. Perhaps 21... c4 is a better alternative, disrupting White's coordination because of the ne6-c5 threat: 22.Qg4 Qc5 planning simplifications by Rd8)

22.Nf3 c4 ( Looking for some counterplay in case of 22... c4 23.Qxc4 Nc5 but what about 23.Qh4)

23.Qh4 Nc5 24.Re7 The first photos from the game Topalov - Anand are available in the Chessdom photo gallery Topalov is playing a great game while his opponent is already troubled by time: 1.00 0.18

24... Rd8 ( And this is the beginning of the end. 24... Rd8 25.Rf1 followed by Nf3-g5xf7 should by decisive.)

25.Rf1 Black resigned. What an inspired play by the Bulgarian. Of cause a great part of the game was following his analysis but the ease he defeated a World Champion with leaves great impression. Vesselin well deservedly keeps his leading position and is becoming the top contender for the tournament title. 1-0