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Topolov-Anand, Game 8

OK, I’ll admit it. I got nothin’…

I’ve looked at this game multiple times and even had Rybka3 analyze it. If you were to put a gun to my head and demand that I annotate this game, you may as well save time and just squeeze the trigger. I have no idea what was going on in the heads of the players in this one. Mine almost exploded trying to figure this game out.

I do find it interesting, though, that the game went seventeen full moves before leaving “book”. Another argument for Chess 960? I’ll leave it to the 960 fans and foes to duke that one out themselves.

Topalov,V (2805) – Anand,V (2787) [D17]
WCh Sofia BUL (8), 04.05.2010
[Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3 c5 8.e4 Bg6 9.Be3 cxd4 10.Qxd4 Qxd4 11.Bxd4 Nfd7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7
13.Bxc4 Rc8 14.Bb5 a6 15.Bxd7+ Kxd7 16.Ke2 f6 17.Rhd1 Ke8 last book move 18.a5=

[0.00 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 18.Rac1 Be7 19.a5 Kf8 20.Na4 Rxc1 +/=  0.47/16 ]

18…Be7 +/=

[0.47 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 18…Bb4 19.Rac1 Bxa5 20.Na4 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Kf7 22.Bb6 Bxb6 23.Nxb6 Re8 24.b4 Re7 25.Nc8 Rd7
26.Nb6 Rd4 27.Rc7+ Ke8 28.Rxg7 Rxb4 29.Rxb7 Rb2+ 30.Ke3 Rxg2 31.Nd7=  0.00/16 ]

19.Bb6 Rf8 20.Rac1 f5 21.e5 Bg5 22.Be3 f4±

[0.92 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 22…Bxe3 23.Kxe3 f4+ 24.Kd4 Ke7 25.Ne4 Bxe4 26.Kxe4 g5 27.h4 gxh4 28.Rh1 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 Rg8
30.Rc2 Kd7 31.Kxf4 Rg7 32.Rd2+ Ke7 33.b3 Rg3 +/=  0.38/17 ]

23.Ne4 Rxc1 24.Nd6+ Kd7 25.Bxc1 Kc6 26.Bd2 Be7 27.Rc1+ Kd7 28.Bc3 +/=

[0.40 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 28.Bb4 Bxd6 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Rxd6+ Kc7 31.Rxe6 Re8 32.Rxe8 Bxe8 33.Kd3 Kd7 34.Ke4 Ke6 35.Kxf4
Bb5 36.Ke4 Bf1 37.g3±  0.89/17 ]

28…Bxd6 29.Rd1 Bf5 30.h4 g6±

[0.93 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 30…Kc7 31.Rxd6 Rd8 32.Rxd8 Kxd8 33.Bd2 Kc7 34.Bxf4 b6 35.b4 bxa5 36.bxa5 Kc6 37.Bd2 Kd5 38.Ke3
Bc2 39.g4 Bb3 40.Bb4 Bc4 +/=  0.43/18 ]

31.Rxd6+ Kc8 32.Bd2 Rd8 33.Bxf4 Rxd6 34.exd6 Kd7 35.Ke3 Bc2±

[1.30 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 35…e5 36.Bxe5 Ke6 37.Kd4 Bc2 38.Bf4 Ba4 39.Kc5 Kd7 40.Kb6 Bc6 41.Be5 Bd5 42.Kc5 Bb3 43.Bh2
Ba4±  0.93/22 ]

36.Kd4 Ke8 37.Ke5 Kf7 38.Be3 Ba4 39.Kf4 Bb5 40.Bc5±

[0.83 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 40.Kg5 e5 41.Kh6 Ke6 42.Bc5 Bd3 43.g3 g5 44.hxg5 Kd7 45.f4 exf4 46.gxf4 Ke6 47.Kg7 Bg6 48.b4 Bd3
49.d7 Kxd7 50.Kf6±  1.21/18 ]

40…Kf6 41.Bd4+ Kf7+-

[1.62 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 41…e5+ 42.Bxe5+ Ke6 43.Bc3 Bf1 44.g3 Be2 45.Bb4 Kd7 46.Bc5 Bd1 47.Ke4 Ke6 48.f4 Bg4 49.Kd4 Bf5
50.Bb4 Bc2 51.Kc5±  0.83/23 ]

42.Kg5 Bc6 43.Kh6 Kg8 44.h5±

[1.18 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 44.Be5 Bb5 45.g4 Be8 46.f4 Bc6 47.Bd4 Bd7 48.Bb6 Kf7 49.g5 e5 50.fxe5 Kg8 51.Bd4+-  1.66/20 ]
44…Be8 45.Kg5 Kf7

Position after 45...Kf7


[0.00 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 46.hxg6+ hxg6 47.Bf6±  1.08/21 ;
Fritz 12: 46.hxg6+ hxg6 47.Kf4 Bb5 48.Ke5 Bc6 49.Bc5 Bd7 50.Be3 Bb5 51.Bb6 Bc6 52.Bf2 Bd7 53.b3 Bc6 54.Bh4 Ke8 55.Kxe6 Bd7+
56.Ke5 Bf5 57.Bf6 Bc2 58.b4 Kd7 59.Bg5 Bd3 60.Bf4 Ke8  1.83/33 ]

46…Kg8 47.Bc5±

[0.77 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 47.g4 gxh5 48.gxh5 Bb5 49.f4 Bc6 50.b3 Bd7 51.Bb6 Bc6 52.Be3 Be8 53.Bc5±  1.18/23 ]

47…gxh5 48.Kg5 Kg7 49.Bd4+ Kf7 50.Be5 h4 51.Kxh4 Kg6 52.Kg4 Bb5 53.Kf4 Kf7 54.Kg5 Bc6+-

[1.74 Rybka 3 Dynamic 1-cpu: 54…Ke8 55.Kh6 Bd3 56.Bh2 Kd7 57.Kg7 Bc2 58.g4 Bg6 59.g5 Bd3 60.Kf6±  0.73/22 ]

55.Kh6 Kg8 56.g4 1-0

Note that immediately after the diagram I also manually inserted some analysis from Fritz12. I let Fritz run a fair bit longer (30+ plies total) than Rybka, and Fritz was also hitting into the Nalimov tablebases before I stopped it. Both engines agree on the initial move but then vary on the followup. This is one of those interesting games in which chess engines have the potential to obscure more than they illuminate. Both engines show an advantage to White, but while this may be true in the strict numerical “bean counter” worldview of chess computers, the master (human) commentary I’ve seen suggest that Anand should have been able to hold a draw if not for some unfortunate move choices after White’s 46th. And both engines agree that 46. Kh6 wasn’t the worst move — it was the next-to-worst move.

So why couldn’t Anand hold the draw? What happened? Fatigue? Overconfidence? Plain old-fashioned brain fart? It’s hard to say. I guess we’ll get clues from the remaining four games in the match.

Either way, I’m no one to judge. As I said at the top: I got nothin’…

Got Nalimov? ChessCentral offers the Nalimov Endgame Tablebases on DVD for play and analysis purposes.

Have fun! — Steve


One Response

  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

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    Christian, iwspo.net

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