PEARL OF DAY №7: SAVIELLY, YOU ARE NOT RIGHT!
...And what is the most awful, these examples are catching. Ashot Anastasian is surely a composed and easy-tempered person, but looking at Topalov, he gets 3,5 points out of 4 in the beginning of the Karabakh supertournament. Of course, he hasn't played with Ivanchuk, Aronian, Dreev yet, but we invigorated ourselves with these arguments in San Luis, and still have got no intrigues. Borrowing the pop-star eloquence, Veselin did it again (one can add «oops» at will). I suggest the following thing: if it goes on like that and Veselin wins in advance, then the symbolic performance should be organized. For example, before the start of one of the last rounds Aruna, Firuza, Tara, Sofia (or Arshak), Sasha Motylev, Volodya Barsky, Mihail Marin must throw white towels to Veselin and his assistants from corners of the hall. Women attending will increase the effect by waving the caps.
On one hand, it would be bad if the interest to the tournament dies out completely, on the other hand it will be a pity if something happens to Topalov and he does not take the first prize after the first half phenomenon. Theoretically it is possible; he has not secured even a 50% score yet. In one of his reviews Sergey Shipov compared Veselin with athletics «rabbit» that breaks away (but as a matter of fact some more predatory animals come to his mind by the end of the first half). And I will compare him with the same fauna representative that works on a more progressive battery than its old-fashioned brothers. The man makes more than 60 moves per game on average! I think it is not out of place to praise him once more for his fantastic ability to find chances to continue the struggle and for his skill not to pay attention to his own mistakes and omissions.
The 7th round game with Kasimdzhanov is very typical. While analyzing it, I remembered a story about the chess player of absolutely different quality that suits the situation very nice. Once somebody lost a game to Andrei Kharitonov and said in temper, «White had nothing!» And Andrei answered in his typical way, «And nothing is needed». Topalov needs almost nothing to play for a win. He needs even less then Tal. There was an open file on the board, but he let the opponent have it and went on to conquer another one on the opposite wing. And how elegantly white queen was moving through the board! Then a rook ending arose. It was the third one in a row for Topalov, and although in the games with Svidler and Polgar the assessment was clear from the very beginning, we cannot ignore the fact that Veselin got three points in these endings. I would also note that in the 7th round there were three rook endings, and none of them ended in a draw! Maybe something should be improved in Tartakower? The final White's king campaign was conducted in accordance with Veselin's style. He tried to force his way through the queenside, did not manage to, found a path on the kingside, lost almost all fighting units and, having only one pawn left, forced the opponent to capitulate. Like Paganini, on one string! Grandly! I also examined Topalov-Adams game with annotations by S. Shipov more closely and was inspired by it more than previously. It is also a masterly work. And if we take Veselin's play in San Luis in gold equivalent, then there will be the same amount of gold as on Safin's neck.
You can study the Libyan semi-final sequel in the Sergey's annotations, and we will acknowledge Morozevich-Anand game as a pearl of the day. In other games of the round tailenders did not solve problems that arose after the opening. Topalov needed only elementary accuracy in converting, and Svidler produced a brilliant return of the extra exchange, and in the future he will undoubtedly get into the ending textbooks as a skilled transformer. Alexander made everyone remember the Kremlin-95, when he not just defeated Anand, but also won spectators' hearts with inspired cascade of sacrifices. Only celestial can treat another celestial like that. The story has repeated itself in 10 years.
I found the secret of Morozevich's actions in this game and I will not pay much attention to the mathematic aspect. The game result was decided not by variations, but by the right choice of the idea. Everyone knows the main characteristic of genius. So let us have a simple reasoning. Who was the only one to beat Anand in San Luis? And how did he manage to do it? Maybe it was the tournament leader Topalov, who got two extra pawns in the ending? No, it was not him, and this is not that advantage we are interested in. Looking through the other versions, we inevitably find Rustam Kasimdzhanov.
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Ґf5 4.¤f3. Most likely, the opponent's opening choice was unexpected for Vishy. Sasha plays 3.f3 often, and in the variation with 3.е5 he can play also 4.c4, or 4.f4, or variations beginning with the g2-g4 move, but this relatively quiet developing system had almost never occurred in his practice.
4...e6 5.Ґe2 ¤e7 6.¤bd2 h6 7.0-0 ¤d7 8.c3 a6 9.¤b3 ¦c8 10.¤h4 Ґh7 11.f4 c5. Vladimir Barsky imparted competent opinion from San Luis: probably, one did not have to prepare this thematic advance that long. And now be attentive!
The next diagram is from Kasimdzhanov-Anand game.
Here Rustam placed the bishop on h5. When one has a good recipe, one should use it. New bicycles cannot be patented for a long time now. Morozevich played
12.Ґh5! A universal mean number one! White wants to make a hole in opponent's defense by f4-f5. Vishy builds a barrier.
12...¤f5 13.¤xf5 Ґxf5 14.Ґe3. The position is not ready for 14.g4?! Ґe4 15.f5 g6.
14...g6 15.Ґe2 h5. Black banishes irresponsible bishop and builds a powerful fort on the kingside. Then White transfers his attention to other parts of the board.
16.dxc5 ¤xc5 17.¤d4 Ґe4 18.a4 h4. A second crucial moment.
You already guess where the second diagram is from.
Rustam moves a pawn to a5, and although I was the first one to criticize him, it does not matter, the result surpassed all expectations. At least it did not disappoint them. So, straight ahead without doubt, Sasha!
19.a5 h3 20.g3 Ґg2 21.¦f2. Maybe, one could have played 21.¦e1, but the exchange sacrifice looked too tempting. He could not resist it.
21...¤e4 22.¦xg2 hxg2 23.ўxg2 Ґc5 24.Ґd3 Јd7 25.Јf3.
And this is really a critical position. One should clearly understand that Anand takes into account not only objective assessment of the position on board, but also the situation in a tournament. To get at least a slight chance to catch up with Topalov, one has to risk. And Vishy resolved to play sharp. Soon a situation will arise, where all the pieces are hanging, and the opponents puzzle over the problem concerning the right order of captures and checks before every move. Possibly, even the introduction turned out to be unsuccessful.
25...Ґxd4. In case of immediate 25...f5 26.exf6 e5 not good is 27.fxe5 Јh3+ 28.ўg1 Јxh2+ 29.ўf1 Ґxd4 30.cxd4 ¤xg3+ 31.ўe1 Јh1+ 32.Јxh1 ¦xh1+ 33.ўf2 ¦xa1 34.ўxg3 (in case of 34.Ґxg6+ ўd7 35.ўxg3 ¦g8 White loses the bishop also) 34...ўf7, and two exchanges – too great a handicap.
27.Ґxe4 is correct, and in 27...Јh3+ 28.ўf2 dxe4 29.Јxe4 Јxh2+ 30.ўf3 Јh5+ variation the e3-square is occupied by bishop. In case of 31.g4 Јh3+ 32.ўe2 Ґxd4 33.cxd4 (33.Ґxd4 Јxg4+) 33...Јh2+ (33...Јxg4+?! 34.ўd3) 34.Ґf2 Јxf4 35.Јxe5+ Јxe5+ 36.dxe5 ¦c2+ the ending is absolutely different from one in the game. I will notice that generally Black's idea does not claim an advantage: here again after the check from h5 White can retreat with the king instead of g3-g4, forcing the opponent to make a perpetual check.
26.Ґxd4 f5 27.exf6 e5 28.Ґxe4. A nice picture. Black's threats are ephemeral, white king finds a safe refuge, and a crowd of pawns for the exchange provides considerable advantage.
28...Јh3+. 8...dxe4 29.Јxe4 Јh3+ 30.ўf3 Јh5+ 31.ўe3 loses. In case of 28...exd4 29.Ґxg6+ ўd8 both computer 30.Јe2 and human 30.h4 are possible.
29.ўf2 Јxh2+ 30.Јg2 exd4 31.Ґxg6+ ўf8. Or 31...ўd8 32.¦d1 dxc3 33.¦xd5+ ўc7 34.Јxh2 ¦xh2+ 35.ўg1, and if 35...c2, then 36.¦c5+ ўb8 37.¦xc8+ ўxc8 38.Ґxc2.
Alexander wanted 33.¦e5!?, but finally played safer, not to be whipping the cat, if troubles because of the d3-pawn arise.
33.Ґxd3 ¦c6. Exchanging rooks by 33...¦e8 deserved attention. Anand resolves to the variation, in which White's vanguard pawn is captured, but others move up from the rear, and it turns out that Black lacks rooks to meet them.
34.¦e5 ¦d6 35.ўf3 Јxg2+ 36.ўxg2 ¦h6 37.g4 ¦hxf6 38.f5 ¦f7 39.ўg3 b5 40.axb6 ¦xb6 41.g5.
41...¦d7 42.f6 d4. 43.g6 ¦d8 44.¦h5 ўg8 45.¦h7 wins in reply to 42...¦xb2. And if 42...ўf7, then 43.¦f5!, and the white pawn finally gets to g6.
43.Ґg6 ¦b8 44.cxd4 ¦xd4 45.¦e7 ¦db4. There is no back rank mate, and one even cannot make enough back rank checks – 45...¦b3+ 46.ўf2 ¦f4+ 47.ўe2 or 46...¦d2+ 47.ўe1. And in case of 45...¦d5 46.ўg4 ¦d4+ 47.ўh5 ¦d2 48.ўh6 ¦h2+ 49.Ґh5 white king is not seen behind the bishop's back.
46.¦f7+ ўg8 47.¦g7+ ўh8.
48.Ґf7! Bishop has nothing more to do on this square, and it suits all right rook or pawn.
48...¦d4. After 48...¦xb2 49.g6 inappropriately alive a6-pawn prevents black rooks from going crazy.
49.¦g6 ¦d3+ 50.ўg4. Several checks more, and the king will meet one of the black rooks. That is why Anand resigned.