"Portrait of a chess player" – V.Topalov
The article deals with the creativity of one of the strongest and brightest grand masters of our time – Veselin Topalov.
A sphere, where the Bulgarian chess player is on firm ground, are non-standard positions that require maximum of calculating ability and ingenuity of both players .
Characteristic features of his stile that mark him out from the others elite chess players:
- readiness for material sacrifices for initiative, even in disputable cases, when it is connected with some serious risk.
- excellent mastering the initiative, ability to carry out tempo attack.
- easy attitude to his king's safety, which can be given up by the Bulgarian GM for the sake of some prudentials.
- ability to “give a position a new twist”, to find unexpected chances in it, frequently even in critical situations.
- ability to find in a position strategical unconventional and absolutely unobvious resources.
The most remarkable feature of Veselin Topalov in sport respects is the ability to reach a fantastic concentration level during the game. That helps him to weight the scales on his behalf even in critical situations, and even to undertake extremely risky continuations that verge on bluff.
It is the author's opinion that Topalov by his stile approaches most closely among his contemporaries to Garry Kasparov and among the great chess players of the past – to Alexander Alekhine.
There were several peaks in the career of Veselin Topalov.
The first one was in the middle of nineties, when in the age of 20 years old Topalov managed to win several super tournaments.
The second one was the candidate's tournament in Dortmund-2002, where Topalov reached the final, in which he was defeated by peter Leko.
And the last one for the present was the FIDE championship in 2004, where he looked as an obvious favourite judging from his play until the semi-final match with Rustam Kasimdzhanov.
In recent years Topalov rightly counts on the tournaments of the word champions circle, where his purely chess and sport features show themselves most successfully, but can't take the last hurdle in elimination matches up till now.
However the Bulgarian GM, who is not 30 years old yet, has the world before him.