Sunday, January 14, 2007

Corus 2007
Here's Topalov's win over Van Wely in Round Two, Sicilian Najdorf. I must say that this game is a good example of the Sicilian game wherein black attacks on the queenside and white attacks on the kingside. Who gets there the " fastest with the mostest " is the winner.
Topalov allowed Van Wely to play 33.. Ra2, and I asked myself why? The rook check on a1 is mate, and white better have something in mind to prevent it. I couldn't see anything on the 8th rank that would work for white because of the rook on b8. The rook on a2 is not free. If white captured the rook with 34. Ka2, then 34... Ra8+ leads to the same mate. What to do?
Evidently, there is an illusion at work here, and probably one of the reasons why masters are masters and people like me are not. White playing 34. Qd3 gets him out of the mating net but this is not the knockout punch that will put black away since 34... Ra1+ keeps black in the game. Topalov played 34. Qg8+, Ke7 and then 35. Ka2! Now the rook is free because the check on a8 is no longer possible, and that's what the illusion was. The queen is also attacking the black rook in the same way that the rook is attacking the queen. So, Van Wely resigned here because after 35... Rg8 36. Bg8 white is a rook up.


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