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Understand The Position 27: “With No Fear”

GM Ján Markoš | November 30, 2011 – 18:336 Comments | 1,130 views
Understand The Position 27: “With No Fear”

Today’s example is from the actual world’s top chess. I will show you the game Topalov – Svidler, which was played on the first board of Bulgaria – Russia match during this year’s European Team Championship in Porto Carras.

Translated by: Dusan Turcer

After the opening; the game was played in the nature of the Ruy Lopez; the following complicated middle game arose on the board:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Ne7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 Re8 10.a3 h6 11.Nbd2 Bc5 12.c3 Bb6 13.Ba2 d6 14.Nf1 d5 15.exd5 Nxd5 16.Qb3 Na5 17.Qc2 Qd6 18.b4 Nc6 19.Ng3 Rad8 20.Ne4 Qg6

Who is better? It seems that Black is better developed and has better control of the center. Finally, his e5-pawn controls the center better than white d3-pawn. Black bishops oriented towards the opponent’s king have a very strong potential. In general, according to the position of the pieces on the board, it seems that Black has the best chances in the attack on the white king.

What are the trumps of White? Well, at first, he has a strong Spanish bishop on a2. Furthermore, Ne4 controls the position in the centre very well. It could be demonstrated by the line 21.Nc5? Bxc5 22.bxc5 Nf6; after Ne4 has disappeared from the board, the central position of White is falling apart. However, the control of the strong point c5 may be beneficial in the future.

I personally like the Black’s position a bit more; engines consider it approximately balanced.

It is relatively hard to find the continuation for White. He would like to finish a development of Bc1, but 21.Bd2 is relatively decent; it is more likely a wrap up move rather than a development. A development of a bishop to some better square, namely to e3, however, comes along with other positional concessions – with the exchange on d5. White would have to play 21.Bxd5 Rxd5 22.Be3. This continuation is relatively safe, but White can hardly hope for any kind of advantage here. What else remains to move? As mentioned above, White’s play is based on Ba2 and Ne4. Is it possible to support these key pieces somehow?

At first sight, Topalov played very brave, kamikaze move. He pushed 21.g4!. Is it at all possible to move the pawns in front of the king this way, when all the pieces are aiming on him?

It is, as it seems. It is impossible to undermine the g4-pawn immediately. After 21…h5 22.Nh4 Qh7 23.Ng5 Qh8 the position of the black queen looks really funny. And it is exactly the piece that White wants to be constrained by this pawn advance. In the long-term it also prevents the move …f7-f5, which would lure away the important Ne4 from his position. And thirdly, it prepares a typical Spanish maneuver Nf3-h4-f5.

After 21…Nf6 22.Nh4 Qh7 23.Nf5 Qg6 24.Nh4 Qh7 25.Qe2 Ne7 26.Qf3 Nxe4 27.dxe4 White gradually took over the initiative and won in the rook endgame. Bulgarians defeated Russians and at the time of creation of this article, they were sovereign leaders of the European Championship.

Also on the chessboard the courage is profitable, if it’s supported by a moderate consideration. Veselin Topalov has always been full of courage…

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Comments (6)


    no risk no gain…

    • Ahmed says:

      Agreed, the rstlaionehip with Danailov doesn’t seem totally healthy! On the other hand Topalov’s had incredible success and Salamanca does seem like a very pleasant place to live, so it’s not all bad.


    no risk no gain that the game
    siswo prasojo ar

    • Yupin says:

      Isn’t it a bit sad that Topalov moves to a town in a dfenerift country, just because it’s convenient for his manager’s wife? Shows how socially isolated he is, and dependent on Danailov. Makes you want to forgive the more prickly aspects of his personality.

      • Stoian says:

        I think there are 2 categories of pepole in this forum-first one who had understood the problem and second one who haven’t understand it .lets explain it once againthe problem statement is a bit confusing- we don’t have to find the floor number,we had to find the number of tries in which this floor can be found ..lets assume we take n tries i.e. we start at nth floor.If it breaks we had find the solution in one try ,if it doesn’t break we will throw the egg from n+(n-1) floor.Again if it breaks,it means the culprit floor is between nth and 2nth-1 floor so in worst case scenario we would be able to find that floor in (2n-1)-(n-1) = n-2 attempts.So total attempts are 2 + (n-2)=n attempts which we had already assumed.We would continue this till we reach the top floor.So the equation we will get is n+(n-1)+(n-2)+ + 2+1 > 100n(n+1)/2>100which gives n>13 or n = 14 attempts .If there would have been 1000 floors then same equation would have been used.Hope this helps.

        • Anthony says:

          This design is sletler! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

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