Veselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand begin the 2010 World Championship. Photo © ChessVibes.
The match was finally underway. Fans and pundits wondered what Veselin Topalov would play in the first encounter against Viswanathan Anand… 1.e4, 1.d4 or 1.Nf3. The Bulgarian played 1.d4 and the World Champion offered the Grunfeld. What happened next was a tremendous shock. Topalov sacrificed a pawn for attacking chances. With black pieces underdeveloped, white prepared an onslaught with 18. f5 Qe5 19. Nf4 g5 20. Nh5+ Kg8 21. h4 h6 22. hxg5 hxg5 23. Rf3. There were many comments at the ICC on the moves 23…Bd7 and 23…Bb7. Clearly the latter move lost immediately.
When Anand played 23…Kf7? the boards lit up as the engines screamed for 24.Nxf6! There were various evaluations given, but one thing for sure was that Anand was in trouble. Certainly on both 24…Qxf6 and 24…Kxf6, white would have a lightening attack with 25.Rc7+ and 25.Rh3 respectively. Anand opted for the latter and the game concluded after 25. Rh3 Rg8 26. Rh6+ Kf7 27. Rh7+ Ke8 28. Rcc7 Kd8 29. Bb5 Qxe4 30. Rxc8+! and Anand resigned before suffering massive losses. (See Game #1)
Video © ChessVibes.