WCC 2010-7: ‘Fire on Board’ fizzles to draw

Anand and Topalov have an epic battle in Game #7. Photo by Chessvibes.

Anand and Topalov have an epic battle in Game #7.
Photo © Chessvibes.

World Champion Viswanathan Anand and Challenger Veselin Topalov played what was arguably the most exciting game in the match. A game replete with theoretical complications and a perpetual ebb and flow, Topalov rolled out his famous preparation and stunned Anand with an exchange sacrifice after 11…Bd7 12.Bxa8 Qxa8. The key point was the queenside majority, a strong knight and play on the light squares. The champion spent a long time to sort through the complications and ended up an hour behind on the clock.

After 29…Qa4-c2! black mounts an impressive attack while a piece down. Anand was able to unravel his position and find the balance. The early exchange sacrifice was novel and Anand had to walk through a mine field.

During the ICC broadcast, GMs Gregory Kaidanov and Ronen Har-Zvi went back and forth with their assessments. It was clear that Anand walked a dangerous tightrope for the entire middlegame before unraveling and seeking chances to win. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov stated that Anand may have missed an opportunity to snare the full point with 42.Qa4! Nevertheless the game was complicated and it may have been a mutal moral victory. Topalov was able to catch Anand off guard and reveal his deep preparation while Anand showed that he has the resources to navigate through the mine fields. (See Game #7)

Topalov still remains behind a full point and with only five games remaining, he will have to take more chances. Perhaps there will be a surprise on tomorrow since Anand appears to be holding steady with the Slav. Game #8 will be pivotal. Will we see another “Fire on Board”? Tune in tomorrow!


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Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

3 Comments

  1. There is still some controversy as to whether Kasparov mentioned Qa4(!!). But this was the bloodiest game of the match so far. Looks like we have the makings of a nail biting finish to the match. Who is going to crack first?

  2. Well… one of the first references was to Garry Kasparov, but Sergey Shipov certainly gave the line as winning. I’m not sure about the annotations. I seem to remember a “!!” instead of “!”

    42. Qa4! Qd5+ (42… d2 43. Qc2+) 43. Kf1 Qe6 44. Qa2! Qd5 (44… Qc6 45. Qa1 Qd5 46. Qe1) 45. Qa6+ Kg7 46. Qa7+ Kg6 47. Qe3 Shipov

    These subtleties would be incredibly difficult to find.

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