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.
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!