WCC 2010-8: Topalov levels match at 4-4!

2010 World Chess Championship... Topalov (left) vs. Anand (right)

The body language tells all… Topalov will be pressing and Anand will be defending. Game #8 had its twists and turns but certainly not reminiscent of Game #7. Photo © ChessVibes.

If it is not clear that the momentum shifted after Game #7, then it should be absolutely clear that Veselin Topalov has it now. In Game #8, Topalov squeezed an improbable win out of opposite colored bishop ending leveling the match at 4-4.

The momentum has been building for Topalov for the past three games and his ambitions were finally rewarded when Anand blundered with 54…Bc6? This is potentially a damaging loss for Anand who has allowed Topalov to snatch the initiative in the match.

Final position in Game #8. After Anand blundered with 54…Bc6?? Topalov set up a winning zugzwang manuever starting with 56.g4! Anand had seen enough and resigned.

Anand, on the other hand, has played unenterprising chess with black and seemingly was looking to hold with black. None of his black games have shown any imagination as his Slavs have resulted in a huddled mess of pieces that are hard to untangle. In the previous Slavs, he has struggled to find freedom for his pieces, but has been able to equalize. In his Game #8, Anand made some strategic mistakes and Topalov pounced on the opportunitiy to seize the point.

This match has had an ebb and flow with Topalov bursting out the gate with a crushing win in Game #1 and then Anand dominating in Games 2-5. Topalov has controlled affairs in Games 6-8. With four games left, chess fans are wondering if we will see a different opening as all games have started with 1.d4. Anand will have a rest day to rethink his strategy and whether he will stick with his Catalan.


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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.

6 Comments

  1. Entertaining Chess Match , Um surprised Topy is not down 3 points by now since he hasnt shown anything with Black, so it seems Vishy still has the ” Advantage with Black”, going into the Final Four!

  2. A lot of questions will be asked not just about the game and Anand’s drawing chances but also about his strategy. Its really tough to repeat openings and face improvements. Topalov kept pressing. It takes composure to suffer for half a point without any active possibilities in shight for a long time.
    Good game by Topalov even though I support Anand.However with the rest day and Anand’s for with the white pieces there is much more to come in the match. Not one game has been won with black.
    Anand may have divided the match into quarters in terms of his strategy.Who knows whether he will keep the same weapons or go for a change. Each time he repeats Topalov hows what he learned. If he shifts then Topalov has to adjust. However its critical so Anand must be confident in his choice of weapons.Topalov is know to finish events quite well. Anand in a match is a different proposition with such vast experience.

  3. This “four-game match” will definitely show who is the toughest and has the best match strategy. I also wonder why Anand is repeating his opening with both colors. I believe Anand has to show something different. In the last game with white, Topalov won the initiative. To me, it is not so much which color one plays more than keeping your opponent off balance. Anand has not done that. He has allowed Topalov to pick up momentum when it matters the most.

  4. Well ok, but its nice to see the humble beginnings and contributions on the theory of chess by people of African descent on display in this match by Vishwanathan Anand, actually vishy has already won the battle of ideas , now he only needs to close out the match , hopefully with the transboard knights, which clearly the traditionally rated 2800 guys cannot comprehend, particularly when they have the dreaded Black pieces! They tryin to CHANGE. rIGHT kRMANIK? ( wink- wink – right eye) yall something . Peace.

  5. The 12 game match is absurdly short. Tiebreaking by playing speed chess is absurd (and favors Anand, a speed phenomenon.) I like the way T exhausts every chance to win, and dislike Anand’s rather unenterprising style. One gets the impression he is trying to run out the match and rely on the speed “shootout.”

    I would prefer the old fashioned 24 game match. If tied, two game “micro matches” until a “micro match” is won.

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