Round #13 Pairings

Kasimjanov (Uzbekistan) -Topalov (Bulgaria)
Adams (England) -Leko (Hungary)
Anand (India) - Morozevich (Russia)
Polgar (Hungary) - Svidler (Russia)


Round #13 Results

Kasimjanov - Topalov, ½-½. This game was the last to finish. Anand and Svidler had drawn their games and these two players were still battling. In a game that appeared to be treading in dangerous waters for Topalov, he found an enterprising exchange sacrifice which bought him counterplay. While that counterplay was impressive, it was only enough to secure a draw and thus, Topalov becomes the new FIDE World Chess Champion! It seems appropriate that Kasimjanov would be the first to congratulate the new champion.

This game started with the Berlin Defense of the Ruy Lopez, a line Topalov also tested against Judit Polgar in round #6. In that game, he faced 11.Ne4 and 12.b3, but in this game Kasimjanov opted for rapid development and after move
17.Ne4, stood much better. As is often the problem with spatial advantages, how does one convert? Topalov had a solid position, but Kasimjanov seemed intent on grabbing more space.

Topalov would strike back with 20…f5!? The commentators agreed that white still had an edge after 21.exf6 21...Bxf6 22.f5 Ne7 23.Nxf6+ gxf6 24.Bf4 Kf7 25.Bxc7 Nxf5 26.Rc4! (also recommended by GM Alexander Yermolinsky on the ICC)

Topalov was forced to sacrifice a pawn and conjured up counterplay with a nice rook maneuver which involved sacrificing the exchange with
35…Reg3! This lead to black gaining the initiative whereby white had to return the exchange to prevent being tied up.

Topalov actually had a
winning position, but in a sign of professionalism agreed to a draw… a befitting ending to a game between two champions! Congratulations to Bulgaria and Veselin Topalov, FIDE's World Chess Champion! (game, ChessBase video)

Adams has yet to taste the sweetness of victory.  (Photo courtesy of

Veselin Topalov
FIDE World Chess Champion
(Photo courtesy of

Adams - Leko, ½-½. There was not much in this game and both decided to take an early dinner. Adams probably wanted to indulge in some Argentinean beef. John Federowicz mentioned that Adams had scarfed down two huge steaks in one dinner sitting during another tournament. He said everyone sat there in total disbelief! In this short game, Adams played 3.Nc3 as a method of avoiding the Sveshnikov Sicilian. Grigory Kaidanov had mentioned how dynamic the Sveshnikov was even at the highest levels, but it requires one to know loads of theory and is quite dangerous for white. This anti-Sveshnikov with 3.Nc3 has been a popular system for white, but allows black better chances for equality. The game ended without so much as a punch being thrown. (game)

Anand - Morozevich, ½-½. Interesting battle! This tournament has been an opening laboratory of the Sicilian and the Ruy Lopez. Finally, the French Defense made it's debut in the 13th round and produced one of the most exciting encounters yet.  The game entered one of the sharper lines. The game had some characteristics of a Sicilian except the position of black's d-pawn and white's e-pawn… huge difference. Black reached a comfortable position, but then Anand uncorked a spectacular sacrifice in 19.Bxh7+!?

There were a lot of shocked chess players as most were skeptical of Anand's attack. Anand was clearly bent on stealing a point, but Kaidanov was predicting a tragic loss. In fact, it would be black who is poised for attack after 22…b4! but Morozevich opted for 22…Bc5!? At this point, a draw forced draw was calculated by some of the chess engines.

Kaidanov excitedly got the line from a player at the ICC and it was confirmed in the game. The draw was played out as
23.Rff3 Bxd4 24.Rfg3 Rb7 (Worse is 24…Bxe5? 25.fxe5 Rb7 26.Qh7+ Kf7 27.Rxg7+ Ke8 28.Qg6+ Kd8 29.Qg5+ Ke8 30.Rhh7 and white is winning.)  25.Qh7+ Kf7 26.Qxg7+ Ke8 27.Qxf8+ with a perpetual check to follow. The "Tiger from Madras" was able to keep pace with Svidler who had already drawn with Polgar. (game)

Key moment: Polgar plays 33…Rg3!?

A nice forced draw after 23.Rff3 Bxd4 24.Rfg3 Rb7 25.Qh7+ Kf7 26.Qxg7+ Ke8 27.Qxf8+

Polgar - Svidler, ½-½. Another Marshall Gambit… another draw. This was the third such attempt. Others were  Anand-Svidler (½-½, 39) and Polgar-Adams (½-½, 37). This game saw 12.d3 instead of 12.d4 and followed the path of Aronian-Nakamura. The two resorted to playing blitz as the moves were rattled off one after another. It appears that the play of the Marshall Gambit peters out before move 40 as a draw was agreed after 39.Ra7+. Svidler saved energy and will be ready for a showdown with Anand to decide who will take 2nd place and  entry into the 2nd round of the next World Championship cycle. (game)


1st Topalov, 9½-3½
Svidler, Anand, 8-5
Morozevich, 6½-6½
Kasimjanov, Leko, 5½-7½
Adams, 5-8
Polgar, 4-9

Posted by The Chess Drum: 13 October 2005