Round #6 Pairings

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


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Round #6 Results

Polgar-Topalov, 0-1. Veselin Topalov is on an incredible run. Having scored 5- he is on an unprecedented pace to shatter records for world championship play. Of course the tournament has barely reached the midpoint, but he leads the field by a margin of two points and has played at a 3157 performance level.

His game against Polgar started as a normal Berlin Defense in which white would enjoy a comfortable edge in space and development. However, she tried to grab more space with 20.g4? and the plan quickly backfired after the immediate
20h5. Why did she ruin a good position?  The idea may have been to stop a bishop incursion from the f5-square.  However, she ended up losing a pawn and her king would be the run until the end.

Topalov gradually reduced Polgar to passivity maneuvering his knight to a powerful outpost at d4 and rook pillar to f4. (diagram) Things were looking very grim for the heroine, but she fought hard to make the game interesting. She managed to get the pieces off the board, but by that time, her king was cut off from stopping Topalov's passed g-pawn which soon raced up the board.

Polgar sought counterplay with her own passed pawn which made a break for the queening square, but was
chased down by Topalov's king. With no further counterplay, Polgar resigned. Even Judit's big sister was impressed with Topalov who she is calling "The Terminator." He certainly looks like it! (game)

Topalov gradually reduced Polgar to passivity maneuvering his knight to a powerful outpost at d4.

Anand-Svidler, -. Not the most exciting game of the round, but it certainly was a candidate! Svidler unleashed the Marshall Gambit against Anand who was prepared for the challenge. The game went down familiar path up until Anand played an enterprising exchange sacrifice 18.f3!? This had been played first in Peng Xiaomin--Alexander Grischuk (2001), but ended up in a 23-move draw. Unlike that game, black would accept the exchange and white received tremendous counterplay with his two bishops and active knight. However, the game quickly reached a climax and ended in a creative flurry of piece exchanges after Anand's cute 36.Bb3! The game ended 36Rxf2+ 37.Kxf2 Bxd4+ 38.Ne3 Bxe3 39.Kf3. (game)

Adams-Morozevich, -. This was the most exciting game of the round. This tournament is becoming an opening laboratory for the Sicilian Defense as the Schveningen was the next variation to hit the boards. This game featured an early queen sacrifice with 16Bd5!? 17.Qxc8 Rxc8 18.Nxc8 Bxe4 19.Nxe7+ Qxe7.
When the smoke cleared, Adams had two rooks against the black queen, but would later have to
contend against a passed b-pawn which turned out to be a major thorn in white's initiative to win. In fact, Adams had to sacrifice the exchange and set up a way to stop the pawn which was sprinting up the board. (diagram)

Adams had to sacrifice the exchange and set up a way to stop the pawn which was sprinting up the board.

The black queen prevented coordination of the white's rook and bishop and commentators thought white was lost. Nevertheless, the plan had become to sacrifice the bishop for the passed pawn and set up a impenetrable fortress on the kingside. Black sacrificed a pawn of his own to run his king to the queenside, but all for naught. Adams was able to establish the desired fortress and clinched the draw. (game)

Kasimjanov-Leko, -. Another Sveshnikov and a repeat from Anand-Leko. Leko had apparently come up with an improvement from his game with Anand with 18Bd7. Despite the improvement, Kasimjanov gained an advantage in space on the queenside (as did Anand). Despite the space on the queenside Kasimjanov could not do much more than hold the bind. Leko finally broke free with 32f5 and the game ended peacefully in another ten moves. (game)

Standings:

1st Topalov, 5-
2nd-3rd Anand, Svidler, 3-2
4th Kasimjanov, 3-3
5th Leko,  2-3
6th-8th
Adams, Morozevich, Polgar, 2-4

Posted by The Chess Drum: 4 October 2005