Round #7 Pairings

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


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Round #7 Results

Topalov-Kasimjanov, 1-0. Veselin Topalov won yet another masterful endgame. Last round it was Judit Polgar who suffered a slow and agonizing death in a rook and pawn endgame…  this round Rustam Kasimjanov (below right) would provide stiffer resistance but meet the same fate. Instead of his beloved Najdorf, Kasimjanov decided not to test Topalov's knowledge of the sharp defense since the Bulgarian also employs it. The Ruy Lopez produced an interesting pawn formation after 33…hxg5. Looking at such a position, it appears to contain a delicate balance, but a closer examination shows that  the black king is much less secure.

After white probed black's kingside, he picked off a pawn and got the queens off the board. Kasimdzhanov sought counterplay after 46.Rc8-c3, but Topalov held his flank, marched his king over and began his invasion with 50.Ra2! The brilliant play involved a temporary sacrifice of a pawn to get the white king in an aggressive position. GM Varuzhan Akopian (commentating at Chess.FM) had pointed out this brilliant plan very precisely.

Topalov expanded by creating a pawn avalanche with 54.f4.  The last plan was hatched after
59.Kc5! surrounding the black passed pawn and threatening Kd6. After black thwarted an invasion by the white king, Topalov switched over to the kingside and invaded there. He found the final coup d'etat with 73.Kh5! and Kasimjanov could no longer prevent the slaying of his king. (game)

FIDE champ trying to hold on.   (Photo courtesy of WCC official site)

FIDE champ trying to hold on.
(Photo courtesy of WCC official site)

Leko-Adams, 1-0. Word is out that Adams is quite depressed about his performance. He has yet to win a game in this field and his play is lacking energy. This was a very technical rook and king ending where white had caught black rooks flat-footed on the back rank.  After Leko doubled on the 7th rank, Adams had to play actively but lost a pawn in the process and in the end, he could not avoid losing  his rook for a passed pawn, so he resigned. (game)

Morozevich-Anand, 1-0. This game was strange. Anand played the Caro Kann which he used to destroy Polgar in the first round. However, in this game he took a risk after getting a strong position by playing the anti-positional  26…f5?, it appeared as if Anand was going for a mating attack after 27.exf6 e5, but was rebuffed with the intermezzo 28.Bxe4! and when the smoke cleared, he would be forced to face two steamrolling kingside pawns. Despite active rook play, Anand could not stop the pawn avalanche and was forced to concede defeat. Amazing!! Anand is back on his heels at three point behind Topalov and hopes for the titles are fading with every loss and Topalov win. (game)

Svidler- Polgar, 1-0. The was an interesting game. For the third time in recent rounds, the 6.Be3 Ng4 line was tested. The game entered normal terrain until Polgar uncorked the speculative 19…Rxc3!? (diagram) weakening white's king position and hurling a vicious attack. Unfortunately, she could not marshall her forces quick enough and Svidler was able to hold.

Judit also sacrificed the a6-pawn to open lines, but Svidler's intermezzo 29.Bb5+  and 30.a3 held the position. An exchange down without compensation, Polgar tried to activate her pieces, but Svidler created a dangerous passed h-pawn by returning the exchange with 41.Rxh5! Nxh5
42. Bxh5. Once the h-pawn got to h7, Polgar was helpless and attempts to push her own passed pawn was rudely rebuffed. (game)

Standings:

1st Topalov, 6½-½
2nd-Svidler, 4½-2½
3rd-4th Anand, Leko, 3½-3½
5th-6th Kasimjanov, Morozevich, 3-4
7th-8th Adams, Polgar, 2-5

The game entered normal terrain until Polgar uncorked the speculative 19…Rxc3!? weakening white’s king position and hurling a vicious attack.

Polgar trying to bring "Fire on Board," but Svidler doused her chances.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 5 October 2005