Round #8 Pairings

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


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Round #8 Results

Topalov-Leko, -. Before round eight, Topalov had won five consecutive games, an amazing feat at this level of competition. The question would become, "Would Topalov simply run away with the tournament?" Some have already awarded the Bulgarian the title, but as someone pointed out, in Kasparov's last tournament (Linares 2005), he lost a 1-point lead in merely two rounds of play.  It is certainly possible here since the player holding the last positions at this point (Polgar) is likely to serve as "spoiler" in the last six rounds.

This Queen's Indian game had no redeeming qualities and came to a balance after a massive exchange of pieces in the middle game. It appears that the two super-GMs were content in taking off early going into the rest day. In the second half Svidler, Anand and Leko will attempt to make up ground on Topalov. The hostilities will begin on Saturday as Anand, so we will see some fighting chess beginning Saturday when Anand MUST beat Topalov to gain ground.
(game)

Kasimjanov-Morozevich, 0-1. Interesting game. The FIDE champ played with lots of energy and threw an exchange sacrifice on Morozevich's head. Morozevich played the solid Scheveningen System, but it resembled more of the 6.Be2 Najdorf lines after 15Rfc8. Kasimjanov played an interesting sequence of moves leading to the exchange sack. On 20Nd5!? play continued 20Bxd5 21.exd5  Rcc8 (21Rxc2 22.Bd3! with a strong attack) 22.Rxf6!  (diagram)

Kasimjanov failed to follow up properly and the black king scurried to the queenside with white pieces in pursuit. The only question left was whether Morozevich's king would be able to find shelter. Well not on the queenside, so the black king ran back over to the kingside to find shelter behind the pawns. Kasimjanov's attack had run out of steam and all of a sudden his king was being mated! (game)

Kasimjanov uncorked a strong sacrifice, but failed to execute properly.

Kasimjanov uncorked a strong sacrifice, but failed to execute properly.

Adams-Svidler, -. Would this be the game that Adams broke into the win column? It certainly appeared so. Adams threw a vicious attack at Peter Svidler who barely escaped with a -point. Having a poor showing thus far, Adams rejected a draw by repetition and forged ahead by ripping the black kingside open. Svidler's two bishops served to shield the black king from danger and Adams appeared to miss the strongest continuation and played 28.Bg2? instead of the more active 28.Ng3! Why Adams decided to trade pieces when exploiting a weakened king is a mystery, but the tables soon turned and he stood slightly worse. In a cute finale, black played 37Bf6 and the game came to a peaceful conclusion after 38.Nxb3 Rxg2+ 39.Kc1 Rxb3 40.Rxf6 Rxd3. (game)

Anand-Polgar, 1-0. In this game, Polgar continued to play strange moves in the opening with 9Nc6-e7 with the idea of d5. Her kingside was totally compromised by move 14 and IM Danny Kopec claimed she was lost by move 20. The crucial point was after 17.Bh3! f5 18.Qh4 f6? (18Qg6 was better)  19.exf5  when the pawn cannot be recaptured due to 19Nxf5 Qh5+ netting a piece. However, Polgar's intent was to play d5, but the light squares (and dark squares) were completely dominated by Anand. Later, Polgar decided to play 37d5 sacrificing a pawn to gain freedom. As Polgar began to conjure up counterplay in the center (47Rf4), Anand attacked the queenside. Polgar's last hope remained in her passed e-pawn, but she was unable to prevent the advance of the white d-pawn. She played 61Qf5 in time pressure with and resigned immediately after 62.Rxe3! (game)

Topalov-Leko drawn while Viswanathan Anand and Judit Polgar tough it out in a grueling battle. Polgar has hit the losing skids, but she is still playing with incredible fighting spirit. Eventually, shell find her game and we will see her strength shine through.

Topalov-Leko drawn while Viswanathan Anand and Judit Polgar tough it out in a grueling battle. Polgar has hit the losing skids, but she is still playing with incredible fighting spirit. Eventually, she'll find her game and we will see her strength shine through. (Photo courtesy of WCC official site)

Standings:

1st Topalov, 7-1
2nd-
Svidler, 5-3
3rd
Anand, 4-3
4th-5th
LekoMorozevich, 4-4
6th
Kasimjanov, 3-5
7th
Adams, 2-5
8th
Polgar, 2-6

The Chess Drum, "2005 FIDE WCC: Topalov destroying field on 7-1," 8 October 2005.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 6 October 2005