Topalov: "I learn my pairings only in the morning before rounds"

Время публикации: 23.06.2015 04:20 | Последнее обновление: 23.06.2015 04:47

Veselin Topalov makes one recall his incredible start in San Luis ten years ago, when he won the first cycle of the double round-robin World Championship and later won the title. Now in Stavanger, the Bulgarian is only a step away from that memorable achievement, as his round 6 victory over Alexander Grischuk was already fifth for him in the tournament, with a single draw against Nakamura.

The Russian was defeated surprisingly easily, especially compared with the previous round. Grischuk wasn't convincing in the opening and blundered a piece as early as on move 16.


16.Nb5? White wants to put his knight on a nice d4-square but overlooks a tactical nuance. It's worth mentioning that Black is fine anyway, for example: 16.Na4 Nxa4 17.Rxa4 Qb6+ 18.Kh1 Bd7 19.Ra1 Rfc8. The game had opened with the Nimzo-Indian which later transformed into Benoni-like structure with one of the white knights clearly misplaced. It had been noted by Nigel Short well before the ill-fated piece got trapped:

16...Qb6 17.Kh1 (17.Nd4 Nxb3) 17...g5! Grischuk: "After this, I could just resign". In fact, White is still able to resist because Black's pieces lack coordination, but probably the Russian was too upset about his blunder.
18.Qd4 Ncd7 19.Qxb6 (19.Nh3 axb5!) 19...Nxb6 20.Nc7 Ra7 21.Nb5 Re7 22.Nxd6 gxf4 23.Bxa6 Rd8 24.Bxc8 Rxd6 25.Bf5 Nbd7.

26.g3?! After 26.Ra4! Rb6 and now 27.Ra5! (stopping 27...Nc5 and keeping the other rook on f1 to support g2-g3) White is still in the game. The point of provoking 26...Rb6 is 27...Ne5 28.g3 Nd3? 29.gxf4 Nxf4 30.d6! Rxd6 30.e5.
26...fxg3 27.Rg1? (more natural is 27.hxg3 Nc5 followed by 28.Rfd1! with some hope to survive) 27...Kf8 28.Rxg3 Nc5 29.Bh3 Re8 29.Rb1 Nh5. Now it's really hopeless: the knight goes to f4, which wouldn't have been possible had White recaptured with the pawn. In the habitual time trouble, Grischuk made ten more moves and resigned near the time control. 0-1

"Two horrible games in a row", Grischuk summed up during the press conference.

Meanwhile, Topalov made another surprising confession, saying he knows his opponents for the remaining rounds, but doesn't know the colours! What's more, in Stavanger he would usually learn the pairings only in the morning before rounds.

"But you know, Ivanchuk once played a tournament in which he went to rounds without knowing his opponents!", smiled Veselin.

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.22"] [Round "6.3"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2798"] [ECO "E20"] [Opening "Nimzo-Indian"] [Variation "Kmoch variation"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 c5 5. d5 O-O 6. e4 d6 7. Ne2 b5 8. Nf4 exd5 9. cxd5 a6 10. Be2 Nbd7 11. O-O c4 12. Be3 Bc5 13. Bxc5 Nxc5 14. b4 cxb3 15. axb3 b4 16. Nb5 Qb6 17. Kh1 g5 18. Qd4 Ncd7 19. Qxb6 Nxb6 20. Nc7 Ra7 21. Nb5 Re7 22. Nxd6 gxf4 23. Bxa6 Rd8 24. Bxc8 Rxd6 25. Bf5 Nbd7 26. g3 fxg3 27. Rg1 Kf8 28. Rxg3 Nc5 29. Bh3 Re8 30. Rb1 Nh5 31. Rg5 Nf4 32. Bf1 Ra8 33. Bc4 Ra2 34. Rg4 Rh6 35. h4 Nfd3 36. Rg2 Rxh4+ 37. Kg1 Ra7 38. d6 Rh6 39. Rh2 Rxd6 0-1

Three rounds before the finish, Topalov is in the sole lead by 1.5 points. Anand and Nakamura are tied for second place.
Norway Chess 2015: everything about the event


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