Saturday, May 15, 2010

Turning Point

Viswanathan Anand successfully retained the World Championship at Sofia, Bulgaria. He defeated the challenger Veselin Topalov with a score of 6.5-5.5 (3 wins, 7 draws and 2 losses).

Before the 12th and final round, the scores were tied at 5.5 each. In the last game, Anand, playing with the Black pieces sought for a solid defence in which White (Topalov) would have only minimal chances to score a victory.

Though Anand had a pawn weakness on c5, he generated enough counter-play to keep the position in balance. On the crucial 30th move however, Topalov carelessly opened up the centre, as a result of which, Anand’s Queen, Rook and Bishop pursued the white King to its unfortunate fate.

Though Topalov managed to prolong the game for several moves, Anand was able to finish the victory with a series of precise moves.

In this mailer, I present the critical turning point of the game.

After Black’s 30th move (see first diagram), White played 31. exf5 which was a mistake. Instead, Nd2 would have been the correct move holding the e4 pawn.

In response to exf5, Anand played 31…..e4!

Topalov thought for a few minutes before playing the blunder 32. fxe4. Anand followed up with Qxe4 and found the brilliant 34th move Qe8 (see second diagram) after which Topalov had a lost position.

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