Kindred’s Special: Torre Attack Rewards a King Hunt

The 1995 Moscow Intel Grand Prix saw Jonathan Speelman splitting the first two games with Veselin Topalov and the deciding game colors came up JS having the white pieces and VT the black pieces. Each player had won with the White army.

1.Nf3  Nf6  2.d4  g6  3.Bg5  Bg2  4.Nbd2  O-O  5.c3  h6  6.Bxf6  Bxf6  7.e4  d6  8.Bc4

The Torre Attack is a favorite of GM Arthur Bisguier who played it against me in a simultaneous that ended in a draw. That is the extent of my personal association with it. It always seemed rather tame to me and too straightforward but one might ask from this game if that is after all a bad thing! In the simplest of ways, JS demonstrates that developed well placed pieces and opening of the center offers prospects for a real fight to ensue.

9.Qe2  c5  10.dxc5  dxc5  11.O-O  Nc6  12.h3  Qc7  13.Rfe1  Rd8  14.e5  Rb8  15.e6  f5  16.h4  Na5  17.Bd3

I am thinking here about an interesting plan that starts with 17…b5!? offering up the b/pawn for opening some lines for the heavy black forces. You know by reading my column that I enjoy muddy waters and good or bad it also follows my square-count theory expanding on the Q-side.

17…Rd6  18.Nc4  Rxe6  19.Qxe6+

JS grabs the bull by the horns and the adventure begins. How many would consider playing this? In a G/25 he must have visualized or calculated the next several moves unless he had a brain wave of intuition.

19…Bxe6  20.Rxe6  Kf7  21.Rae1  Nc6  22.h5  g5  23.Bxf5

JS gobbles the white square as VT cannot contest it.

23…Bf6  24.Ne3  Rd8  25.Ng4  Kg7  26.Nxf6  exf6  27.b4  cxb4  28.Nd4  Rd6  29.Re8  Ne5  30.Ne6+ Rxe6  31.Bxe6  bxc3  32.Bb3  Qd7  33.Ra8  b6  34.Rd1  Qe7  35.Rdd8 f5  36.Rg8+  Kh7  37.Rh8+ Kg7  38.Rag8+ Kf6  39.Rxh6+  Ng6  40.Rgxg6+ Ke5  (1-0).

Either VT resigned here or lost on time.

Jonathan Speelman defeated Veselin Topalov 2-1 in this G/25 match series.  GM Speelman’s win in-game one appeared earlier.

Much can happen in a decade and the emergence of Veselin Topalov as currently having only one real rival for top spot in the world is Vishy Anand.  In the current issue of NEW IN CHESS, GM Topalov is interviewed following his China triumph.

Robert Mundell, a professor of Economics at Columbia University and winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Economics was the engine that brought about the first super-tournament named The Pearl Spring Tournament. Veselin Topalov did not disappoint his many fans in China and round the world as he scored an impressive 7 out of 10 with a TP rating 2892.  His winnings were a whopping 80,000 curo and was rewarded with his best rating to date of 2809.

  1. Topalov  (  4-w, 6-d, 0-l)  ………………………….. 7-3
  2. Aronian  (  2-w, 7-d, 1-l)   ………………………….. 5.5-4.5
  3. Xiangzhi  ( 2-w, 6-d, 2-l)   ………………………….. 5-5
  4. Svidler     ( 2-w, 5-d, 3-l)   ………………………….. 4.5-5.5
  5. Movsesian(1-w,6-d, 3-l     ………………………….. 4-6
  6. Ivanchuk  (1-w,6-d, 3-l)    ………………………….. 4-6

In recent years Topalov’s game has remained in youthful splendor with the added ingredient of maturity that makes him a favorite among onlookers.  Both he and Vishy Anand will be going toe to toe soon and the world chess community will be the better for it!  Such a match up will certainly produce many gems and interesting innovations. Yike!! I am glad I can enjoy it all without the sweat of preparation they must endure!

THE  ENDGAME

CAPABLANCA remarked that endgames teach the essentials of individual pieces but also about the game itself. The great teacher, Dr. S. Tarrasch, taught the endgame first in his famous treatise, THE GAME OF CHESS, and I would add my concurrance to this method because the endgame reaches out to display the full force of each chessman and evaluates for the beginner an understanding of the power of each in their individual geometric  movement and points to the value of understanding pawn structure.  The answer to the question as to when to consider heading toward an endgame from a middlegame position requires knowledge learned from both study and practice. This often involves pawn formations, who will gain the initiative, and anticipated aggressive King vs defensive King position.

There is of course the theory that endgames are boring and the beginner wants to jump right into the fray as quick as possible. There is always the possibility that a student will lose interest otherwise. So many teach the opening first and some tactics and get some practice games under their belt.  But in real essence, if you want to really make progress in chess, an understanding of the endgame and elements of the three stages–opening, middlegame, endgame are essential to eventual mastership. It boils down to what method advances that prospect in the most efficient and timely way.

Adios for now!  See you again, soon!

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