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