Veselin Topalov vs Magnus Carlsen : Grand Chess Tour Paris (Blitz) (2017), Semi-Slav


Hi all, I have another amazing blitz game
to show you at the super GM level or the super super GM level Veselin Topalov against
Magnus Carlsen this is in the grand Chess Tour Paris Blitz section 25th of
June 2017 we have c4 c6 so Magnus is offering actually this is a variation
of the Caro Kann with an unusual one but he’s offering that but White
just goes into the Slav lines with d4 Knight f3 Knight f6 e3 and now slightly
unusual move a6 is played this is fourth most popular very interesting move quite
often Bishop f5 or e6 or Bg4 a6 is chosen that has been played more than 2000 times like Nc3 e6 and you might think it’s a little bit weird putting all these pawns on light
squares but after b3 black has got a really solid position. This bishop (on c8)
can be a menace later quite often believe it or not even though it is temporarily imprisoned. We see Bishop b4 Bishop d2 Nbd7 Bishop d3 castles
Queen c2 Qe7 and now with the plan of e5 this Bishop is going to see the
light of day soon across this diagonal at very least white tries to put a stop
to that with Knight e5 because immediately on path is e4 of course
forking here so yeah puts a breaking on that with Ne5 Knight takes e5 d takes Ng4
has slightly compromised white this whole sequence here. You might think hold
all of second isn’t there Bishop takes h7 in this position isn’t this a bit strange?!
I’m not sure White has time for that let’s just check this one out
so Bishop takes h7 Kh8 – in fact if well the bishop is trapped and
lost to Queen h4 check here for a start if there’s f4 and if the bishop goes back
this is actually quite good because a centre pawn has been won at the cost of
a flank pawn and Black’s King safety is not that compromised here
this is this is okay for black. So white maintains his center pawn. He is not attracted to that. He just wants to maintain his centre pawn
we have f5 blunting now the diagonal protecting h7. I’m not sure it’s in
White’s favor to take here and again we’ve got the idea of maybe e5 immediately or taking and then e five assuming B takes so okay that that
pawns just left there it’s not taken on enpassant so we have g3. Why g3?! That is an
interesting question maybe g3 might not have been strictly
necessary here maybe a move like this is interesting okay but we have g3.
Sometimes that diagonal I guess if the Kings left for a moment longer in the
center it could be dangerous. Now rook d8 and there is a concern here
about this D file if what white can’t castle Queen side just yet by the way.
He kicks the knight actually which is justification for g3 blocking lines
because then Queen h4 would be terrible if he doesn’t kick the knight I believe the knight can just just go into
f2 yeah this is great for Black so white kicks this knight here knowing that Queen
h4 is rule out Queen h4 so there’s a method in the madness of g3 but
Knight takes e3 has been permitted. This is a temporary piece sac. Black is getting a
piece back and you could argue that White’s position although
technically equal has a feeling it slightly overextended now
this bishop issue you might think all this madness with all the pawns on
light squares it’s kind of addressed now with c5 clearing out this diagonal and after castling b6 so this Bishop is seeing a light down this diagonal. g4 now
maybe this is a bit too much maybe preparation for that with Rhg1 and this
position maybe is more prudent to wait on g4 because what happens here
actually I have to say it’s a little bit it’s a little bit hi-jacky.
g4 permits black to kind of hijack some of the weaknesses after
bb7 Rhg1 is played but more cautious Rhf1 one might already be
needed for whites to fight to maintain a good position like
this for example this this kind of scenario with King takes not losing f4
should be equal but in the game continuation we have the less
cautious Rhg1 yeah of course white wants to break through and this kind of
move now maybe takes Topalov by surprise it’s kind of pinning that pawn
to f4 it’s unpleasant to say the least if that f5 was taken here it takes Queen
takes f4 check exf5 and it’s not easy to get rid of this irritation it’s
really irritating Queen because say Rdf1 Qh2 check and that Queen’s a right
pain after say Rfd4 here how do we get rid of the Queen it’s really
irritating and this shuts down this diagonal so you
know e6 is less as menacing and yeah blacks getting control of the position. He cant even take on f5 because of g1. Black is actually clearly better here so this is
what I mean this is a bit of a exploiting White’s weaknesses but now
Bishop c2 it’s late rook takes Bishop takes and the Queen is really irritating
forking now the rook and the pawn it’s horrible
that White’s collapse seems imminent because of that f4 weakness. You would think
all the excitement is with white opening up the g-file but in fact black with its
pieces barely out of the box here. The bishop is now on a really good
diagonal compared to earlier but black with the Queen is really harassing white
and after Qg3 white is groveling basically for a draw here. After
the Queen takes he has to defend Queen a1 so he’s hoping for repetition now
after Queen c3 Queen f2 may be hoping for a repetition but Magnus improves now
the damage has been done here. He snaps up a pawn and he wants to expose the king
so guess what black plays in this position if I give you 5 seconds
starting from now black to play okay queen d4 yeah to harass the King
like this (Qa1 threat). So you might think hold on a sec isn’t that King b1 here to
stop queen a1 check that this is horrible actually for white in all
variations now. On Kb1 we play the check and if here white ends up getting
mated yeah. Queen b2 check and this is a forced mate in three yeah and yeah
there’s not much to do there if Bishop c2 this is also horrible after Queen
d2. Say Rc1 there is Rd8 and the threat here is Rd3 actually
yeah that’s a really nasty threat it takes takes again and Rd3 is now
threatened so this is totally diabolical for white in this position so it seems
queen d4 for yeah King bee one’s no good after Bishop e4 simply yeah
there’s just nothing good here it seems. The Queen and Bishop are working very
well on the light and dark squares for the attack there so we have G takes f
five but this is horrible now. The King is just being kicked to death. After the check. Rd8+Qb2 check
.Game ends here. for a start if here Queen d2 let’s get that one out of the way that’s
checkmate in one if here then that’s a checkmate in four after the check Queen
takes D 1 and if King F 2 root d2 check and that’s mating it’s all very
easily mating you can see that all of three of blacks pieces are just
killing the white King here that’s unpalatable as well of course
just wrote Rxd1 White is going to give up the Queen so yeah the game ended here.
What can we say about this game ?! Visually you know even though
technically it seems equal at one point it seems as though white was having to
be a bit more careful white seems have a more unstable position fundamentally
prone to weaknesses and that was fully tapped into and underlined with that
move Queen h4. The f4 pawn was the early Achilles heel over here and it just
led to White’s downfall. Yeah Magnus really found the downsides of white’s position
which was that f4. The queen invasion was just devastating. The rook on d8
didn’t need to do anything it was this bishop supporting the Queen which made
sure there was no way of repulsing the Queen and it did so much damage in this
game it’s remarkable really these games to study from a blitz
perspective if nothing else. Hope you enjoyed it. Comments questions likes shares
appreciated.Thanks very much.

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