Reports | November 12, 2012 8:16

Kings R4: narrow escapes for Ivanchuk and Topalov

The series of draws continued in Bucharest on Sunday, but not without some dramatic moments and severe time trouble. In both games White had a close to winning advantage, but Fabiano Caruana and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu spoilt great positions. On Monday the fifth and penultimate round will be played.

Fabiano Caruana misses a good opportunity against Veselin Topalov | Photos provided by the organizers, more here

Event Kings Tournament | PGN via TWIC
Dates November 7th-13th, 2012
Location Bucharest, Romania
System 4-player double round robin
Players Fabiano Caruana, Veselin Topalov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Rate of play

120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment per move from move 61.

Extra No draw offers allowed before move 30

 

In the fourth round of the Kings Tournament, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu seemed determined to take revenge for his loss in the first round against the same opponent. Despite the fact that he was more or less out of book after 8...Kf8, the Romanian GM found a good plan and put Vassily Ivanchuk, the leader of the tournament, under big pressure.

I was ready to resign. I think White had many ways to win the game. I didn't play for a win, I was just looking for chances because my position was very close to hopeless,

said Ivanchuk, who was especially referring to move 36 for White. Nisipeanu was in severe time trouble by then. He said:

Somehow my brain stopped working at some point. Little by little I lost control of the position completely and in fact I'm really surprised I did't lose it.

PGN string

In the very intense game between Fabiano Caruana and Veselin Topalov a 3.Bb5 Sicilian led to a middlegame position resembling a Benoni. In fact it was so similar that at some point both players counted the tempi. As it turned out, despite being two tempi up (!) compared to the Benoni, Black was still worse.

Somehow I got a passive position. White has other moves besides c3-c4. Maybe I could close with e7-e5 but didn't like that White will play a4-a5 at some point and he will get a much better structure. It looked nice but after Qd1-e2 I'm running out of space. I have to exchange the knights but I didn't like my position,

said Topalov, whose clock was showing just three seconds when he made his 40th move. This explains his mistake a few moves earlier, and Caruana had reached a winning position after the time control. Showing amazing combativeness and tenacity, Topalov then used all the possibilities the endgame offered and profited optimally from Caruana's inaccuracies.

PGN string

Videos produced by Macauley Peterson

 

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Kings Tournament 2012 | Pairings & results

Round 1   7 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2769 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 4
2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 1-0 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 3
Round 2   8 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
4 GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 ½-½ GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 3
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2769 ½-½ GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 2
Round 3   9 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 4
3 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 ½-½ GM Topalov Veselin 2769 1
Round 4   11 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
4 GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 ½-½ GM Topalov Veselin 2769 1
3 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 ½-½ GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 2
Round 5   12 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
4 GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 - GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 2
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2769 - GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 3
Round 6   13 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
3 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 - GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 4
2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 - GM Topalov Veselin 2769 1

Kings Tournament 2012 | Round 4 standings

 

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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Comments

jmason's picture

excellent games,very hard fought !

columbo's picture

great fight, but Caruana messed it up badly ... He should have win this game

jmason's picture

Well ...yes but if you defend actively and keep posing problems to your opponent, like Topa did , there are good chances to save a game like that, he fought hard for the draw.
Of course Caruana should have won ,in an ideal world, he played flawless up to a point, but there are numerous games that followed this path , and in the end active defense pays dividends .

Boybawang's picture

It's 10x more difficult to save a lost game than to win a won game. Therefore kudos to Topalov and Chukky

Thomas's picture

On one hand, it's harder to save a lost game - if the position is indeed lost it's impossible against best play of the opponent.
On the other hand, life may be easier if you have nothing left to lose and can just set one more trap (this applies at least to Ivanchuk's game). You get half a point and praise if it works - and if it doesn't work it doesn't matter.

Niima's picture

I find that a gross simplification, as if the losing side should just play happy-go-lucky and "set one more trap".

To being with, the losing side is under psychological pressure because the game seems lost. He has to stay concentrated, avoid further mistakes that would end everything and continuously find ways to complicate matters. It takes much energy and will power.

Thomas's picture

I would say (in general, not just referring to these two specific games) it depends: if a player thinks he is worse but not - necessarily or 'completely' - lost he will feel such pressure. If he considers his position lost, it may well be happy-go-lucky. What I mean might be clearer in more extreme cases: a position with a piece down for no compensation at all is resignable between GMs, but some amateurs will play on. In such situations, spectators would 'accept' even horrible blunders calling it symbolic resignation.

In the two games, the black desperado counterplay (Ivanchuk's exchange sacrifice turning into a queen sacrifice, Topalov's 58.-h5 and 59.-g4) could have led to a quick(er) loss. Most easily if white had declined the offers (36.Qg2! / 59.Qe5!).

Septimus's picture

Topalov seemed worse as early as move 17.

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