Reports | December 17, 2008 21:29

Topalov wins again (and Bu too!)

Danailov and TopalovVeselin Topalov hit again. In the 6th round of the Pearl Spring tournament the world's number one defeated Levon Aronian, to raise his "live rating" over 2800. The Bulgarian still has to share the lead in Nanjing with Bu Xiangzhi, who defeated Movsesian. Ivanchuk escaped with a draw against Svidler.

The 1st Pearl Spring Super GM Tournament takes place December 11- 21 in Nanjing, China. It's a six-player double round robin event with Veselin Topalov ( 2791), Vassily Ivanchuk (2786), Levon Aronian (2757), Sergei Movsesian (2732) Peter Svidler (2727) and Bu Xiangzhi (2714). Live games start daily at 15:00 local time which is early morning for Western countries (08:00 CET, 02:00 EST).

Round 6

Against Aronian, Topalov faced the same type of position in which he defeated Ivanchuk in the decisive round of the Bilbao Grand Slam in September. And again it was a strong, protected d-pawn on the seventh rank that got him a decisive advantage today. Armenia's best did manage to get rid of that nuisance, but couldn't save himself.

Like Ivanchuk he tried to get the important move ...c6-c5 in by tactical means and he was more successful than the Ukrainian, but White still kept a nagging plus. Later Topalov could have won more easily, but he probably never really let the win slip away. On the live rating list (of which the top 10 is permanently shown in the far right column on this website) Topalov now has a fantastic 2802 next to his name.


Ivanchuk escaped against Svidler after an opening experiment didn't work out. White got a healthy plus pawn but couldn't convert it to a win. Bu Xiangzhi made the local organisers even more happy by adding another win to his score, against Movsesian. He was only slightly better for a long time but in timetrouble Movsesian went wrong, allowing White to sacrifice an exchange for a winning attack.


We also have some good news about the future of this tournament: Macauley Peterson (Chess.FM blog) informed us that according to Silvio Danailov, Pearl Spring is "guaranteed for five years and will enter in Grand Slam from next year."

Games of the 6th round:


Below are some photos from the excursion on the rest day, provided by the tournament organisers:


We recognize Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam (New in Chess), Boris Kutin (President of the European Chess Union), Arianne Caoili and Levon Aronian taking a picture


Peter Svidler and his wife, Veselin Topalov, Boris Kutin and Silvio Danailov


Levon Aronian, not sure yet what he's looking at!?


Silvio Danailov, sometimes a manager, sometimes a tourist...

Danailov and Topalov

...but still the man behind the world's number one


The Svidler couple chatting with Ten Geuzendam


Aronian and Caoili: chess celebs and paparazzi at the same time


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, 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.


Ardjan's picture

Two nice tricks by Aronian still didn?Ǭ¥t help him, namely the seemingly winning 40.Re8 is only a draw after 40...Nh4! 41.Rxb8 Nf3 check. Also winning seems 42.Rxh4 gxh4 43.Rc8 but 43...Rxb5! (threatens mate on a1) saves again!

David Korn, Seattle's picture

I saw all of the game. It was fantastic. My heart sank as he played Re2 and couldnt imagine his agony after making it. You could see the game slow, feel his dejection across cyberspace.

So I was delighted as he fought much further and long for the win, justly his.

What a great combatant! Who cannot wish to see him battle Anand, and hold his chess immediately at the door of the top today. I came by this site, expecting to see his 2800 again, and am super delighted to see it. This will give other world top ten something to really think about. His form is great this last three months.


test's picture

Are the players scanned for electronics before entering the playing hall?

ChessGirl's picture

WOW! So probably Topalov will start year 2009 with 2802 rating, right? Awesome, congratulations Veselin!

DrTom's picture

Does anyone know how tall is Danailov ? Just curious...

ChessGirl's picture

I would say he is close to 1,90, but he certainly looks huge on the picture, haha.

Manu's picture

Great pictures

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