Reports | September 27, 2013 10:30

Topalov beats Laznicka 4-2 in Novi Bor

Topalov beats Laznicka 4-2 in Novi Bor

In a short match held in Nový Bor, Czech Republic Veselin Topalov defeated Viktor Laznicka with a 4-2 score. The Bulgarian won games 1, 4 and 6 and lost game 2. A second match took place at the same time in which Czech junior FM Tadeas Kriebel drew with veteran GM Oleg Romanishin.

A match between Czech Republic's number two grandmaster Viktor Laznicka and Bulgaria's number one Veselin Topalov took place 19-25 September in Nový Bor, Czech Republic. The time control was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment per move.

David Navara has had many opportunities to practice against elite players in matches, and it's nice to see that Viktor Laznicka, the world's number 66 at 2677, had a similar chance last week. Veselin Topalov, the number 10 in the world at 2769, was of course the big favourite. His play in this match was vintage Topalov, with a very dynamic opening approach and lots of exchange sacrifices. (Isn't it great that he's in the Candidates?)

Topalov started agressivelt in a topical line of the Vienna (his 9.Qc2 was a new idea). Actually Black was fine out of the opening, and the result was just because of a blunder.

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Laznicka struck back immediately with the white pieces. In an English game, Topalov gave an exchange to start an attack on the enemy king, but with accurate play his opponent proved that it wasn't correct.

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In the third game the same Vienna line was played, and Topalov deviated with the more standard 9.Ne5. The Bulgarian found a refinement over a typical exchange sacrifice by GM Arnold introduced earlier this year, and obtained a dangerous initiative. Laznicka also missed a chance for an advantage, though.

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For the fourth match game, we give the mic to IM Merijn van Delft and IM Robert Ris, who wrote in this week's ChessVibes Openings:

The move 5.Qb3 in the Nimzo/Queen's-Indian hybrid system is rarely seen at top level. In the mid-nineties this sideline enjoyed some popularity thanks to the efforts of the young Van Wely. However, as recent games have shown, there is no clear path to equality for Black and in fact White is doing reasonably well. (...) Topalov launched the move 7...d5 which hasn't been tested before, whereas 7...g5 8.Bg3 Ne4 9.e3 caused Black some problems in the game Kramnik-Naiditsch, amongst others. After the text, play proceeded with 8.e3 Nc6 and now it seems Laznicka missed the critical move 9.dxc5 when Black is coming under pressure. A possible improvement for Black is 8...0-0 when a fight ensues in which sides have chances. The Czech player missed some opportunities to seize the initiative, but once again the presence of opposite-coloured Bs offered Black good counterplay and in the end it was the former world champion who stole the victory. Further practical tests are needed before a final verdict can be given on this new approach of Black's.

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Game 5 was the least interesting of the match. In a Slav, an ending came on the board that was not very problematic for Black.

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And so Laznicka needed a win in the last game to tie the match, but he didn't come close. In an Exchange QGD, Black was fine out of the opening, got the initiative and never let go. In the end, White's knight got trapped.

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Topalov-Laznicka 2013 | Match score

 

At the same venue, a second match took place in which Czech junior FM Tadeas Kriebel drew with veteran GM Oleg Romanishin. Here are all games:

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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

Anonymous's picture

Small detail: the article repeatedly uses the spellings "Novi Bor" and "Novy Bor", but the city is actually called "Nový Bor".

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks, corrected!

Morley's picture

Not a bad showing by Victor. I really hope to see more matches like this. They have to be cheaper than 8 player round robins for organizers, and produce some good battles.

RG13's picture

Too many top tournaments are held without Topalov even though he has an attractive style of play.

Anonymous's picture

Can't believe money is being pushed into such matches, instead of giving it to the people in need.

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