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Topalov Resigns Drawn Game Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
February 23, 2007
Photo John Henderson courtesy chess.fm

by Jennifer Shahade

16-year-old Magnus Carlsen catapults into the lead of Linares (February 17-March 10) with a shocking victory over Veselin Topalov. The Bulgarian super GM resigned a drawish position. The game was balanced for some time, but Carlsen drummed up a nice attack, and many thought the position was too hard for Topalov to defend. Topalov held on tight though, reaching the following position:

Black made a very bad move here: Resigns??

Black can play Qd5+ f3 e5 after which Qh7+ Kf8 Qh8+ Qg8 leads to nothing. Topalov resigned instead, sending a shockwave to fans all over the world, and to Carlsen as well.

Meanwhile, Aronian won beautifully against Anand, who had been leading up until that point.


Aronian's in-between move, 32. Bd7! was a creative shot that traded two pieces for a rook but eased the advance of his pawns. If Black tries to avoid the imbalance with s omething like 32...Rc-b8 White is crushing after de7 Be8 Be6 when variations such as Kh8 Rd6 Bxa4 Rb7 start to pop up. The simple de7 (instead of Bd7) would not have led to anything after Be8, when the c4 square is conveniently covered by the c8 rook and White is compelled to trade bishops. After the game, Aronian said he saw Bd7! when he played 29.Bb5.

Standings after 5 Rounds

1. 3.5 GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2690)
2-3 3.0 GM Viswanathan Anand (India 2779) and 3.0 GM Levon Aronian (Armenia 2744)
4-6 2.5 GM Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine 2750), 2.5 GM Peter Leko (Hungary 2749) and 2.5 GM Peter Svidler (Russia 2728)
7-8 1.5 GM Alexander Morozevich (Russia 2741) and GM Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria 2783)