Veselin Topalov was born in 1975. He became the FIDE World Champion in 2005 by winning the Round-robin tournament in San Luis. For many years he was considered as one of the best players in the world. It’s true that his form has been declining in recent years, but the results at the London Chess Classic are quite astonishing. The Bulgarian number one is on 1.0/8 with two draws and six losses. In the eighth round, Viswanathan Anand was up against Topalov and he made sure that he picked up the full point.
Topalov is younger than Anand by six years. However, when it comes to the hunger for the game Topalov is clearly miles behind Vishy. The Indian player works on chess and physical fitness for hours each day, while the Bulgarian had publicly announced his waning interest and low motivation levels. This was clearly visible in their battle on Saturday in the eighth round of the London Chess Classic 2016.
After his fantastic 10...Bxa3 novelty against Wesley So, Anand showed the world that he had more tricks under his sleeve by uncorking another very interesting novelty on the twelfth move 12…b5 against Topalov.
This was another feather in the hat of Grzegorz Gajewski, Anand’s second from Poland, who is coming up with one interesting idea after another in different openings. When commentator Maurice Ashley asked Anand whether he paid Gajewski well, Anand jokingly put a finger on his lip as if asking Maurice to not ask such personal questions and with a smile that said, “Yes, I do pay him well.”
Topalov did not respond well to the move and was soon left with a minus position. His king was quite exposed and Anand could have finished off the game with a few accurate moves. However, Anand left him off the hook and Veselin was able to crawl his way back into the game. Just when it seemed that Topalov would be able to hold the draw, he blundered and Anand was able to setup a forced mate.
You can read the full analysis of Topalov against Anand on the ChessBase India newspage.
The last round will see two former World Champions Vladimir Kramnik and Anand take on each other.
The live game will begin at 19.30 hours IST. You can follow the live game here.
Sagar Shah is an international Master and the co-founder of ChessBase India.
Updated Date: Dec 18, 2016 16:52:44 IST