Anand vs Topalov, 2010 – Sofia, Bulgaria
After defeating Gata Kamsky in the eight-game challenger match, Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov once again found himself preparing for a World Championship title match. The match took place in Sofia, Bulgaria from April 24 to May 13, 2010. The title match was mostly following the format of Anand-Kramnik 2008 and Kramnik-Topalov 2006 in that 12 games would be played, with a series of successively faster tiebreak rounds if needed. Topalov demanded that the match be played in silence, in the style of the “Sofia Rules” which require draws to be mitigated by an arbiter.
According to FIDE regulations, reigning champion Viswanathan Anand had the right to refuse Sofia as a suitable location, as that would give Topalov the “home field” advantage. However, Anand raised no objections. The match was delayed due to air travel disruptions caused by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull, which offset the entire schedule by one day.
The match was grueling and dynamic, with five decisive games, and some unexpected surprises in the openings. Topalov got off to a great start, demolishing Anand’s Grunfeld in the first game in only 30 moves. Anand struck back in game two demonstrating his mastery of the Catalan opening, and in game four took the lead, but the ever-aggressive Topalov seemed to have a psychological edge even while trailing. Tied 5.5 apiece, Anand chose the drawish Lasker Defense of the Queen’s Gambit for the last game, and quickly equalized. In an effort to create winning chances, Topalov captured the pawn offered by Anand. Topalov soon found himself defending against a sharp attack and lost, thereby ending the match without the need for tiebreaks.
“Vishy” once again defended his title. In a post-match interview Anand mentioned that in addition to his normal team of seconds, he also received help in preparation from Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.
PGN OF THE GAME IN THE VIDEO:
[Event “Anand – Topalov World Championship Match”]
[Site “Sofia BUL”]
[White “Veselin Topalov”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.e3
Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 c6 10.Be2 Nxc3 11.Rxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd7
13.O-O b6 14.Bd3 c5 15.Be4 Rb8 16.Qc2 Nf6 17.dxc5 Nxe4 18.Qxe4
bxc5 19.Qc2 Bb7 20.Nd2 Rfd8 21.f3 Ba6 22.Rf2 Rd7 23.g3 Rbd8
24.Kg2 Bd3 25.Qc1 Ba6 26.Ra3 Bb7 27.Nb3 Rc7 28.Na5 Ba8 29.Nc4
e5 30.e4 f5 31.exf5 e4 32.fxe4 Qxe4+ 33.Kh3 Rd4 34.Ne3 Qe8
35.g4 h5 36.Kh4 g5+ 37.fxg6 Qxg6 38.Qf1 Rxg4+ 39.Kh3 Re7
40.Rf8+ Kg7 41.Nf5+ Kh7 42.Rg3 Rxg3+ 43.hxg3 Qg4+ 44.Kh2 Re2+
45.Kg1 Rg2+ 46.Qxg2 Bxg2 47.Kxg2 Qe2+ 48.Kh3 c4 49.a4 a5
50.Rf6 Kg8 51.Nh6+ Kg7 52.Rb6 Qe4 53.Kh2 Kh7 54.Rd6 Qe5 55.Nf7
Qxb2+ 56.Kh3 Qg7 0-1
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