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Anand is World Champion again!

When so much is at stake and it all hinges on one game then everything is possible.
Anand didn't want to take any unnecessary risks and settled for the ultra-solid Lasker variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined.
However later on, he took the opportunity to blast open White's king as his natural attacking instincts took over. Topalov resisted as best he could but Anand's pieces were just too powerful.

The first win with Black in the whole match and in the decisive last game.

Here is a summary of what happened in all the twelve games

GameWhite--Black--ResultOpeningmoves
1Veselin TopalovBUL2805Viswanathan AnandIND27871-0Grünfeld defence30
2Viswanathan AnandIND2787Veselin TopalovBUL28051-0Catalan opening43
3Veselin TopalovBUL2805Viswanathan AnandIND27870.5-0.5Slav defence46
4Viswanathan AnandIND2787Veselin TopalovBUL28051-0Catalan opening32
5Veselin TopalovBUL2805Viswanathan AnandIND27870.5-0.5Slav defence44
6Viswanathan AnandIND2787Veselin TopalovBUL28050.5-0.5Catalan opening58
7Viswanathan AnandIND2787Veselin TopalovBUL28050.5-0.5Catalan/Bogoljubov58
8Veselin TopalovBUL2805Viswanathan AnandIND27871-0Slav defence56
9Viswanathan AnandIND2787Veselin TopalovBUL28050.5-0.5Nimzoindian defence83
10Veselin TopalovBUL2805Viswanathan AnandIND27870.5-0.5Grünfeld defence60
11Viswanathan AnandIND2787Veselin TopalovBUL28050.5-0.5English opening65
12Veselin TopalovBUL2805Viswanathan AnandIND27870-1Queen's Gambit Declined56

So Anand makes it past the winning post to 6.5-5.5 and there is no need for a play-off.

It wasn't to be for Topalov.@ official site

All of our special World Champion videos can be viewed here:

I have analyzed all the games, so have a look at the earlier news articles concerning the match for games 1-11. Here is the decisive final match game.

Veselin Topalov (2805) - Viswanathan Anand (2787)

Sofia WCM (12th game) 11.05.2010

Queen's Gambit Declined (D56)

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.♘f3 ♘f6 4.♘c3 ♗e7 5.♗g5 h6 6.♗h4 0-0 7.e3 ♘e4

Black seeks to exchange two pairs of minor pieces and thus obtain a simpler life.

8.♗xe7 ♕xe7 9.♖c1 c6 10.♗e2 ♘xc3 11.♖xc3 dxc4 12.♗xc4 ♘d7 13.0-0 b6

The other plan involves 13...e5 when the bishop will be developed along the c8-h3 diagonal.

14.♗d3 c5 15.♗e4 ♖b8 16.♕c2 ♘f6

Black usually plays to develop his queenside, for example 16...♗b7 ; or 16...a5 e.g. 17.♖d1 ♗b7 18.♗xb7 ♖xb7 19.a3 ♖e8 20.h3 e5 as in Van Wely,L-Azmaiparashvili,Z Calvia Olympiad 2004, and Black went on to draw.

17.dxc5

Taking the opportunity to break up Black's structure.

17...♘xe4 18.♕xe4 bxc5 19.♕c2 ♗b7 20.♘d2 ♖fd8

Black has an additional pawn island, and in particular a weak pawn on c5, however his bishop is potentially the best minor piece so Topalov decides to block the diagonal.

21.f3 ♗a6

Switching diagonals to keep White occupied.

22.♖f2 ♖d7 23.g3 ♖bd8 24.♔g2 ♗d3 25.♕c1 ♗a6

White could repeat with ♕c2, but Topalov naturally wants more, especially as it doesn't look as if he entails any particular risk!

26.♖a3!?

In principle a step in the wrong direction, but the move may not be bad in itself.

26...♗b7 27.♘b3 ♖c7 28.♘a5 ♗a8 29.♘c4 e5!

Seeking activity!

30.e4

30...f5!

Tactically aware as always, Anand opens the light-squares where his bishop will dominate.

31.exf5 e4 32.fxe4 ♕xe4+ 33.♔h3 ♖d4

Suddenly Anand has generated a strong king attack from nowhere! White's rook on a3 is a spectator as the storm clouds gather on the other flank.

34.♘e3 ♕e8! 35.g4 h5

White's king seems too exposed especially as his pieces are not well placed to defend.

36.♔h4

36...g5+!

Opening lines is Black's top priority.

37.fxg6 ♕xg6 38.♕f1 ♖xg4+ 39.♔h3

Not 39.♘xg4?? as ♕xg4# is already the end.

Black now has a tantalizing selection of options.

39...♖e7

Plausible but not totally clear is 39...♖f7!? 40.♖xf7 ♗g2+ 41.♕xg2! ♖xg2 42.♖fxa7. However 39...♕g5 is certainly good enough: 40.♖f8+ ♔g7 41.♕f2 ♖e4! 42.♖xa8 ♖xe3+ 43.♕g3! ♕g4+ 44.♔g2 ♖xa3 45.bxa3 c4 with a rook ending that seems to be winning, for example 46.♖e8 c3 47.♕xg4+ hxg4 48.♖e1 c2 49.♖c1 ♔f6 50.h3 gxh3+ 51.♔xh3 ♔e5 52.♔g3 ♔d4 53.♔f3 ♔d3 etc.

40.♖f8+

Otherwise there is 40.♕d1 when after 40...♖d4 41.♘f5 ♕xf5+ 42.♖xf5 ♖xd1 43.♖g3+ ♖g7 44.♖xc5 Black is running out of pawns, but should still win.

40...♔g7?!

The killing move was 40...♔h7! as after the forced moves 41.♖h8+ ♔xh8 42.♕f8+ ♕g8 43.♕xe7 Black has a choice between 43...♕c8 44.♕e5+ ♔g8, and 43...♗g2+ 44.♘xg2 ♕c8, both of which seem to win.

Anand settles however for a 'slow but sure' win and who can blame him?

41.♘f5+ ♔h7 42.♖g3 ♖xg3+ 43.hxg3 ♕g4+ 44.♔h2 ♖e2+ 45.♔g1 ♖g2+ 46.♕xg2 ♗xg2 47.♔xg2

Unfortunately for Topalov regaining the material with 47.♖f7+ ♔g6 48.♖g7+ ♔xf5 49.♖xg4, is inadequate as 49...hxg4 50.♔xg2 ♔e4 51.♔f2 ♔d3 is a trivial win for Black.

47...♕e2+ 48.♔h3 c4 49.a4 a5 50.♖f6 ♔g8

Now it's just a question of avoiding any accidents.

51.♘h6+ ♔g7 52.♖b6 ♕e4 53.♔h2 ♔h7 54.♖d6 ♕e5 55.♘f7 ♕xb2+ 56.♔h3 ♕g7

0-1

...and that was that. Anand retains his crown.

The old and the new World Champion. @ official site

The two protagonists have demonstrated that they are fairly evenly-matched players at this time limit, but one inspiritational game by Anand made all the difference.

Even the World Champion has to write all his moves down. @ official site

For more information on the tournament official tournament site


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