The mighty have fallen at Linares. The players saved the best for last.
From the white side of the board, Topalov tops Kasparov, and draws even
with Kasparov for first place. Garry will get the title on tiebreak,
because he won more games with black. Topalov did a great job recovering
from his first round loss against Anand. There was a lot of the line
today. The Hard charging Veselin Topalov knew that if he beat Kasparov he
could share first place.
Prior to the game, Garry was sitting at plus 5
with 5 wins, 6 draws. He knew he had clinched first place. However Topalov
was sitting in 2nd at +3, with 4 wins, 1 loss and 6 draws. Both
players probably were confident today. In round 13 Kasparov had a
comfortable draw with Anand. From the black side of the board, Topalov
drew within striking distance of Kasparov by defeating Vallejo Pons.
Today's play went into the Sicilian Anti-Sveshnikov opening.
It turned into dead even middle game, Topalovís queen, rook, knight and
seven pawns vs. Kasparov queen, rook, knight and six pawns. Even though
Kasparov was down a pawn, His queen-rook battery had control of the open
f-file. Garry had the draw in hand, but went astray. He could have played
21 .. Qf2+ and that would have clinched the draw, by giving Kasparov
complete control of the f-file. Garry played 21 .. Nc6, which was ok.
Topalov decided to challenge the open f-file, with 22 Qf1. This is where
Kasparov went astray, he should have declined the exchange of heavy pieces
and played 22.. Qd8. However Kasparov faulted and played 22.. Qxf1. This
forced the heavy artillery off the board. Garry then exchanged the
It turned into Topalovís king and 7 pawns vs. Kasparovís king
and 6 pawns endgame.
Topalov used his superior king position and won the game.
This is not the first Garry traded down into an inferior endgame. He did so against Rublevsky in the 2004 European Team Tournament. It
seems that Garry had other matters on his mind. Right after the match,
chessbase reported that Garry made a shocking announce.
He announced his retirement from professional chess. The last round
lost made Garry appearance here bitter sweet. He won the tournament, but
lost the final game to a top 10-player, his first loss to a top ten player
As for Vaseline Topalov, this victory makes up for his collapse in Corus,
when he lost horribly to Judith Polgar. Topalov still held on to
third place at Corus. These two results solidify Topalov's number 3