Adams – Topalov, Corus 2006

White:
Michael Adams (2707)
Black:
Veselin Topalov (2801)
Opening
Sicilian: Scheveningen
Tournament
Corus 2006, Wijk aan Zee, Round 2
Date
15/01/2006
ECO Code
B85
Result
1-0

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6
Adams has essayed a variety of different lines against Topalov’s Sicilian, from 3.Bb5+ through to lines involving a king side fianchetto. Two tries at the Keres attack. Naturally the English Attack makes an apperance too. Its only recently, in this game, and in the FIDE World Championship that Adams has opted for a main-line Scheveningen set-up as White.
3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. a4 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. f4 Qc7 11. Kh1 Re8 12. Bf3 Bf8 13. Qd2
Adams prefers not to repeat the opening position he successfully scared Topalov with during the Fide Championship (13. Nb3). Topalov no doubt had a number of improvements lined up. 13. Nb3 b6 14. e5 dxe5 15. fxe5 Nd7 16. Bxc6 Qxc6 17. Nd4+/= Adams – Topalov, WCh-FIDE, San Luis, 1/2 (45)
13… Na5 14. b3 Rb8 15. Rad1
15. Nde2 b6 16. Qe1 Nc6 17. Qf2 Nb4 18. Na2 Nxa2 19. Rxa2 Nd7 20. Bd4 Bb7= Dolmatov – Kurnosov, 4th IECC, Istanbul 2003, 1/2 (28)
15… Nc6!?N
15… b6 16. e5 dxe5 17. fxe5 Nd7 18. Bf4 Nxe5 19. Qe3 f6 20. Ne4 Bc5 21. Nxc5 bxc5 22. Ne2= Jansa – Stohl, Germany 2003, 1/2 (28). Looks very much like the mess Topalov got himself into against Adams in San Luis.
16. Bf2
Regrouping the bishop to e3 where it strengthens the threat of e4-e5. With the two White bishops trained at the Black queenside Black has to be extremely careful in how he activates his pieces there.
16… Nd7 17. Bg3 Nxd4 18. Qxd4 b5!?
Perhaps a bit too ambitious.
19. axb5 axb5 20. b4! +/-
locking down Black’s counterplay on the queenside.
20… g6
Trying to prevent f5. The longer term aim is to get the bishop fianchettoed on the g7-square, putting pressure down the long diagonal and specifically the c3-square. 20… Ba6 21. Ra1 Rec8+/=
21. e5
A natual reply to the threat of a fianchettoed bishop on g7 – lock down the diagonal. It also clarifies Black’s ambitions in the centre.
21… d5
21… Bg7 22. Qd3 d5 +/-
22. f5!
Position after 22.f5!
22… gxf5 23. Nxd5!
Smashing through Black’s pawn barrier, it takes advantage of the disarray of Black’s pieces. The threats from the g3-bishop make this particular sacrifice work, because after …exd5 he can play e6! with tempo.
23… Qc4
23… exd5 24. e6 +-
24. Qd2!?
Refusing the exchange of queens so as to keep the attack going. 24. Qe3 in the analysis room after the game Adams remarked that this move is stronger, since it also prevents the later …e5 threats that complicates White’s winning lines.
24… h6
Taking away the g5 square from the White queen24… exd5 25. Qg5+ +/- Shredder 7:

  • 25… Kh8 26. Bxd5 Qg4 27. Qxg4 fxg4 28. Bxf7 Re7 29. e6 Rb7 30. Bh4 Ra7 31. c3 Kg7 32. Rf4 Kh6 33. Rf5 Ne5 34. Rxe5 [eval 3.82/15]
  • 25… Bg7 26. Bxd5 Qe2 27. Rde1 Qxc2 28. e6 Kh8 29. exd7 Bxd7 30. Bxb8 Rxb8 31. Re7 h6 32. Qe3 Be6 33. Bxe6 fxe6 34. Qxe6 Qe4 [eval 4.26/14]
25. h3!?
Adams takes away the g4-square as a potential outpost for the Black queen. In a number of lines this move gives White a few headaches. Shredder 7:

  • 25. Rfe1 Kh7 26. c3 exd5 27. Bxd5 Qg4 28. Bxf7 Re7 29. e6 Rb7 30. exd7 Rbxd7 31. Bd5 Bg7 32. Qd3 Bb7 33. Qxb5 Bxc3 34. Rxe7+ Rxe7 [eval 1.88/13]
  • 25. Qf2 exd5 26. Bxd5 Qg4 27. Bc6 Bxb4 28. Rd4 Qg6 29. Bxd7 Bxd7 30. Rxd7 Rbd8 31. Rd4 Be7 32. Rf4 Qc6 33. Rxf5 Bc5 34. Qe2 [eval 1.48/13]
  • 25. Nf6+ Nxf6 26. exf6 e5 27. Rfe1 Qxb4 28. Rxe5 Qxd2 29. Rxe8 Qxd1+ 30. Bxd1 Ra8 31. Bh4 [eval 1.26/13]
25… exd5 26. Bxd5 Qxb4 27. c3
Black’s queen is forced to retreat, and White can continue his strong attack.
27… Qc5 28. Rxf5 Re6?!
Topalov switches to swindle mode trying to catch Adams out. Both players were a little short of time at this point. 28… Nxe5 29. Rxe5 Rxe5 30. Bxe5 Rb6 +-
29. Rxf7!
Luring the Black king to the f-file where it is at the mercy of the White major pieces. 29. Bxe6 fxe6 30. Rf3 Bg7 +-
29… Nb6
29… Kxf7 30. Qf4+
30. Rdf1
30. Bxe6?! is not possible 30… Bxe6 31. Rf6 Bb3 +-
30… Nxd5 31. Rxf8+ Qxf8 32. Rxf8+ Kxf8 33. Qxd5
The endgame sees White with two extra pawns, but its the badly places Black pieces that are the decisive factor.
33… Ke8 34. Bh4 Bd7 35. Bf6 b4
35… Rbb6 36. Qa8+ Kf7 +-
36. Qe4
36. Qd1!? might be the shorter path 36… Rxf6 37. exf6 bxc3 38. Qe1+ Kd8 +-
36… Bc8 37. cxb4
37. Qd3 Rxf6 38. exf6 bxc3 39. Qxc3 Kf7 40. Qc7+ Kxf6 41. Qxb8 Be6 42. Qf4+ Ke7 43. Qh4+ Kd6 44. Qxh6 Kd5 45. Qg5+ Ke4 +-
37… Rb7 38. Qg6+
38. Qc4!? makes it even easier for White 38… Bd7 39. Qc2 Kf8 +-
38… Kd7 39. Qxh6 Kc7 40. Qf4 Kb8 41. h4 Rc7 42. h5
Topalov resigns 42. h5 Bb7 43. h6 +-
1-0

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