Question: How does White win?
”YOU’VE never had it so good,” is the misquotation often repeated from a speech made over half a century ago by then prime minister Harold Macmillan.
And certainly as a chess fan, you’ve certainly never had it so good with not one but two elite tournaments running concurrently - and next week seeing the start of the first super-tournament in Norway, featuring Magnus Carlsen.
But before that, there are two major tournaments drawing to a close: the Alekhine Memorial, split between the venues of the Louvre in Paris and the Russian State Museum in St Petersburg, and the third leg of the FIDE Grand Prix, a series of six events that will seed two candidates for the 2014 world championship candidates’ cycle.
We’ll conclude the Alekhine Memorial tomorrow; but today we turn our attentions to the Swiss city of Zug for the FIDE GP, as former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria continues his comeback trail, with a stylish last-round win over Sergey Karjakin of Russia to claim victory by a wide margin that also makes him odds-on now to go forward to the 2014 candidates’ cycle, as he leads the Grand Prix with 310 points after three
Final standings: 1. Topalov, 8/11; 2. Nakamura, 6.5; 3-4. Ponomariov, Caruana, 6; 5-6. Kamsky, Morozevich, 5.5; 7-9. Karjakin, Giri, Leko, 5; 10-12. Radjabov, Kasimdzhanov, Mamedyarov, 4.5.
V Topalov - S Karjakin
Renova FIDE GP, (11)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 Nc3 g6 7 Bg2 Bg7 8 Nf3 0–0 9 0–0 Re8 10 Nd2 Nbd7 11 a4 a6 12 a5 b5 13 axb6 Nxb6 14 Nb3 Bf5 15 Na5 Ne4 16 Bd2 Nxd2 17 Qxd2 h5 18 e3 h4 19 Rfe1 Qg5 20 Na4 Reb8 21 Nc3 Qh5 22 f3 Qh8 23 g4 Bd7 24 h3 f5 25 g5 f4 26 exf4 Bd4+ 27 Kh1 Qg7 28 Bf1 Re8 29 Ne4 Kh8 30 Nxd6 Rxe1 31 Rxe1 Rf8 32 Re4 Nxd5 33 Nb3 Bc6 34 f5! gxf5 35 Rxh4+ Kg8 36 Nxd4 cxd4 37 Bc4 Qe5 38 Qxd4 Qxd6 39 Rh6 Qe7 40 Bxd5+ Bxd5 41 Rh8+ 1–0