Bu Xiangzhi – Veselin Topalov LIVE!

Nanjing Pearl Spring chess tournament live commentary

The round 7 game between Bu Xiangzhi and Veselin Topalov begins at 8:00 am CET. The commentary will appear below the board.

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11:50 CET

69…Qe4 – Finally a draw by repetition. Bu Xiangzhi tried to play for a win, but Black fortress was extremely strong and White also had to take care about his own King. Topalov blundered an exchange in the early middlegame, but then fought hard to stay in the game. Bu missed better moves, for example instead of 28. Rd4, and 42. Qh6+ was probably decisive.

Thank you everyone for following Chessdom live coverage, see you again tomorrow at 8:00 CET. Have a nice day!

11:25 CET

45. Rd1 – Black was already threatening Bd6 with battery against h2.

49. Qg1 – The only hope is to prepare Rf1 and kick Black Queen from f4. Still, Black is already extremely solid and this can’t finish with other result than a draw.

11:15 CET

39…Kg6?! – Inaccuracy, Black King will be kicked into open field where White heavy pieces will coordinate strong attack.

41. Qh7! – Cuts King’s retreat and wins tempo against h-pawn to play Qh6+

42. Ra1?! – But Bu misses move order, 42. Qh6+! should have come first.

42…Qf4! – The only defence, now Black King can hang inside the shelter for a bit longer. 43. Ra6+ is countered by Bd6.

11:05 CET

38. f5!? – The only practical chance is to offer a pawn to break Black’s structure.

10:55 CET

35…Kh7 – Stepping away from possible surprises on the 8th rank and reinforcing g6 pawn in case of future f4-f5.

36. e4 – Bu is insisting on exchange of “a” and “e” pawns. But how to win without the pawn majority on the kingside?

10:45 CET

32…bxa4 – Surprising decision!

10:30 CET

32. a4 – White will have to drop one of the pawns. Now Topalov has a choice, 32…Bxe3 33. axb5 Qxb5 34. Qe2 Bxf4 which would be difficult for White to convert, or perhaps 32…b4!?

10:20 CET

30. Rxe4 – 30. Rd8+ was interesting, 30…Kg7 31. Qb2+ f6 and White will still have to work to break Black’s stand in the center.

31. Kh1 – Black can push 31…h4 and try to create some counterplay on the weakened squares around White King.

10:15 CET

28. Rd4 – Perhaps not the best, as Black’s counterplay could become annoying after Bc5, but White is still better.

10:00 CET

23. Qa2 – For White it is only important to keep the Queen on the second rank and have f2-f4 at hand.

27. Bd5 – Of course, the exchanges now favour White. 27. h3 with idea Kh2 and then fight for the 7th rank was also interesting.

9:35 CET

21…Bb7?! – Dropping the control of d7-square might have serious consequences after 22. Nb6! and Black heavy pieces fall under forks. 22…Qg5 23. f4

9:30 CET

20…cxb3 – Immediate 20…Bf5 was also possible, 21. e4 Rfe8! 22. bxc4 Bxe4 with complication position.

9:15 CET

18. b3!? – Bu has to try and find some air for the Bishop. This was the last possible moment, before Black accomplishes Bb7 and Rc8.

18…Ne5 – Also possible was 18…Bb7!?, but then the later Nd5 from White would force lots of exchanges. Now 19. Nxe5 Qxe5 wins a tempo by attacking Nc3, while 19. Nd4 Qe7 makes a contact with a3 pawn.

9:05 CET

17. dxe6!? – White had various options at his disposal: 17. d6!? Qd8 holds the d-pawn firmly blocked and Black can develop good play over the long diagonals and c-file; 17. Nd4 looked scary at first sight, but 17…Nc5! is a good way to counter it.

9:00 CET

16…c4 – Trying to shut the White Bishop. An earlier game in the Spanish championship saw 16…Nb6 17. e4 Bb7 and Black eventually won, but 17. d6! was much more challenging.

8:55 CET

15…c5 – Black is liberating, but the Bishop still remains on c8 and position has a great dynamic potential.

16. d5!? – The only way to fight for the advantage, 16. dxc5 Qxc5 has no prospects.

8:50 CET

13. Rfe1 – Preparing to meet possible e6-e5.

13…a6!? – Invented by GM Suat Atalik. Black is preparing faster b5 and c5 advance, compared to the slightly conservative 13…b6, which prepares Bb7 first, and was a choice of Anand and Karjakin.

8:40 CET

11…Qe7 – Always useful retreat, Black gets away from the future Nc3-e4 and prepares to push either e6-e5 or c6-c5 to open diagonals for Bishops.

8:40 CET

11. Qc2 – Also commonly used by Kramnik and Kasparov. 11. Rc1 is slightly more popular, but 11. b4 is very interesting.

8:35 CET

7. e3 – Considered to be the main line, Mamedyarov used the sharper 7. Qb3!? to beat Topalov.

8…dxc4 – In various Queen’s Gambit setups Black usually wait for White to spend a tempo on Bishop’s development and only then take on c4.

8:30 CET

6. Bxf6 – White cedes Bishops’ pair for a certain space advantage. Topalov reached this position with Black on two occasions, both times in Mtel Masters. He suffered a painful defeat against Mamedyarov in 2007, but later drew Ivanchuk in 2008.

8:30 CET

5…h6 – For many years, Botvinnik variation 5…dxc4 was considered to be main line. Recently, Black have switched to “safer” 5…h6. There are still many sharp lines after 6. Bh4!? dxc4 7. e4 g5 (and there is no time for Nxg5 temporary sacrifice), but the theoretical status is better than immediate 5…dxc4.

8:25 CET

4…c6 – Topalov also used to play classical Queen’s Gambit with 4…Be7

5. Bg5 – The second big crossroad, 5. e3 is Meran variation and exactly this move Topalov used in his yesterday’s game versus Aronian.

8:15 CET

1. Nf3 – Vladimir Kramnik achieved fantastic results with this move order in the early 90s.

3. Nc3 – While he succeeded in avoiding certain Indian defences, for example Gruenfeld or Benoni, Bu stil has to count with various Queen’s Gambit variations.

7:50 CET

Good morning everyone, welcome to the Chessdom LIVE coverage of the Pearl Spring tournament. With yesterday’s wins, Bu Xiangzhi and Veselin Topalov have singled out on the top with four points each. Their first Pearl Spring game was a fighting draw. Bu Xiangzhi appears to be very motivated on his homeground, and with Topalov who is always aggressive, we are looking forward to an interesting game.