A peace treaty after a Ìarathon battle on the day of Saint George
The 9th game of the FIDE World Chess Championship finally saw a different opening on the board. The World Champion Viswanathan Anand and the Challenger Veselin Topalov entered the Nimzo-Indian defence, Rubinstein variation, avoiding the previous dispute in Catalan.
Topalov forced the position where his opponent has isolated Queen's pawn, but more space to maneuver. Anand's team came up first with a novelty - 18.Nh3 to force Black to concede some weaknesses on dark-squares.
But Topalov responded immediately with a central trust 18...e5 and the ensuing position became very interesting for observers.
In the spirit of today's Bulgaria National Holiday (St. George's day, holiday of the army and the fighting spirit) the game became imbalanced as White exchanged Queen for two Rooks. With the activation of White's Knight 32. Ng5 Topalov faced the possible problems with his kingside pawns and King itself. Anand, however, preferred back rank tactics and gave Topalov breathing space with 33. Ne4.
Anand was in mild time pressure and his 40.Rh8+ was probably a bit hasty, allowing the Black King to escape to the queenside and leaving the Rook out of play for the time of being. But he quickly regrouped forces and after 46. h5! renewed the threats against Black King.
Topalov thought for quite a while and found the fantastic resource with Knight sacrifice 54...Nxf3+! The point is that the attacking White Knight was brought back and tied in a pin.
The complicated struggle lasted for another 30 moves, but both players played with precision and the inevitable draw was signed on 83rd move, after more than six hours of tense play.
The 10th game is taking place on Friday at 15:00 local time.
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