The FIDE World Chess Championship will be a real delicacy for the theoreticians and analysts. Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov are investigating every corner of the popular variation in the Slav defence and various systems against Catalan opening.
The eighth game of the match featured Slav defence which was already seen in games three and five.
Anand was again the first to digress from previous encounters, and omitted 13...a6 by playing immediate Rc8. This prompted Topalov to use the opportunity for Bb5 and trade off the Knight from d7.
Black obtained pair of Bishops but White enjoyed development advantage and tried to press the enemy King before Black pieces come to life.
Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk commented that "the advantage of these kind of positions is that computers nowadays are still not great helpers in such endgames. Everything is about nuances that computers still can't understand and only people can feel".
Topalov's novelty 18. a5 cleared the square for the Knight and made it more difficult for Black to exchange the dark-squared bishops.
But Anand patiently defended to neutralise the pressure and initiated massive exchanges even at the cost of the pawn on f4.
Topalov allowed the Rooks to go off, and entered an opposite-coloured Bishops endgame with a strong passer on d6.
The resulting endgame was very difficult for evaluation, as nobody could say with certainty whether it's winning or Black can hold a draw. But Topalov enjoyed the fun of trying different plans to break through, while Black had to defend himself with extreme precision.
Eventually, Topalov executed the winning idea of pushing the Black King into corner, play Bg7, g4-g5, g6 and clear the f6 square for his King. Anand saw what is looming and resigned after 56. g4.
The score in the match is now 4:4. Wednesday is rest day, the action continues with the 9th game on Thursday 15:00 local time.
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