Vugar Gashimov memorial 2017 round 2

Convincing win by Topalov, another endgame by Eljanov

Recently, there has been a lot of speculation whether  Veselin Topalov will soon stop to compete on the highest level.

After suffering a couple of disasters throughout the tournaments, and his own admission that he doesn't work on chess as much as before, it seemed that such speculation has solid grounds.

However, everyone who has written off Topalov as a serious competitor has made a grave mistake. Because with his game in Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2017 round 2 he has demonstrated that he still isn't completely ready for retiriment.

In a trendy variation of the Slav Defence, Topa unleashed the early c5 advance, which left him with isolated queen pawn.

His opponent, Wojtaszek, had multiple problems to solve, and couldn't cope with that task successfully. Topa grabbed the initiative with the typical d4 advance, and from that point onwards his play was virtually flawless.

Except Topalov, the winner of the first day, Pavel Eljanov, built up on his success with another endgame grind against Pentala Harikrishna. Although his position in the middle game didn't look very convincing, a premature queen exchange by his Indian opponent left him in a slightly better endgame.

After pushing for the remainder of the game, he managed to provoke a fatal mistake by his opponent in time trouble and secure the full point.

Wojtaszek - Topalov, game analysis

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