It was only five months ago that GM Veselin Topalov shook up the chess world with his impressive winning record at the World Chess Championships in San Luis, Argentina. GM Topalov finished a full 1.5 points head of the world's top competition without losing a single game. Today we are in the middle of the Ciudad de Linares International Chess Tournament, one of the most popular and toughest super GM tournaments of the year. Where is GM Topalov? He's in seventh place of an eight player field with a less then stellar record of 2.5/7.
Was it just a lucky winning streak?
Some would think not. GM Topalov won Linares and the M-Tel Masters tournament last year giving him a very successful year. However, ICC analyst GM Gregory Kaidanov interviewed GM Viswanathan Anand in San Luis, Argentina during the FIDE World Championships. GM Anand said of GM Topalov's play at the time "What can I say? Topalov will not be able to keep this [3000 performance rating] tournament after tournament".
Although many did not believe this at the time, it has proved to be true. GM Topalov has been unable to maintain this high level performance during this year's Linares. After seven rounds of action GM topalov has managed to pull out only one win on top of three draws and three losses.
Linares is on their travel break in which all players are flying from Morelia, Michoacan Mexico to Linares, Spain for the second half of the action. There's a seven hour time difference between the first half and the second half of the tournament. Can GM Topalov pull it together and finish out the second half of the tournament with a better performance?
Tune into the ICC for live relay coverage and live audio coverage of this fantastic tournament.
Standings After Round 7:
5.0 GM Peter Leko (Hungary 2740)
4.5 GM Levon Aronian (Armenia 2752)
4.0 GM Peter Svidler (Russia 2765)
3.5 GM Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine 2729)
3.5 GM Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan 2700)
3.0 GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain 2650)
2.5 GM Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria 2801)
2.0 GM Etienne Bacrot (France 2717)