Linares: Topalov of the World
A two game winning streak was enough to put Veselin Topalov well on top at Linares - and it also propels the Bulgarian to the top of the live ratings, as he's now set to replace Norwegian teenager, Magnus Carlsen, as the new world No.1 with the publication of the March FIDE rating list.
After beating Russia's Alexander Grischuk in round five, Topalov rode his luck for a second successive win after a dramatic reversal of fortunes by local Spaniard Francisco Vallejo, who somehow managed to contrive to blunder away a whole rook in chronic time trouble.
The brace of wins proved sufficient to move Topalov up the charts to 2814 in the live ratings, as he edges Carlsen off the top spot to second on 2813 - but Topalov missed a golden opportunity to move closer to winning Linares and an even bigger lead at the top of the live ratings, after he failed to find the spectacular knockout punch (34 Rxe4!!) against the world No.5, Levon Aronian, in round seven.
The squandered opportunity against Aronian allowed defending champion Grischuk to stay within striking distance of the tournament leader, as Vugar Gashimov's Modern Benoni was finally made to suffer in sorrow, as can be seen in GM Ronen Har-Zvi's choice for GOTD below.
Play resumes Tuesday (10:00am ET) with the final two rounds of play at Linares. Will Topalov hold off the challenge of Grischuk? Can Topalov continue winning to increase his lead at the top of the world rankings over Carlsen? You can find out by joining us for live coverage here on Chess.FM of the final rounds of Linares, where host Mig Greengard will be joined for the finale by GMs Ben Finegold and Alex Yermolinsky.
Source: Newsletter International Chess Club ICC