Vasiliev’s final report on Linares 2010 was a bumper round-up of interviews with the participants, including Topalov’s pyramid theory of why he should only play for large amounts of money.
Originally posted here:
– The endgame you lost to Topalov – was it drawn?
– Well, it wasn’t such a simple endgame. It’s drawn, of course. But it needs great precision. I think the clever clogs pundits (with a computer at their side) could easily find the draw. But at the board a hundred out of a hundred of them would lose it.
– A hundred out of a hundred?
– Yes, a hundred out of a hundred.
– The endgame will end up in textbooks. The draw, I think, is there, but it’s not as simple as it seems. Playing 48…Ke8 was unfortunate. Maybe 49…Ke7 still saved it… It needs checking.
– And overall – what can you say about the tournament?
– I haven’t fully recovered after the World Cup. I found playing very hard. I’m totally exhausted. Such play makes you even more tired…
The way it ended, of course, spoilt my mood a little. It looked like the win was in my pocket and suddenly Boris lost that drawn endgame. But overall my mood’s good. Even better that last year when I shared 1st/2nd place with Ivanchuk, because last year I had the impression that I was in “super form” and to a degree over-performed [lit. “jumped above head-height”]. While this year even if I’d won the tournament I’d have considered that that was the way things should be.
– What did you think of your play?
– I picked up a point or two more than I deserved. I arrived without any opening ideas. Even if normally you don’t manage to use them all, you feel more confident. Arriving the way I did on this occasion isn’t professional. I’ll make things right.
– Can I ask why you weren’t at Wijk?
– They didn’t invite me, that’s all.
– But why did they suddenly decide not to invite you?
– It turned out that the organisers couldn’t meet the conditions I proposed. That’s all.
– In the last round game with Gelfand did you specially give back the exchange to go for that drawn endgame? You might not have won…
– No, no, no! I just thought that it was an easily won endgame, while in actual fact it turned out that I had to struggle… After move 40 I understood that the position was objectively drawn, but I looked for ways of confusing my opponent.
– And you succeeded…
– Well, exhaustion finally had its say. I’m not sure about Ke8 – it’s a mistake. It seemed to me that 48…Kf6 was a draw.
– No, I wasn’t happy with the quality [of my play]. Even with the four wins I can’t pick one out as a clean win. But they were interesting.
– Your games [against Grischuk] were the most tense and decisive. What do you think of them?
– In the first I got a promising position, but then I sacrificed incorrectly, he made a few mistakes and I got chances. After the 40th move I think that objectively the position’s drawn, but he didn’t play very well and lost. And in the 2nd game I went for a forced variation which I evaluated wrongly. I got an unpleasant position where I had chances of surviving, but objectively it was hard to play. But let me repeat: I’m satisfied with all the games I played here. They were all interesting.
– And would you like to play in Moscow?
– I have too many invitations. This year I turned down playing in Wijk and Nice. I have to play the Grand Slam final. If they invite me Silvio will think about it. And then, I don’t know what the prizes are in Moscow. Here I earned 75 000 euro, which is almost 100 000 dollars. How much it is in Moscow, I don’t know.
– Do you really need the money?
– No, I could already give it all up and I’d have enough money to the end of my life. But it’s a pyramid. I can’t play for small amounts because then those who are below me will have to play for even less. It’s my obligation to play only for large sums. But in general Silvio deals with it…