I had hoped to talk about this tournament before now, but I found it difficult for two reasons. Firstly, it seemed to have the longest lead in time of any tournament I can recall (Day 1 Marching Bands, Day 2 Exhibition Match, Day 3 Drawing of lots etc etc), and secondly, the website was hard to find. (It is here btw).
But the big talking point is Ivanchuk's 5/5 start to the event. By beating every other participant he has a performance rating of about 8000, and the big question is whether he can repeat the run in the second half of the tournament. Despite his big lead, Ivanchuck is certainly aware of Topalov's come from behind victories in previous editions of this event, although if he can win like this, then first place is assured.
Topalov,Veselin (2767) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2740) [C11]
4th M-Tel Masters Sofia BUL (2.1), 09.05.2008
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.a3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Be2 0-0 11.Qd2 Qc7 12.Bf3 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Nb6 14.Ne2 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Bd7 16.b3 Bb5 17.Nc3 Rfc8 18.Nxb5 axb5 19.Be2 Nd7 20.Ra2 Nb8 21.0-0 Nc6 22.Qd2 Qb6+ 23.Kh1 Qa5 24.Qxa5 Rxa5 25.Raa1 Rca8 26.Rad1 Rxa3 27.Bxb5 Nb4 28.c4 R8a5 29.f5 exf5 30.g4 Rxb3 31.gxf5 Re3 32.Rb1 Nd3 33.e6 d4 34.Be8 Nc5 35.Bxf7+ Kf8 36.f6 gxf6 37.Rxf6 Ke7 38.Rh6 d3 39.Rxh7 d2 40.Rg1 Re1 41.Bh5+ Kxe6 42.Rhg7 Ne4 43.R7g6+ Ke5 0-1