Monday, October 16, 2006

G12: Kramnik,V (2743) - Topalov,V (2813)

WCh Elista RUS (12), 12.10.2006

[IM Malcolm Pein]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Nxg6 hxg6
Unexpected but a back handed compliment to Kramnik. Topalov uses his opening line. Its solid and so it suits for thisgame 8.g3 Nbd7 9.Bd2 Bb4 10.Qb3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 Ne4 12.Bg2 Nxc3 13.Qxc3 f5 Like in the Stonewall the white squared pawns act as a barrier against the white bishop. Black must be slightly worse and it feels like the players have swopped roles [ 13...dxc4 14.Qxc4 Qa5+ 15.Qc3+/=] 14.0-0 [ 14.0-0-0!? Fritz, would never have occurred to me] 14...Qe7 15.cxd5 Kramnik opts for clarity and the plan of a minority attack on the queenside 15...exd5 16.b4 Nf6 Diagram

17.Rfc1 [ 17.b5 cxb5 18.Qb3 Qd7 19.Rfc1 Actually look quite good as d5 is very weak because of Rc1-c5 and a2-a4 might be good later. However its too risky for the circumstances 19...a6 20.Rc2 0-0 21.Rac1©] 17...Ne4 18.Qb2 0-0 19.b5 Rac8 20.bxc6 bxc6 21.Qe2 Nice move with many points. Black's only counterplay is pawn g5 and then pawn f4. The possible pin on the e file after f4 exf4 holds this up. Also Qa6 is a plan now 21...g5 22.Rab1 Qd7 [ 22...Nd6 23.Rxc6 Rxc6 24.Bxd5+] 23.Rc2 Rf6 Black can probably defend this position because he only has one weakness 24.Rbc1 [ 24.Qa6 g4 25.Rb7 Rc7 26.Rcb2 Nd6 Defends] 24...g4 25.Rb2 Rh6 26.Qa6 Rc7 27.Rb8+ Kh7 28.Qa3 Threat Qf8 but Black's resources are adequate 28...Rb7 29.Qf8 [ 29.Ra8!?] 29...Rxb8 30.Qxb8 Qf7 31.Qc8 Qh5 32.Kf1 Nd2+ 33.Ke1 Nc4 34.Bf1 Black needs to defend f5 before taking on h2 [ 34.Rxc4 dxc4 35.Bxc6 Rf6 36.Bd5 Qxh2 37.Ke2 also leads to a draw] 34...Rf6 35.Bxc4 dxc4 36.Rxc4 Qxh2 37.Ke2 [ 37.Rxc6?? Qh1+ 38.Ke2 Qxc6] 37...Qh1 38.Rc5 Qb1 39.Qa6 Qb2+ 40.Kf1 Qb1+ 41.Ke2 Qb2+ 42.Kf1 Rh6 As ever Topalov tries all possible routes to win. Qd3 is forced now when Black can win a pawn but a rook and pawn ending with a7 and c6 weak is a draw 43.Qd3 Diagram

43...g6 now Qc4 or Qb3 keep it level Qd3 g6 [ 43...Qa1+ 44.Ke2 Qxa2+ 45.Qc2 Qxc2+ 46.Rxc2 Rf6 47.Ra2 Rf7 48.Ra6 Rc7 49.Kd3 and the idea of e4 undermining g4 is one way to draw] 44.Qb3 Rh1+ 45.Kg2 Rh2+ 46.Kxh2 Qxf2+ 47.Kh1 Qf1+ 1/2-1/2

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