Friday, October 06, 2006

G4: Topalov,V (2813) - Kramnik,V (2743)

G4: Topalov,V (2813) - Kramnik,V (2743) [D47]

WCh Elista RUS (4), 27.09.2006

[IM Malcolm Pein]

(Thanks to Mark Crowther, The Week In Chess, and Malcolm Pein for commentary and analysis)

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7
At some point there was going to have to be an examination of some sharp lines. Lets see what Topalov has cooked up. 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 There are many alternatives here including 9.e4 9.a3 b4 10.Ne4 Nxe4 11.Bxe4 bxa3 12.0-0 Bd6 13.b3 Nf6 Diagram

14.Nd2N A remarkable novelty. At first sight Bxh2+ is possible [ 14.Bd3 c5 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Bb5+ Ke7 17.Bxa3 Bxa3 18.Qxd8+ Rhxd8 19.Rxa3 a6 20.Bc4 Rd6 21.Rfa1 Rb6 22.Nd4 Ne8 23.f3 Nd6 24.Bd3 e5 25.Nf5+ Nxf5 26.Bxf5 Rd8 27.Rc1 g6 28.Bb1 Rd2 29.Ra2 Rxa2 30.Bxa2 Bd5 31.Kf2 Be6 32.Rc7+ Kd6 33.Ra7 Bd5 34.Bb1 Kc5 35.Be4 Bxe4 36.fxe4 Rxb3 37.Rxf7 Kb4 38.Ra7 a5 39.Ke2 Rb2+ 0-1 Pogorelov,R (2395)-Vera,R (2510)/Andorra la Vella 2006; 14.Nd2 Nxe4 15.Nxe4 Bxh2+ 16.Kxh2 Qh4+ 17.Kg1 Qxe4 18.f3! Qg6 19.Bxa3 would be suicidal against a well prepared opponent, Kramnik cannot contemplate this.] 14...Qc7 15.Bf3 [ 15.Bxa3!?] 15...Bxh2+ 16.Kh1 It seems that White will get good compensation on the queenside for the pawn with pressure on the black squares and a and c files. Black must retreat the bishop because of the threat of g2-g3 16...Bd6 17.Nc4 Be7 [ 17...0-0?? 18.Nxd6 Qxd6 19.Bxa3] 18.Bxa3 0-0 19.Bxe7 Qxe7 20.Ra5 Preventing c6-c5 and preparing Qa1 possibly with Ne5 to follow. Kramnik will have to work hard to avoid losing both queenside pawns. Perhaps he should consider 20...c5 to get the bishops off 20...Rfd8 21.Kg1 Diagram

The king was slightly vulnerable to a check on h1 but this shows Topalov believes he has plenty of time. 21...c5 In the long run Black could not cover both a7 and c6 now there will be a piece exchange and the Qe7 will be able to defend a7. This looks like a good practical decision. Kramnik is 30 minutes down on the clock. 87 minutes to 57 but there is no hint of time trouble 22.Rxc5 Ne4 [ 22...Bxf3 23.Qxf3 Nd5 24.Ra1 with good control and chances to play e3-e4, e4-e5 and Nc4-d6] 23.Bxe4 Bxe4 24.Qg4 It looks distinctly possible that it will be Kramnik's turn to defend an inferior heavy piece endgame with rooks and queens 24...Bd3 25.Ra1 Rac8 26.Raa5 Rb8 27.Qd1 Now Bxc4 bxc4 would give White a dream structure and enable him to preaaure a7 and advance the c pawn. Be4 -d5 looks sound enough now and if White plays e3-e4 then Black might get play against d4 27...Be4 28.Qa1 Rb7 29.Nd2 Bg6 30.Qc3 h6 31.Ra6 Kh7 32.Nc4 Be4 33.f3 Bd5 White is still slightly better and Black has to be slightly careful he does not run out of squares for his bishop 34.Nd2 Rdb8 35.Qd3+ [ 35.Ra3 Qh4 36.e4 Qe1+=] 35...f5 Topalov has provoked a weakness if [ 35...Kg8 36.e4 Bxb3 37.Rc3 Qh4 38.Ra1 Stopping the checks and winning the bishop] 36.Rc3 Qh4 37.Ra1 Qg3 38.Qc2 Rf7 Anticipating e3-e4; Black is holding 39.Rf1 Qg6 40.Qd3 Qg3 41.Rfc1 Rfb7 42.Qc2 Qg5 43.Ra1 Qf6 Very patient defence continually hampering White's possible advances b3-b4 and e3-e4 44.Qd3 Rd7 45.Ra4 Rbd8 46.Rc5 Kg8 47.Nc4 Bxc4 48.Raxc4 Diagram

Famous last words but I cannot see Kramnik losing this, the engines want 48...f4 starting to exchange pawns [ 48.Qxc4 has been suggested as a better chance for white here [MC].] 48...f4 49.Rc6 fxe3 50.Qxe3 Rxd4 51.Rxe6 Qh4 52.Rxd4 Qxd4 53.Re8+ Kh7 54.Qxd4 A great re sult for Kramnik who was faced with a good novelty from Topalov and while he did not succeed in defusing it totally he never looked in serious trouble. 1/2-1/2

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