Saturday, October 07, 2006

G9: Topalov,V (2813) - Kramnik,V (2743)

Kramnik succumbs to pressure and drops second game in a row.

Arguably the worst played game of the match so far, Game 9 saw Kramnik completely fold in time pressure.

Topalov,V (2813) - Kramnik,V (2743) [D12]

WCh Elista RUS (9), 07.10.2006

[IM Malcolm Pein and Mark Crowther]


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


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Nxg6 hxg6
A solid line, Black gets a lead in development and White the bishop pair plus space. Black must attack the centre at some point withc6-c5ore6-e5 8.a3 Nbd7 9.g3 [ 9.h3 Be7 10.Bd3 0-0 11.0-0 e5 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Bb1 Rc8 15.Ba2 Nc4 16.Qd3 Qd7 17.Rd1 Rfd8 18.e4 dxe4 19.Qxd7 Rxd7 20.Rxd7 Nxd7 21.Nxe4 b5 22.Bg5 Bxg5 23.Nxg5 a5 24.Re1 Kf8 25.Nh7+ Kg8 26.Ng5 Kf8 27.Nh7+ Kg8 28.Re7 Kxh7 29.Rxd7 f6 30.a4 Ne5 31.Rd4 g5 32.axb5 Kh6 33.Bb3 Rb8 34.Ba4 Rb6 35.Kf1 Nf7 36.Rc4 Ne5 37.Rc8 g6 38.Rc7 Re6 39.Bb3 Rb6 40.g4 1-0 Finegold,B (2539)-Zaremba,A (2342)/Philadelphia 2003/EXT 2004]
9...Be7 Diagram


10.f4! The first real novelty. Topalov told a press conference afterwards that this was an idea of one of his seconds, Francisco Vallejo. Kramnik in his seperate conference said: "It is difficult to play well in positions such as the one I got today. Topalov's novelty turned very strong - at least for one game. I didn't manage to find adequate response to it." 10...dxc4 [ 10...Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Qc2 f5 13.Bd2 or; 10...Qc7 11.c5 b6 12.b4 a5 13.Bd2 and White has space both look preferable.] 11.Bxc4 0-0 12.e4 b5?! Both players criticised this move after the game. [ 12...Nb6 was almost certainly a better idea.] 13.Be2 b4 Trying to create counterplay but ruining his pawn structure 14.axb4 Bxb4 15.Bf3 Diagram

15...Qb6? Almost universally condemned by commentators. [ 15...c5 16.e5 Kramnik said he didn't like this move. 16...cxd4! with many complications.] 16.0-0 e5?! This was Kramnik's idea he uses pins on b6-g1 and d8-d1. It was still not too late to back out with [ 16...Rfd8 17.Be3 c5 and although white is better he's nothing like as good as he is in the game.] 17.Be3 Rad8 Kramnik was as good as dead in this position, certainly psychologically. He admitted in his press conference afterwards: "After the opening, I continued resisting because it was inconvenient for me to resign that early, but the game was basically decided by move 17. One could play brilliantly afterwards, but it wouldn't change anything. So far my openings are disastrous. It is easy to play good in good positions, and vice versa. If I manage solving my opening problems, everything should be different." [ 17...exd4 18.Na4!] 18.Na4 Qb8 [ 18...Qb5 19.Qc2 exd4 20.Bxd4 c5 21.Nc3 Qb6 22.Bf2 a5 23.e5!] 19.Qc2! Not [ 19.fxe5 Nxe5 and Black play c6-c5 with some play due to the strong Ne5.] 19...exf4 This doesn't look all that great either. 20.Bxf4 Qb7 21.Rad1 Rfe8 22.Bg5 Be7 23.Kh1 Nh7 24.Be3 Bg5 25.Bg1! Black has no space White avoids exchanges 25...Nhf8 26.h4 Be7 27.e5 Nb8 28.Nc3 Bb4 29.Qg2 Qc8

30.Rc1 Diagram

30...Bxc3? With 15 minutes for 11 moves Kramnik cracks 31.bxc3 Ne6 32.Bg4 Qc7 33.Rcd1 Nd7 34.Qa2 f7 is horribly weak 34...Nb6 35.Rf3 Nf8? Blunder but [ 35...Nd5 36.Rdf1 Rd7 37.c4 Nb6 and; 35...c5 36.d5 are both weak.] 36.Rdf1! Re7 37.Be3 Threat Bg5. 37...Nh7 38.Rxf7! Nd5 [ 38...Rxf7 39.Rxf7 Qxf7 40.Be6]





39.R7f3 Diagram

[ 39.Be6 also wins out of hand.; 39.R7f3 Kh8 40.Bg5 Nxg5 41.hxg5 intending Qh2+ 42... Kh8 43.Qc2 and takes on g6.] 1-0

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