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Monday, September 25, 2006

World Chess Championship-- Kramnik Leads 2-0 After Topalov Blunders in Opening Games!

TOPALOV vs KRAMNIK (Sept, 21 - Oct, 12)
GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2743

GM Vesselin Topalov BUL 2813

News & Analyses Curtesy of FIDE World Chess Championship 2006
Internet Chess Club (ICC)

For much more on the match, please visit the above sites!

Press Conference after Game #1 --

Do you feel sorry for Veselin?
Vladimir kramnik: (Pause.) I tried to listen to my feelings; no, I don’t feel sorry for him.

Veselin, you could force a draw after the control move, but preferred to continue playing. Were you so confident in your position?
Veselin TOPALOV: After the 40th I could play without any risk, and my position was better objectively. It is a dream situation for any chess player! Of course, the advantage is not easy to convert, there are significant technical difficulties. Vladimir defended well, and I eventually blundered.

Game 1: Analysis by GM Ernesto Inarkiev

40.Nc6 Nd2.The control move is made. White has no counterplay, Black can keep playing quietly, but he has yet to find the right plan, if there is one.

41.Rd1 Ne4 42.Rf1 Kg6.

An interesting construction: if the Black’s king gets to d3, a tactical idea Ng3-fg-Rg2-Kh1-Ke2 appears, betting on the f-pawn. Here is another idea – with the king on e2 Black trades rooks, and then the f-pawn is likely to fall in the knight ending. However, I think White can hold, as it is very difficult for the king to penetrate – the White’s knight will start attacking Black’s pawns, distracting Black’s pieces for defensive purposes...


57...f5? A huge blunder! Black could make a draw by 57...Nf2 58.Kg3 e4 59.Kf2 Rb2 with perpetual, as if the king tries escaping, the f-pawn promotes.

58.Nxe5 Rb2 59.Nd3 Rb7 (as Veselin mentioned, he overlooked that after 59...Rd2 White has winning move 60.Rd4) 60.Rd4.White has a decisive advantage.

Press Conference after Game #2 --

– Vladimir, did you notice after 31...Bxf8 that it loses in two moves because of 32.Rxg4+ Bg7 33.Qc7?

Vladimir KRAMNIK: (thinks for several seconds) No I didn’t (shakes his head).

A complete disaster for Topalov in game 2
Express notes by John Henderson

John Henderson Former world champion Garry Kasparov always maintained that psychology plays a major part in matchplay in chess – and how his words are now ringing true, as Veselin Topalov now looks a broken man as he again blunders horrifically to go 2-0 down to one of the most toughest players in the planet in Vladimir Kramnik.

Game 2 - Diagram 1The decisive moment that will have commentators and chess journalist busy over the next few days came on move 31, as Topalov moved in for the kill with all his pieces aimed at Kramnik’s king. First, it was Kramnik to blunder with 31..Bxf8?? when he was forced to play 31 ..Kxf8 32 Qh7 Qe2 33 Qh6+ Kf7 34 Qh5+ Kf8 35 Qxg4 Bg5 36 Re1 Qc2 37 fxg5 Ke7 and, with both kings so exposed, the likeliest result looked a draw.

Who knows though what was going through Topalov’s mind here, because the world’s highest-rated player incredulously missed a forced win now with 32 Rxg4+ Bg7 33 Qc7! Qf1+ 34 Ng1 (perhaps Topalov didn’t realize the strength of the knight retreat, as it covers the checks on f3 and h3?), and Kramnik could have resigned with a clear conscience.

Game 2 - Diagram 2Still, despite the Miss of the Year, Topalov was still on top in a complicated position. But again he he erred right at the time-control with 40 Bf4. Instead, he should have exchanged queens immediately with good prospects of a technically won ending after 40 Qxe4! dxe4 41 Ng5 Bxf6 (41 ..Rc7 42 Nxe6 Rc3 43 Nxg7 wins easily) 42 Nxf7 Kxf7 43 exf6 a5 44 Bd2 b6 45 Kf4 Kxf6 46 Kxe4. After missing this, Kramnik, the last student from the famed Botvinnik School of Chess, made no mistake as he ruthlessly converted the ending into a second improbable win in as many days.

Now, after two really bad losses from favorable positions, Topalov has it all to do against tough-nut Kramnik, who will now look to shut the Bulgarian out from the rest of the match in much the same way as he successfully did in London six years ago against Kasparov when he won the title.

Kramnik goes 2-0 up against Topalov after second game
Kramnik goes 2-0 up against Topalov after second game


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