Kamsky,G (2725) - Topalov,V (2796) [C92]World Chess Challenge Sofia BUL (4), 21.02.2009
After this game It will be interesting to see if Topalov will continue to play into Kamsky's Ruy Lopez. My theory is he doesn't want to use his best opening preparation prefering to save it for his match with Anand assuming he will get that far.
2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6
Topalov does not wish to play a Marshall Gambit or a anti-marshall system and so indicates his intentoins by playing 7. ...d6 before castling.
8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7
This is the Zaitsev variation of the Ruy Lopez
10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.Ng5
A rare line
12.a4 follows is a nice win for Kamsky against Anand in their PCA Candidates match. Kamsky was at the height of his career in the nineties making it too the final stages of the PCA and FIDE world championship cycles. 12...h6 13.Bc2 exd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Bb1 g6 16.Ra3 Bg7 17.e5 dxe5 18.dxe5 Nh5 19.axb5 axb5 20.Qb3 c5 21.Ne4 Bxe5 22.Nxc5 Bxf3 23.Qxf3 Rc8 24.Ne4 Kg7 25.Rd1 Qe7 26.Be3 Red8 27.Ra7 Qe6 28.Nc5 Rxd1+ 29.Qxd1 Qd5 30.Qg4 Rc7 31.Rxc7 Bxc7 32.g3 Qc4 0-1 Anand,V-Kamsky,G/Las Palmas 1995
12...Re7 13.d5 Nb8 14.Nf1 Nbd7 15.Ng3 g6
16.Be3 Qc8 17.Rc1 Nc5 18.Bc2 c6 19.b4 Ncd7 20.Bb3 h6 21.Ne6 cxd5 22.Nxf8 Qxf8 23.exd5 h5 24.Bg5 Ree8 25.Qd2 Qg7 26.c4 bxc4 27.Bxc4 Nb6 28.Bb3 Rac8 29.Bh6 Qh8 30.Be3 Nbd7 31.Ba4 Kh7 32.Bc6 Rc7 33.Bg5 Rec8 34.Bxb7 Rxb7 35.Rc6 Rb6 36.Bxf6 1-0 Romanishin,O-Beliavsky,A/Minsk 1979/URS-ch
16...h6 17.Nf3 Nb6 18.h4 Qd7 19.Nh2 Bg7 20.h5
With such a pawn structure black's main breaks are f5 and c6 trying to break down the center. White stops f5 as a possibility and will hope that after c6 he can take control of d5 for his own pieces.
20...Rf8 21.Nhf1 c6 22.dxc6 Qxc6 23.Ne3 Kh7
GM Ian Rogers commented "Quietly accepting his fate. The advance 23...d5 24.hxg6 fxg6 25.exd5 Nbxd5 26.Nxd5 Nxd5 27.Be4 when White controls the board" Full Annotations here http://www.http//main.uschess.org/content/view/9155/517
GM Marin has a different opinion. "Topalov approach in this stage of the game is too static. By slowly improving the placement of his pieces, he will allow Kamsky catch up with the development. It looks more logical to open the position at once with 23...d5"
24.Qf3 Bc8 25.Rd1 Be6
A fantastic sacrifice.
A normal continuation might be 26.Bb3 Nc4 27.Nd5 Bxd5 28.exd5 Qc7 29.Bc2 Nb6
Topalov is not one to back down from a challenge but this is a risky pawn to take at least practically.
26...Rd7 27.Bd2 Rc8 28.Rac1 d5 is a possibly safer option
27...Qb2 28.Bb4 Nc8 29.Ne2 a5 30.Rab1
28.Ba5 Qb8 29.Rd2 Nc8
29...Rc8 30.Rad1 Rd7 31.Bb1
30...Rd7 31.Bb4 Qb6 32.Ngf5!? gxf5 33.exf5 Kh8 34.fxe6 fxe6 35.Qh3 a5 36.Ba3 b4 37.Bb2 Re7 Is an interesting variation.
Stopping black's Qb5 threat.
31...Kh8 32.Bd3 Na7 33.Rc1 Nb5
33...Rc8 34.Rdc2 Rxc2 35.Rxc2 Nb5 36.Bxb5 axb5 37.Bxb4
34.Bxb5 axb5 35.Bxb4 Rd7 36.Rc6
Kamsky is torturing Topalov who must find it difficult to be in a position like this.
37.Nd5! This is a stronger move but Kamsky is in no hurry especially with both players time running low at this point. 37...Bxd5 (37...Nxd5 38.exd5 Bf5 39.Qf3+-) 38.exd5 Kh7 (38...Qb7 39.Qd3 Kh7 40.Rdc2 White has a dream position.) 39.a3 Qb7 40.Qd3 Rc8 41.Rdc2 Rdc7 42.Ne4 Nxe4 43.Qxe4 Bf8 44.f4+-
37...Bf8 38.Qc2 Kh7 39.Ba5 Re8 40.hxg6+ fxg6 41.Bc7 Qb7 42.Bxd6 Bf7
42...Bc4!? 43.Rc7 Rxc7 44.Bxc7 Qxc7 45.bxc4 b4 White is still on top
43.Bxf8 Rxd2 44.Qc1! Rxf8 45.Rxf6 Rfd8 46.Ngf1 R2d6 47.Nf5 Winning
43...Bxb4 44.Rxd7 Qxd7 45.Rxf6 Re6?!
45...Be6 46.Nd5 Be7 47.Nxe7 Qxe7 48.Qc6 Kg7 49.Rxe6 Qxe6 50.Qxb5 looks better for black than the game continuation
46.Nd5 Bf8 47.Rf3
47.Rxe6 Qxe6 48.a4 bxa4 49.bxa4 Qd6 50.a5 Kg7 (50...Bxd5 51.exd5 Qxd5 52.Qc7+)
White has a winning advantage now.
I have some live footage from the game at this point.
48...Ra6 49.Rc7 Qd6 50.Qe2 Kg8 51.Qxb5 Rxa2 52.Qb7 Ra1+ 53.Kh2 Bxd5 54.exd5 Qf6 55.Qc8 Qh4+ 56.Qh3 Qxh3+ 57.Kxh3 Rd1 58.Ne4 Ba3
58...Rxd5?? 59.Nf6+ Its not the rook but 59...Kh8 60.Rh7#
59.Ra7 Bb4 60.Rb7 Ba3 61.f3 Kf8 62.Rb5 h5 63.Kg3 Rc1 64.Rb8+ Kf7 65.Rb7+ Kf8 66.Kf2 Rc2+ 67.Kf1 Rc1+ 68.Ke2 Rc2+ 69.Kd3 Rxg2 70.Ra7 Be7
70...Bc1 71.d6 Ke8 72.Kc4 Be3 73.Re7+ Kd8 74.Nf6 Rc2+ 75.Kb5 h4 76.Re8#
71.d6 Bd8 72.Nc5 Ke8 73.Rh7
[73.Rh7 Ba5 74.d7+ Kd8 (74...Kf8 75.b4 Bb6 76.Ne6+ Kg8 77.Rg7+ Kh8 78.Rf7 Rg1 79.Rf8+ Kh7 80.Kd2 Rg2+ 81.Kc3 Ra2 82.Rb8 Ra3+ 83.Kc4 The bishop is lost ) 75.Ne6#]