Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Topalov - Kamsky

Game one

Topalov,V (2796) - Kamsky,G (2725) [D87]World Chess Challenge Sofia BUL (1), 17.02.2009

Topalov starts the match with 1.d4 as he did against Kramnik in 2006.
1...Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5
Kamsky does play the Gruenfeld so not a big surprise but it is interesting to note he is avoiding his pet a6 Slav line which is very solid.
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4
Theory is long and heavy in many Gruenfeld lines.
7...c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Na5

10...Bg4 This is a sharp alternative. Shirov tried this against Kramnik in their failed Candidates match. Failed because Kramnik lost the match but was later hand picked by Kasparov to play a World championship match anyway. 11.f3 Na5 12.Bxf7+ Rxf7 13.fxg4 Rxf1+ 14.Kxf1 cxd4 15.cxd4 e5 16.d5 Nc4 17.Qd3 Nxe3+ 18.Qxe3 Qh4 19.h3 Bh6 20.Qd3 Rf8+ 21.Kg1 Qf2+ 22.Kh1 Qe3 23.Qxe3 Bxe3 24.Rd1 Rf2 25.Ng1 Kf7 26.Rd3 Bb6 27.Rf3+ Ke7 28.Rxf2 Bxf2 29.Nf3 Kd6 30.g3 Bxg3 31.Kg2 Bf4 32.Kf2 Kc5 33.Ke2 b5 34.Kd3 - Kramnik,V-Shirov,A/Cazorla 1998/
11.Bd3 b6 12.Qd2 e5 13.Bh6 cxd4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.cxd4 exd4 16.f4 f6

This is an apparant novelty by team Topalov.
Kamsky lost a game on 2008 to Topalov's second Cheparinov after 17.Rac1 Bg4 18.Ng3 Bd7 19.Ne2 Bg4 20.Ng3 Bd7 21.h4 Rc8 22.Rxc8 Bxc8 23.h5 Qe7 24.Qe2 Bd7 25.Rc1 Rc8 26.Re1 Rc3 27.e5 f5 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Qd2 Nc4 30.Bxc4 Rxc4 31.Qd3 Qc5 32.e6 Bb5 33.Nh5+ Kh6 34.Qh3 d3+ 35.Kh2 gxh5 36.Qh4 Be8 37.Re5 Qf8 38.Qg5+ Kh7 39.Rxf5 Qg7 40.Qd8 Rc2 41.Rg5 Qc7 42.Qxd3+ Kh6 43.Qf5 1-0 Cheparinov,I (2687) -Kamsky,G (2723)/Sochi 2008
Kamsky had a long think over his reply.
18.Nxd4 This is a natural reply but Topalov wants maximum attacking potential out of the position.
18...Qxf6 19.Ng3 Kh8
White is trying to expose black's king at the cost of a pawn.
20...gxf5 21.Bxf5 Bxf5 22.Rxf5 Qd6 23.Raf1 Nc6 24.Ne4 Qe7 25.Qh6
Topalov has sacrificed a pawn for a K-side attack but the position is quite open and simplified, Kamsky is also excellent at defence.
25...Rxf5 26.Rxf5 Ne5 27.h3
Topalov has a minimal time edge now.
27...Ng6 28.Rh5 Rg8
28...Kg8 This would prolong the game a bit but I don't really believe black has good winning chances.
29.Nf6 Rg7
29...Qxf6?? 30.Qxh7#

A flashy move but it will only lead to a drawn position.
30...Rxh7 31.Qxg6 Qe3+ 32.Kf1 Qc1+ 33.Kf2 Qd2+ 34.Kg3 Qe3+ 35.Kh2 Qf4+ 36.Kg1 Qc1+

Kamsky must be satisified with game one having survived a Team Topalov novelty. 7 games remain unless a tie occurs but I wonder if Kamsky will stick with his main move 1.e4 in game two or are we destined to see another Slav.

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