Kamsky,G (2725) - Topalov,V (2796) [C65]World Chess Challenge Sofia BUL (2), 18.02.2009
This had to be a surprise. Normally Topalov is a faithful sicilian player but perhaps with Kamsky's weakness in opening theory Topalov wishes to fine tune some old lines and put Kamsky under pressure with an early novelty.
2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Bc5
The classical Ruy Lopez
5.c3 is considered the main continuation here. 5.c3 0-0 6.d4 Bb6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 d6 9.Qd3 Bd7 10.Nbd2 a6 11.Bc4 exd4 12.cxd4 g5 13.Nxg5 hxg5 14.Bxg5 Kg7 15.Nb3 Ne7 16.Bxf6+ Kxf6 17.f4 Be6 18.Kh1 Bxc4 19.Qxc4 Kg7 20.f5 f6 21.Rf3 Rh8 22.Rg3+ Kf8 23.Qe6 Ng8 24.Re1 Qe8 25.Qc4 Qf7 26.Qc3 Re8 27.Rg4 Qh5 28.Qg3 Ne7 29.h3 Nxf5 30.Qf4 Rg8 31.Rxg8+ Kxg8 32.Rf1 Ng7 33.Qxf6 Rxe4 34.Kh2 Qe8 35.Qg5 c6 36.Qg3 Qe6 37.Nd2 Rxd4 38.Nf3 Rd5 39.Re1 Qf7 40.Qg4 Bd8 41.Qc8 Qc7 42.Qxc7 Bxc7 43.Re7 Bb6 44.g4 Rb5 45.b3 Kf8 46.Rd7 Ne6 47.Nh4 Ke8 48.Rh7 Nf8 0-1 Topalov,V-Leko,P/Dortmund 1999
5...Nxe5 6.d4 a6 7.dxe5 axb5 8.exf6 Qxf6 9.Nc3 c6 10.Be3 Bxe3 11.fxe3 Qe5 12.a3 d6 13.Qd4 Bg4 14.h3 Be6 15.Rad1 Rd8 16.Rf2 Rd7 17.a4 bxa4 18.Nxa4 b5 19.Nc3 Qg5 20.Qb6 Qc5 21.Qxc5 dxc5 22.Ra1 Ke7 23.Ra6 Rc8 24.Kh2 c4 25.Kg3 f6 26.Ne2 Rd1 27.Nd4 Bd7 28.Ra7 Kd6 29.Kf4 Re8 30.h4 g6 31.Kf3 h5 32.Kf4 Re7 33.Nf3 Bg4 34.Rxe7 Kxe7 35.e5 Bxf3 36.gxf3 b4 37.exf6+ Kxf6 38.e4 c5 39.c3 b3 40.e5+ Ke6 41.Rg2 Kf7 42.Ke4 Rh1 43.Kd5 Rxh4 44.e6+ Kf6 45.Kd6 Rh1 46.Re2 Rd1+ 47.Kxc5 Ke7 48.Kxc4 Rg1 49.Kxb3 Rg3 50.Kc4 Rxf3 51.b4 h4 52.b5 h3 53.b6 g5 54.b7 Rf8 55.Kd5 g4 56.Rf2 Rxf2 57.b8Q h2 58.Qa7+ Kf6 59.Qxf2+ 1-0 Rozentalis,E-Polgar,Z/Groningen 1993
6.Qe2 Nxe5 7.d4
7.Qxe4 Qe7 8.Re1 Nc6 Black is fine
7...Qe7 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.Nc3
This pawn sac could be designed to put Topalov on the defensive where he is not as well suited to play his best. Problem is Kamsky in this game almost defeats himself with his time usage. 9...Ng6 10.Qh5
10.Be3 Ne6 11.f4 f5 12.Nd5 Qf7 13.Bc4
10...c6 11.Bg5 f6 12.Rae1 Ne6 13.Bd3 0-0
14. ... d5
14...Qf7 15.Ne4 Ne5 16.Qh3 Nxd3 17.Nd6 Marin gives this variation as good for white on the chessbase site but his next move is 17...Nef4
A) 17...Qg6! This is a stronger move in my opinion but of course why play 14...Qf7 it makes black's game a bit more tricky than is needed, 14...d5 is simple and good.
18.Qxd3 (18.cxd3 f5 19.Re5 Nd4 20.Bb4 b6 Black threatens c5 forcing the knight to move or white exchanges queens with 21.Qg3 in either case black is fine)
18...Qxd3 19.cxd3 b6 20.f4 Ba6 21.Rf3 Nc7 When the extra pawn and white's weakness on d3 help black keep his chances equal. Black's knight has good squares to go to.
B) 17...Nef4?! 18.Bxf4 Nxf4 19.Qg4 And white has a clear edge according to Marin. His annotations are to be found at http://www.chessbase.com/
At this stage Kamsky was under quite a bit of time trouble and rejects swapping on g6 to get his pawn back. Kamsky has 13 mins left and needs to make it to move 40 before more time is added.
15.Bxg6 should be equal but maybe more pleasant for black
16.Be3 d4 17.Bxg6 Qxh5 (17...hxg6 18.Qxc5 Nxc5 19.Bxd4 Ne6 Marin believes black can gradually equalise.) 18.Bxh5 dxe3 19.Rxe3 Rd8 Marin gives white a small edge.
16...d4 17.Bf5 Rf7
17...Nexf4! 18.Rxf4 (18.Bxf4 Qxf5) 18...dxc3 19.Bxc3
18.Ne4 Qd5 19.Bxg6 hxg6
Time's are now a major factor Kamsky only has 8 minutes left to Topalov's 112
20.Qxd5 cxd5 21.Nd6
At first glance this looks excellent for white but Topalov finds an excellent resource
Kamsky admitted at the press conference that he missed this move!
22.Nxc8 White can win a piece but the cost is 3 pawns and white has an awkward position after it as well. 22...Raxc8 23.Rxe6 Rxc2 24.Bb4 Rxb2 25.a3
22...dxc3 23.Bxc3 d4 24.Bb4
24.Nxc8 Raxc8 25.Rxe6 dxc3 26.bxc3 Rxc3
Kamsky is a pawn down but more importantly he is incredibly short of time and self destructs. 25...a5 26.Ba3 b5 27.b3 b4 28.Bb2 Ra6 29.Ne4 Rac6 30.Kg1 Rc2 31.g3 d3 32.Rd1 f5 32...f5 33.Ng5 Rxf2 34.Kxf2 Rc2+ Is the point so white is losing a piece, Kamsky however I believe lost on time first.