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Vladimir Kramnik vs Veselin Topalov
Linares (1998), Linares ESP, rd 9, Mar-03
English Opening: Symmetrical. Three Knights Variation (A34)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-07-06  hitman84: Very enterprising play by Topalov.

I think Kramnik missed a win somewhere..

<chessgames>Is'nt this gruenfeld.Surely this is not English symmetrical.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Of course, the opening is mis-categorized; the game quickly transposed into one of the main lines of the Exchange Gruenfeld. The 8 Rb1 gambit was very popular in this tournament. In round six Kramnik had played the standard 13 Bg5 in his draw with Kasparov; here, in round nine, he varied with 13 Be3. 16 Rxb7..a5 would have been risky for White. After Kramnik's 16 Be2, however, he can respond to 16..a5 with 17 Bd4 threatening 18 Ra1. 18 Bxe7 was new; Gelfand had played 18 Bd3 in his draw with Illescas at Dos Hermanas 1997. He had suggested 18 Bxe7 in his notes to that game. After 24 Rxb7 Kramnik had recovered his pawn and was clearly better with the more advanced passed pawn and a rook on the seventh. 31..Bg7 would have been answered by 32 Re1!..a1(Q) 33 Rxe6 winning. Kramnik gives an amusing line 32 Rxd8..a1(Q) 33 Rbb8..Qe7 when White is slightly better despite the extra Black queen. Topalov found a series of "only" defensive moves and when Kramnik missed the winning maneuver 37 Re4! with the idea of Rf4 and then allowed the exchange of queens with $0 Qf3? (40 Rc7) the game simplified to a draw.
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