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Gata Kamsky vs Veselin Topalov
Topalov - Kamsky Candidates Final (2009), Sofia BUL, rd 2, Feb-18
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Beverwijk Variation (C65)  ·  0-1


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Gata Kamsky vs Veselin Topalov (2009)
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 33 OF 34 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  ahmadov: I missed the live coverage... I hoped Kamsky would win the first game with White... :-(
Feb-19-09  TommyC: I don't think 21...Rc7 deserves two !s ---- for two reasons.

Firstly, it doesn't take long to realise that the alternative 21...Re7 leaves black with a difficult position after 22.Bb4. Secondly, I saw it coming!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Jim Bartle: Didn't white have a pretty good position after 17 moves or so?>

According to the consensus of engines & annotators, Kamsky already went somewhat wrong with 16.Kh1 instead of Be3; then with 17.Bf5 instead of exchanging queens, since it allows Black a clear advantage if he plays 17...Nexf4!; then with the sequence of moves 19-21 (instead of trying something like 19.Ng3), probably missing 21...Rc7!; and finally 22.c4 - instead of going for the 22.Nxc8 Raxc8 23.Rxe6 Rxc2 line, which still leaves White with chances to fight for a draw.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Btw, Mig Greengard provides the full time-per-move log at
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Yes, Kamsky admitted that he simply missed 21..Rc7 I think. <ivan999> linked to a translation of
Feb-19-09  alfa.vimapa: I think this game is just a sample of what is going to happen in the match Topalov-Kamsky, poor Gata!
Feb-19-09  attack and destroy: Both games showed such an exeptional talent is Gata. This 10 years out of active chess are heavy burden on him. But the guy got education unlike many top chess players who can't do anything else but play chess.
Feb-19-09  notyetagm: <acirce: Yes, Kamsky admitted that he simply missed 21..Rc7 I think.>

21 ... ♖f7-c7!! (Marin)

click for larger view

Feb-19-09  outplayer: <Ladolcevita> Yes Toppy proved he is very well prepared for Gata. Come Gata come.
Feb-19-09  kingsindian2006: <whatthefat> i enjoyed reading ure comment on top level chess about chess and clockwork.. good stuff..good games bring out good comments as well.. got to love the royal game
Premium Chessgames Member
  percyblakeney: <I don't think 21...Rc7 deserves two !s>

Pein at TWIC doesn't give it anything, but instead 17. ... Rf7 gets a double exclamation mark, at the same time as he writes that Nexf4 would have been better, slightly unusual evaluation.

Feb-20-09  whiskeyrebel: I'm a Kamsky fan, but I must applaud Topalov for taking advantage of Kamsky's poor clockwork in textbook fashion. It was very frustrating for many of us to watch. Deep breath..aahhhhh. I'm ready for another game.
Feb-20-09  blacksburg: is it really the "Berlin" if black doesn't go into the "Berlin Wall" proper? and plays ...Bc5 instead?
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In his book "Offbeat Spanish" Fleat refers to this line as the Classical Berlin - it is a hydrid of the Classical (3..Bc5) and the Berlin (3..Nf6).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Poisonpawns: 3..Bc5 is known as Cordel`s defense in the ruy 3..Nf6 Berlin: The Classical Defence or Cordel Defence (ECO C64), 3...Bc5, is possibly the oldest defence to the Ruy Lopez, and is still played occasionally. White's most common reply is 4.c3 when Black may choose to play 4...f5, the Cordel Gambit. This often leads to quite messy positions and a sharp drop in the number of draws in comparison to other reasonable 4th moves for Black. More solid is 4.c3 Nf6, when 5.0-0 0-0 6.d4 Bb6 leads to the Benelux Variation. White's principal alternative to 4.c3 is 4.0-0.
Feb-21-09  Bautismo: I'm not so good in chess so for me this opening looks to me as a mine field
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: I think the Berlin involves Nf6 without a6. Is Topalov rated over 2800?? That would put him into some exclusive company!! Fischer never made 2800!
Mar-04-10  tentsewang: I don't see why Kamsky didn't move his knight on move 22. Nxc8. Any suggestions please write a brief note, thank you!
Mar-04-10  rapidcitychess: <kingfu> Nxe5 WITH a6 is the open Ruy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pyke: <tentsewang: I don't see why Kamsky didn't move his knight on move 22. Nxc8. Any suggestions please write a brief note, thank you!>

I am just guessing here - since I am not a strong player after all -, but I think that:

Black can simply take with the rook and double on the c file and if White follows and takes the Knight on e6, Black gets very good compensation.

After: 22. Nxc8 Rxc8 23. Rxe6 Rxc2.

- Whites Bishop is attacked and has no good sqares
- Black has a dangerous passed pawn on the d file that threatens to advance and somehow cramps White - moreover White's pieces seem to lack harmony while Black's counterparts are active. Especially the Black rook on the second rank which threatens some pawns.

Hope this helps and makes some sense ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: <tentsewang> - positionally the swap of the attacking knight for a passive bad bishop doesn't make a lot of sense there. if white still had the white bishop it may make sense to give light square dominance, but 22 Nxc8 looks like it gives up more than it gets
Mar-04-10  weepingwarrior: kingfu, your right about Fischer never making 2800. But when he won 19 games in a row against the worlds best, he was playing at a 3000+ clip!
Mar-05-10  weepingwarrior: That's not to bad for Fischer being the early 1970's. The 2800 mark wasn't made for 20 years after that!
Mar-05-10  weepingwarrior: He was a 2785 in the 197o's for petes sake! There's alot of players today, even Kamsky, that would love to be an 2785 player.
Mar-05-10  weepingwarrior: Fischer was 20 years ahead of his time!
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