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Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Norway Chess (2014), Bryne NOR, rd 6, Jun-09
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation (E21)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-09-14  zanzibar: <ralph46 (or 42?)> Which line/move?
Premium Chessgames Member Thanks to everybody for joining us today. Please note that tomorrow is a rest day; the games will continue on Wednesday at 9:30am USA/Eastern.
Jun-09-14  Marmot PFL: Topalov - When Kramnik has to think at the board from the first moves, he has serious problems.
Jun-09-14  marcwordsmith: Hey <devere> if you should still be around ... I agree that Topalov behaved atrociously in '06, and I do hope he will at some point apologize to Kramnik. That's exactly what I'm hoping for. On other occasions, I've seen Topalov express himself with grace and courtesy, so I know he has that in him. For example:
Jun-09-14  nanker: Kramnik is hell of a player! But maybe Kasparov was right saying dynamic middlegame and in my opinion overall tactics is not his department. It's often getting out of his hands...
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Jun-08-14 Norway Chess Tournament (2014)

chancho: There's also the probability that Topalov will win and drop Kramnik from first place.

He would be most gleeful if he can pull that off.>

Jun-09-14  SirRuthless: Tomorrow is not a rest day according to the site and Nigel short who informed Topalov that round 7 would in fact be tomorrow, much to the chagrin of Topalov who was hoping to do some celebrating. Short suggested a glass of wine but nothing special to he can be ready for tomorrow.
Jun-09-14  john barleycorn: let Danailov do the drinking. He has experience and can drink for 2. He drinks on good days and he drinks on bad days.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Danailov and toilets go hand in hand:

Jun-09-14  john barleycorn: <chanco> the golden toilet award instead of an Oscar?
Premium Chessgames Member Correction: tomorrow (Tuesday) is NOT a rest day, round 7 will continue tomorrow and we will be showing live the game Carlsen vs Grischuk, 2014. The rest day is on Wednesday.

Hope to see you at 9:30am USA/Eastern.

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Yeeehaw!!!
Jun-09-14  csmath: 9. Bxf6
[Not very ambitious.]

10. ...Rd8
[exd5 is more risky but also more in the venue to fight for initiative.]

12. ...Rxd4?!
[Dubious sacrifice that will be proven wrong in the game. 12. ...Bxc3+
13. Qxc3 Nd7!
14. Bc4 Rc5
with equal game]

17. Rxc3

click for larger view

White has neutralized black attack but it is not over yet.

17. ...e5
[Obviously bishop is veto because of Qd8 and Rxc8.]

18. Bc4
[18. Qc1 Be6 19. Bd3 is a good alternative.]

24. Rc7!
[Straightforward, white has a winning position.]

26. b3!
[Queen is out of action since the pawn is veto due to Bd5 and the weakness on f7]

26. ...Rd8?!
[White is already lost but this move is completely bogus as it is an attempt to stop Bd5 and that is exactly the next move. There are no good moves anyway.]

27. Bd5!
[Simple tactics and bishop now decides the game. Bishop cannot be taken due to Rb8+ and Qe4+]

click for larger view

Here the game is lost but Topalov makes it risky:

29. ...Kh8

click for larger view

30. Qb6?!
[There are better moves like 30. h3 or very strong tactical 30. Rb6 with idea of 31. g3 and going for mate by Rxh6.]

30. ...Qd2
31. Rg1 Kh7?!
[Engine finds stunning 31. ...Nh3! 32. gxh3 Be2!

click for larger view

and here white has to be very careful with 33. Qc6 Qd3 34. Bd5 Bxd5 35. Qxd5 36. Rxd5 and there is a long way to win this position.]

32. h3?!
[Again 32. Rb8! Bc6 33. Bg6 is stronger and immediately decisive.]

32. ...Rd6?!
[attempt to secure Bc6 but this is too slow.]

33. Qc7

Here the game is effectively over though Kramnik kept on playing and then after losing left the building promptly.


Very strange aggressive/suicidal play by Kramnik and direct punishment of such a strategy by Topalov. Not a great game but good enough for the first win.

Jun-09-14  Jambow: If someone made a database for Kramnik including sacrifices and exchange sacs I don't think it would be very flattering. Agreed he is a great player especially at what he does.

Seems his rivalry with Topalov and Nakamura sometimes leads to unsound moves. Although I think his rivalry with Nakamura is on friendlier terms.

Jun-09-14  latvalatvian: I really think Topalov and Kramnik should compete in a boxing match instead of playing round seven. If anything, its a change of pace.
Jun-09-14  zanzibar: Can Kramnik really avoid shaking Topalov's hand (and vice a versa)? Did he? (What is the traditional custom for greeting between two Russians?)

My understanding of FIDE rules is from the following:

<Any player who does not shake hands with the opponent (or greets the opponent in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society) before the game starts in a FIDE tournament or during a FIDE match (and does not do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) or deliberately insults his/her opponent or the officials of the event, will immediately and finally lose the relevant game.>

This implies not shaking hands is equivalent to a default.

See also:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: It's been what 8 years. World War II only lasted 6.

Kramnik should stop sulking and blubbering about it and just get over it.

He kept going to bog when he realised it was putting off Topalov so Topalov retorded with the cheating gambit. Big deal.

I've met Topalov. You could not meet a more friendy and genuine guy.

The more Kramnik sobs about it at every press conference the more Topoalov just shrugs his shoulders.

OK some hack asks him about Topalov for column inches.

"I respect him as chess player but not as a person."

What a lot of sad nonsense. Now all the Kramink sheep are of the same opinion. The truth is Topalov just does not give a toss what he or anyone thinks.

The answer should have been 'No Comment' and onto the next question.

Kramnik should offer his hand next time they meet OTB. it will most likely dis-arm Topalov to such an extent he will play badly.

And if he wants an apology from Topalov for a piece of nervous over re-action that ran out of his control......8 years ago, I'm sure Topalov will give him one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Sally Simpson> No biggie, Korean War is still going on, and the cold war was a good 40 years, give or take...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Wannabe,

And of course not forgetting the '100 Years War' which lasted for 116 years (they were not good at counting in them days.)

Jun-09-14  ralph46: <zanibar> h4 works in many lines it blocks the g5 square for ex32.. Rxb8 33 Qxb8 h5 34 h41 your first diagram Inthe game itself 35h4!!
Jun-09-14  ralph46: <csmath> in the line you give 12 .. Bxc3 13 Qxc3 Nd7 first b4 followed by Nb5 is strong for white than on move 26 you make a typo you mean black is lost
Jun-10-14  zanzibar: <ralph46> I looked at your line with Critter. It is winning, but does so by simplifying with the added win of a pawn.

The reason is that 33...h5 is too slow, allowing the Black knight to retreat in order to defend h8 and end White's mating attack:

32.Rb8 Rxb8 33.Qxb8 h5

and if 34.h4 Ng6 (diag)

click for larger view

White is locked out of the dark squares (and h7). If 35.Qg8+ Kh6 and now White's best plan is to liquidate and grab a pawn on the way out:

36.BxN+ Kxg6 37.Qe6+ Kh7 38.Qxe5 and if 38...Qxf2 39.Qxh5+ etc.

So, your line simplifies with pawn advantage (+ xchg in pocket = win of course).

The lines I gave above flush the king out into the open while Black's pieces are out of play - tempo is key.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Daniel ♔ video-annotated this game:

He mentioned the <'insane' computer move <31... Nh3!!>> as a redemptive source.

click for larger view

Dec-10-14  KchessK: Topalov vs Kramnik Game:
Aug-07-16  mandor: Statistically speaking, the ganes with sacrifice echange are clearly un favour to Topalov.
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