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Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik
"My Path to the Top" (game of the day Mar-28-2022)
Linares (1997), Linares ESP, rd 4, Feb-07
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  0-1



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Given 30 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-04-07  KamikazeAttack: Yup, the old Kramnik, wild and very tactical.
Jan-11-08  parmetd: this game has so many diverging ideas... it is quite easy to get lost.
Jan-11-08  kingsindian2006: what a great game for black.. black takes the game to white and the pieces come out swinging every move.
Apr-08-12  Blunderdome: Kramnik is awesome.
Jun-25-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Topalov vs Kramnik, 1997.
Your score: 56 (par = 44)


Jun-25-12  LoveThatJoker: I remember having seen this game in "Kramnik: My Path to the Top" by Chessbase, in 2008/2009: it made a tremendous impression on me!

Earlier this year I started studying "Kramnik: My Life and Games" intensely, and today reached this game - situated near the end of the book on page 230.

Prior to reading Kramnik's analysis, I completed the Guess-the-Move version of this first to see how I would fare and to get more in tune with what I was about to read:

In regards to my score, <CG> rated it as <VERY GOOD> (just one tier below that of <OUTSTANDING>).

In regards to what I read, Kramnik's analysis was once again both thorougly instructive and entertaining! I've always enjoyed how Kramnik can explain things so clearly and profoundly at the same time, and thankfully it wasn't any different today.

Here is an example of what I mean: In regards to 14...Nd3! 15. Nxe6 he said,

"Without the e6 pawn my light-square bishop comes into play and, more important, my knight is excellently placed in enemy territory."

He even provided a sample game to demonstrate what would happen if Black had gone with the more restrained 14...Nb6: Gelfand vs Timman, 1990.

In conclusion, this is a magnificent game, with tremendously valuable annotations by Kramnik in both "Kramnik: My Life and Games" and "Kramnik: My Path to the Top".

Thank you, WC Kramnik! And once again, happy birthday to you!


PS. <GOTD> My Path to the Top

Apr-25-13  Naniwazu: Kramnik does seem to have a knack for explaining things in a clear and simple way that's understandable even for a patzer like myself. I always enjoy his annotations to his games in New in Chess magazine. Many top-players simply list variations or brief explanatory prose whereas Kramnik will delve deeper into the plans and ideas of each position.
Oct-06-14  SpiritedReposte: Just a deconstruction. White' s phantom initiative dissipates quickly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: terrific game, wild position. Kramnik/Topalov was the best WC match of the past 20 years. The matches since then have just seemed a bit...anti septic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Did they shake hands afterwards?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <piltdown man> Probably, that was nine years before their WC match.
Great game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Better a <Path to the Top> than a <Race to the Bottom>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <MissScarlett> ๐Ÿ˜„ Hem... children could be looking at this site you know ๐Ÿคจ
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  Stonehenge: Better playing on increments than on excrements.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Children are the main purveyors of scatological humour.
Mar-28-22  NimzoCharlie: What does Black play in response to 24โ€ฆ. f3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This was before Kramnik had mnybagschondria spondulichis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: I'm no doctor, but the old Dutch remedy (post WWII) for <mnybagschondria spondulichis> is a warm glass of milk and honey stirred well just before bed, then fasting for 24-36 hours, morning enema, cotton pajamas, and nothing but grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit for three days. Has anyone ever tried this method?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If you look forward to a morning enema then you have unspecified problems...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM>, quite true.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: So the two of you have tried it? Forget that remedy. If I ever have <mnybagschondria spondulichis> the first thing I'm gonna do is upgrade my smart phone and go visit Mr. Whipple.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: <NimzoCharlie>

<What does Black play in response to 24.f3 (?)>

That's a very good question ๐Ÿค”

From where I'm sitting, it appears that Black has material en prise following 24.f3 ; and, without the aid of a chess engine, I think White has a won position.

24.f3 Qxa4 25.fxg4 b5 26.Rf5 ... - and I fail to see how Black can meet the threat of Rxe5 (winning two Knights for a Rook)? The following joke variation might illustrate the point: 24.f3 Qxa4 25.fxg4 b5 26.Rf5 Rf8 27.Rxe5 Rf2 28.Rf1!! - and Black must surely resign.

That said, I am probably missing something!???

Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: <NimzoCharlie>

I was indeed missing something: 24.f3 Nxf3+! 25.Bxf3 Bxh3 26.Ng2 Bg4+ 27.Nh4 Bxf3 28.Qxf3 Qxc2+ ... (there are alternatives, but they 'all turn out better for Black'). This is a unique situation, all the pieces surrounding the White King can do nothing to protect their monarch.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: The stronger players in our community may well pull me to pieces for this - but I think 9.e4 leaves White with too much unconsolidated space - and 9.a5 might have provided better chances for him to exploit Black's congested position!? 9.a5 frees the a4 square for White's Queen, and also prevents the Black Queen moving to a5.

Is 9.a5 an improvement?

Sep-16-22  tonsillolith: Wow...<27. Qxc5 Rxh3+! 28. Kg1 (28. Bxh3 Ng4+) Rh1+! 29. Bxh1 Nh3#>

A very nice sequence Kramnik had planned. Very good game.

From the sounds of it, I should get my grubby hands on some Kramnik annotations.

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