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Veselin Topalov vs Sergey Karjakin
Amber Tournament (Rapid) (2008) (rapid), Nice FRA, rd 8, Mar-23
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-23-08  Augalv:

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In my opinion Black is a bit better, d5 can't be considered as weakness here, Black has excellent piece play, beautiful coordination.Look at White's position, Qh3 lost track, f3 surely is not square for Bishop, B on a5 is wondering what to do if Black relocate his Knight.Horrible position.

22.Qg2 Ng5 23.b3 Bxd4 24.exd4 Rxd4

I would feel sad to say goodbye to such dark squared bishop but pawn is pawn.Maybe Karjakin felt that giving up this bishop is not good for him even he wins pawn with it, but what to do? White covers all weak spots.Black is still better after move in game but he needs to be very very careful, Ba5 may come to life someday.

25.Rac1 Nd7?!

Not the most precise move.After this move White bishop becomes strong piece supporting access to Black's camp via c7 square.Better is 25..Qa3! 26.Bxb6 Rxd3! with advantage.

26.h4 Nxf3+ 27.Qxf3 Rde4 28.Rc7 Ba8 29.Ra7

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Serious mistake.29..Qe6 with idea d4.

30.Bc7 Qe6 31.Nc5 Re1+ 32.Kg2 Qc6 33.Rxe1 Rxe1 34.Rxa8+ Qxa8 35.Qxf6 d4+ 36.f3 Re2+??

Must be time trouble.36..Qe8! 37.Ne4 Rxe4 38.fxe4 Qxe4+ with perpetual.

37.Kf1 d3 38.Nxd3 Re3 39.Ne1 Qe8 40.Ng2 Re6 41.Qf4 Qc6??

41..Re2 is necessary, it seems that Black can hold.Time trouble has heavy influence from now on.

42.Be5 b4 43.Bd4 Qd6 44.Kf2 a5 45.Ne3 Qxf4 46.gxf4 Rd6 47.Nc2 Rc6 48.Ne1 Rd6 49.Ke3 Rd5 50.Ng2 Kf8 51.Ke3 Ke7 52.Kc4 Rh5 53.Bf2 Kd6 54.Ne1 Kc6 55.Nc2 Kd6 56.Ne1 Kc6 57.Nd3 f6 58.Nc5 Rf5 59.Nd3 Rh5 60.Bg3..

Topalov plays very clever here, he is not forcing matters, he just plays worthless moves to gain time on clock.By doing so he is trying to soft Black's attention, he is trying to "convince" Black that he can't win this position.White will continue to move around, moving Bishop here and there, Knight here and there, King somewhere, and Black will not notice winning plan by White which is N on c4, K on e4 and B on d4.

60..Rf5 61.Be1 Rh5 62.Bf2 Rf5 63.Kd4 Rh5 64.Ke4 Kb5 65.Nb2 Kc6 66.Nc4 Rd5 67.Bd4..

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Setup is complete, Karjakin is forced to push f6 pawn forward.

67..f5+ 68.Kd3 Kb5 69.Ne5 Rd6 70.Nf7 Rc6 71.Nxh6 Rc1 72.Nf7 a4 73.Ne5 Rd1+ 74.Ke3 Rg1 75.bxa4+ Kxa4 76.Nd3 Rh1 77.Bc5 b3 78.axb3+ Kxb3 79.Be7 Rg1 80.Kf2 Ra1 81.Ne5 Ra6 82.Kg3 Kc3 83.Bg5 Kd4 84.h5 gxh5 85.Kh4 Ke3 86.Kxh5 Re6 87.Kh4 Ra6 88.Kg3 Ra1 89.Nc4+ Ke2 90.Kg2 Rf1 91.Nd6 Rf2+ 92.Kg3 Rxf3+ 93.Kh4 Rf1 94.Nxf5..

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94..Kf3 95.Kh5 Rb1 96.Nh4+ Ke4 97.f5 Ke5 98.f6 Rb8 99.Kh6 Ke6 100.Kg7 Rb7+ 101.Kg6 Rb8 11.Nf5 1-0

Difficult day for Karjakin, he scored only half point in this mini match :(

Extracted from blog about Sergey Karjakin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Augalv>

Thanks for all of your annotations.

Did black have to play 66...Rd5? Wouldn't 66...Kd7, below, keep the f pawn from having to advance, thereby holding the position?

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Mar-25-08  Augalv: <Jimfromprovidence:> Yeah, I think 66...kd7, would have been a better choice.

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