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Veselin Topalov vs Gata Kamsky
Topalov - Kamsky Candidates Final (2009), Sofia BUL, rd 5, Feb-23
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Euwe-Keres Line (C07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 30 OF 30 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-23-09  theodor: <SmotheredKing: <Geronimo> So I don´t think Topalov is photogenic, and I´m rude? Or are you referring to my description of Zurab Azmaiprashvili as an idiot? This being the GM who headbutted some Spanish security guards for no reason. And you may call it topa-bashing if you will, but the fact remqains that Topalov should never have been able to play this match - Kamsky was to challenge Anand, but FIDE decided Veselin Topalov needed to be seeded into a final candidates match regardless of circumstances, so who am I to argue right?> the truth is that anand-kramnik was one of the semifinals, and the other was topa-kamsky! then someone called the match anand-kramnik world title contest! someone to disprove me!
Feb-23-09  zdigyigy: <GM Short et al> a modest 2300??? I have to scratch and claw to get one game in twenty from 2300, sometimes I think he lets me win one just to be nice.
Feb-23-09  sharkw: Of course 35...Nb4?? was a blunder, but the criticism of 37...Qf8 is misplaced. I assure you that Kamsky saw Qa8-e4-b4 winning a second pawn, simply judging his chances to be better in the 2 pawn down queen ending than after 37...Qxd4 (which apparently the engines prefer).

From a human point of view, after 37...Qxd4 38. Rxc7, the line 39...Rf8 40. Rb7 is simply miserable for Black, White has the more active pieces along with the extra pawn, and should convert his advantage with slowly but surely. Also, 39...Qd5 40. Rb7 Qxf3+ 41. Kxf3 Rd2 42. Rxb4 Rxa2 43. Re4 (other moves probably win as well) is just a lost rook ending for Black, which should pose any problems for White.

Topalov finished the game pretty efficiently, but in my opinion more accuracy was demanded in the queen ending than in the lines after 37...Qxd4.

Feb-23-09  MaxxLange: Well, several GM analysts say the Rook ending after 37...Qxd4 would just be hopeless, due to White's Kingside space advantage. I guess Kamsky agreed, and took his only chance on the Queen ending, down two connected passed outside pawns. At the time, I couldn't understand it. He wanted to see if he could get a perpetual ,or win the b-pawn and hold some tablebase nightmare, and played on for a while.

Poor Kamsky. An ugly way to lose today.

Feb-23-09  Jim Bartle: I'm a little late here, suenteus po, but that's an excellent post (on Cliff Notes and Wikipedia). Very nice.
Feb-23-09  suenteus po 147: <Jim Bartle: I'm a little late here, suenteus po, but that's an excellent post (on Cliff Notes and Wikipedia). Very nice.> Thanks.
Feb-23-09  vonKrolock: 35...<♘b4>?? ♘ot that hard to criticize this move, but an alternative was not presented by some of the human commentators so far - ♖ybka mentioned briefly a possibility in, but without some variations - let's see also briefly: 35...f7-f5! This would be ♔amsky's fifth ♙ sacrifice in this eventfull match - and now:

(a) 36.♕xf5 ♘e7! 37.♖e6 ♕xg3 winning back the ♙ immediately with good position, or,

(b) 36.♖4e2 ♘e5! 37.♕xf5 ♕d5+ 38.f3 ♖f8 39.♕xe5 ♕xf3+ followed by ♖x♖ and ♕x♘

(c) 36.♖f4!? possibly white's best reply - but maybe ♘e5 can follow now(those lines can still perhaps be improved)

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: This was a shocking result. After the Exchange of the second pair of Bishops, I felt that Topalov had whatever edge existed, but not enough to win. I feel sorry for Kamsky.

I would also like to compliment <suenteus po 147> for a well-reasoned post.

Feb-23-09  notyetagm: 35 ... ?

click for larger view

35 ... ♘c6-b4?? <line-opening: c2-c7>

click for larger view

37 ♖e4xd4! <overworked: d4,c7>

click for larger view

Feb-23-09  Kinghunt: ajk68, doesn't 45...Qxb3 lose to 46. axb3 or am I missing something?
Feb-23-09  ivan999: contrary to short's opinion about 32.d4, GM marin on chessbase annotates the move with a question mark saying "32...d4? This move makes Black's position even more difficult, because it weakens the pawn and also the surrounding squares. 32...Rd8 would have been more solid."
Feb-23-09  vonKrolock: Dimitrov in chessdom: <"With his pawn secured on 'd4' Black should have solved his problems">

Golubev in (machine translation): <"it was decided sufficiently rapidly, and with the presence of alternatives (let us assume 32… Rd8). After motion in the party the blacks will place horse on c6. And, by the way, white pawn h5 already engaged, unfortunately for [Topalova], the field, which could in a similar situation prove useful for the white horse.">

Feb-23-09  Kaspykov: I saw the game live on streaming and from my point of view: Qf8 dropping the "b" pawn was clearly not calculated from Kamsky, after Nb4 Kamsky was holding his head down and after Qf8, Kamsky was almost knocking his head down on the board.

Sometimes, after a blunder, its hard to recover mentally and i think thats exactly what happened here.

I agree that 37...Qxd4 was still loosing but Topalov had to play 3-4 consecutively perfect moves for the win.

Feb-24-09  jhoro:
looking through Mihail Marin's analysis mentioned by <ivan999> i thought of "checking" Marin's comment about 35...Nb4? - "In difficult positions, all moves are bad" Dr. Tarrasch. Letting Rybka play itself the game reduces to either rook endgame with a passer on the queenside or a queen pawn ending similar to the one today, both of which seem very difficult to hold. No doubt 35...Nb4 and 37...Qf8 made things much easier for Topalov, but the position may not be as equal as it seems to the engines around move 35
Feb-24-09  TommyC: It's interesting to compare <Nigel Short>'s comments with those of <GM Mihail Marin> on Chessbase. They disagree about 32...d4, which Marin gives a ? writing <This move makes Black's position even more difficult, because it weakens the pawn and also the surrounding squares. 32...Rd8 would have been more solid.>

By contrast, Nigel writes <[Topalov] then manouevred incorrectly to allow Kamsky to advance his pawn to d4, after which [Kamsky] should have been fine.>

Fwiw (i.e., very little) my instinctive reaction was the same as Marin's.

Feb-24-09  Kaspykov: Rybka is on Nigel side :p at depth 20.
Feb-24-09  jhoro: Rybka does not understand the long term implications of move like that. let it slide through the moves and you will see things are not so good for black after 20 moves
Feb-24-09  MaxxLange: Marin's judgement of ...d4 may be influenced by how the game came out? I liked it at the time; I'll stick with Short's view for now
Feb-26-09  znprdx: <ajk68: It seems 35...Nb4 loses a passed (albeit somewhat weak) pawn while also handing the initiative to white. 37...Qf8 seems to have made matters worse by conceding another pawn.> It is part and parcel of the same play - yet may well have been a psychological ploy... which explains Qf8 (there was nothing better) It is next to impossible for me to believe that that at this level of play where precise calculation of 8&9 ply in half a dozen key options is routine that Kamsky could miss at 4ply the elementary displacement theme Rxd4 .... but maybe overlooked its continuation..the Qa8+ combo - by seemingly overlooking Qe4+...well that is Chess. Very strange....
Feb-27-09  patzer2: Topalov's 38. Rxd8! sets up a winning double attack to win a pawn, and might be good for a Tuesday or Wednesday puzzle.
Feb-27-09  patzer2: Seems to me that beginning with 9. c4, this game presents an interesting study in how to play against an isolated center pawn. The analysis at by GM Marin provides some instructive commentary.
Feb-27-09  patzer2: As a side note, the opening explorer shows 9. c4 to be the most popular choice here. As of today, there are 54 games with 9. c4 in the OE, with 17 White wins, 8 Black wins and 27 draws.

The next most popular move was 9. 0-0 with only 6 games in the OE, with two wins by White and two wins by Black and two draws. The last time 9. 0-0 was played resulted in a win for Black in A Yegiazarian vs A Anastasian, 2008.

After 9. c4, I suppose one way Black might have avoided the troublesome isolated pawn structure might have been with 9...Qa5 as in Black's victory in P Wells vs M Gurevich, 2007. Another interesting recent game with 9. c4 is M Vachier Lagrave vs Stellwagen, 2008, where Black lost after trying to avoid the isolated pawn with 9...Bc5. A GM game where White triumphed against the 9...Qa5 strategy is M Vachier Lagrave vs D Komarov, 2007.

Mar-14-09  WhiteRook48: all crazy
May-19-09  notyetagm: Game Collection: OVERLOADED!: attacks on *EQUAL*-valued pieces

Topalov vs Kamsky, 2009

37 Re4xd4! Black d6-queen meets threat to c7-rook from c2-rook

May-19-09  notyetagm: Game Collection: OVERLOADED! OVERLOADED! OVERLOADED! OVERLOADED!

Topalov vs Kamsky, 2009

37 Re4xd4! Black d6-queen cannot defend *both* c7-rook, d4-pawn

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