Rich As A King

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Game 8 Analysis - Topalov scores 1st win on the board

Kramnik - Topalov [D47]
WCC Match 2006 (8) 05.10.2006

You can view the LIVE Game Commentary here.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Be2 A relatively rare line, which used to like and played successfully in many games. In Game 4 of this match Topalov as White played 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.a3.

8...Bb7 9.0-0 This is one of my own favorite games in this opening! 9.e4 b4 10.e5 bxc3 11.exf6 cxb2 12.fxg7 bxa1Q 13.gxh8Q Qb1 14.0-0 Qf6 15.Qxf6 Nxf6 16.Ne5 Qxa2 17.Bc4 Qa5 18.Qf3 Be7 19.Bg5 Qd8 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Bxf6 Qxd4 22.Qh5+ 1-0 Susan Polgar- V. Dimitrov, Bulgaria 1984.

9...b4 9...Be7 was the other main choice here.

10.Na4 Now the main issue is if Black will be able to open up the a8-h1 diagonal with c6-c5, without getting in trouble.

10...c5 My opponents usually chose 10...Be7 or 10...Bd6 here instead of 10...c5.

11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Bb5+ White could have stripped Black from the right of castling with 12.Nxc5 Bxc5 13.Qa4+ Ke7 otherwise (13...Qd7?? 14.Bb5+-; 13...Nd7 14.Rd1 and the pins are devastating for Black.)

12...Ncd7 13.Ne5 Qc7 The best move to clear space for the Rook on d8. Black would get in trouble after 13...Be7 14.Qd4 as the pin over the Knight on d7 is too dangerous.

14.Qd4 The most logical move trying to take advantage of White's advantage in development. 14.Nxd7 Nxd7 or; 14.f4 Rd8 is not dangerous for Black.

14...Rd8 Much better than 14...Bd6 15.Nxd7 Nxd7 16.Rd1+/- Avdeenko - Novikov, Rostov on Don 1980.

15.Bd2 After 15.Rd1 a6 16.Bxd7+ Nxd7 17.Nxd7 Rxd7 18.Qxd7+ Qxd7 19.Rxd7 Kxd7 Black thanks to the pair of Bishops has a slightly better endgame.

15...Qa5 The new move. White was much better in the following game: 15...a6 16.Rfc1 Qa5 17.Bc6 Bxc6 18.Nxc6 Qxa4 19.Nxd8 Kxd8 20.a3 Qb5 21.axb4 Nd5 22.Ra5 Qb6 23.Qc4 Nc7 24.Bc3 f6 25.Bd4 Qb7 26.b5 Nxb5 27.Qxe6 Nxd4 28.exd4 Bb4 29.Rxa6+/- Cvetkovic - Bagirov, Vrnjacka Banja 1974.

16.Bc6 A must. The following sample variation shows the dangers White has to face after other moves: 16.Qd3 a6 17.Bc6 Qxe5 18.Bxb7 Qb5 19.Qxb5 axb5 and White's Knight is trapped!

16...Be7! A fine move. Better than 16...Bxc6 17.Nxc6 Qxa4 18.Nxd8 Kxd8 19.a3 with a dangerous position for Black as the King is shaky on d8.

17.Rfc1 After 17.Bxb7 Nxe5 Black wins a piece.

17...Bxc6 The solid 17...0-0 18.Nc4 Qc7 19.Bxb7 Nc5 20.Qe5 Qxe5 21.Nxe5 Nxb7 22.Be1 would give Kramnik the comfortable small endgame advantage he is looking for.

18.Nxc6 Qxa4 19.Nxd8 More ambitious seemed keeping the Queens on the board with 19.b3 Qb5 20.Nxd8 Bxd8 21.Bxb4 although also here Black is fine after for example 21... 21...Qb6

19...Bxd8 20.Qxb4 With the King being stock on e8, I would feel relieved as Black trading Queens. White could have tried 20.b3 Qa6 21.Bxb4 but again Black is OK after 21...Nd5 or 21...Qb6.

20...Qxb4 21.Bxb4 I felt all through out this endgame that it should be a draw, but I would rather play it as Black. Many GMs disagreed with me online about it. I still don't think that Black is actually better, but I do believe they are not worse at all either.

21...Nd5 A beautiful centralized position for the Knight!

22.Bd6 f5 A dual-purpose move: prevents White's e3-e4 move, which would chase away Black's Knight from d5 and clears the way for Black's King to f7.

23.Rc8 This move looks scarier than it actually is.

23...N5b6 This forces White's Rook to leave.

24.Rc6 Be7 Black offers to trade White's best positioned piece.

25.Rd1 After 25.b4 Bxd6 26.Rxd6 Ke7 27.Rad1 Rc8=/+

25...Kf7 26.Rc7 26.f3 Bxd6 27.Rdxd6 (27.Rcxd6 Ne5) 27...Ne5 28.Rc7+ Kf6 29.Rxa7 Nbc4 30.Rd4 Nxe3=/+; 26.Bxe7 Kxe7 27.Rc7 (27.Rdd6 Nb8 28.Rxe6+ Kf7 29.Rcd6 (29.Rxb6 axb6 30.Rxb6 Nd7=/+) 29...Nc4-/+) 27...Ra8 leads to similar positions as in the game.

26...Ra8 The computer programs suggest to trade Rooks with 26...Rc8 but I think that would favor White.

27.Rb7 I think here Kramnik still thought he is the one playing for a win (just a many commentators during the game) and started "over pushing" just like Topalov did in Game 1.

27...Ke8 Provoking White to trade Bishops. If White does not trade soon, the Rook on b7 can get trapped for example after 28.Kf1 Bxd6 29.Rxd6 Kd8 30.Rxe6? Kc8.

28.Bxe7 Kxe7 29.Rc1 a5 I think White should try to trade Rooks or some Pawns if they can. It is quite amazing that somebody of Kramnik's caliber without any obvious blunder loses this game in about a dozen moves!

30.Rc6 30.Rcc7 Kd6 31.Kf1 a4=/+

30...Nd5 31.h4 31.Kf1 g5 32.Ke2 h5 33.h3 h4=/+

31...h6 31...Nb4 32.Rcc7 does not help Black.

32.a4?! A positional mistake! Better was simply 32.Kf1 g5 33.hxg5 hxg5 34.Ke2

32...g5 33.hxg5 hxg5 34.Kf1 Another GM suggested sacrificing a Pawn with 34.g4 fxg4 35.Kg2 which maybe better for White, than what we saw happen.

34...g4 35.Ke2 N5f6 The beginning of an interesting Knight maneuver.

36.b3 In hindsight, this is a mistake as soon the Rook on b7 gets almost trapped.

36...Ne8! 37.f3 g3! Now we can see already the shadows of serious danger for White: Black's Rook may get around soon with Ra8-h8-h2 attacking the Pawn on g2 and with the help of the Knights a mating attack may develop. If, 37...Nd6 38.Rbc7 gxf3+ 39.gxf3 Rb8? 40.Ra6 and the table is turned. Now White is better.

38.Rc1 38.b4? Nd6 39.Rbc7 axb4-+

38...Nef6 39.f4 This weakens the e4 square. White hoped to get Black's g3 Pawn, but will lose too much in return.

39...Kd6 40.Kf3 40.b4 axb4 41.Rxb4 Nd5 42.Rbc4 N7b6 43.Rc6+ Ke7 and the a4 Pawn is lost.

40...Nd5 41.Kxg3? This makes things worse for White. 41.Rb5 Ra7! threatening to trap the Rook with Nc7. 42.Rd1 (42.e4 Nc7 43.e5+ Ke7 44.Rxc7 Rxc7 45.Rxa5 Rc3+-+) 42...Nc5 with also good chances for Black. (Instead 42...Ke7 43.Rdxd5 exd5 44.Rxd5 Ke6 45.Rb5 with most likely a draw result. White will be able to reach in worst case a R vs. R+N theoretical draw endgame.)

41...Nc5 The strongest move. Now the two Black Knights dominate the game. 41...Nxe3 was not bad either, but not as good as the game move.

42.Rg7 42.Rb5 Ne4+ 43.Kf3 Rg8 44.Rxa5 Rg3+ 45.Ke2 Rxe3+ 46.Kf1 Rxb3-+

42...Rb8 The rest is matter of technique as they say. 42...Nxe3 was also good.

43.Ra7 Rg8+ 43...Rxb3 44.Rxa5 Rxe3+ 45.Kh4 Nd3-+

44.Kf3 The White King gets in trouble also after 44.Kh2 Nxe3 45.Rg1 Ne4 46.Rh7 Ng4+ 47.Kh3 (47.Kh1 Ng3#) 47...Nef2+ 48.Kh4 Nf6 49.Ra7 Rg4#.

44...Ne4-+ 45.Ra6+ 45.Rxa5 Rg3+ 46.Ke2 Rxe3+ 47.Kd1 Nxf4-+

45...Ke7 46.Rxa5 Rg3+ 47.Ke2 Rxe3+ 48.Kf1 48.Kd1 Nxf4-+

48...Rxb3 48...Nxf4-+

49.Ra7+ 49.Rb5 Ra3 50.a5 Nxf4-+

49...Kf6 50.Ra8 Nxf4 51.Ra1 If, 51.a5 Rb2 52.a6 Ng3+ 53.Ke1 (53.Kg1 Rxg2#) 53...Nxg2+ 54.Kd1 Ne3+ 55.Ke1 Re2#.

51...Rb2 52.a5 Rf2+ White resigned as the checkmate is unavoidable. 53.Kg1 [53.Ke1 Nd3+ 54.Kd1 Nc3#] 53...Rxg2+ 54.Kf1 [54.Kh1 Nf2#] 54...Rf2+ 55.Kg1 [55.Ke1 Nd3+ 56.Kd1 Rd2#] 55...Nh3+ 56.Kh1 Ng3#
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Anonymous said...

Official tournament score:

4-3 Kramnik still leads by 1

Seth Mould said...

Thanks, Susan, for this and for everything you do.

I thought it was very interesting that Topalov used the Slav, as if to say "I can handle this defence better than you".

Legitimate use of psychology - over the board. Let's hope it stays that way.

A pity that Kramnik blundered, but you have to expect that in such a match.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was an annoying blunder. I hope Kramnik can keep his confidence and show that his opponents need more than one blunder and foul play to overcome him.

tjallen54 said...

Could 27 Rb7 be the losing move? That rook was inactive and almost trapped for the rest of the game.

Anonymous said...

Topalov played an exciting game here. It is a shame that he cannot control his temper and behave more sportsmanlike (at least he should shake Kramnik's hand). On the other hand, I believe that Kramnik should have participated in game #5 despite his objections to the ruling. I might not the laws that we have in our country, but I still have to follow them. So does Kramnik. I think Topalov's play will improve soon, and Kramnik will now blame Topalov for playing psychological games with him.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry-- a typo: I might not like the laws in this country, but I still have to follow them.

Anonymous said...

Proof of Kramnik Cheating!

Team Kramnik IS using the bathroom plumbing to get the message to Kramnik!

A sweep of the pipe work in the building has uncovered a lengthy wire that was snaked through the plumbing and terminated in Kramnik's toilet! Snaked! Just like that snake Kramnik

In the garbage waiting to be burned in the building incinerator was found numerous plastic bags with scraps of paper in them with moves written on them!

Danailov will be bringing this information to an emergency press conference and will be demanding that Kramnik is forfeited from the match along with his portion of the prize fund.

I have heard that Danailov has made a press release to various news agencies as well but refuses to speak to Chessbase!

Anonymous said...

Chessbase saya game eight is underway. Who knows the truth?

Anonymous said...


Which move was the blunder ? Can you elaborate ?

Vlad Kosulin said...

Kramnik did not look good before game 8. Look at his eyes:

Anonymous said...

Nice game by Topalov. Too bad he is such a sleazebag.

Anonymous said...

Chessbase is very biased. Their main source of income is Fritz (and all the other chess playing software) and Kramnik will play Fritz, who do you think Chessbase is rooting for? What type of articles do you think Chessbase is going to publish? Do not believe a single word Chessbase says about this match. (Chessbase has not said a SINGLE WORD about this amazing blog, they just ignore it, because this is trully the only non-partisan source of information in the world of chess).

Anonymous said...

Topalov is th eonly true champion of today and the future. He finally proved it today. Kramnik is going down with his boring style and strategy of an 80-year old man, at least in this match. Who would want a World Champion who playes Ra2-b2-a2-b2, giving a bad example to all youth. Kramnik must lose, Topalov must win. I am not a fan of Topalov, by the way.

Anonymous said...

"Chessbase is very biased."

Yah, I am surprised Svidler and Moro, or whoever the two were, didn;t ask for some resignations there, too.

Anonymous said...

According to sources Chessbase is going to publish an article stating that Topalov was receiving assistance during the game.

Anonymous said...

According to my sources, your sources are wrong.

Are Kramnik and Topalov online during the match?

Are they reading this blog?

Anonymous said...

You must be an idiot - no you are an idiot.

They don't have to be online, or accessing this blog to be receiving assistance.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

Chessbase is very biased. Their main source of income is Fritz (and all the other chess playing software) and Kramnik will play Fritz, who do you think Chessbase is rooting for?

Yes, the motivations of various interested parties pretending objectivity shouldn't be forgotten. But not all chessplayers are so gullible as to swallow whatever Chessbase & Co. will feed them.

Anonymous said...

Zagrebelny gives 44.Kh2 Nxe3 45.Re1! (instead of your 45. Rg1) 45...Rxg2+ 46.Kh3 Nd3! 47.Rd1! (47.Rxe3 Nxf4+ 48.Kh4 Rg4 mate) Nxd1 48.Kxg2 Nf4+ 49.Kf3 Nd5 50.Rxa5.
What do you think of this line?

Anonymous said...

Hi anon, idiots can't pass the word verification test.

And, about Chessbase and other companies, they have done more for chess than both Kramnik and Fischer together.

Anonymous said...

You must be aware how many weak chess players nowadays dare comment GM moves, thanks to software doping.

Anonymous said...

i think it is ridiculous that any of the two are cheating. the games so far have not shown the kind of precision you would expect with cheaters. what good is cheating throughout a game when you blunder a couple of moves later? you either cheat and cheat good (which is not happening!) or you dont cheat at all.

all this mess about toilet this and that, fritz9 moves, forfeiting games etc., is just hurting the reputation of the match - world championship match between two arguably best players.

i wish they would just play and both leave their managers at home. what good is his manager anyway? their contracts are signed, everything had been taken care of by the managers - now thats it, thank you, goodbye and let them play!

Anonymous said...

Chessbase "support" (I shudder to call support something that is purely commercial) of chess has nothing to do with their bias. They use their medium to promote their products over and over again (just like bodybuilding magazines for example) and barely mention the "competition" (ICC, this blog, Rybka, etc.).

Theodulf said...

I'm sorry, Anonymous of 3:12 PM, but no statement by somebody named "Anonymous" followed by any allegation of anything whatever, without additional evidence, constitutes proof that GM Kramnik is cheating or of anything else.

Similarly, the unsupported statement by Anonymous of 4:08 that even more anonymous sources say that Chessbase is going to publish an article against GM Topalov has no information value. And the statement posted on Daily Dirt by someone named "fermat" (but without additional identifying information) that "it is completely obvious to anyone who knows anything about chess and computers that Topalov is using Rybka" and that most GMs are sure he is a cheat also has no informational value.

We are at the stage where any troll can voice any accusation whatever about anybody on either side, and somebody will believe it and repeat it. This is considered normal now. On the ICC this morning, I heard people offer to pay money to murder Silvio Danailov; I heard Topalov and Danailov accused of the most lurid sex crimes, theft, fraud, and every sin, and, of course, all sorts of computer cheating; Topalov was INDEED compared to Osama bin Laden (I predicted two days ago that this was coming); and people argued that Topalov can't play chess. Yes, AFTER the game they argued this.

On the other side, Kramnik was just as stridently vilified for his supposedly boring play, his bad play, his supposed cowardice, his supposed computer use, whininess, and so on. Two days ago I would say that about 90% of the garbage was being thrown at Topalov, but it was down closer to 70% today. I said a few days ago that the level of unanimity with which Topalov was being vilified was a product of his being down two points, and now that he has picked up a point over the board my analysis is completely confirmed - it's amazing how the garbage-throwers on the other side have come out of seclusion!

Honestly, this is all very depressing. The events in Elista are depressing enough. Danailov's bathroom complaint was depressing; Kramnik's forfeit of game 5 was depressing; Danailov's insinuations about Fritz use were depressing; and Hensel's warnings that Team Topalov will try to frame them by stashing hardware in their toilet are also depressing.

However, I understand why they act that way! They're in a high-pressure situation which has hardly any parallel in competitive activity, except maybe in some games like shogi or go with similarly long matches. But barring that, where else do you see two people fight it out for the world championship of some activity over a period of three weeks or more, in an activity where their mistakes are open and obvious and will be immediately criticized by the entire world? This is a high-pressure situation and it doesn't shock me that GMs act crazy and paranoid and even vicious. That's not new. It's happened before.

But what's YOUR excuse, Anonymous? The other Anonymous? Fermat? And all the other hundreds of people around the world, NOT in Elista, NOT risking anything themselves, who have made it their business to be as judgmental and hostile and polarized and partisan as possible, to sling as much invective and as many accusations as can be slung, to compete in the intensity and creativity of their trollishness? THAT'S what I find most depressing of all.

Anonymous said...

It was clear that Topalov was using Fritz 9 in the endgame, or even worsed, Fritz 10 (secret reports confirm that he is using Fritz 10, which will be released soon)

Marc Shepherd said...

Chessbase "support" (I shudder to call support something that is purely commercial) of chess has nothing to do with their bias. They use their medium to promote their products over and over again...

You have a problem with that? What exactly do you expect them to do?

This does not mean that everything Chessbase says is false. When they put up match scores, photos and GM analysis, do you think it's all fabricated?

By the way, some people say that Susan Polgar is biased, which is ridiculous. It just goes to show you the ingratitude towards professionals who provide a useful service and aren't even making you pay for it.

alsht said...

What is this nonsense of Chessbase or Susan Polgar being "biased"? Everybody is allowed to have an opinion and express it, if they wish it. This does not mean they are biased, it means that they considered the issue and came to a conclusion with which you may disagree. "Biased" is somebody who has an opinion that does not depend on available evidence.

Consider me biased, but I find the disrespectful talk of Polgar, Chessbase, Svidler, etc. incredibly offensive.

Anonymous said...

To the people who are "offended" at chessbase "attacks". Your are not helping your employer (chessbase) with your obvious ploy. Conflict of interest is so important that there is even a number asigned to it in research (conflict of interest level). Chessbase is highly biased toward Kramnik because of his involvement with their best selling program (best selling amongst the ones they sell) Fritz, you can belive everything they say EXCEPT anything regarding their merchandise (if you do your a fool), Kramnik or Topalov (because he is playing against Kramnik). Susan, on the other hand, has everything to lose and nothing to gain by being partisan, you could say that it is in her best interest to remain neutral. She will not earn any money with either Kramnik or Topalov (or Fritz for that matter). She is trying to become the ambassador of chess and we all welcome her (she is perfect for the job because of her interest in neutrality). Now, about the "whining" GM's that are sending letters to Chessbase just consider that it is in their best interest that Kramnik's reivindications succeed (they hate FIDE and are primadonnas just like Kramnik AND Topalov).

Anonymous said...

I agree with anynomous above, Chessbase have never aknowledged Rybka's enormous (100-150 points) advantage over Fritz and company (Shredder, Junior, etc.). Even after all the uproar in the chess computer comunity they just ignored it (if that is not chess news I do not know what should be considered to be). The few instances were they mention Rybka it is always in a lukewarm fasion and never comparing it to their programs (unless one of them defeated it or tied to it once).

Anonymous said...

Both anonymous above me are right. Why do people in corporations or the government think that when they get any power they can change history, reality, etc.? Chessbase thinks it can fool us into thinking that Fritz is the best program in the world (Rybka undoubtedly is, as proven by the numerous rating chess computer lists that it tops by at least a hundred ELO points), that Kramnik is a "victim' of "evil" Dainalov etc.,? Do they think we are all fools? I am offended at their lack of respect for our intellect.

Anonymous said...

To the chessbase employee who accused the anonymous blogger of saying that Susan is biased. He/she (?) never said such thing, the accusations were squarely directed to Chessbase so please do not insult our intelligence trying to cloud the issue.

Anonymous said...

Chessbase: instead of posting here in favor of your commercial enterprise please talk about Susan's blog in your site (a site visited by 50,000 people deserves to be mentioned at the very least) instead of just trying to fool us.

Anonymous said...

Well spoken, Mr. Theodulf

hoddy said...

I know this much if your going to report a major event like this chess match..being biast will put on the outer with one of the players and his fans...there is going to be a lot of reporters,GM,etc.. very sorry say if Topalov wins and holds the tidle for a few years...he can close a lot of doors..and leave them in the dark...If you or networks make comments make sure they are truthfull qualified reports and comments The Truth not LIES

oldtimer said...

Dear Susan,

Thirty three comments and not one thank you for your analysis of the game. Let me be the first to do so. I had a very hard time understanding the subtle end game manuevers, until I read your analysis. I learned a lot. Your professionalism in promoting chess shines through once again.

SusanPolgar said...


You are absolutely welcome. I try to do my best to make the event more informative, exciting and memorable (in a good way).

Thank you for your support!

Best wishes,
Susan Polgar

Fabrice Wantiez said...

Great commentary Susan ! ;o)
You have to visit Belgium where you are very welcome !

Anonymous said...

its all showmanship, with the result predetermined