Topalov – Kramnik, World Championship 2006 (7)

A draw with Kramnik having the upperhand through most of the game. Kramnik’s third Black in a row.

Topalov’s move-order sleight (5. Bd3) spins a Semi Slav into a classical Queen’s Gambit Accepted. Using a rare side-line (12. a4) Topalov ends up on the isolated pawn side of a typical Queen’s Gambit structure, and so he builds up his activity. He gains absolutely nothing against Kramnik’s super-solid position. Kramnik plays with finesse, exchanging off his weak minor pieces, pushes White backwards on the queenside (23… Bb4!) and gains some play on the queenside (36… Nb6!). Kramnik builds this to a clear advantage with pressure down the b-file and nets a pawn. Topalov tries to remain cool while backpedalling with his rooks and bishops (41. Bf1!) and has to eject another pawn to keep both his bishops on the board. Eventually Topalov gets a chance to reactivate his pieces (45. Rc7!) and after a struggle he regains the balance of the position and into a draw.


White:
Veselin Topalov (2813)
Black:
Vladimir Kramnik (2743)
Opening
Queen’s Gambit: Accepted
Tournament
World Championship 2006, Elista, Game 7
Date
04/10/2006
ECO Code
D27
Result
1/2-1/2

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bd3

With an unusual move order Topalov avoids the main variations of the Semi-Slav

5… dxc4 6. Bxc4 c5

And Kramnik has transposed into a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. Still played at the highest levels, particularly by Anand.

7. O-O a6 8. Bb3 cxd4 9. exd4 Nc6 10. Nc3 Be7 11. Re1 O-O 12. a4

A virtually unplayed sideline. We’ve transposed into the game Gershon – Papatheodorou.

12… Bd7

12… Nb4 13. Ne5 Bd7 14. Bg5 Rc8 15. Qe2 Be8 16. Rad1 Nfd5 17. Nxd5 Nxd5 18. Bxd5 Bxg5 19. Bxb7 Bxa4 20. Bxc8 Bxd1 21. Qxa6 Qxd4 22. Bxe6 Qd2? (22… Bh5 is a better option although White is still in the driving seat. 23. Nxf7 Rxf7 24. Qc8+ +=) 23. Kf1? (23. Bxf7+! Kh8 24. Qf1! +-) 23… Bc2? (23… Bh5 +=) 24. Bc4 +/- Bf6 25. Qb5 h6 26. Qc5 Bxe5 27. Qxe5 Qb4? (27… Bd3+ 28. Bxd3 Qxd3+ 29. Kg1 +/-) 28. Qd4 Kh8 29. Rc1? (Shredder 7: 29. Qc3 Qxc3 30. bxc3 Rc8 31. Rc1 Rxc4 32. Rxc2 Kh7 33. Ke2 Kg6 34. Kd3 Rc8 35. c4 Kf5 36. c5 [1.65/12]) 29… Bb3 30. Rc3 Re8 31. g3 Bxc4+ 32. Rxc4?? (32. Qxc4 +/-) 32… Qb7!! -+ Suddenly the White king finds itself in a mating net. White is utterly lost and can offer no resistance. 33. f4 Qf3+ 34. Qf2 Qh1+ 35. Qg1 Re1+ 36. Kxe1 Qxg1+ 37. Kd2 Qxh2+ 38. Kc3 Qxg3+ 39. Kb4 Qe1+ 40. Ka4 Qe8+ Gershon – Papatheodorou, Korinthos 1998, 0-1 (39)

13. Ne5 Be8 14. Be3 =

A typical isolani-move, conserving the energy of his bishop instead of straight to g5 where Black has the manoeuvre …Nfd5.

14… Rc8 15. Rc1 Nb4 16. Qf3

An active continuation. Topalov is aiming for a direct kingside attack in conjunction with the pawn advance d4-d5.

16… Bc6 17. Qh3 Bd5

Position after 17...Bd5. Swopping off his weakest minor piece. In isolated pawn positions, a knight permanently settled on the square immediately infront of the pawn is the main approach to carving out an advantage.

18. Nxd5 Nbxd5 19. Rcd1 Rc7 20. Bg5 Qc8 21. Qf3 Rd8

Black has an incredibly solid position.

22. h4

The typical plan of loosening the kingside. Dismantling the Black knight on f6 is the first step to weakening Black’s hold on the d5-square. White has a plethora of alternatives at this point, Shredder 7:

  • 22. Bd2 Qb8 23. g4 Bd6 24. g5 Ne8 25. a5 Bxe5 26. Rxe5 Nd6 27. Bxd5 exd5 28. Bf4 b5 29. Qxd5 Nc4 [0.56/15]
  • 22. Qd3 b6 23. Rc1 h6 24. Bd2 Bb4 25. Bc4 Bxd2 26. Qxd2 Qb7 27. b4 Rcc8 28. f3 b5 29. axb5 [0.54/14]
  • 22. Qe2 Bb4 23. Rf1 Be7 24. a5 Nb4 25. Rfe1 Nbd5 26. Bxd5 Rxd5 27. Nxf7 Kxf7 [0.52/14]
  • 22. h3 Qb8 23. Bc4 h6 24. Bd2 Bb4 25. Bxb4 Nxb4 26. Nxf7 Kxf7 27. Bxe6+ Kf8 28. a5 Nc2 [0.46/14]
  • 22. Qh3 b6 23. Qf3 Bb4 24. Rf1 h6 25. Bh4 Be7 26. Bxd5 Rxd5 27. Ng4 Nxg4 [0.45/14]
  • 22. Re2 b6 23. Rde1 Bb4 24. Rf1 Be7 25. Ree1 [0.43/14]
  • 22. Bh4 b6 23. Bg5 Bb4 24. Rf1 h6 25. Bh4 Be7 26. Bxd5 Rxd5 27. Ng4 Nxg4 [0.41/14]
  • 22. a5 Qb8 23. Re2 b5 24. axb6 Qxb6 25. Bc4 Nb4 26. Qf4 h6 27. Bh4 [0.40/14]
  • 22. Ba2 Bb4 23. Rf1 Be7 24. Bb1 Nb4 25. Be4 Nbd5 26. Rfe1 Nxe4 27. Bxe7 Rxe7 28. Qxe4 Rc7 [0.39/14]
  • 22. Kh1 Bb4 23. Rf1 Be7 24. Kg1 Qb8 25. Bc4 Qa7 26. a5 [0.39/14]
22… h6 23. Bc1

Shredder 7: 23. Bd2 Rf8 24. Ng4 Nxg4 25. Qxg4 Kh8 26. Bxd5 exd5 27. Qh5 Qd7 28. Bf4 Rc6 29. Re5 Re6 30. Rxd5 Qxa4 [0.65/14]

23… Bb4! =

Position after 23...Bb4!. Black’s counterplay holds the balance. The White rooks are harried, pushed into less active positions.

24. Rf1 Bd6

24… Nc3!? is a complicated alternative that is perhaps stronger than Kramnik’s choice. Shredder 7:

  • 25. bxc3 Rxc3 26. Be3 Rxb3 27. Rc1 Qa8 28. Rb1 Rxb1 29. Rxb1 Bd6 30. Nc4 Be7 31. Qxb7 Nd5 32. Ne5 Qxb7 33. Rxb7 Nxe3 34. fxe3 Bd6 35. Nxf7 Bg3 [0.12/16]
  • 25. Ng4 Nxg4 26. bxc3 Rxc3 27. Qxg4 Rxb3 28. Bxh6 Bf8 29. h5 Rd7 30. Bg5 Rb4 31. h6 Rxa4 [-0.03/16]
  • 25. Rde1 Nxa4 26. Nxf7 Rxf7 27. Rxe6 Nd5 28. Re8+ Rxe8 29. Bxd5 Qc7 30. Qb3 Be1 31. Bxf7+ Qxf7 32. Qd1 Qd7 33. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 34. Qxe1 Qxd4 [-0.36/16]
  • 25. Bxh6 Nxd1 26. Rxd1 Nd5 27. Qg3 Bf8 28. a5 b5 29. axb6 Nxb6 30. Qg4 Qb7 31. Bxe6 fxe6 32. Qxe6+ [-0.39/15]
  • 25. Bxe6 Qxe6 26. bxc3 Rxc3 27. Be3 Nd5 28. Rc1 Ra3 29. Ra1 Nxe3 30. fxe3 Rxa1 31. Rxa1 Bd6 32. Ng4 b5 33. axb5 axb5 [-0.40/15]
  • 25. Rd3 Nxa4 26. Qd1 b5 27. Rg3 Kf8 28. Bd2 Bxd2 29. Qxd2 Ne4 30. Qb4+ Kg8 31. Re3 Nf6 32. Re2 Qb7 [-0.59/15]
  • 25. Nxf7 Kxf7 26. bxc3 Rxc3 27. Rd3 Rxc1 28. Bxe6+ Kxe6 29. Qe3+ Kf7 30. Rxc1 Qd7 31. Rb1 Qxa4 32. d5 Kf8 33. Qb6 Be7 [-0.78/15]
  • 25. Rd2 Nxa4 26. Rdd1 Nc3 27. Rd3 Ne2+ 28. Qxe2 Rxc1 29. Rdd1 Rxd1 30. Rxd1 Bd6 31. Re1 Bxe5 32. dxe5 Nd5 [-1.04/15]
  • 25. Bg5 hxg5 26. bxc3 Rxc3 27. Rd3 Rxd3 28. Nxd3 Bd2 29. Rd1 g4 30. Qe2 Bc3 31. Ne5 Rxd4 32. Rxd4 Bxd4 33. Nxg4 [-1.70/15]
  • 25. Bf4 Nxd1 26. Rxd1 Nd5 27. Bg3 b6 28. h5 Qa8 29. Ng4 Rcc8 30. Bh4 Rd7 31. Qg3 Bd6 32. Nxh6+ [-1.71/15]
25. g3

25. g4 += is an aggressive way of pursuing the advantage

25… b6 26. Qe2 Ne7! 27. Rfe1 Bxe5 28. dxe5 Rxd1 29. Qxd1 Nfd5

Another alternative is (Shredder 7): 29… Nd7 30. Bd2 Nc5 31. Bc2 Rd7 32. Qe2 Nf5 33. Bc3 Qc7 34. Qf3 Nd4 35. Bxd4 Rxd4 36. b4 Rd2 [-0.07/16]

30. Bd2 Rc5

Stronger alternatives (Shredder 7):

  • 30… Nf5 31. Qg4 Rc5 32. Qe4 b5 33. a5 Qc7 34. h5 Nfe7 35. Rd1 Nc6 36. f4 b4 [0.08/14]
  • 30… Rd7 31. Qe2 Nf5 32. Rc1 Nc7 33. Bc2 Qd8 34. Bc3 Nd4 35. Bxd4 Rxd4 36. Rd1 [0.20/14]
  • 30… Qb7 31. Qg4 Nf5 32. Qe4 b5 [0.22/13]
  • 30… Qa8 31. Qg4 Nf5 32. Bc4 Qc8 33. b3 Rd7 34. Rc1 Nc7 35. Bb4 a5 36. Ba3 Qb7 [0.23/13]
31. Qg4 Nf5

Black’s pieces have all taken up active positions.

32. Qe4 = b5

Threatening to open some queenside lines and exposing White’s weak queenside pawns (particularly the pawn on b2)

33. h5?!

33. a5 = Keeping the position closed.

33… bxa4 34. Qxa4 Rb5

Black has a tiny nagging edge. Slightly better is (Shredder 7): 34… Nb6 35. Qa1 Nd4 36. Bd1 Qb7 37. Bc3 Nb5 38. Bb4 Rc4 39. Qa5 Rc8 40. Be2 Rc2 41. Qa2 [-0.33/14]

35. Rc1 Qb7 36. Bc2 Nb6!

Black is taking control of the queenside.

37. Qg4 Rxb2 =+ 38. Be4 Qd7 39. Be1?

Shredder 7: 39. Bc3 offers a bit more resistance. 39… Ra2 40. Bxf5 exf5 41. Qxg7+ Kxg7 42. e6+ f6 43. exd7 Nxd7 44. Bd4 Rd2 45. Be3 Rd5 46. Kf1 a5 47. Ke2 Ne5 [-0.39/14]

39… Nd5?!

Missing the chance to stamp his authority on the game. Shredder 7 offers two stronger alternatives:

  • 39… Rb5 40. Bc6 Qc7 41. Qf4 Qxe5 42. Bxb5 Qxf4 43. gxf4 axb5 44. Rc5 Nd4 45. Kf1 [-0.76/14]
  • 39… Nd4 40. Kh2 Nd5 41. Qd1 Nc6 42. Kg1 Rb8 43. f4 Rb2 44. Rc2 [-0.70/14]
40. Bd3?!

40. Rd1! Containing Black’s initiative. Shredder 7: 40… Nfe7 41. Bd3 Ra2 42. Qe4 Nf5 43. Qc4 Ra4 44. Qb3 Nfe7 45. Bc2 Rg4 46. Qd3 Qc7 47. Qh7+ Kf8 48. Qh8+ Ng8 [-0.14/13]

40… Nb4!

White is losing ground in the centre too.

41. Bf1!

Position after 41.Bf1! White’s hope for pushing Black back centres around him keeping both bishops on the board.

41… Nd3 42. Qd1 Nxe5 43. Qxd7 Nxd7 44. Rc8+ Kh7 45. Rc7!

Conjuring up as much activity as possible, otherwise the Black a-pawn just dominates the play.

45… Rb1?!

Shredder 7:

  • 45… Nf6 46. Bxa6 Nd6 47. Rc6 Nde8 48. Bc3 Rb3 49. Bd3+ Kg8 50. Be2 Nd5 51. Be5 Nef6 [-0.56/15]
  • 45… Nb6 46. Bxa6 Kg8 47. Bd3 Nd4 48. Rb7 Nf3+ 49. Kf1 Nc4 50. Rd7 Ncd2+ 51. Kg2 [-0.50/15]
46. Rxd7 Rxe1 47. Rxf7

Shredder 7: 47. Kg2! g5 48. Rxf7+ Kg8 49. Ra7 Ra1 50. Rxa6 Rxa6 51. Bxa6 Nd4 52. f4 gxf4 53. gxf4 Kf7 54. Kg3 Kf6 55. Kg4 [-0.26/16]

47… a5 48. Kg2

48. Ra7 Re5 =+ Shredder 7: 49. Bd3 Kg8 50. g4 Nd6 51. f4 Rc5 52. Kf2 Nc8 53. Ra6 Kf7 54. Ke3 [-0.39/16]

48… Kg8 49. Ra7 Re5

Black’s initiative has fizzled, and White’s pieces are activated securing the draw.

50. g4 Nd6 51. Bd3 Kf8 52. Bg6 Rd5 53. f3 e5 54. Kf2 Rd2+ 55. Ke1 Rd5 56. Ke2 Rb5 57. Rd7 Rd5 58. Ra7 Rb5 59. Bd3 Rd5 60. Bg6

Position after 60.Bg6.

1/2 – 1/2

This entry was posted in Accepted, Analysis, Chess, Kramnik, Queens Gambit, Topalov, World Championship. Bookmark the permalink.

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