Kramnik – Topalov, World Championship 2006 (8)

Topalov outfoxes Kramnik to score his first over-the-board win.

In another Semi-Slav Meran, Kramnik unleashes a complicated struggle with 12. Bb5+, but Topalov threads his way to equality with an unexpected 15… Qa5! creating a multitude of threats. Kramnik is forced to exchange two minor pieces for a rook, and he emerges with active rooks against a Black king stranded in the center. Optically Kramnik looks to have a great position, but Topalov turns the screws on the position with his two knights totally dominating the position. Kramnik hastens the end immediately after time control with 41.Kxg3? which allows the Black pieces to decisively infiltrate White’s kingside.


White:
Vladimir Kramnik (2743)
Black:
Veselin Topalov (2813)
Opening
Queens Gambit: Semi Slav
Tournament
World Championship 2006, Elista, Game 8
Date
05/10/2006
ECO Code
D47
Result
0-1

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Be2

8. Bd3 is Topalov’s choice from game 4, where his two pawn sacrifice wasn’t enough to overwhelm Kramnik.

8… Bb7 9. O-O b4 10. Na4 c5 11. dxc5 Nxc5 12. Bb5+

A natural looking move, but the resulting position is better suited to Topalov’s style.

12… Ncd7 13. Ne5 Qc7!?

Aiming for complications.

14. Qd4?! =

Shredder 7:

  • 14. Nxd7 Nxd7 15. Bd2 Rd8 16. Rc1 Qe5 17. Qe2 Bd6 18. f4 Qf5 19. Rfd1 O-O 20. Bxd7 Rxd7 21. Bxb4 Rfd8 22. Nc5 Bxc5 23. Rxd7 [0.46/13]
  • 14. f4 Rd8 15. Bd2 Be7 16. Rc1 Qb8 17. Nc5 Bxc5 18. Nxd7 Bxe3+ 19. Bxe3 Ke7 20. Nxb8 [0.42/13]
14… Rd8 15. Bd2 Qa5! =

Position after 15...Qa5! Seizing the initiative, and forcing White on the backfoot in to coming tactical sequence. 15… a6 Cvetkovic – Bagirov, Vrnjacka Banja 1974, 1/2 (42)

16. Bc6

The only move to avoid definite material loss.

16… Be7

Shredder 7: 16… Bxc6 17. Nxc6 Qxa4 18. Nxd8 Kxd8 19. Rfd1 Qa6 20. Bxb4 Qb6 21. Bxf8 Qxd4 22. Rxd4 Rxf8 23. Ra4 Kc7 24. Rxa7+ Kb6 25. Ra4 [-0.34/14]

17. Rfc1

17. b3!? is better 17… O-O 18. Bxd7 (18. Bxb7?? Nxe5 (18… Qxe5?! 19. Qxa7 Nb8 20. Rad1 =) 19. Bxb4 Bxb4 -+) 18… Nxd7 19. Nxd7 =+

17… Bxc6 =+ 18. Nxc6 Qxa4 19. Nxd8 Bxd8

Worse is 19… Kxd8 20. a3 Qb5 21. axb4 +/-

20. Qxb4

Shredder 7: 20. b3 Qa6 21. Bxb4 Nd5 22. Rc2 Nxb4 23. Qxb4 Qa5 24. a3 Bc7 25. Rac1 Qxb4 26. axb4 a5 27. Rxc7 [-0.49/15]

20… Qxb4 21. Bxb4 =+

White has a rook and a pawn against two knights, plus the Black king is stuck in the centre, keeing his rook out of play, and a queenside pawn majority. In any normal position, White would be on top, but not here. Black has ample compensation because of the two extra minor pieces.

21… Nd5 22. Bd6 f5 23. Rc8

White is struggling to keep Black contained. If Black can untangle himself, then he will be in a strong position.

23… N5b6!

The only move to hold the advantage. Black now covers his queenside squares quite efficiently with the three minor pieces.

24. Rc6 Be7 25. Rd1 Kf7 26. Rc7

Shredder 7: 26. Bxe7 Kxe7 27. Rdd6 Nb8 28. Rxe6+ Kf7 29. Rxb6 Rc8 30. Kf1 axb6 31. Rxb6 Nd7 32. Rd6 Ke7 33. Rd2 g6 34. a3 Rc1+ [-0.54,16]

26… Ra8

Shredder 7: 26… Rc8! 27. Rxc8 Nxc8 28. Bxe7 Kxe7 29. Rc1 Kd8 30. Kf1 Ndb6 31. Ke2 Nd5 32. Kd3 Kd7 33. a3 Nd6 34. f3 e5 35. b4 [-0.83,17]

27. Rb7 Ke8 28. Bxe7 Kxe7 29. Rc1 a5 30. Rc6 Nd5 31. h4 h6 32. a4 g5 33. hxg5 hxg5 34. Kf1

Only move. White has to get his king into play as quickly as possible, otherwise its four Black pieces against two White.

34… g4 35. Ke2 N5f6 36. b3

36. Rcc7 =+ Ties up the two Black knights and the king, leaving only the rook to cause trouble

36… Ne8 37. f3 g3 38. Rc1 Nef6 -/+ 39. f4 Kd6

Black’s king and knight combine splendidly to hold the centre against the two White rooks.

40. Kf3 Nd5 41. Kxg3?

Allows the Black knights to dominate the White position. Kramnik’s position now falls apart due to Black’s activity and initiative in the centre.

41. Rb5 -/+ is better. Shredder 7: Rb8 42. Ra1 Rc8 43. Rxa5 Rc3 44. Re1 Nc5 45. Rb5 Nxb3 46. Kxg3 Nxe3 47. Kf2 Nd5 48. a5 Rf3+ 49. Kxf3 [-0.99/16]

41… Nc5! -+

Position after 41...Nc5!

42. Rg7

42. Rb5 Ne4+ 43. Kh2 Nxe3 44. Rb6+ Kd5 -+

42… Rb8

Now that the Black knights are dominant, the rook now springs into play.

43. Ra7 Rg8+

43… Nxe3 might be the shorter path 44. Rxc5 Kxc5 45. Rxa5+ Kd4 46. Re5 -+

44. Kf3

44. Kh2 Nxe3 (44… Nxb3?! is no comparison 45. Ra6+ Ke7 46. Rcc6 =) 45. Re1 Rxg2+ 46. Kh3 Nd3 -+

44… Ne4

44… Nxb3?! 45. Ra6+ Ke7 46. Rc2 -/+

45. Ra6+ Ke7 46. Rxa5

46. Ra7+ Kf6 47. Ke2 Rg3 -+

46… Rg3+

Two knights against a rook leaves Black effectively with an extra piece. He uses that advantage to force a decisive entry into White’s kingside. White’s position now collapses.

47. Ke2 Rxe3+ 48. Kf1 Rxb3 49. Ra7+ Kf6 50. Ra8

50. Kg1 {doesn’t do any good} Rb2 51. Rc8 Nxf4 -+

50… Nxf4 51. Ra1

51. Rf8+ {there is nothing else anyway} Ke7 52. Rg8 -+

51… Rb2

Catching the White king in a mating net.

52. a5

52. Rg8 Kf7 53. Rd8 Rf2+ 54. Ke1 Nxg2+ 55. Kd1 Ne3+ 56. Ke1 Nc2+ 57. Kd1 Nc3+ 58. Kc1 Nxa1 59. Rd7+ Kf6 60. Rd2 Nb3+ 61. Kc2 Rxd2+ 62. Kxb3 -+

52… Rf2+

Position after 52...Rf2+ A superlative performance from Topalov. Kramnik played natural moves but found himself in a dodgy position.

52… Rf2+ 53. Kg1 Rxg2+ 54. Kf1 Rf2+ 55. Ke1 Nd3+ 56. Kd1 Rd2#

0-1

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

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