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Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Linares (1997), Linares ESP, rd 4, Feb-07
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  0-1



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Given 30 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-22-05  KingG: An example of the knight on d3(or d6) winning the game? With the knight on d3 the f2 pawn and the dark squares in general become very weak, and this isn't helped by White putting his dark squared bishop on c7.

I think Topalov should have tried 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Bxe5 Qxe5 exanging off the knights and stopping them jumping to d3.

The resulting position isn't great for White either, Black has the Bishop pair and an extra pawn, but the extra one is quite weak, so White should be able to recover it at some point.

I think this is the lesser of two evils. Any other suggestions?

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This was a real dogfight and a good example of how tough Kramnik was during the late 90s when he was in his prime.

..22 Bg4 is quite a shot (with the idea of 23 Qd2..Rh3+).

A really pretty variation after ..26 Nf2 is 27 Qc5..Rh3+ 28 Kg1 (if 28 Bh3..Ng4+ mates)..Rh1+ 29 Bh1..Nh3#

Oct-04-07  zdigyigy: I have never felt more completely lost in a game than in this one....This play is so far over my head it's sick. Maybe one day I will understand.
Oct-04-07  KamikazeAttack: Yup, the old Kramnik, wild and very tactical.
Jan-11-08  parmetd: this game has so many diverging ideas... it is quite easy to get lost.
Jan-11-08  kingsindian2006: what a great game for black.. black takes the game to white and the pieces come out swinging every move.
Apr-08-12  Blunderdome: Kramnik is awesome.
Jun-25-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Topalov vs Kramnik, 1997.
Your score: 56 (par = 44)


Jun-25-12  LoveThatJoker: I remember having seen this game in "Kramnik: My Path to the Top" by Chessbase, in 2008/2009: it made a tremendous impression on me!

Earlier this year I started studying "Kramnik: My Life and Games" intensely, and today reached this game - situated near the end of the book on page 230.

Prior to reading Kramnik's analysis, I completed the Guess-the-Move version of this first to see how I would fare and to get more in tune with what I was about to read:

In regards to my score, <CG> rated it as <VERY GOOD> (just one tier below that of <OUTSTANDING>).

In regards to what I read, Kramnik's analysis was once again both thorougly instructive and entertaining! I've always enjoyed how Kramnik can explain things so clearly and profoundly at the same time, and thankfully it wasn't any different today.

Here is an example of what I mean: In regards to 14...Nd3! 15. Nxe6 he said,

"Without the e6 pawn my light-square bishop comes into play and, more important, my knight is excellently placed in enemy territory."

He even provided a sample game to demonstrate what would happen if Black had gone with the more restrained 14...Nb6: Gelfand vs Timman, 1990.

In conclusion, this is a magnificent game, with tremendously valuable annotations by Kramnik in both "Kramnik: My Life and Games" and "Kramnik: My Path to the Top".

Thank you, WC Kramnik! And once again, happy birthday to you!


PS. <GOTD> My Path to the Top

Apr-25-13  Naniwazu: Kramnik does seem to have a knack for explaining things in a clear and simple way that's understandable even for a patzer like myself. I always enjoy his annotations to his games in New in Chess magazine. Many top-players simply list variations or brief explanatory prose whereas Kramnik will delve deeper into the plans and ideas of each position.
Oct-06-14  SpiritedReposte: Just a deconstruction. White' s phantom initiative dissipates quickly.

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