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Vladimir Kramnik vs Veselin Topalov
Linares (2004), Linares ESP, rd 7, Feb-26
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Kaspablanca, fatbaldguy> 16...♕c8 or 16...♕b8 lose the d♙ after 17 ♗c7 with no compensation. Crystal clear play from Kramnik. Earlier, he may just have been winning after 14 ♕c3, but I would have liked to see the play after 14...♖b8
Feb-26-04  zsystriker: <tamar> 14...Rb8 then 15.Qa5 after which black's Q-side pawns fall like ripe apples.
Feb-26-04  fatbaldguy: <Tamar>,<zsystriker>: Thanks, I hadn't realized how powerful Bc7 was.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <zsystriker>No time to pick apples! If 15 ♕a5 ♘bxd5 and the dobermans are barking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: After 14...Rb8 what about 15.f4? It looks quite promising for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 14...Rb8 15 f4 Qc8 16 Qc8+ Nc8 was the line I wanted to see. Is white that much better? Black still has hope of organizing pressure on d5, and if white plays 17 fxe5, black's black square bishop becomes better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: After 14...Rb8 15.f4 Qc8 16.Qxc8+ Nxc8 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Na5 Ne7 (threatening 19.Nc6 black hardly can ignore) 19.c4 white still looks better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Thanks for the clear strategy <Honza> I missed the power of 18 Na5.
Feb-27-04  lazarus: Topalovs 12...g6 seems to be a novelty
and I think his problems already started with this move. Interesting would have been 12...Qc7
(more dynamic than g6, control of the
c-file, avoiding the Qc3 manoeuvre)
May-01-04  Tigran Petrosian: Beating a top-level GM never looked so easy.
Jun-04-05  Catfriend: Just for those calling Kramnik a patzer and an unworthy champion, naming Topalov as the next one: Kramnik-Topalov +18 -9 = 33.
Jun-06-05  lopium: <Rubanmar>, no creo que Topavol era cansado, pero que ha simplemente perdido. Se puede! Me parece que te gusta mas Topalov que Kramnik.
Jun-06-05  Catfriend: <lopium> Deystivetlno? Seryozno? A, teper vsyo ponyatno:)
Jun-06-05  Boomie: 16...♕c8 loses miserably.

16... ♕c8 17. ♗c7 ♖a7 18. ♗xd6 ♕xc6 19. dxc6 ♗xd6 20. ♖xd6 ♔e7 21. ♖xd7+ ♘xd7 22. cxd7 ♖xd7 23. ♗d3

18...♘fd7 is also hopeless. However black may be able to survive after 18...O-O

18... O-O 19. ♕b7 ♕xb7 20. ♘xb7 ♖c8 21. ♗e2 ♔f8

Jun-06-05  Boomie: 12...g6 is strange. The usual ♖c8 is much better. The game might proceed:

12... ♖c8 13. g3 ♘b6 14. ♗h3 ♘c4 15. ♕e2 ♖c7 16. f4 ♗e7 17. ♗d2 ♘xd2 18. ♕xd2 O-O 19. ♘a5 exf4 20. gxf4

Sep-09-05  Queens Gambit: A fantastic game.
Oct-22-05  Hesam7: GM Kramnik and GM Illescas, annotate this game:
Oct-22-05  KingG: Great game by Kramnik, but i don't think that 10. ...h5 is a good move. Certainly i don't think it is better than the usual 10. ...Nb6. After all in this variation, black is trying to break through on the Queen side before White does on the King side, so why help him with h5 instead of the constructive Nb6. I know that in the Yugoslav attack in the Dragon black sometimes plays h5, and it's not that easy to break through, but i think that it's a bit misplaced in the Najdorf.
Oct-22-05  KingG: Well, perhaps i spoke too soon. I just checked my database and apparently Black scores 75% in this with h5, but still on general principles(although that doesn't seem to mean much these days) i think Nb6 SHOULD be stronger even if Kramnik's novelty doesn't refute this variation.
Oct-22-05  Hesam7: Here is some analysis from Fruit after 19... Bg5:

20. h4 Bf6 21. g4 hxg4 22. fxg4 Rxh4 23. Bd3 Kf8 24. Rxh4 Bxh4 25. Rh1 Kg8 26. a4 Bg5 27. a5 Qc7 28. c3 Be3 29. Rh2 Bg5 (eval: +1.58)

Depth: 18
1191M nodes
713K nodes/sec

Apr-10-06  DeepBlade: Move 28 is a great one, undermining the Knight and gaining a pawn.
Nov-03-08  dwavechess: 30/37 kramnik moves concur with rybka 3 w32 at 3 minutes per move.
Dec-28-16  kramnov: Nice Exchange Game by Kramnik
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: Once again black plays his pawn to e5 for his 6th move (in style of the Opocensky Variation); and once again also, the moment that white plants his Queen Knight on the d5 square... black snaps it off unhesitatingly <11 Nd5 Bxd5?> Am I on my own in wondering why GM's who play this position as black keep on capturing the Knight straight away? It seems to me that the white Knight on d5 is only a benign threat (in the immediate sense), and that it can be left where it is without any hazard while black completes development? There must be other ways for black to consolidate the dark squares on his queen-side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 12..Nb6 had been played once before in a game from the 1999 Philippine Championship; 12..g6 was new but has not been repeated. With 13..Nb6? Black may have missed White's clever 14 Qc3!; 13..Bg7 would have been better. 14..Nbxd5 15 Rxd5..Rd8 16 Qd2..Nxd5 17 Qxd5..Bh6 18 Bxh6..Rxh6 19 Bd3 would have been strong for White. Kramnik was critical of 20 Qa7? saying that a stronger plan would have been 20 h4!..Be3 21 g4. After 23..Rc8? Black was close to losing; 23..Nc4 would have been a tougher defense. 24..Ra8 25 c7..Kd7 26 Rxa6! would have been quickly decisive. 28..Nxb2? 29 Rb3! wouldn't have helped Black.

<Clement Fraud: .... the moment that white plants his Queen Knight on the d5 square... black snaps it off unhesitatingly <11 Nd5 Bxd5?> Am I on my own in wondering why GM's who play this position as black keep on capturing the Knight straight away? >

The knight is powerfully placed on d5 attacking key squares on both the kingside and queenside - hard to see how Black can just leave it there.

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