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Veselin Topalov vs Gata Kamsky
Corus Group A (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-14
Scandinavian Defense: Modern Variation (B01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: In a way Kamsky made up for this first round loss against Topalov. In a strange logic though. He beat Gelfand in round two, who beat Adams, who beat Topalov. That that was Kamsky's only win in four rounds to Topalov's only loss is a minor issue. I hope Kamsky will do well still!
Jan-18-06  apawnandafool: Kamsky never moved his queen.
Jan-22-06  Whitehat1963: Beautifully done! Appropriately, Topalov (the current leader) wins the shortest decisive game of the tournament against Kamsky (the current cellar dweller).
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: The shortest decissive game of the A-group, yes... But not the shortest decissive in Wijk 2006 (it was Carlsen-Beliavsky).
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: (Annotations ...)
Jan-29-06  morpstau: Well, he did resign just a few moves later
Feb-06-06  itz2000: WOW I didn't understand almost half of the moves!

2..Nf6? if 3.c4. and white has advantage of a piece?
10. Bg4? is sad mistake? I don't think so esspcially on the openning! so why would he want to force black getting another pawn on 12..Nxd4? 13. C5?
it gained black another pawn for what?
There must be a logic! but what is it!

maybe to make black not defend his g4 pawn?

Also, what's wrong with 15..f5? it will get a Knight, if i'm not mistaken :S

The end-game I did understand, but can someone explain me the points I made? Thanks!

Feb-06-06  euripides: <itz> The general idea is that Topalov is offering material in return for piece activity and an exposed Black king.

I don't play the Scandinavian but I imagine after 3 c4 Black can play 3...c6 4 dxc6 Nxc6 with a lead in development for the pawn.

10 Bf4 sacrifices the d pawn in refurn for development and a very weak Black king's side. Accepting this sacrifice by 10...g5 and 11...g4 was a risky idea, but perhaps Kamsky hoped to castle queen's side.

13 c5 gains a tempo to bring the knight to the King's side by Ne4. In such a sharp position a tempo is often worth a pawn. Now if 14...Qe7, hoping to castle queen's side, White can play 15 b4 Bxb4 16 Qxd4 with a piece and the attack for three pawns.

One possible variation then (after 14...Qe7 15 b4 Bxb4 16 Qxd4) is 16...Rd8 17 Nd7 (threatening Nf6+ and Qxh8+: 17 Qxd8+ Qxd8 18 Rxd8+ Kxd8 19 Nxf7+ Ke7 20 Nxh8 Bxc3 does not look so clear) e5 (or 17....Bxc3 18 Qxc3 and the h8 rook has no good square; or 17...f6 19 Nxf6+ Kf7 20 Qf4 Qxf6 21 Qxf6+ Kxf6 22 Bxh4+ or 20... Rxd1 21 Nd5+ Ke8 22 Nxe7 Rxf1+ 23 Kxf1 Bxe7 24 Qxc7 and the queen's side cannot be defended) 18 Bxe5 Rxd7 19 Qxd7+ Qxd7 20 Rxd7 Kxd7 21 Bxh8 which leaves White a rook up for three pawns. There may well be mistakes in these lines but in general white seems to have enought to win.

During the game people were also wondering about 14...Qe7 15 b4 0-0-0 16 bxc5 Nf3+ 17 gxf3 Rxd3 18 Rxd3.

15...f5 loses to 16 Nxc5.

By move 17 Topalov could have won with 17 Be5 (see the posts above), so his judgement with the sacrifices was almost certainly right.

Feb-06-06  refutor: <euripides> the more common gambit is 3. ...e6 <icelandic gambit>

if 3. ...c6 probably best is 4.d4 tranposing to panov-botwinnik

Feb-08-06  tacticsrule: Wow Kamsky Played Center Counter against the World Champ that takes Guts.Hats off to you Kamsky.WEll done
Feb-08-06  Whitehat1963: Guts perhaps, but he was crushed for his guts.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's an analysis with the Opening Explorer and Fritz 8:

<1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nxd5 4. d4 Bf5> Two frequently played alternatives are 4...g6 as in
Bologan vs S Smagin, 2004 and 4...Bg4 as in Fedorov vs P Lomako, 2005. <5. Bd3> prior to this game, the more popular alternative had been 4. Be2! as in Movsesian vs S Krivoshey, 2005. <5...Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6> Two playable alternatives are 6...c6 as in F Borkowski vs N Gaprindashvili, 1976 and 6...Nc6 as in Tal vs Korchnoi, 1961 and Dreev vs N Vlassov, 2001. <7. O-O Nc6> Fritz 8 prefers 7...c6 here, but Black's loss in Skribanek vs Kaspar, 1985 doesn't seem to offer much to recommend it. Also playable is 7...Nd7 as in Van der Sterren vs Christiansen, 1978 and F Jenni vs A Volokitin, 2001. <8. c4 Nb6> Perhaps Black should consider Fritz 8's recommendation 8... Nf6 9. Rd1 Qd7 10. Nc3 O-O-O 11. Bg5 Nb4 12. Qd2 Bd6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Ne4 Be7 15. Nxf6 Bxf6 16. Qxb4 Rhg8 when Black gets active counterplay in exchange for a pawn. <9. Nc3 Be7 10. Bf4 g5 11. Bg3 g4 12. Ne5 Nxd4 13. c5 Bxc5 14. Rad1 O-O> Instead, Black may be able to hold after 14... Nc6 15. Qe4 (15. Qe2 Bd6 16. Ne4 Nxe5 17. Bxe5 Bxe5 18. Rxd8+ Rxd8 19. Qb5+ Nd7 20. Rd1 b6 21. b3 c5 22. Qe2 Ke7 =) 15... Bd6 16. Nxc6 bxc6 17. Qxg4 Nd5 18. Rfe1 Bxg3 19. Qxg3 Qd6 20. Qf3 Rd8 21. Ne4 Qe7 22. Qg3 Kf8 23. Qh3 h5 24. a3 h4 25. b4 a5 26. Nc5 axb4 27. axb4 Rh5 =.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <15. Ne4 Be7 16. Nxg4 c5> Interesting but insufficient for Black is 16... Nf5!? 17. Qc3 Nd5 18. Rxd5! exd5 19. Nef6+ Bxf6 20. Nxf6+ Kg7 21. Be5! Qc8 (21... Kg6 22. Qf3 Qd7 23. Qg4+ Kh6 24. Bf4#; 21... h6 22. Qd3 Qc8 23. g4 Qe6 ; 21... h6 22. Qd3 Qc8 23. g4 Qe6 24. Re1 Rh8 25. Nxd5+ Kh7 26. Nf6+ Kg7 27. gxf5 ) 22. g4 Nh4 23. Nxd5+ f6 24. Bxf6+ Kf7 25. Bxh4 Qxg4+ 26. Bg3 . Black may be able to hold an inferior endgame for a draw after 16... f6! 17. Qxd4 Qxd4 18. Rxd4 f5 19. Bxc7 fxg4 20. Bxb6 axb6 21. a3 Rad8 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Rc1 Kf7 24. Kf1 Rd7 25. Ke2 Bf6 26. Nxf6 Kxf6 27. Rd1 Rc7 28. Ke3 . <17. b4!?> This gives White a clear advantage, but overlooks the immediately decisive 17. Be5!! f6 (17... Bg5 18. Nef6+ Bxf6 19. Nxf6+ ) 18. Ng5! Ne2+ (18... Nf3+ 19. Qxf3 Qe8 20. Bc3 e5 21. Ne6 Kh8 22. Nxf8 Qxf8 23. Qxb7 ) 19. Qxe2 Qe8 20. Bc3 e5 21. Ne6 Qg6 22. Nxf8 Rxf8 . <17... Nd5?> This loses quickly. Putting up more resistance with drawing chances was 17... Nf5! 18. Qf3 Nd5 19. bxc5 f6 20. Ne3 Nfxe3 21. fxe3 Qc8 22. Rc1 f5 23. Nd6 Bxd6 24. Bxd6 Rf6 25. Be5 Rg6 26. e4 Ne7 27. Bd6 Rg7 28. Qe3 . <18. bxc5 Nf5 19. Qf3 Rc8 20. Bd6 Nxd6 21. cxd6 Bh4 22. d7 Rc6> Putting up more resistance, but still failing for Black is 22... Rc2!? 23. Nd6! Bg5 24. h4 Rc3 (24... h5 25. Ne5 Bf6 26. Qxh5 Bxe5 27. Qxe5 Qxd7 28. Qg5+ Kh7 29. Qh5+ Kg8 30. Qg4+ Kh8 31. Rxd5 ) 25. Qe4 h5 26. Nxf7 Rxf7 27. Qg6+ Kf8 28. Ne5 Rxd7 29. hxg5 Re7 30. Rxd5 exd5 (30... Qxd5 31. Qf6+ ) 31. Qf6+ Kg8 32. Nf7 Qc7 33. g6 Rxf7 34. gxf7+ Kf8 35. Re1 Rc1 (35... Qd7 36. Qh8+ Kxf7 37. Qh7+ Kf6 38. Qxd7 ) 36. Qh6+ Kxf7 37. Rxc1 . <23. Ne5 Rc7 24. Qg4+ Kh8 25. Nd6 1-0> Black resigned, but per Fritz 8 play might continue 25... ♕e7 26. ♘dxf7+ ♖xf7 27. ♕xh4 ♕xh4 28. ♘xf7+ ♔g7 29. d8=♕ ♕e7 30. ♕xe7 ♖xe7 31. ♘e5 1-0
Mar-04-06  IMFSTJP: Topalov played good. Even Fritz 8 would not be a match for him after 22.d7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <patzer2>
Good analysis ... did you take a look at mine? (See my earlier post for the link.)
May-20-06  spirit: why didn't he take the black horse???
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: This game is (now) annotated on my web site.
Oct-13-06  notyetagm: Kasparov found this beautiful forced win on move 17 during the game: 17 ♗e5! f6 18 ♘g5! ♘f5 19 ♘h6+! and White wins the Black queen with a knight fork.

click for larger view

Oct-13-06  notyetagm: The final position is a knightmare for Kamsky, just like the above variation:

click for larger view

Jul-24-08  Whitehat1963: I'm looking forward to more games like this one in the forthcoming match. I hope so anyway.
Feb-07-09  WhiteRook48: "Knightmare" Ha ha
Feb-09-09  ajile: Very uncharacteristic play by Kamsky. 10..g5? and then 0-0? There has to be a better way to play the Center Counter than this.
Mar-05-09  WhiteRook48: figured 25...Qe7 26 Nexf7+ Rxf7 27 Nxf7+ Qxf7 28 Qxh4, but maybe I missed a mating attack
Jul-27-16  Zappa XP: Se fue de Gatamala a Gata-peor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <spirit: why didn't he take the black horse???> This was a long time ago and it is a good question. Topalov could have taken it.

I think the idea was something like this:

16. Qxd4 Qxd4 17. Rxd4 f5 18. Nc3 c5 19. Rdd1 f4 20. Nxg4 h5 21. Ne5 fxg3 22. hxg3 Rfd8 but White seems to have a small advantage. Perhaps Kamsky wanted to steer clear of this dynamic possibility or her overlooked it. Such things happen.

There are other moves but in those days Topalov was possibly the strongest player playing. Kamsky's opening was o.k. though, at least the initial moves were...

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