This is the picture of the beginning of game 2 (from the official FIDE website). I am not at the playing site so I cannot tell you how Topalov was during the game. However, from this picture, Topalov looks more intense and Kramnik looks more relax.

This may come down to nerve and experience. In my opinion, if it is a World Championship like San Luis and Mexico City next year, it would favor Topalov. However, when it comes down to a head to head match, I believe it favors Kramnik.


– Match experience: Kramnik has been involved in more big matches including his biggest win against Kasparov back in 2000. He was not very good earlier in his career, losing badly to Shirov and Kamsky. But he improved drastically. His experience will prove to be very valuable.

– Nerve: Both have very strong nerves. However, when one player is the aggressor, that player tends to be more volatile. When things go right, spectacular stuff can happen. When things go wrong, the first 2 games happened.

This match is far from over. Topalov should have scored 1.5 – .5 instead of 0-2. He made his chances and he lost the games. He controlled his own destiny. Therefore, if Topalov can pull himself together and get moving with a spectacular win, you may see a string of consecutive wins. The problem is you may also see a string of losses like the first 2 games.

The other big factor is Kramnik’s endurance. Can he survive 10 more games with this kind of intense attack? No matter what the score is, Topalov will continue to charge like the bulls in Pamplona.

This reminds me of matches between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, Ali and Foreman, Detroit Pistons and LA Lakers, etc. The contrasting styles make things much more exciting!

Don’t forget about LIVE commentary right here by me for the next game as well as daily news update and chess puzzles!
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar