Time to do or die. All Kramnik needs to do is score 1 point in the final 2 rapid playoff games. Time is running out for Topalov.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Be2 (He delays taking on g6 as in previous games.)

7…Nbd7 8.O-O Bd6 9.g3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nb6 11.Be2 (The position is roughly equal in this position. I do not understand the SAME opening choice from Topalov over and over again. He SHOULD try something different, anything different. He has no more time left.)

11…O-O 12.Nxg6 hxg6 (13.e4 is now possible.)

13.e4 e5 14.f4 exd4 15.Qxd4 Qe7 (This is the best response. White has nothing. 16.Be3 is needed here. 16.Kh1 is playable as well.)

16.Kg2 (A move no one expects.)

16…Bc5 17.Qd3 (White has nothing. The position is equal in my opinion.)

17…Rad8 18.Qc2 (GM Rowson says: “I hope I am wrong, but I think White is better here. After Qc2 Black needs more than a move- he needs a concept to deal with e5 and Ne4.”)

18…Bd4 (Mr. Ali Nihat Yazici says from Elista: “Kramnik was smiling very relaxed and Veselin was looking a little bit under stress.”)

19.e5 Nfd5 (GM Rowson offers his guess: “Not sure. Gut instinct at this stage: Topalov wins this one, last one a draw. Kramnik wins first blitz game, loses second, and then…you’ll need to ask the man with the lunch.)

20.Rf3 (Not sure if I am so happy with this move. This is typical of Topalov. He often makes move that few can understand.)

20…Nxc3 (I would not have traded here.)

21.bxc3 Bc5 22.Bd2 (The idea is to get the Queenside Rook to the Kingside)

22…Rd7 (With the idea of doubling up the Rooks on the d file.)

23.Re1 Rfd8 (GM Tyomkin offers his strong voice as usual: “22.Bd2 looks as ugly as Rf3, when my students place pieces like that, I’m getting angry. White should play 24.Bd3 with the idea of e6. For the first time in a long time, Topalov is down on time by about 5 minutes.)

24.Bd3 Qe6 25.Bc1 f5 26.Qe2 Kf8 27.Rd1 Qe7 (Very interesting position. White may be a tiny advantage. Unfortunately, Topalov often failed to convert his advantages in this match.)

28.h4 Rd5 29.Qc2 (White is trying. The idea is h5 sometimes in the future.)

29…Nc4 30.Rh1 (A sensible move to mount a Kingside attack. Topalov has a chance if he does not blow it as he has done many times in this match. It is amazing that he kept on obtaining good position. But now is the time to convert if he wants to stay in this match.)

30…Na3 31.Qe2 Qd7 32.Rd1 b5 (Kramnik is at his best playing in this kind of positions. The best shot for White here is 33.g4 and open things up.)

33.g4 (Topalov found it! His attack continues.)

33…fxg4 34.Rg3 Ke7 35.f5 gxf5 36.Bg5+ Ke8 (What an exciting game! e6 then Rxg4 is the best continuation and NOT take the Rook.)

37.e6 (The best continuation! Topalov has a chance now if he does not mess it up.)

37…Qd6 38.Bxf5 Rxd1 39.Bg6+ Kf8 40.e7+ Qxe7 41.Bxe7 Bxe7 42.Bd3 Ra1 43.Qb2 Rd1 44.Qe2 Ra1 45.Qxg4 Rxa2+ 46.Kh3 Bf6 (White is completely winning now. Amazing!)

47.Qe6 (Qb4 was much better.)

47…Rd2 48.Bg6 R2d7 49.Rf3 (This is over. Black has no chance. We are going to the last rapid game. Can these 2 guys make it any more exciting than this?)

49…b4 50.h5 (Mating attack is coming.) Black resigns. We have game 4!
Posted by Picasa

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar