Every time Topalov seemed to be down for the count, he got up and fought valiantly. He scored a victory in game 3 of the Rapid Playoff to pull the match even. Now Kramnik will have White in the last Rapid Playoff game. If this is a draw then they will go to 2 games Blitz (5′ 10″) playoff. Are you ready??

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Be2 Bb7 9.O-O Be7 (He play 9…b4 in game 8 where he won with the 2 Knights versus a Rook.)

10.e4 b4 11.e5 bxc3 12.exf6 Bxf6 13.bxc3 c5 (I play this line many times with White.)

14.dxc5 Nxc5 (Some of you questioned my description of the game. Well, it is simple. Topalov is a head hunter. He goes all out for the win. He is a one man wrecking machine. If he succeeds, he wins. If he does not, he crashes and burns. Kramnik on the other hand is the minister of defense. It is much harder to describe a defensive victory. Ooooh, he found the best defensive move and made his opponent say: “Uncle”. You are welcome to try to follow the game, analyze rapid games LIVE, type, and check ALL comments from the readers at the same time. I am only human 🙂 Believe me, my style is closer to Kramnik so it is a lot easier for me to understand him than Topalov.)

15.Bb5+ Kf8 16.Qxd8 Rxd8 17.Ba3 Rc8 (This position is somewhat equal.)

18.Nd4 Be7 (I see this game going to the Blitz playoff.)

19.Rfd1 a6 (I like 19…Ne4 better.)

20.Bf1 Na4 21.Rb1 (A good move. White is slightly better. Black needs to be very careful due to the Rook on h8 being stuck. White’s weakness is the c3 pawn. 21…Bd5 or Be4 are both possible.)

21…Be4 22.Rb3 (Now Black should be played to provoke c4. White is still slightly better in my opinion. The other option is Bxa3 then Nc5. White’s position is certainly easier to play. Kramnik is doing the right thing in this game. He is trying cautiously, playing for 2 results.)

22…Bxa3 23.Rxa3 Nc5 24.Nb3 (Black SHOULD be able to hold if he does not do something crazy. Ke7 is must to wake the other Rook up from his nap.)

24…Ke7 (Some of you asked why the logo for this blog? 🙂 Well, ask President Kirsan 🙂 It’s his logo. It looks like Bambi to me and not a baby antelope. Maybe because I have 2 young kids so I am more familiar with Bambi.)

25.Rd4 Bg6 26.c4 Rc6 (This is a mistake. 26…Nxb3 would have been better.)

27.Nxc5 Rxc5 28.Rxa6 Rb8 (White is now clearly better. 24.Rc6 was clearly a mistake.)

29.Rd1 (This is the kind of position where Kramnik is far superior to Topalov. I am not sure if Topalov can hold this in normal time control. Of course in rapid, anything can happen.)

29…Rb2 30.Ra7+ Kf6 (White is up a pawn but Black has some activities.)

31.Ra1 Rf5 32.f3 Re5 (Very strange plan for Topalov. White is clearly better.)

33.Ra3 Rc2 34.Rb3 Ra5 (This is very hard for Topalov to hold. Kramnik is marching on with his endgame technique.)

35.a4 Ke7 36.Rb5 Ra7 (a5 is coming. The match may end here.)

37.a5 Kd6 38.a6 Kc7 39.c5 (This position looks horrible for Black.)

39…Rc3 40.Raa5 Rc1 41.Rb3 Kc6 42.Rb6 Kc7 43.Kf2 Rc2+ 44.Ke3 (Setting a trap. If 44.Rxc5 then 45.Rb7 wins a Rook)

44…Rxc5?? 45.Rb7+ Game over! Black hung a Rook! (If Rxb7 then Rxc5+ followed by axb7.) A shocking ending to the most bizzare match! Unification has been achieved! Congratulations to Kramnik! Well done!
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar