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Kramnik-Topalov g1

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Today is the day at long last. Kramnik will push the first pawn (or a king's knight) against Topalov in about five hours. The match will be, drumroll please, drawn after 12 games with a win apiece. Boring call, I admit, but I'm just being honest. Topalov has been playing great chess for the past year and a half. His peak tournament performances have demonstrated a level of chess Kramnik can't compete with. That is, on tournament results and game quality Topalov would be a +2 favorite. But this is a match and Kramnik is constructed to be a match player nonpareil. Unless his stamina fails him in the final week it's hard to imagine him losing more than a game even against the relentless Topalov.

To hedge constructively, I can see this pick going wrong in Topalov's favor. If Kramnik isn't back to his peak form he could be badly mistreated in the fourth hour of play if Topalov is able to press consistently. Kramnik hasn't really been under much pressure since his return, to his credit. If Topalov can avoid short draws as he usually does, Kramnik's endurance will be tested. On the other hand, if the big Russian can conserve his energy he has shown on several occasions he can win the big game. Kramnik's winning scenarios are limited, but if he can keep it even without exhausting himself he may have another upset on his hands.

I just put up a mini-preview at ChessBase.com that includes some comments from Garry Kasparov. His main concern was what happens after the match. Topalov's reaction, win or lose, seems fairly predictable. He'll stick with FIDE (and will almost surely be let into the 2007 WCh tournament even if he loses in Elista) and if he wins there's the Radjabov match we haven't heard much about lately. Kasparov is concerned that Kramnik's reaction is less predictable in both cases. He has benefited from his title claims and might not want to give them up or put them on the line in a tournament a year from now. Personally I think Kramnik will be happy to come in from the cold win or lose. He wants to play chess, not lead a movement or be an organizer.

I thought Garry would pick Topalov as a favorite if only from affinity with the Bulgarian's chess and his undisguised distaste for Kramnik's. But chess is chess and few people know the depth of Kramnik's powers better than Kasparov. Of course in just 12 games a slip here and there can matter as much or more than all our analysis and psycho-babble. It should be very evenly fought and if Topalov pushes as hard as ever we should have plenty of great chess to chew on for the next three weeks.

Feel free to post in-game updates and result.

Update 1: Topalov has the first novelty of the match, 12..Ba6 instead of the 12..Na6 Moiseenko played against Grischuk in April. Kramnik takes just five minutes and makes a typically pragmatic decision to decline the pawn sacrifice, playing 13.Qa4 instead of 13.Qxa5 Bb7! with good play. But now Black should be solid after 13..Qb6.


It should be an exciting match... looking forward to it...

Personally, I believe Topalov will be able to wear Kramnik out by the end of the match. I think his strategy will be "No short draws, fighting chess all the way"... and Kramnik will wear down... I predict +2 in Topalov's favor.

"I thought Garry would pick Topalov as a favorite if only from affinity with the Bulgarian's chess and his undisguised distaste for Kramnik's":

GK's attitude is a bit ironic, given the high praise that he used to dole out to Kramnik, including calling him his likely successor. He seemed a lot less philosophical when the succession actually became a reality, and probably sooner than he expected.

Then again, Kramnik of 2002 isn't Kramnik of 1996. The old Kramnik was a positional player, sure, but he wasn't a total wuss who played terminally boring defences like the Berlin.

"His main concern was what happens after the match. Topalov's reaction, win or lose, seems fairly predictable."

I'm not sure if its what you mean but the reaction of the players after the match is going to be very interesting. Because its so long since we've had proper candidates cycles its been almost forgotten how serious the consequences can be after losing these matches. Larsen and Spassky were never the same after losing to Fischer. Also the winners can either kick on or feel that their career has been justified and ease off their efforts.

Its a real shame this isn't a 24 game match, surely the overheads can't have been that much more to get it up to at least 16 games.

Game one tends to be cagey, and tend to end in fairly bloodless draws, what Korchnoi used to call testing the pieces. However because the match is so short that might not be the case.

I'm pretty optimistic this could be the best match for many, many years and I think we'll see Kramnik playing quite a bit sharper than his reputation of recent times. I take him to win a match with at least 4 decisive games. Well here's hoping anyhow!

The wear-down factor can of course be used against Topalov. If Kramniks cautious play endures for say eight games, Topalov may get restless and attack just a little bit to much, which should be all Kramnik needs. OK so this is just more of what Mig (accurately)calls psycho-babble, but it's something to do while waiting for the fun part.

can someone tell me what the esoteric/astrologic looking symbols to the right and the left of the official website are symbolizing/trying to symbolize?

The Topalov side is clearly saying that Topa is the big favorite:


My guess is that Topa has a slight edge but in such a match anything can happen until the very end...

When I was researching my preview I found the site http://www.veselintopalov.net too. Does anyone know if its a Topalov fan site, his official site or something in between, it doesn't really make it clear.

Albrecht von der Lieth's question is an interesting one. I've no idea what the symbols are either.

6,5-4,5 to Kramnik with a game to spare.

"Does anyone know if its a Topalov fan site, his official site or something in between, it doesn't really make it clear."

They seem to have hired Yuriy Vasiliev to write for them ;o))

Topalov will be the winner of the match. Psychologically, Kramnik has never recovered from his match with Kasparov. I do not believe that Kramnik will be able to cope with the pressure that is on his shoulders in regards to the historical significance of the match...how history will regard his legacy as champion. Mental toughness will be the deciding factor in the match.

First point : I don't think that we'll see a single game with Kramnik playing e4. Kramnik will not want to take any risk with white on a sicilian. The openings he has shown in Turin (combination of Kf3 and c4), that will be his main weapon. Boring, slight and long-term edge, unpossible for Topalov to play for initiative, Topalov will play during 6 games under pressure with zero winning chances.

Second point, Kramnik's repertoire with black against e4 : it's hard to imagine Kramnik losing a berlin defense or a petrov.

Therefore, I think that Kramnik will put pressure on Topalov with white pieces, increasingly (like he did in the end of the match against Leko, and like he did against Kasparov), till the point where he'll win a single game, or maybe two; and all the other games will be drawn. Final result, 6.5 - 5.5 or 7 - 5 in favor of Kramnik.

There will be no exciting chess, no exchange sacrifice, and it will be boring. Well that is my bet ... not what I'd rather to see !!!

Very pleased with Kasparov's diplomatic style on this occasion.

He praises both players:
--"Kramnik has a more profound understanding of chess, while Topalov has energy and confidence on his side."

He implicitly recognizes Kramnik's status:
--"if Topalov wins we have to say he's [world champion] number fifteen."

And if he's taking a shot at Kramnik, it's an oblique one:
--"The legacy has been badly damaged..." He's likely referring to Kramnik, but arguably to the split, to the general chaos in chess, etc.

Keep up the good work!

Karma 2000: Kasparov boasted to Kramnik that he had a room full of computers working 24/7. Eric Schiller reported later that one factor in Kasparov's undoing may have been an over-reliance on computer evaluations.

Karma 2004: No Karma. Drawn match.

Karma 2006:
--Topalov earlier dismissed Kramnik as an unworthy opponent.
--By agreeing to play Radjabov, Topalov took his victory for granted.

I was in that room quite often in 2000 and there was one computer, usually with Yuri Dokhoian planted in front of it. The seconds had their laptops though.

Anyway, game 1 is underway!

[Event "World Championship Match"]
[Site "Elista"]
[Date "2006.09.23"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Kramnik, V"]
[Black "Topalov, V"]
[Result "*"]
[WhiteElo "2743"]
[BlackElo "2813"]
[PlyCount "24"]
[EventDate "2006.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5 7. Qc2 Bxd2+ 8.
Qxd2 c6 9. a4 b5 10. axb5 cxb5 11. Qg5 O-O 12. Qxb5 Ba6 {
The first novelty of the match and Kramnik is the first to start thinking!} (
12... Na6 13. Qxc4 Nb4 14. Qb3 e5 15. Nxe5 Rb8 16. O-O {1-0 Grischuk,A (2719)
-Moiseenko,A (2662)/Sochi RUS 2006/The Week in Chess 599 (102)})

anyone knows how where to watch Topalov Kramnik%

Access http://worldchess2006.com/main.asp?id=926
You will see a white box below the chessboard with two lines of text. Click on the second line. You will see the moves.
By the way, you need to have JAVA installed on your computer.

oh well.. Topalov completely outplayed Kramnik in late middle game and endgame and then made a blunder. Poor guy... Well, you gotta bring the bacon home, something I learnt to my bitter cost was that the harderst thing in the world is to win a won game

Anyway kudos to Topalov for playing on, great man.

55...f5?? what a blunder - It looked like topalov was going to induce a mistake with his superior energy, but looks like Kramnik has been taking his vitamins again - Veselin made the 1st error. That's got to hurt his confidence a little. Topalov really overestimated his position when he started the ...h5-h4 thing - Vlad was really tied up, but you're a pawn down with no clear win - probably a good time to offer the draw.

Kramnik wins.

Now that Topa, "the great' hadn't the possibility of computer assistance, he showed us his truly face...

Obviously it's a great day for Kramnik, but he was on the defensive for quite a while, and he surely knows that he was quite fortunate to be handed a gift-wrapped victory.

For Topalov, it's disastrous to throw away a game when the opportunities are so few and far between. But he knows he had Kramnik on the ropes, and then lost it with one dumb move. There will probably be other chances. The question is, what does this do to him psychologically? -- something we can all guess at, but none of us really knows.

Chess is becoming more and more about "not making mistakes" because we can analyze and see the combinations before they happen. Kramnik delivers a terrific victory today in what I thought was a very enjoyable game. Vladimir has never lost a match after being ahead--it will be interesting to see if he is able to withstand Topalov's fury in the upcoming week as well as whether he will try to go for additional wins.

and the match is decided. Kramnik will draw the next 11 games and retain his world title.

It's official.

the new World Champion is.... Viktor Korchnoi


Wow! I guessed Topalov would draw first blood. Now indeed the match may take on the more conservative character people have predicted. I still think it's going to be a feisty bloodbath.

Congrats to Kramnik for a nice win, although it seems like utter madness that Topalov didn't play for a repetition of moves.

Well...one can certainly see that Topolov is not the practical player that Kramnik is. Topolov played a good game (until the blunder) but still, a pawn down, with the draw in hand, with the black pieces in the first game, and he plays on? Not the best time for heroic's. If this loss causes him to play conservative tomorrow with the white pieces, it's a sad start against an opponant who has over twice as many wins now lifetime.

Also, I'm glad Kasparov said that Topalov will be #15 if he wins. That's an important detail which won't necessarily be "reunified" by the outcome of this match.

--Kramnik will win the match.

--Putin will prevail on Kirsan to replace the WCC tournament with a WCC match.

--Kok and Kasparov will be given major planning/organizing roles in the new system.

Then peace will guide the planets.
And love will steer the stars.

If I may, I'd like to take exception to MiG's comment: "His peak tournament performances have demonstrated a level of chess Kramnik can't compete with".

Topalov's recent tounament performances have demostrated a level of tournament chess *performance* Kramnik MAY not be able to compete with (due to his typical tournament style), but does not say as much about the actual level of chess. For example, I do not believe ANYONE seriously believed that Fischer's 6-0 score against Larsen was a true reflection of the difference in their "true" chess strength. The final score was due more to the fact that Larsen eschewed several drawing continuations, continuously looking for wins, and got hammered for that.

Some update on the novelty on the 12th move. Rublevsky showed up in the press center, was asked about the Topalov's novelty, smiled and said:
- Maybe for you guys this was indeed a novelty ... :)

Kramnik was asked about the novelty at the press conference. He said he does not comment the opening stage during the match, but revealed he was out of preparation much later, maybe even in mid 20s.

They do study deep!

I predicted above that Kramnik would win the 5th game. His victory came far earlier than I'd expect. But anyway, the match is over. Now Topalov is forced to win, and this is precisely the situation where Kramnik is the best : waiting for years in equal positions and crushing his opponent when he takes too much risks...

If Topalov starts taking big risks as early as tomorrow, the match could really be much shorter than 12 games.

... by the way, Leko was a much more dangerous opponent for Kramnik than Topalov. The most interesting opponent against Kramnik today would be Anand, but I still believe that Anand would have little chances against Kramnik.

Thanks misha for the comments. Please tell us more from the press conference.

Topolov has to play for the gusto tomorrow with white and tie the match as soon as possible. With only eleven games left he can't afford not too. It's a huge risk, but every drawn game now plays into Kramnik's hands. If he loses tomorrow then it is most likely over... but after that, with nothing to lose so to speak, he would continue to play aggressively and there would be some interesting chess down the line. Perhaps an even more miraculous comeback.

Guys, do not delude yourself. Kramnik did nothing to win this game. Topalov handed it to him on a platter. All Kramnik did was to secure the draw when needed. So don't make generalizations about the rest of the match.

Are the people who are saying "now all Kramnik has to do is play 11 boring draws and it's over" the same people who think a victory for Kramnik is good for chess?

Topolov fan,

For the record I'm rooting for Topolov, but in the future if I want your opinion, I'll give it to you.

That is an interesting point.

so I ask everyone. for the better of chess in the future who should win.

if Topalov, or Kramnik wins who will be better for chess in the future.

My opinion is that it does not matter. I just want to see a good match with good games. But there seems to be an opinion that one player would be better for chess.

I have read this opinion expressed elsewhere. so I am wondering if maybe I should take sides.

Guys, do not delude yourself. Kramnik did nothing to win this game. Topalov handed it to him on a platter. All Kramnik did was to secure the draw when needed. So don't make generalizations about the rest of the match.

If anything this shows exactly why the match is over. Kramnik has demonstrated that he can win just by sitting on a position. Kramnik was never in any danger of losing and Topalov made a decision that a world champion would not have made... To continue to fight on in a worse position a pawn down, when you had a secured draw.

If this is a "silver platter" win, what is Topalov going to do when Big Vlady tries for a win?

I'm a fan of both players, and I want an exciting match. Fortunately, I'm going to get my wish. Topalov will go all-out in most games, forcing Kramnik to do the same. If the excitement of game 1 is any indication, this match will be a lot of fun to watch.

All this talk about "11 draws coming up" or "Topalov has to win game 2" makes no sense. Hey people -- 12 games may not be a lot, but it's not 2 games or 4 games. It's 12 games. Only 1 game has been played. Be patient! This match can still go one way or the other, we'll just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to game 2 -- it's going to be another clash of the titans.

Some of the posters must never have watched a Topalov game. This one was typical, he plays till there is nothing left in the position and takes a draw only if he thinks losing is the other option. He is quite different than most the circuit players in that respect and it's the main reason I'd like to see him win this match.

He will make mistakes like in this game occasionally, but he also gets points that many would have signed a peace treaty on long before. I thought he was crazy for passing up the first repitition (a pawn down), but after looking at it again with Fritz, he had real winning chances with little risk there. But, he blundered, it happens.

Kramnik will have a hard time because of Topalov's style. I doubt there will be any easy games for him.


Computo Jon,

I'm not sure if you are refering to my last post when you quote "Topolov has to win game 2." That isn't what I stated. I'm saying that he has to keep playing aggressively and win a game "as soon as possible." Due to this loss, I hope he doesn't start to play in a more conservative fashion, which is the antithesis of his style of play and I believe would only help Kramnik's chances. To play his type of game after a loss in the first does entail a huge amount of risk, but would still be better than the Kasparov mistake against Deep Blue.

Obviously the match is far from over. I'm rooting for Kramnik, but I don't have the slightest hope that Topalov will now crumble. He never gives up and is a notoriously great finisher (see e.g. Sofia tourneys). Moreover, if I remember correctly, against Leko, Kramnik also won the first game, but could not hold to the lead. And had to win the last game to draw the match and keep his title... Enjoy the ride! ;-)

Yes Topalov blundered while applying pressure, but Topalov had that pressure only because Kramnik apparently made a small mistake with 32 h3, at least according to Seirawan. So don't OVERSTATE Topalov's performance prior to the blunder. It was a tough game, Kramnik was doing fine and made a small blunder. Then Topalov took his small advantage and over-played it. Based on this game, it's hard to make a meaningful comment about how the rest of it will go.

The grueling 6 1/2 hour matches will take their toll on Kramnik... and i was very impressed with Topolov's determination to fight on and look for a win, unfortunately he blundered under pressure... but i am still rooting for Topa for his exciting fighting chess...

Kramnik has proven to be the best match player in the world. And as game 1 shows, you underestimate his abilities and his form at your peril. But I'm still pulling for Topalov to win the match. His dynamic style and personality, both on and off the board, would benefit the chess world a lot more than a Kramnik victory.

Oh... "based on this game, it's hard to make a meaningful comment about how the rest of it will go".

Yes yes yes. Now, Kramnik leads 11 to 5 (victories in classical chess) against Topalov. The last two games they played together were both won by Kramnik. Topalov is an attacker, Kramnik is a defender who proved to be able to play 16 games against Kasparov without reaching any lost position (AT ANY MOMENT OF THOSE 16 GAMES).

The problem is that ... Topalov and Kramnik have played almost 40 classical games together. If you pick out three losses between 2004 and 2006 when it was obvious that Kramnik was ill, it shows that Topalov has to play statistically 20 games to score a single full point against a healthy Kramnik. If you just think about the fact that Kramnik has won 11 of the 40 games they've played together...

Of course, most of you will say "it's a brand new topalov, he's confident (wow, two losses against Kramnik in their last two games... how long will last this confidence?), he's over 2800" and so on. But head to head records have really a high significance.

By the way, when Petrossian was world champion, nobody did care about the fact that he wasn't rated Nr 1 : he had positive head to head records against any player of his era. Kramnik has positive stats against Topalov, Anand and Kasparov. That should be enough to ... be able to look a little bit further than his 2740 rating!!

You may not like his style, but ... just think about this question : how many players in the history of chess would have been able to defeat Kasparov in a match with a clear two points margin? The first answer that comes to your mind is "well, not much". And the real answer might perfectly be "zero".

"If anything this shows exactly why the match is over. Kramnik has demonstrated that he can win just by sitting on a position. Kramnik was never in any danger of losing and Topalov made a decision that a world champion would not have made... To continue to fight on in a worse position a pawn down, when you had a secured draw." -Parsnips

How do you have a worse position when you have secured a draw? Doesn't that mean you have at least an equal position? What Topalov did was a bad mistake, to be sure, but let's not exaggerate it into revealing his 'un-championlike' playing. More than anyone else (especially Kramnik), Topalov's recent performances have earned him the respect a champion deserves.

Yeeeesssss ! Go Kramnik; simply the best...

The Elo hemoragy is beginning for Topalov lol !


The draw was secure because there was repetition possibility. By not going for repetition, he accepted a worse position (playing on a pawn down) and lost. Hence draw secured in a worse position...

Good and simple evaluation, pawn down, so worst position. Indeed piece activity perfectly compensated for this and even though the position was close to equal (or completely equal with good defense by white), black had a nice initiative allowing to play on without risk having the drawing resource at hand. That he lost as a result of a blunder has nothing to do with the evaluation of the position.

Chesstraveler, I wasn't referring to your specific post but rather to the general mood of various posts. I think that this loss will probably spur Topalov to take greater risks, not lesser risks. Kramnik is a phenomenal player, under-rated by many of the kibitzers (although not by Kasparov, who says that he has "deeper understanding" than Topalov). But Kramnik has never played a match against someone who refuses to acquiesce to a draw. Maximum pressure, maximum resistance is Topalov's modus operandi. Didn't we ALL think "okay, ...Nd2, Rd1, ...Ne4, Rf1, draw"? But no -- Topalov found an excellent way to continue and he really put the pressure on. Kramnik will buckle at some point, but the real question is how he will recover if/when that happens.

Great first game, and it'll be a great match! Unified world championship... how long have we waited for this? Too long!

Ruslan, for your information the Kramnik-Kasparov match lasted 15 games. It was scheduled for 16 games but the 16th game wasn't played because it wasn't necessary.

Computo John,

Thanks for your reply. I'm definately looking forward to tomorrow's game and the rest of the match.

Anyone who thinks Topalov was worse simply because he was a pawn down clearly has very little understaning of chess.

The Black f3-pawn was extremely dangerous and the White f2-pawn was a serious weakness.

Topalov thought he was better(!), that is why he kept playing. If he thought he was worse but had a forced draw, he would have taken it, no?

He was worse because he didnt have anything by continuing. Look at the game score, he lost.

Anyone who thinks topalov was better when they repeated movbes clearly has little understanding of chess.

In the arrival/opening ceremony photos from Elista did Topalov look uptight and nervous and Kramnik relaxed and confident and or am I blinded by my bias?

Malcolm Pein has just written some notes for TWIC to game one which I really like.

You can read them at:
or our beta site:

There was a heck of a lot going on. Whilst Topalov deserves great credit for his attacking instincts in keeping the game going, there was a lot of good stuff from Kramnik too.

parsnips, if I am interpreting your comment correctly, Topalov has little understanding of chess?

Kasparov says Topalov's advantages are in his "energy and confidence" and Kramnik's in his "more profound understand of chess."

But if Kramnik has regained his health and confidence then Topalov has no advantage at all; and the match will be decided on the basis of Kramnik's more profound chess understanding.

If Kramnik is healthy, is less mistake-prone that Topalov, and has a deeper understanding; then the longer a game lasts, the greater the opportunity a) for a Topalov mistake, and b) for Kramnik to exhibit his "more profound understanding."

This game reminds me of game one of Spassky-Fischer 1972. Fischer had an easy draw there and pressed with 29... Bh2. No reason for it but he felt he had to prove something. I'm betting that that's what Topalov was feeling.

This is a world championship match, and serious mistakes are important part of the game," said Kramnik. "The struggle is tense, and mistakes are unavoidable. I understand that I was just lucky in this game." Associated Press

Charles Milton Ling:

Yes, parsnips clearly has a better understanding of chess than 2800+-rated Topalov.

Kudos to Kramnik for an objective evaluation. As I've already stated, I want Topolov to win but on the other hand a Kramnik victory would be a pie-in-the-face to Kirsen and his bogus FIDE World Championships of the recent past. For me, that could prove just as enjoyable as this match. Oh no, mixed emotions are setting end.


Seems to me,Topolov has started bad before and came back very strong. I don't favor either player to win. Looks like we are in for some classic duels.

I loved it! Fighting chess is too cool. And all that matters in the end is the results: "scoreboard!" at the end of the match. I hate short draws: "kiss your sister" it is called in football until they brought in "sudden death" which I think should be called sudden victory. Topalov pressed which is short for pressure. That is the only way to win against defensive prowess. I think Garry is right and this game will increase Topalov's confidence and energy. He found a weakness and now he will exploit it, blunder notwithstanding. The real winner here is all of us chess enthusiasts! Too bad the bliss is only a 12 game match (for now). Chessistics Rule.


"Some of the posters must never have watched a Topalov game. This one was typical, he plays till there is nothing left in the position and takes a draw only if he thinks losing is the other option. He is quite different than most the circuit players in that respect and it's the main reason I'd like to see him win this match."

This is quite wrong. Topalov drew the whole second half of San Luis, not because he was in danger of loosing (hard to be in any danger, when you're somewhere on move 18) but because it suited his needs. He's very much like any other player in that respect.
Maybe he takes more risks when there's good reason to do so, but if it suits him, he'll take a draw any day.


Like I said, some of the posters must never have watched a Topalov game. You being one.

Did you look at or watch any of those games in the last half of San Luis? No you didn't obviously.

He did take a short draw in the last game there though, where he was already assured of first place.

Thanks in advance!

sorry bud,

I did watch all of them, except his game against Judy. Actually, this was the first chess tournament I watched wholly. But the game against Svidler comes to mind, for example, as does the second one against Anand, both Ruy's if I recall correctly... Can't remember how his second game against Leko went - I guess Peter was happy with a draw there as well. His only real "fighting draw" was the game against Morozewich where he, completely winning, overlooked some clever rook-move (Rc2 or something - can't remember and don't want to look again) that wirtually made a +4 eval go down to -1,5 or so. In the game against Anand he had a repetition on move 18 or so, and against Svidler, all pieces came off within the first 20 moves as well. At least, that's how I remember them. Do proove me wrong...

Well friend,

As San luis was the first tournament you ever watched I can understand your ignorance about Topalov's style of play. There were two games he played that were a little un-topalov luke. The last game against Polgar (understandable as he had clear first), and the game against Svidler. In that game pieces came off the board early and the agreed to a draw at move 21.

The game with Anand was a draw by repetition, in a new position of the Ruy. It was a short game, but the draw was forced, not a mutual peace agreement. Anand, as white, saced material to force a draw by repetition.

So, in the end, you have the Svidler game to prop up your nescient "he'll take a draw any day" delusion.

You need to look at more of Topalov's games in the last few years, then compare them with games played by Anand, Svidler, Leko, Kramnik, etc. Look at average moves per game, that should give you a good idea who's really playing the game hard. Topalov stands way out, when it comes to complete games against his peers. The whole debate about gm draws would be a non-issue if other players worked as hard as Topalov at each game.

Thanks in advance!

try to read: "Topalov drew the whole second half of San Luis, not because he was in danger of loosing but because it suited his needs."

He said so himself in an interview cited on chessbase. Don't want to dig it out, though. If Top is your hero - fine with me.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 23, 2006 1:23 AM.

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