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Kramnik-Topalov g2 PC

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Just an alert that the game two post-game press conference is up at the official site. Kramnik is lucky he stayed oblivious to how close he came to disaster on move 32. Had he noticed while Topalov was thinking it really could have wrecked his concentration for the rest of the game. Such oversights can dwell on you for a long time. But now that he learned it only after the happy ending it's no big deal.

Topalov's explanation of why he missed it himself is typical. He was happy Kramnik didn't play the superior 31..Kxf8, which he had analyzed out to equality. So he played the still strong 32.Qg6+ without looking for Lasker's proverbial better move.


So he really did miss it.

I like the suggestion I saw on another site - none of the players had ever considered the c-file as an asset for *White* - it seemed to be Black's territory since ..Rc8 (and was).

And their minds didn't adjust to the new circumstances.

Sorry to repost this comment but I think its better placed here.

The first paragraph is very odd. Did Kirsan leave with Topalov before he was publicly questioned? Did Kirsan prep Topalov about his blunder before the interview and leave Kramnik to the reporters? If so I think that is *very* unfair and inappropriate!

It is tough to tell from the odd english what they meant. But if it is as it appears that Topalov was debriefed by Kirsan before the interview we really don't know what he was thinking during the game. I have a real problem with this.

OH MY GOD! Topalov didn't even LOOK at 32 Rxg4+ !!!!!!!

As a Topalov fan, I can finally have that heart attack now.

I thought he had missed the whole ... Qf1+ Ng1! idea to defend the king and so that is why he didn't play the winning 32 Rxg4+.

This is much worse.

Like you said Mig, this may be the best example in recent times of Lasker's dictum "When you see a good move, look for a better one".

If Topalov had even CONSIDERED 32 Rxg4+ then he would have seen that it won on the spot but HE DIDN'T EVEN LOOK AT IT!!!!!

If you're going to completely miss straightforward winning moves like 32 Rxg4+ in a World Championship match, then you do not deserve to be World Champion.

And I say that as a Topalov fan.

"Of course, I rushed with 28…Rxb2: it was necessary to calculate the line, and I just roughly evaluated it, 30.Rxg6 Kh8, Black wins... I thought I am just winning, to be honest."

Oh, isn't he just hilarious! I wonder what happens if he actually starts calculating... :o)

"If you're going to completely miss straightforward winning moves like 32 Rxg4+ in a World Championship match, then you do not deserve to be World Champion."

Remember, Kramnik made just as bad a blunder to put Topalov in a position wherre Rxg4+ was a possibility. Playing straightforward *losing* moves is just as bad as missing obvious *winning* moves.

A lot of people forget that Kramnik is a calculation monster, perhaps more so even than Topalov (Topalov plays a lot of attacks on exceptional "intuition" and general knowledge of "this probably works"). I've often wondered whether Kramnik is actually the top calculator in the game today. Every time I want to talk to someone about it, though, they think I'm crazy, and bring up Shirov, Topalov, Ivanchuk, &c. I dunno. In terms of sheer strength, taking into account the hundreds of years on which he can build, and the computers, and everything else... Kramnik is surely one of the strongest (notice I didn't necessarily say "greatest") players to ever live.

Interesting comment, Joshua. I believe I recall that Kramnik once said something to the effect that computers could be out-calculated because they waste so much time on nonsense. (This was several years ago, and he was referring to *very* lengthy lines. Nothing of any relevance to normal people.)

Kasparov would make mincemeat of either of these guys.

You're absolutely right Chris B, just like he did in London 2000. Kasparov made mincemeat of Kramnik without taking a single game! It was the first WC match won by metaphor.

Kramnik is not here nearly the player he was in 2000, when he was indeed good. He has merely been reacting to what Topalov has been doing, and has been extremely lucky. Also Kasparov's performance in 2000 was a one-off low caused by outside circumstances, like Lasker's against Capablanca in 1921.

"A lot of people forget that Kramnik is a calculation monster, perhaps more so even than Topalov (Topalov plays a lot of attacks on exceptional "intuition" and general knowledge of "this probably works"). I've often wondered whether Kramnik is actually the top calculator in the game today....."

Since chess is never *purely* calcluation, it's impossible to divorce Kramnik's calculation skills from all the other skills he brings to the table. There may well be a number of top GMs who *calculate* as well as Kramnik, but lack his other skills. Your hypothesis is therefore unanswerable.

I do agree that Topalov appears to play a lot of moves on speculation. I suspect he's going to have to continue doing that, not only because you can't change your basic make-up in the middle of a match, but because he's now in a position where he MUST take risks.

Clubfoot wrote: "It was the first WC match won by metaphor."

HA! Great commet!

The only person who could calculate monster lines and not make a mistake was.... yep, the wizard of Riga himself..the Great Mikhael Nekhemevic..

You're SO right, Chris B, and moreover if the dog hadn't stopped to piss he just might have caught that rabbit. 2-0 Kramnik, by the way, and please oh please feed us more of your reductionist denial-jamboree.

After two exciting games I'm not really in a mood to criticise either player or the organisers, but looking up Migs link to the official site made me realize that the Russian arms industry is sponsoring the match.

Am I too sensitive? I complained on Kramnik-Leko being sponsored by tobacco money. This is of course even worse. I'm not fond of arms dealers in general, but the specific one is renowned for having Iran as a client and hoping to get Syria and Venezuela as well.

Whats's next? Will next WC-tournament be paid by drug and porn lords?

niceforkinmove says:
The first paragraph is very odd. Did Kirsan leave with Topalov before he was publicly questioned? Did Kirsan prep Topalov about his blunder before the interview and leave Kramnik to the reporters? If so I think that is *very* unfair and inappropriate!

My take is that Kirsan strolled in with Kramnik, so he probably spoke to him on the way there. Then to be fair, had a short chat with Veselin. Of course, I could be wrong.

Regarding the missing of Rxg4+, I am to believe that Topalov missed the move in his original 'think' several move prior, so when the position was reached, he simply played 'his' winning move, and not the deftly calculated Rxg4+.

Fact is, his move (Qg6) should still win. Missing Qh5 was the second blunder that threw away his winning chances permanently, I believe.

I also disagree with Chris B in that Kramnik is as good or better than he was in 2000. There are very few players who could resist the pressures of Topalov, like he has, with his superman-like nerves of steel.

There are reasons - well documented - why even calculating monsters like these two miss moves like Rag4+...Qc7: being several moves into a combination, they fail to see it because of the law of diminishing returns in tactical vision, which indicates that if you do not see a tactical pull within a few minutes in a position, you will probably not see it ever.

Being a Kramnik fan ever since the final game of the match with Leko, I am glad for the result so far. We have some exciting chess coming our way in the next 15 days or so. I also believe that if you flipped the games around (give Kramnik the attack Topo had in game 2, and the guaranteed draw in game 1), the result would be Kramnik 1.5 - .5. Topalov has seemed to me a bit impatient to prove how much better he is than this 'undeserving opponent'.

Rumor has it that Cool-Aid will be served at the next Topalov loss in the foyer at 5 pm.

My guess is Wednesday, latest.

Mark: If Topalov underestimated Kranmik, then he fully deserves to lose this match! Only a fool would underestimate someone as solid as Kramnik in match play.

But I very much doubt this was the case. If anything, Topalov has been in slight panic mode from the very start of the match. I suspect he fears Kramnik more than the other way around.

macuga, I do think that Topalov with his 2800 + rating has underestimated Kramnik before the match. Now it's too late. Blame him and his team. If Kramnik wins, the tradition will continue. Our blogmeister does not look happy these days.

Ryan, remember that Kramnik also once had a 2800+ rating and that he did beat Kasparov in a WorldCh match 6 years ago... Topalov has good reason to be nervous. Kramnik is a strong player with much more experience at this level.

I guess the really difficult part for Topalov is now, that he can't readily say: "Ok, we underestimated this guy, let's hunker down, take a deep breath and reeeeeally start to grind."
Fact is, that he indeed lost both games by his own horrible blunders. So, while it probably is very true that Kramnik is at least as strong as Top etc. etc., the last games don't really show _how_ strong he is.
So, for Top to admit that he underestimated the guy would be an admition without "hard proof" -- and (while maybe right) those probably are always the hardest admitions to make, since they really get to your ego.

Let's say what happens in the next few games. Being only a patzer, I would think that it's vital for Top to play a couple of save draws. He can win any game he wants later on (he's prooven that much numerous times over the last two years) - he just needs to get his composure back. Kind of "restart" the whole match.

Okechuckwu Iwu
Someone who can read Russian and read the artcile in Russian has assured me you are correct in your understanding of that paragraph.

It is the opposite of what I had thought. That is, Kirsan saw Kramnik first and not Topalov. From Kramnik's comments its clear Kirsan didn't tell Kramnik about the blunder. Kirsan hates Kramnik anyway. If anything Kirsan may have told Kramnik "nice save with 31...Bxf8!"

From a psychological standpoint, it's easy to understand why Top missed 32. Rxg4+. After his prior move, he is agonizing about the upcoming 31... Kxf8 -- knows that Kramnik is going to play this "obvious" reply, calculates endlessly based on it, becoming more and more disappointed that the attack is not going to pan out......

If only he'd play something else! But he won't..... damn it all to hell. So what do I do now after Kxf8? This attack looked so good, and now I've got nothing. I wanted this one so bad. Wh-? Wait a second! He doesn't play it! He takes with his bishop!

And Top is so happy about this sudden fortune that he plays the Queen instantly. Human nature takes its toll. He was so tunnel-blinded about Kramnik's Kxf8 it doesn't appear he spent ANY time analyzing Bxf8 beforehand.

Clubfoot, my original comment was meant mainly as a barb regarding the quality of play. They have probably already just about made more outright blunders than in an entire Kasparov-Karpov match! And if you seriously believe that Kramnik deserves to be 2-0 up, then you are letting a pro-Kramnik bias cloud your chess judgment.
Jens, agree with you entirely. Here, in New Zealand, we already have a porn king funding one of those alien abduction type mags - Kirsan's into that, isn't he? Also, for the Karpov-Kamsky match, didn't Kirsan first approach Saddam Hussein?

The great thing about chess is that it doesn't lie. Whoever makes the least/smallest mistakes win. Period.
This is not poker where you can get a lucky hand (though you still need to know how to play it) or tennis where you can get a lucky bounce or bad line call going your way.
Kramnik has made the least mistakes and thus he is deservedly ahead 2-0.
Now don't get me wrong, I think Topa has played very well, but there is just no way that you can make the mistakes that he has made and still expect to beat a player of Kramnik's caliber.
Anyways, I don't think topalov is out of it yet, though Kramnik is obviously in the driver's seat now. Topa is gonna keep playing his uncompromising attacking and I think that he is certainly capable of winning at least 2 games of the next 10. However, the question is just whether Kramnik will also pick up a few more wins, which could put it out of reach for Topa.
No matter what, if the remaining games can be half as exciting as the first 2 we could be witnessing one of the great WC matches. So my advice would be this: sit back and enjoy the spectacle. And be assured that the best player will win.


I have decided to remove your minimum CCA rating of 2700 from CCA tournaments due to your recent performance.

You are now welcome to play in the U1200 section.


That was mean, but I had to chuckle :-)

Bill, my feelings exactly!

Topalov will play better in the remaining games, meaning fewer blunders.

Ah, but the same goes for Kramnik, who is hardly known for the kind of mistakes he too has made.

Despite his two losses, Topalov has demonstrated that he is capable of defeating Kramnik.

I believe Topalov would like nothing more than for Kramnik to start "playing for a draw". If Kramnik is unable to put more pressure on Topalov, Topalov will win the next decisive game.

Then either player could go on to win the match. We do remember Topalov's fantastic come back in the Mexico-Spain tournament.

All WCC title matches have their share of blunders.

Since Topalov is down 2-0, it's too late to adopt a cautious strategy respectful of Kramnik's strength... which is good for us, the spectators, who are tired of Leko chess.


Based on quotes from Topalov, he feels that Kramnik is not even in the same class as he is being 70 points the lower rated, and therefore is undeserving of the match.

It's his arrogance in that respect that has gotten him to 0-2.

I am just curious, all of you guys outraged that Topalov missed 32.Rxg4 and 33.Qc7 and Kramnik 31.Kxf8, how many of you guys saw that those were clearly better moves while watching the game live? Same question for yesterday's game and f5. What's that? Your chess rating is 1346 and you were using Deep Fritz?

On the other hand, for those who were following chess more closely back then, does anybody remember Kasparov, Karpov, Korchnoi, Anand making those kind of blunders in their battles? I remember a horrible blunder by Kaspy in London Game 2, but that was in/right after serious time trouble.

I am impressed with the number of patzers who judge Topalov for his seemingly horrible blunders when they have a computer ... they say : "It is so obvious, I even myself realize Rxg4, ...Topalov is now welcome to play in the U1200 section, bla bla bla"

In game two, Rxg4 is an obvious possibility, but is not obvious that is winning unless you see Qc7 in the next move, I wonder how many of you see that inmediately...

In ChessBase report is said:

"By the way, a few words about the "blunder of the new millennium", when both contenders missed Rxg4+ and Qc7. The oversight was instantly spotted by those using a chess engine. However, there were quite a few grandmasters observing the game without computer aid, and they all missed Qc7 – Inarkiev, Azmaiparashvili, Dlugy, Sambuev... "

I'm 24 and very intersted to playing chess . I always search the chess news in internet . I believe topalov will play better in the remining games but can't defeat kramnik . if kramnik is unable to put more pressuer on topalov,topalov will win the next decisive game


I recall seeing once a position from one of the Karpov-Korchnoi WCC matches where Korchnoi, I think it was, missed an opportunity to deliver mate (in 3 or 4 moves) that consisted of all checks. Instead he either started with the wrong check or started with a quiet move; I think he ended up losing the game.

I'd thought that Dunnington's "Blunders and How to Avoid Them" was where I'd seen this. But I just spent (wasted) 30 minutes or so thumbing through there vainly searching for it (the book has no index to players, and is't a hard-copy not a DVD). So I guess I saw it somewhere else.

Jon, thanks for answering. Are you talking about Game 5 of Bagio match? You can check out the position here: http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/78kk$$.htm

Yes, Yuriy, that's gotta be it. That position is the one I saw. It must have been severe time trouble indeed, because although the forced mate after Bf7+ then Qe6+ is easy to miss (after ...Kb5 the White Q has to go back along the a2-g8 diagonal, checking on c4 to force the BK to a4, and then Qa6 is mate thanks to the backward influence of the f7-Bishop), it's immediately obvious that White could just win the e7-knight outright and Black won't have perpetual check.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 25, 2006 10:56 AM.

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