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Kamsky-Topalov g1: A Fighting Start

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An interesting draw in the Grunfeld to start us off. Kamsky showed he's not afraid to walk right into Topalov's preparation in the sharpest lines. Cheparinov, Topalov's long-time second, played this same line against Kamsky last year. With that in mind, Kamsky's early time handling was mystifying. He must have expected this line and yet he spent what seemed like forever (really about 15 minutes) to play the same 12..e5 he played in the previous game at Sochi. The really big think came against Topalov's novelty 17.e5, after which the Bulgarian had used all of six minutes. The American used 44 minutes on his next, leaving himself an hour behind on the clock. It's hard to imagine Kamsky and his team ignored this line and this move, but you don't spend 44 minutes just to fake someone out about your preparation. Strange.

But at least 17..Bd7 looked like time well spent. I had the luxury box seat of being on ICC Chess.FM with Peter Svidler, the world's top Grunfeld advocate, and he provided tremendous insight into the various dangers in the position for Black. He also kept our heads spinning with amazing analysis and bonus cricket score updates as usual. Kamsky then picked up the pace and played with great accuracy to escape intact. Topalov started to give back the time once he realized his initiative was slipping away. He kept pushing with 25.Qh6 and later 27.h3, but Kamsky dealt with all the threats and his extra pawn was starting to loom a bit larger on every move. One moment of interest came on move 28, when Kamsky could have tried for what looked like a better pendgame with 28..Kg8!?. He had a long think and Svidler said he was nearly sure Kamsky would go for it if he saw it. But he went with the solid 28..Rg8 instead and the draw was pretty clear after that. Deeper analysis shows the draw probably wouldn't have been too far off after 28..Kg8.

So Kamsky got out-prepared a little, Topalov got outplayed a little. Of course a draw with black after coming through some tough moments in a sharp line against Topalov is something most would be delighted with. A good start to the match with both players showing their strengths. Kamsky's time usage was a little troubling, as was the apparent hole in his preparation. Irresistible Force 1/2 - Immovable Object 1/2. As for game two, Kamsky has had some rough times against the Najdorf, but he showed today he's going to come back with his shield or on it.

Kamsky kept his team under wraps for as long as possible. It's Sutovsky, who he's been working with for a while, Najer, and Volokitin. Svidler was impressed, crediting Volokitin as a very creative and hard-working theoretician. Topalov has Cheparinov, Vallejo, and L'Ami, who has worked with Cheparinov in the past. If you search around the official site you can find a video of the player press conference after the game, but it's in poor audio and Russian and Bulgarian with no text or translation. Genius. Someone asks Kamsky about the stem game against Cheparinov in Sochi in Russian and Gata smiled and gave a very brief retort. Keep'em guessing!


"There will be no changes in the current world championship cycle." (Kirsan Iljumzhinov)

I want toppa to lose so much I can taste it. He's just bad for chess, the guy has no class.

I really hope Topalov wins, he is so good for chess. The fact that in doing so he cocks a snook at his libellous detractors who have no class is an added bonus.

I think this is the ultimate match of 2 most unclassy chess players around. Thus I really don't care who wins, but sincerely hope Topalov tells the journalists about his dreams like the one where Kramnik takes him to a strip club.

A good start for Gata I think, hoping for a win today.



Who are you guys? Topalov is the ultimate for chess. Puts chess on the news worldwide and his play is very attractive.

Kamsky too put chess in the news back in his matches against Karpov and Short.

Both actually have the same problem. Topalov's is Dainalov and Kamsky's is his dad. They provide the ammunition and force the players to say and do what I'm sure they don't fully agree upon.

I'd put my money on Topalov.


I think Kamsky could have been world champion
if his father had not forbidden him to play chess. I think he is very motivated to win
to make up for the lost time he was not allowed to play. How long was it? 10 years?
I wish him luck.

One thing about Topalov you can count on, he will always attack the king. If the position is boring, he attacks the king. If the position is unclear, he attacks the king. If there are two equal moves and one attacks the king, he will attack the king. None of this blockading of the c pawn, and patiently undermining it, no way - just attack the king.

Today several times I wondered, will Topalov put the queen on the h-file? Will he put the rook on the h file? Will he back up the knight, or shove it forward? Each time he always seems to choose the most aggressive, king-attacking move. Opponents never have to wonder what is coming - Topalov will attack your king.

So love him or hate him, or in-between, you must admire how Topalov always goes for the regicide!

"Both actually have the same problem. ...."

Maybe you are right, but there is one MAJOR difference: Rustam Kamsky is no longer speaking on Gata's behalf. He is still his father, nothing Gata can do about it, but he can be held no more responsible than I am responsible for anything my mother or brother says or does (my father is deceased).

As far as I know ,:) Danailov is still Topalov's manager. So at the very least, Topalov has to clarify if he doesn't (fully) agree.
Indeed (as I pointed out before) in a Chessbase interview he mildly corrected Danailov about 'rather not wanting to play in Bulgaria', but this went rather unnoticed.

I quote from a major Dutch newspaper (my translation): "Both players are unhappy with the venue. Kamsky is afraid that the organizers are biased, Topalov calls the supposed home advantage a disadvantage." This is followed by a quote ("enormous pressure" etc.) attributed to Topalov, but coming from Danailov. Maybe sloppy journalistic work from Gert Ligterink, but only 'a detail' and an understandable mistake ... .

What about this comment on the official site?
"Currently the broadcast rights are being violated by ChessBase on its software PlayChess."
Is it really illegal?

Two interpretations are possible: I thought this might mean "no FURTHER changes", but Chessbase (in the report on the 1st game Topalov-Kamsky) suggests the following:
"most likely ... Kirsan has recognised that the somewhat haphazard decision taken during the Dresden Olympiad to change the running cycle and to in fact insert an extra tier is not tenable and needs to be corrected. Apparently he expects the announced changes not to be ratified by the General Assembly ..."
Either way, based on what happened in the past, things are subject to ..... well, changes !? ,:(

If there is any justice than Kamsky will win this match.
Topailov should have been banned 3 years, after Elista. He/they acted in a disgraceful way and if anybody is a cheat is Toplaov and his deranged manager Danailov.

if there is any justice, Topalov should win this match. After years of being unfairly and libelously accused and defamed by deranged sore losers who dont have the capacity to appreciate fine preparation and finer chess, he deserves this.

Are times accurate? Is Kamsky really down to about 10 minutes with so much time left in the game, playing white?



Wow Rubinstein , you went for the long speech this time, how inspiring.

What about Kamsky's dad? His open letter where he says they might kill Gata because they cannot organize the match?

What about Kamsky's manager (the one before Sutovsky) who created that incredible mess with Lvov match until they dropped him?

Kamsky and Topalov are very well worth each other. Being afraid of orange juice vs. dreams about being taken to a strip club by Kramnik.

I've seen several references lately to this Kramnik/Topalov visit to a strip club ... is there a url that explains the genesis of this story?


OK, it's not a strip club but an "exclusive nightclub". But they are the only visitors there, so it's probably even worse.

I guess everyone can see a weird dream, but do you have to tell about it to the press !?

It even beats the orange juice stuff in my book...

21. ... Rc7 was a beautiful move!

Wow. I'm kinda of surprised that the whole thing arose from such a simple statement. Heck, it coulda been an exclusive CHESS club -- it was a dream, afterall!

Thanks playjunior

if the times are right, surely this is 0-1? Even otherwise its 0-1 I think?

Dont tell me that they were expecting sicilian , he he.
Nice game Topa.

It's 0-1

Playing well for 15-20 moves is not much consolation if you're left with only a couple minutes to play 20-25 moves.

What a massacre. Looked like Master vs Amateur. Shades of Anand vs. Kramnik.

Rc7 was beautiful albeit forced.

Mark my words, Gata will fight back, even the score, and ultimately squash this upstart Topalov.

Up until 21... Rc7!, Kamsky looked to be fine. Bet he missed it in his time trouble. Dunno why you have to spend so much time on this line on move 5 if you play the Ruy in a candidates match. Hasnt Topalov played this before?

Once again: Rustam Kamsky is not speaking on his son's behalf, and Gata Kamsky's incompetent manager was also 'dropped'.

One may wonder why Topalov _should_ drop Danailov, as he serves him (and A FEW other players) so well financially spoken ... . Fine with me, but then it is a deliberate decision including:
- not caring about your reputation among other people
- wanting to be champion rather than everybody's darling, respected or feared rather than liked or loved
- striving to reach your goals by all available means [for me this does not include cheating, but it does include cheating accusations against other players].

So then (mostly in reply to Duncan Vella) it doesn't make sense to say "poor Topalov, Danailov is damaging his reputation". And at least at one occasion, Topalov actively played the game ... . At Corus 2007, he wrote "Urinoir" rather than 'Kramnik' on his score sheet. Maybe this was Danailov's idea, maybe Danailov made sure that journalists would see this and photos would be published, maybe Danailov provided the pen ,:) but it was Topalov's handwriting.

Or Korchnoi v. Tal.

or Kasparov vs Korchnoi.

Or Kasparov v Kramnik

nah, no massacre there. Unless you are talking of Astana.

well, well topa did it again! :-)

0 wins in 16 game-match - that was quite a massacre. Any other reigning World Champions ever scored 0 wins in the WCh match?

Agreed, Thomas.

Good point about Astana. Kaspy got his revenge for sure. You say London? I say Astana! You say Berlin? I say 1945! Ha ha! But you know Korchnoi was an old man when Kaspy was born and really sad to say was there ever a better example of a whipping boy than Tal Korchnoi. BAM! CRUNCH! BIFF! UHH! Just like a comic book.

With regard to the Berlin Wall, it should be 1989.

Of course, after yesterday post in the official right (on transmission rights) against Chessbase, the latter choose to use their poison against Topalov: "Starting around move 15 the Bulgarian took over the initiative and tore into the opponent's defences with SUPER-ACCURATE moves."

It is not the first time Chessbase use the expression "Super accurate", "near perfect", etc, which didn't even applied to Anand. The feud between both parts doesn't seem to end anytime soon. :)

Sadly, I think an even better example of farcial and comical BAM! CRUNCH! BIFF! UHH! wallops were the Karpov Korchnoi matches.

Yeah, such a low attitude from chessbase. I also noticed that in today's report. OK the Bulgarian site was being rather silly yesterday, but they're continuing the silliness. Anyway, there's much better sites like Chessvibes and Chessdom, which is good for chess.

Yes, how dare Chessbase accuse Topalov of playing good chess :)

@greg koster:
Acording to you this was a clean match , so i now ask you :
Do you liked today´s game?
Or just because Topa won today ,this is no longer a serious match ?
I want to know your opinion , so i can know from now if its posible for Kamsky to even the score or not.

Probably the second Karpov-Korchnoi match was one-sided, the first one in Baguio 1978 was not - Korchnoi coming back from 2-5 to 5-5 by winning games 28, 29 and 31, only to lose the next game.
[I had to look this up, remembering it only vaguely - I was 11 years old at the time and had just started playing chess ....].

"Probably the second Karpov-Korchnoi match was one-sided, the first one in Baguio 1978 was not"

That should be "the third K-K match was one-sided, the first two in 1974 and 1978 were not" :)

I cannot reply on Greg Koster's behalf, but will give my own opinion: Topalov played well today, but Kamsky's handling of the clock was just ridiculous ... . Implications for the next games are unclear - one shouldn't draw too many conclusions from one game, Kamsky can still even the score.
In his match preview, Mig wrote that
"Kamsky has had serious problems with his clock now and then since his return." Quite an understatement, and no Migstradamus bonus points from me this time .... . Will we ever get a match Kamsky-Ivanchuk, to find out just how much digital clocks can handle? ,:)

Yep, I only looked at the WCh matches, not at the candidates final in 1974 (and I was too young to remember at that time).

yeah, we hate Topa-dopa because he hates us!

OK, just kidding

I know Thomas , this is far from over . I just wanted to know Greg´s opinion BEFORE the end.
I guess i´ll have to wait a win by Kamsky to know it.
IMO (not IMHO because today im feeling a little enthusiastic :) , Kamsky will not go down in zero wins , but lets see what happens.

topalov's manager danailov believies anand's destinity is to loose against topalov

really strange
1>topalov career record against both anand and kramnik is poort

2>topalov has lost matches to both kramnik and peter leko , and yet mr danailov belives poor anand will be crushed

guess danailov has lot of faith in his sign language he has developed !!

there is no hard evidence that topalov cheats ,
because there no need for topalov /danailov to leave hard evidence. circumstantial evidence is enough , topalov's sudden good performance from being a mediocre player is strange

I don't recall Topalov being a 'mediocre player' at anytime.

"I don't recall Topalov being a 'mediocre player' at anytime"

And if his results against Anand are poor (Topalov has a plus score against the World Champion), what should one say about Leko's or Carlsen's results against Anand?

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 17, 2009 11:12 PM.

    Kamsky-Topalov Begins at Last was the previous entry in this blog.

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