My first lecture at the WSCC was a very informative experience for both the members and my self. as a lecturer and coach. Though I didn’t get to cover all of the material I prepared, I received constructive feedback about my outline that I will use in the next lecture. The lecture on the 25th wasn’t recorded, so I’d like to add a quick summary and annotation of the game for those who may have missed it!
Corus 2008 Topalov, V. – Kramnik, V. Semi Slav
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 9. Be2 Bb7 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Ne5 Bg7
12. Nxf7!!! (1)
A very fascinating move that abandons correctness for the double-edged positions in which Topalov thrives. The play in the text leads to high demands for black, where white has already studied.
12…Kxf7 13. e5
The natural continuation. Topalov will need to maintain pressure with the best moves. His trump is that Kramnik must maintain this perfection as well, or risk being in a losing position.
13…Nd5 14. Ne4 (avoiding unnecesssary trades and moving the knight closer to its destined d6 outpost) Ke7 (An inferior king move that attempts to evacuate the king to the queenside. Better was 14…Kg8)
15. Nd6 Qb6 (2) White may be a piece down, but I challenge the reader to find a good plan for black. The pieces are halted, especially the bishops
16. Bg4 You had to have seen the follow-up of this move before playing it. Again I mention the stones in the river, where the stones are the unmoving, static features of the position (As cited by Kotov), and the river is the calculatory course of action that must consider and respect these features. Here, e6 is a statis weaknesses due to it being blocked and poorly defended.
16…Raf8 17. Qc2 Qd4 18. Qg6 (3)Threatening a mate in two. Can you see it?
18… Qxg4 19. Qg7 Kd8 20. Nb7 Kc8 21. a4 b4 (if 21…Kxb7 22. Qxd7+ Kb8 [22… Nc7 23. axb5 cxd5?? Rxa7+!! mate in 3 ] 23. axb5)
22. Rac1 c3 23. bc3 b3 (23…bxc3 24.Rb1 c2 25. Nd6+ Kd8 26. Rb7 Nc7 )
24. c4 Rfg8 25. Nd6 Kc7 26. Qf7 Rf8 27. cxd5 (Topalov had other options that were less flashy: 27. Qg6 is a tight spot for the queen 27… Qb1 28. Nxe5 Ne4 = ; and 27. h3 Rxf7 28. hxg4 Nc4 29. Nxf7 Ne2+ 30. Kh2 Nxc1 31. Rxc1)
The rest of the game was an instructive example of how to eliminate counterplay and bring the point home. An endgame truly worthy of an hour or two of your study time!
27…Rxf7 28. Rxc6+ Kb8 29. Nxf7 Re8 30. Nd6 Rh8 31. Rc4 Qe2 32. dxe6 Nb6 33. Rb4 Ka8 34. e7 Nd5 35. Rxb3 Nxe7 36. Rfb1 Nd5 37. h3 h5 38. Nf7 Rc8 39. e6 a6 40. Nxg5 h4 41. Bd6 Rg8 42. R3b2 Qd3 43. e7 Nf6 44. Be5 Nd7 45. Ne6
There may be a part 2 lecture for this endgame, or covering the games of another player known for sharp positions. Emory Tate and Leonid Stein are the two masters that come to mind, then Geller and Korchnoi. Study their games if you want to understand more about sharp positions. Guess their moves, and compare them to the top 4 engine move evaluations!