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WC match becoming red hot October 10, 2006

Posted by dorigo in chess, games, news.
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Today the second-to-last game between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik was played in Elista. After two wins by Topalov in games 8 and 9, and a win by Kramnik in game 10, the match was tied 5-5 with two more games to play.

Topalov obtained a very promising position from a uncommon treatment of the Slav defence and an opening inaccuracy by Kramnik, obviously ill-at-ease with the novel approach took by his opponent. The slight but solid and long-lasting advantage of white was maintained after the forceful exchange of queens, and for a moment it looked as if Topalov was on the verge of breaking black’s defences.

However, in an unexpected turn of events, in the matter of three or four moves Kramnik managed to turn the tables: it was then Topalov on the verge of losing! And a loss in this game would almost certainly cost him the title, since in the last game he will have the black pieces.

All the grandmasters who were following the event live on the Internet Chess Club (www.chessclub.com)  -including Susan Polgar, 5 times women’s world champion, Gata Kamsky, for many years one of the most promising players in the world, and several others- were judging Topalov’s position as desperate. And yet… Black played a couple of second-best moves, and that was enough for Topalov to pull off a draw.

Now there is one more game to play, tomorrow, when Kramnik will no doubt attack withe white pieces. If that game ends in a draw too, there will be four more games with a shorter time control, that will decide the match. The chess world will finally get a World Champion out of this “re-unification” match, something they were deprived of since almost 20 years.

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