Friday 05 March 1999
Normally a tornado with White and merely a strong gale with the Black pieces, Kasparov has in Linares almost completely reversed these roles, blowing away all four opponents in his Black games thus far - albeit after quite a lot of huffing and puffing in some - while exerting only a gentle breeze with White which has resulted in four draws after relatively mild unpleasantness, before he finally downed Ivanchuk.
After nine rounds and a rest day yesterday the scores are: Kasparov 7/9, Kramnik 5.5, Anand 5, Adams 4.5, Leko and Topalov 4 and Svidler and Ivanchuk 3. Today's round will test Kasparov's "Black strategy" as he faces Anand. The other pairings
are Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, Svidler vs Adams and Topalov vs Leko.
For those with an Internet connection, the games can be followed live (starting 2.30pm - 4.30pm Spanish time if I'm not mistaken) - go to http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/ twic.html and follow the links. There are six rounds left, with battle continuing till Wednesday 10 March.
The most interesting game on Wednesday was Topalov's heroic decision to meet Kramnik's Petroff with the ancient Cochrane Gambit 4 Nxf7!?, named after the Scot John Cochrane (1798-1878).
In return for the horse, White gets two central pawns and exposes the enemy king somewhat. The normal follow-up is 5 d4 when 5 ...c5 is supposed to be a good response, immediately challenging White's central hegemony. And although Topalov, rather unusually, played 5 Nc3, Kramnik decided to follow this recipe anyway.
The advantage of Topalov's move order became apparent when he replied 6 Bc4+ inducing 6 ...Be6 and the black king into the centre - a serious gain of time for White; a move earlier theory dismisses 5 Bc4+ owing to 5 ...d5! 6 exd5 Bd6! with quick development.
Both players were reluctant to lose time exchanging the c5 and d6 pawns and after Kramnik finally recaptured 11 ...dxc5 the material balance stabilised for the moment as two pawns for the piece.
Although Topalov got in f4 and e5, his position still looked rather ropey and 15 ...Nxe3 16 Qxe3 Be7 17 Ne4 g6 or 17 ...c4 was one possible improvement for Kramnik while 17 ...Qe6 also looks good. I think 21 ...Kh7 might have been better than 21 ...Rc8 since the strong 22 Qb6+ seemed to redress the balance. At the end 32 Rxc5 Ng3+ 33 Kh2 (not 33 Kf2 Ne4+) 33 ....Nf1+ is a forced repetition.
White: Veselin Topalov
Black: Vladimir Kramnik
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
'Offensive' Banksy immigration mural in Clacton is scrubbed from wall by council
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >