The opening game was the most exciting in the recent Topalov-Kasparov quickplay match (won 4-0 by Kasparov). Some planless play by White after the opening allowed Kasparov to seize the initiative, but he lost his way when Topalov played a risky combination beginning with 26.Nc5 Bxc5 27.Bxf6 (see diagram).

As Kasparov pointed out after the game, he could now have won with 27...gxf6 28.Rxc5 Rxe2! 29.Rxe2 Bxf3 30.gxf3 Qxf3 since 31.Re8+ Rxe8 32.Qxf3 allows 32...Re1 mate.

Kasparov's choice of 27...d3 was probably based on the belief that White had to play 30.Bh4, as Topalov indeed chose in the game. Instead, 30.Rc4! would have kept White alive. The knight on f4 is attacked, and 30...Nxd3 31.Rxd3 or 30...Nh3+ 31.Kg2 leave White still fighting.

Kasparov later explained that he had adopted an opening variation that had been thoroughly explored in his 1984 match against Karpov, because Topalov, who was only nine years old at the time, would have been too young to remember it.

White: Veselin Topalov

Black: Garry Kasparov

1 Nf3 d5 18 Qd1 Bf8

2 d4 Nf6 19 Bh4 Qa8

3 c4 e6 20 Ne1 Be7

4 Nc3 Be7 21 Bg3 Nf8

5 Bg5 h6 22 Nf3 Ne6

6 Bh4 0-0 23 Bh4 d4

7 e3 b6 24 exd4 cxd4

8 Be2 Nbd7 25 Na4 Nf4

9 cxd5 exd5 26 Nc5 Bxc5

10 0-0 Bb7 27 Bxf6 d3

11 Rc1 c5 28 Bxd3 Bxf3

12 Qa4 a6 29 gxf3 Rd5

13 dxc5 bxc5 30 Bh4 Bb4

14 Rfd1 Qb6 31 Rc3 Bxc3

15 Qb3 Qa7 32 bxc3 Red8

16 Bg3 Rad8 White resigned

17 Rd2 Rfe8