The black pieces are having a dreadful time in the Novgorod tournament. In the first three rounds, 10 games have ended in wins for White, with two draws and no Black wins. And most of the games have told a similar story: Black does not quite equalise from the opening, then weakens his position in an attempt to create tactical chances to lessen White's grip, and is finally ground down in the endgame.

Kramnik's win against Topalov is typical. In general, White is ill-advised to play dxe5 and Qxd8 in the King's Indian - the weakness of the d4 square is more important than any temporary initiative White may create, but on this occasion, Kramnik correctly judged that the black knights were sufficiently far away from d4 to give White the time he needed to increase his Q-side space. It's a hard life playing Black against a world-class grandmaster.

White: Vladimir Kramnik

Black: Veselin Topalov

1 Nf3 Nf6 22 a4 bxa4

2 c4 g6 23 Nxa4 f5

3 Nc3 Bg7 24 exf5 gxf5

4 e4 d6 25 Nc4 Nd5

5 d4 0-0 26 Bd2 e4

6 Be2 e5 27 Na5 Rc8

7 0-0 Na6 28 Ba6 Rc7

8 Be3 Ng4 29 Nc3 Nxc3

9 Bg5 f6 30 Bxc3+ Bg7

10 Bc1 Kh8 31 Bd2 Ba2

11 h3 Nh6 32 Rc1 Be5

12 dxe5 dxe5 33 Nc4 Bxc4

13 Qxd8 Rxd8 34 Bxc4 Kg7

14 Be3 Be6 35 b5 cxb5

15 a3 Nf7 36 Bxb5 Bd4

16 b4 c6 37 c6 Kf6

17 Rfd1 Rxd1+ 38 Rd1 Be5

18 Rxd1 Nc7 39 Ba5 Re7

19 Nd2 Bf8 40 Bc4 f4

20 Rb1 b6 41 Rd7 resigns

21 c5 b5

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