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The most extraordinary game of the week, perhaps even of the year, was Kramnik's victory over Topalov in the Belgrade tournament. The win brought Kramnik up to share first place with Alexei Shirov after six rounds, ahead of a field that includes former world title candidates Boris Gelfand, Jan Timman, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Belyavsky and Michael Adams.

In this game, Kramnik shows the imaginative style that has marked him out as one of the men most likely to succeed Kasparov and Karpov at the top of world chess. His play in the opening was quite astounding. Moving his queen four times and his queen's knight three times in the first 15 moves, he seemed to be neglecting his development, but after 14...Nh5! it became clear that his forces were not as scattered as they looked.

White could not play h3 without allowing Ng3, so went instead for a very natural plan of chasing the black queen back to her home square and invading on the Q-side with knight and bishop.

When Black played 16...e6!, his counterplay with Qh4+ seemed enough for a draw by perpetual check, but he opted instead to continue the attack with 27...Bh6+! At that stage, he must already have seen 31...d5, with its threat of Qd6+ followed by Bd7+. At the end, a combination of exposure and separation from his defenders proved fatal to the white king. A glorious game.

White: Veselin Topalov

Black: Vladimir Kramnik

1 e4 c5 22 Kd2 Nxh1

2 Nf3 Nc6 23 Nxa8 Qxf4+

3 d4 cxd4 24 Qe3 Qh2+

4 Nxd4 Nf6 25 Qe2 Qf4+

5 Nc3 d6 26 Qe3 Qh2+

6 Bc4 Qb6 27 Qe2 Bh6+

7 Ndb5 a6 28 Kc3 Qe5+

8 Be3 Qa5 29 Kb4 Ng3

9 Nd4 Ne5 30 Qe1 Bg7

10 Bd3 Neg4 31 Nb6 d5

11 Bc1 g6 32 Ka4 Bd7+

12 Nb3 Qb6 33 Nxd7 b5+

13 Qe2 Bg7 34 Kb4 Kxd7

14 f4 Nh5 35 Bb6 Qxb2

15 Nd5 Qd8 36 exd5 Rc8

16 Bd2 e6 37 dxe6+ Ke8

17 Ba5 Qh4+ 38 Bc5 Bc3+

18 g3 Nxg3 39 Qxc3 a5+

19 Nc7+ Ke7 40 Kxb5 Qxc3

20 hxg3 Qxg3+ White resigns

21 Kd1 Nf2+

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