Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Topalov hits back

Veselin Topalov has hit straight back in his match against Gata Kamsky in Sofia, Bulgaria. Kamsky won in game 4 to tie the match 2-2, but Topalov's win in game 5 now puts him a point ahead.
The first surprise of the game was that Topalov was White, rather than Kamsky, as I (and many others) had assumed. Apparently both players had agreed during earlier negotiation to keep a strict alternation of colour throughout out the match, rather than reversing the alternation at the half way point.
Topalov also sprung a minor surprise with his choice of 1.e4 and Kamsky replied with 1. .. e6. Topalov chose to play the Tarrasch variation and a typical Isolated Queen Pawn position was soon reached. Once again the middle game was all about the position manoeuvring that GM's seem to do effortlessly, (and the rest of us manage to screw up), but just before the first time control, Kamsky miscalculated and dropped the d pawn. Missing the toughest defence he dropped a second pawn, and Topalov won the subsequent queen ending.

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