Topalov v Kramnik – the end game

Apologies for not keeping you all up to date on the Great Match. My excuse – well I got less excited because Kramnik dug himself out of the hole he was in. He’s won 3 games to Topalov’s 2 over the board. But right now as I type there is a play-off because (if you recall from the other exciting episodes) Topalov (perhaps) won a game by forfeit. Kramnik has been playing on under protest and my guess (based on very little but the fact that sentiment seems to be with Kramnik) is that Kramnik will win the appeal. So what we are now witnessing may ultimately become academic. And if not, well Topalov can’t really become the undisputed heavyweight champion of chess.

In any event four rapid games played off (25 minutes and ten seconds per move for each player) in a tie break is an exciting event. If that doesn’t separate them it’s two games of blitz (5 minutes each plus 10 seconds per move). If that doesn’t fix it one game of ‘armageddon’ (where white gets seven minutes, black six for the entire game, black wins if he draws and a coin is flipped to choose colours – all very odd – may as well have a penalty shootout or an arm-wrestle – I guess Nabokov would recommend nude mud-wrestling).

I expect I’ll be up till it’s over. Kramnik looks like he’s getting good pressure (as black) in the first game. He’s also playing more sharply – as he’s a good tactician and diabolical positionally. What’s Topalov good at? Imaginative attacking. And what is happening in the first game? Topalov (as white) is attacking.

Go have a look yourself here for the games and here for Susan Polgar’s commentary. It should be a gripping night!

Stop Press: Score one win all going into the last game of rapid (Kramnik is white). And the server has gone down! :(

Kramnik wins!   A well deserved win.   Though Topalov is the more exciting player, Kramnik deserved his win with his careful approach and psychological toughness.   I can’t have been easy for him.

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Scott Wickstein
17 years ago

Okay, at the start of the match, I was hoping Toppy would win, but now I am glad that Kramnik has the prize. I really enjoyed the match though with all the twists and turns; lots of fun.

Tony Harris
17 years ago

Great commentary!