I'm certain most of you readers here would have lots of exciting chess games, whether it involves a dramatic greek gift sacrifice, or a brilliant zugwang in an endgame. However, have you ever played a game with such a massive attack where queens are left en prise and kings are in the open with mating threats hanging in the air? A game where the defender gets back into play and an endgame with pieces left hanging and passed pawns being rushed down the board ensues?
The game about to revealed to you is one which will change your chess life forever- Topalov vs. Kramnik World Championship Match in Elista, 2006. Let me first provide a short overview and context under which this bloodbath game took place. Vladmir Kramnik, being the World Champion of the PCA, played a Unification World Championship match against the then World Champion of FIDE Veselin Topalov. This was Game 2 of the match. Topalov, having blundered away Game 1 to Kramnik, whose mastery of the endgame is awesome, opted for a complicated game, hoping to avenge his first round loss.
Watching the game on playchess.com, I was a firm supporter of Topalov, applauding his great fighting spirit and mentally egging him on. Indeed, having followed many of the top level tournaments, it was always Topalov which gave the audience something to cheer about. Taking massive risks invariably, he never went for a quick draw and delivered quite a few eye openers. This game was no different, perhaps only that it was not destined to be a piece of cake. Topalov's opponent was the formidable Kramnik, who had ousted Kasparov out in 2 consecutive matches!
Well, enough for background. Here's the game. Sit back and enjoy, and see if you can guess whether Kramnik can defuse the brunt of Topalov's attack. Indeed, will Topalov succeed in this crucial bid for success, or will he be hitting his head against a rock?
**Sidenote: Do open the movelist and scroll from there for I have included some sidelines. (You'll miss out quite a bit if you don't!)
Well, thats it! Impressed? Hope my analysis helped out a bit! For the more advanced players, sorry for the trivial details, but I wanted to cater it so as to allow even the layman a chance of understanding this wonderful game!
//Note: I first published this article on 20 September 2007. This second edition features deeper analysis. I hope more people will get to enjoy it!
Tim Wee, 5 June 2008