Result of looking at master game

Zenchess
Zenchess
Jul 17, 2008, 8:00 PM |
1

Ok, so instead of look at a bunch of master games, I instead looked at one.  It was Kasparov-Topalov 1999.  It was NOT his famous 'immortal' game in which he sacrificed mad material and went on a wild king hunt.  Instead, it was a drawn game. 

The first thing I noticed is I was able to predict quite a lot of the moves, or at least come close to predicting them (I would think of a couple moves and the move they played was one of them).

Comments on the game: 

#1 Why did Kasparov play a4?  Was Topalov really threatening to play b5, saccing a pawn for ...?

#2 Why didn't Topalov immediately play a5 after a4, shutting down b4 and giving his knight a home on c5?

#3 This game had many subtle moves, waiting moves, prophylactic moves, etc. 

#4 Kasparov's Bd2 seemed like utter trash!  I couldn't believe this move when I saw it.  Look at how Topalov's knights start jumping all over his position. 

#5 Amazing defense by kasparov and the result was quite exciting though it petered out into a draw.   I could feel real pressure and the feeling that if I was playing Topalov in that game I could have ended up losing at any time.  It is amazing these guys can withstand this kind of pressure and threatening scenarios. 

#6 I assumed that black was Kasparov by the way he was playing, but then to my shock I looked at the players and Kasparov was white!  It felt like black was controlling the game for quite a while. 

#7 Somewhere around the middlegame, leaving the opening the position becomes quite interesting.  It seems that white has more control of the position but black also has very threatening knights.

#8 Again, I have no idea what that a6-Rb8 maneuever is about.  It seemed like mostly a bluff.  I'd be interested in seeing if there is any danger in that idea for white and if he really needed to try to prevent it (instead of just gobbling the pawn and hopping out of there in case of something like b5, axb, axb, Nxb5, Ba6