Kamsky-Topalov: 6th game drawn

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Kamsky-Topalov Game 6Using the Caro-Kann, Veselin Topalov drew Gata Kamsky today in the Challenger's Match to retain his one-point lead: 3¬?-2¬?. The Bulgarian is one win away from his second world championship match.

The Kamsky-Topalov World Championship Semi-Final Match takes place February 16th to 28th in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Challenger’s Match consists of eight games and possible tie-breaks and has a prize find of US $250,000 which will be shared equally by the players. The winner qualifies for a World Championship Match against Viswanathan Anand.

Game 6 This time Topalov decided to say goodbye to the Black side of the Ruy Lopez, and instead go for the Caro-Kann. It cannot have been a surprise for the Kamsky team, since Topalov has played this opening several times lately. Since his comeback, Kamsky had only played against 1...c6 four times, chosing the Advance Variation in three of them. Last year against Postny at the European Club Cup in Greece, he played the line with 4.Nd2 and 5.Nb3 but today he chose the even more solid 4.Nf3.

White developed his pieces most naturally and Black decided to trade his queen's bishop before anything else, which is not a strange concept in such structures. In this position the bonus is that if frees the f5 square for the knight, but instead of playing it there at once, as was done in several games before, Topalov first played 11...g6 which was the theoretical novelty.

It didn't look too convincing and Kamsky showed why, with the strong plan of c4 and taking on d5, which gave White the possibility of winning some more time on development with 14.Bc5. However, he probably should have followed up with a move in the same spirit, which was 15.Rc1. White does seem to have a slight edge there.

In the game, 15...Rc8! solved all of Black's problems tactically and the position was about equal from there. On move 43, just after the first time control, the players agreed to a draw.

Next Thursday is Topalov's last White game. There's a good chance he will try to decide the match immediately, to prevent a tense last Black game. Even a cool guy like Leko didn't survive the psychological pressure in a similar situation...

Name Nat. Rtg








Kamsky USA 2725
¬? 2¬?
Topalov BUL 2796
1 ¬? 0 1 ¬? 3¬?

Kamsky-Topalov Game 6

Kamsky-Topalov: the solid Caro-Kann was enough for a draw today

Photos © Ivan Stoimenov - courtesy of the official website

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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