Topalov beats Kamsky 4.5-2.5, qualifies for World Championship Final

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Kamsky-TopalovVeselin Topalov defeated Gata Kamsky today to score a 4.5-2.5 win in the Challenger's Match in Sofia. In doing so, the Bulgarian qualified for a World Championship Match against Viswanathan Anand.

From February 16th to 28th the match between Kamsky and Topalov match will take place in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Challenger’s Match will consist of 8 games and possible tie-breaks. The winner qualifies for the World Championship Match 2009.

Game 7 It was the most spectacular game of the match, and so the chess fans were treated with an excellent dessert today. Just like in game 5, the Tarrasch Variation of the French came on the board but this time Topalov went for the more popular 4.exd5. Kamsky was well prepared and right after the opening the board was set on fire when White sacrificed his b-pawn, and Black took it. After a long series of forced moves, a very difficult middlegame with opposite-coloured bishops came on the board.

Until 25.Qd6, both players had used an equal amount of time (about an hour and twenty minutes) but then Kamsky took a long (almost half an hour) think over his 25...Ba4, where the computer prefers the passive 25...Bc8. A few moves later it was about equal, but still very complicated, and Kamsky was down to eight minutes for thirteen moves.

The match was more or less decided by the remarkable strategy Topalov then followed: he kept on playing quickly along with his opponent! This is usually not a very good idea, and the Bulgarian did make some inaccuracies, but with his time ticking away, Kamsky couldn't profit from them. He was probably winning at one moment (31...b4!) but he missed Topalov's great move 32.Qc7!, after which Black can only save himself with the impossible 32...Bd3!! but the American didn't see it (who would have?) and when he had reached the time control, he was looking at a lost position. After twenty very disappointing minutes of thinking, nodding and looking at the big screen, he played a few more moves before offering his hand to Topalov for the last time.

A deserved victory for the current world's number one, who didn't play his best chess, but it was certainly strong enough to beat Kamsky, whose main problem in this match was his handling of the clock. Topalov will have a rating way over 2800 on the April 1st list, and will be a very tough opponent for Anand. Unfortunately FIDE has been very silent about the next World Championship Match, which is scheduled for 2009.

Name Nat. Rtg








Kamsky USA 2725
Topalov BUL 2796
1 ¬? 0 1 ¬? 1 4¬?

Topalov-Kamsky Game 7

Topalov-Kamsky game 7 - a sharp Tarrasch French

Photos © Ivan Stoimenov - courtesy of the official website

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