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World Chess Championship 2006 Match Vladimir Kramnik vs Veselin Topalov

by Boris Schipkov

The World Chess Championship 2006 Match Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik took place in Elista (Russia) 21st September - 13th October. Kramnik-Topalov 6-6 (or 6-5), playoff 2.5-1.5, the total score 8.5-7.5.
Vladimir Kramnik became the World Chess Champion, the undisputed World Champion, because this match was a reunification match: Classical World Champion Kramnik against FIDE World Chess Champion Topalov. Before Kramnik beat Kasparov 8.5-6.5 in London 2000 and drew the match vs Leko 7-7 in Brissago 2004. Topalov won the World Chess Championship 2005 Tournament in San Luis.
13. Rapid Playoff 2.5-1.5.
4. Kramnik-Topalov 1-0. White had slightly better chances in the ending. But Vladimir gradually outplayed the rival.
3. Topalov-Kramnik 1-0. As in 9th game Black quickly took on c4. White attacked with 33. g4, won a queen by 40. e7+.
2. Kramnik-Topalov 1-0. Vladimir had a small edge thanks to his central d5-pawn, but in several moves he gained a huge advantage. Then he excellently sacrificed the exchange and promoted his a-pawn.
1. Topalov-Kramnik 1/2. Vladimir obtained good counterplay in the Slav as in 2nd game, grabbed a pawn. Veselin had the passed b-pawn. Then almost all pieces were traded, Kramnik must give 2 pawns for b-pawn. Draw agreed in the rook endgame.
World Chess Championship 2006 Kramnik vs Topalov: All Games

12. Kramnik-Topalov 1/2. Vladimir launched a classical minority attack on the queenside with 16. b4 and so got a small edge. But the ending was drawish. Perpetual check.
11. Topalov-Kramnik 1/2. Vladimir gained good counterplay in the Slav with the forceful break 10...e5 in the centre. Mounted troops are superior to bishops in closed positions. But then Kramnik decided to simplify by the dubious 18...Ne4. Veselin had a slight edge in the endgame. However, he made a real mistake 29. f5, and Vladimir got an advantage with the nice knight's manoeuvres.
10. Kramnik-Topalov 1-0. Vladimir grabbed a pawn, but Black had some compensation. Then Topalov made the mistake 24...f6, and Kramnik got big chances to win.
9. Topalov-Kramnik 1-0. White obtained an advantage due to two bishops and a strong pawn centre. Black preferred a bad plan with 10...dxc4 and b7-b5-b4, opened the position for the rival's monks and lost.
8. Kramnik-Topalov 0-1. Double-edged play in the opening. But the ending looked better for Black: rook+pawn vs 2 knights. The decisive mistake was 41. Kxg3.
7. Topalov-Kramnik 1/2. Vladimir gained good counterplay in the Queen's Gambit Accepted. He had the ideal d5-outpost for his knights. White tried to attack on the kingside. Then Vladimir grabbed a pawn and probably planned to win.
6. Topalov-Kramnik 1/2. Vladimir gradually levelled in the Slav.
5. Kramnik-Topalov -/+. Vladimir Kramnik did not play, because the Appeals Committee took the decisions that broke the agreements on conditions. Danailov's appeals and statements are incorrect, shocking and absurd.
The FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made a statement that the match Topalov-Kramnik must be continued from the 6th game with the 3:2 score. The strange decision. Now Danailov and Topalov have all what they wanted to have. Fair play?

4. Topalov-Kramnik 1/2. White had compensation for the sacrificed pawn, so Vladimir gave a pawn back to open diagonal for his bishop and to simplify the position. Better was 25.Rc1. Veselin's chances were somewhat better in the endgame, but Black secured nice counterplay with 36...Qh4.
3. Kramnik-Topalov 1/2. Veselin applied a novelty 15...Rc8 in the Catalan. Better was 17.Ne4. Then Vladimir had a strong passed pawn in the centre, but he chose a dubious move 35.Rb3 in time trouble. So Black counterattacked with 35...f5, and White had to do perpetual check.
2. Topalov-Kramnik 0-1. Vladimir obtained some counterplay in the Slav. But Veselin launched a fierce attack on the kingside with 20.g4 and beautifully sacrificed his queen with 29.hxg6!!. He could win quickly after an error 31...Bxf8 with 32.Rxg4+. Also 36. Qh5 was clearly better. After 45. Bc1 Bf8 Kramnik had a good ending.
1. Kramnik-Topalov 1-0. Vladimir had a slight edge in the Catalan, then Black levelled and could make a draw by repetition with 39...Nd2, and then many times as well. But Veselin wanted zealously to win and did a fatal mistake 57...f5 in the endgame.
Kramnik, Vladimir (2743) - Topalov, Veselin (2813) [E04], World Championship Match, Elista (1) 2006 (Notes by Boris Schipkov, 25.09.2006)

Games WCCM 2006 (15, pgn)

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