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  1. 27 Sep '06 11:59
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  2. 27 Sep '06 12:07 / 1 edit
    I suppose Topalov would then have three open files on the queenside, and maybe he'll get pressue on Black's bishop on b7 as well as the a-pawn.

    As for giving up the h-pawn, I wouldn't be surprised if Topalov tries to use the open h-file, e.g. g2-g3, Kg2, Rh1.

    To the untrained eye it just seems that Kramnik is a pawn up, and his only weaknesses, the bishop on b7 and perhaps the a-pawn, seem relatively minor and not worth a whole pawn.
  3. 27 Sep '06 12:33
    Wow! Kramnik managed to play c6-c5 anyway even though Topalov played a move which seemed to stop it. The material is level now and I think I prefer Kramnik's position (after 22....Ne4) as it seems White is going to have to give up his bishop for a knight, leaving Black with a tasty diagonal for his own bishop.
  4. 27 Sep '06 12:46
    Originally posted by 7ate9
    A knight on four is NOT better than a rook.
    What does that have to do with the game?
  5. 27 Sep '06 14:07
    Susan Polgar's commentary is beyond me.

    I don't understand why 35....f5 was forced, the only thing I can think of is that perhaps Black's bishop gets trapped after 36.e4, but surely it can simply take the pawn on b3? Actually, maybe it is then still trapped and maybe White can round it up?
  6. 27 Sep '06 16:32
    Originally posted by 7ate9
    Can someone please explain Topalov's castling. e.g. How he can leave black's a3 pawn alone?

    Also was the h2 pawn given to trade for a central secured setup with his knight?
    I think the h2 pawn was for speed of development. The a3 pawn could be left since black would need far too many moves to adequately defend it than were possible.

    So after the opening he was one pawn down 'in spirit' since the a3 pawn was lost in the short term. But in the long run, both of Kramnik's remaning queenside pawns were weak on a7 and c6. Two open files, and Topalov's pieces primed to attack them. An extra pawn yes, but when two pawns are likely to drop, this is not so good. So Kramnik sac'd one to get some play, levelling up the material.

    So: A completely stranded pawn can usually be mopped up later when conditions are right, there is no need to rush to recapture in such a case. And sacrificing one of your pawns to weaken two of your opponents can be a very good plan. We saw both these themes today in the opening/early middle-game; hope this helps.