Posts Tagged ‘Russia chess’

Tromso Chess Olympiad Round 5: Kramnik vs Topalov

August 7, 2014

Thus far, the  41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway has lived up to all the hype surrounding the event. Almost all of the top chess players in the world are competing for personal glory and, more importantly, national pride. Even with hundreds of exciting games played in each round, all eyes were focused squarely onto the Russia-Bulgaria match which featured a game between the rivals, Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov.

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly eight years since Topalov’s manager threatened to abort a World Championship Match because of complaints about Vladimir Kramnik’s bathroom habits. The publicity surrounding the complaint grew exponentially and soon there was more newspapers reporting about “Toilet Gate” than about the actual games from the match. The jokes about Kramnik’s bathroom habits took a toll on the Russian and Topalov nearly used his ill gained initiative to take the title. However, Vladimir Kramnik managed to bounce back just in time to tie the match and win in the rapid play tie-breaks. Even becoming the undisputed World Chess Champion could not take all the sting out of the cheating claims that Team Topalov attacked Kramnik with.

Fast Forward eight years and the two enemies were again separated by a mere eight chess ranks. Below is my take on Vladimir Kramnik’s beautiful win over Veselin Topalov at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway.


[Event “41’st Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “Tromso, Norway”]
[Date “2014.6.8”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Vladimir Kramnik”]
[Black “Veselin Topalov”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “D37”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. var. WITH 5.BF4,D37]}

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.g3 O-O 6.Bg2 Nbd7 7.Qd3  Nb6 (7…c6 8.O-Ob6 9.Rd1 a5 10.b3 Ba6 11.a4 Rc8 12.Bf4 Nh5 13.Bd2 Nhf6 14.Rac1
Qc7 15.Bf4 Qa7 16.e4 Rfd8 17.e5 Ne8 18.Bf1 Nc7 19.Bg5 Bxg5 20.Nxg5
Nf8 21.Qf3 Rd7 22.cxd5 exd5 23.Bh3 Nce6 24.Nxe6 fxe6 25.Ne2 Bxe2
26.Qxe2 c5 27.f4 {…1/2-1/2, Grischuk Alexander (RUS) 2733 – Leko Peter (HUN) 2756 , Moscow 11/18/2009 It “World Blitz”})

Position after 7...Nb6

Position after 7…Nb6

8.c5 Nbd7 9.O-O c6 10.b4 b6 11.Bf4 a5 12.a3 Ba6 13.Qc2 Nh5
14.Bd2 Nhf6 15.Bf4 ( 15.Rfe1 Bc4 16.h3 Qc8 17.Bf4 Qa6 18.Rab1
Ra7 19.g4 axb4 20.axb4 Rfa8 21.Nd2 bxc5 22.bxc5 e5 23.dxe5 Ne8
24.Ra1 Qxa1 25.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 26.Kh2 Nxc5 27.Nxc4 dxc4 28.Bxc6 Rc8
29.Nd5 Bf8 30.Bb5 Ne6 31.Be3 N8c7 32.Qxc4 Nxd5 33.Qxd5 Ra5 34.Bb6
Ra3 {…1/2-1/2, Horvath Jozsef M (HUN) 2104 – Atalik Suat (BIH) 2608 , Budapest 1991 It “CANSYS”})

( 15.Rfb1 Qc8 16.e4 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Qxe4 axb4 19.Bg5 Nf6
20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.cxb6 Bb7 22.Qe3 c5 23.dxc5 Bxa1 24.Rxa1 Ra5 25.Rc1
Rxa3 26.Qe2 Qa8 27.Nh4 Bxg2 28.Nxg2 Ra1 29.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 30.Ne1
b3 31.Kg2 b2 {0-1, Larsen Peter (DEN) 2206 – Halkias Stelios (GRE) 2570 , Helsingor 7/29/2012 It “Politiken Cup” (open)})

Position after 15. Bf4

Position after 15. Bf4


Nh5 16.Bd2 Nhf6 17.Rfe1 ( 17.Rfb1 Qc8 18.e4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 dxe4
20.Qxe4 axb4 21.Bg5 Nf6 22.Bxf6 Bxf6 23.cxb6 Bb7 24.Qe3 c5 25.dxc5
Bxa1 26.Rxa1 Ra5 27.Rc1 Rxa3 28.Qe2 Qa8 29.Nh4 Bxg2 30.Nxg2 Ra1
31.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 32.Ne1 b3 33.Kg2 b2 {0-1, Larsen Peter (DEN) 2206 – Halkias Stelios (GRE) 2570 , Helsingor 7/29/2012 It “Politiken Cup” (open)})

Position after 17. Rfe1

Position after 17. Rfe1

Bc4 18.Bf4 Nh5 19.Be3 Nhf6 20.Bf4 Nh5 21.Be3 Nhf6
22.h3 h6 23.Nd2 Ba6 24.f4 bxc5 25.bxc5 Nxc5 26.dxc5 d4 27.Bf2
dxc3 28.Qxc3 Nd5 29.Qc2 Bf6 30.e4 {Vladimir Kramnik is dreaming of a position in which he is down the exchange but has a couple of passed pawns.}

Position after 30. e4

Position after 30. e4

Bxa1 31.exd5 Qf6 {?} ( 31…Bf6 32.dxe6 fxe6 33.Rxe6 Bd4 34.Rd6
Bxf2+ 35.Kxf2 Qe7 {Is a much better possibility for black.} )

32.d6 {Vladimir Kramnik achieves his first passed pawn. The chess machines prefer the line below but I think Kramnik’s choice is much more instructive.}
( 32.dxe6 Bd4 33.exf7+ Kh8 34.Nf3 Bxf2+ 35.Qxf2 Rxf7 36.Ne5 Rc7)

Position after 32. d6

Position after 32. d6


Qc3 33.Qd1 ( 33.Qxc3 Bxc3 34.Rd1 Be2 {is what Vesilin Topalov would have loved to see.})

Bb2 34.Bxc6 {Now that Kramnik has achieved his dream of two connected passed pawns, white is clearly in the driver’s seat.}

Position after 34. Bxc6

Position after 34. Bxc6

Rad8 {?} {Topalov panics about the passed pawns and misses a critical alternative. As we are about to witness, rooks have a very hard time stopping passed pawns from the front side.}( 34…Rab8 35.Nb1 Qf6 ( 35…Qc4 36.d7 Rfd8 37.Qd6 ) 36.Qd2 Rb3 {!} {This line seems necessary for Topalov to survive but deserves more study from chess enthusiats the world over.})

35.Nb1 {!} {Kramnik punishes Topalov!}

Qf6 36.Qd2 Rb8 {Topalov transfers his rook to the open file which is where it should have landed in the first place.}

37.Be4 {It’s been a while since we have seen Vladimir Kramnik play with this much purpose.}

e5 38.Nc3 {Perfect timing on reactivating the knight. Can you guess where Kramnik intends to place it?}

Position after 38. Nc3

Position after 38. Nc3

Qe6 {Topalov threatens the pawn on “h3.”}

39.Nd5 {Kramnik is not worried about “h3.” He has bigger fish to fry!}

Qxh3 {Topalov’s queen says, “Zdravei!”}

40.Bg2 {Kramnik’s bishop says, “Do sveedaniya!”}

Qh5 41.d7 {!}

Position after 41. d7

Position after 41. d7

exf4 42.Qxf4 Bxa3 {Topalov creates his own passed pawn.}

Position after 42... Bxa3

Position after 42… Bxa3

43.Qxb8 {!} {Vladimir Kramnik is not impressed by Topalov’s pawn grab and delivers a near fatal blow to the Bulgarian.}

Rxb8 44.Re8+ Kh7 45.Rxb8 Qd1+ {Topalov tries in vain to manufacture tactics.}
46.Kh2 Qh5+ 47.Bh3 Qf3 48.d8=Q Qxf2+ 49.Bg2 1-0

Position after 49. Bg2

Position after 49. Bg2

{Veselin Topalov resigns as he has no more reasonable chances at avoiding a loss to his rival. Besides, Vladimir Kramnik had Mate in 8: 49…Bxc5 50.Nf4 Qxf4 51.gxf4 Kg6 52.Be4+ Kh5 53.Qd1+ Be2 54.Qxe2+ Kh4 55.Bf5 h5 56.Qe1+ Bf2 57.Qxf2#}


World Chess Championship 2013: Preview 3 of the Anand-Carlsen Match

November 4, 2013

In our third preview game of the 2013 World Chess Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, we are going to examine a stunning defeat of Anand at the hands of the cunning Russian chess player, Alexander Morozevich. In my humble opinion, this game clearly illustrates what is perhaps the best strategy for Magnus Carlsen in his upcoming match with Anand. Put simply, Magnus Carlsen needs to control his nerves and play dynamic attacking chess as much as possible. Below, Alexander Morozevich shows us how this is done:

Move 24: How did Morozevich(white) destroy Anand's king safety.

Move 24: How did Morozevich(white) destroy Anand’s king safety?


[Event “It ‘Kremlin Stars'”]

[Site “Moscow (Russia)”]

[Date “1995”]

[Round “2”]

[White “Morozevich, Alexander (RUS)”]

[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]

[Result “1-0”]

[Eco “C33”]

[Annotator “Chris Torres”]


1.e4 e5

2.f4 exf4

3.Bc4 Nf6 ( 3…Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4

g5 7.h4 Bg4 8.Nc3 Nc6 {Is how a more aggressive player might handle the black pieces.}


4.Nc3 c6 {This move takes a lot of the key squares away from white’s developed pieces and prepares a pawn thrust to “d5.”}

5.Bb3 d5

6.exd5 cxd5

7.d4 Bb4 {

At this point, objectively, black looks a little better. Both sides have one

center pawn and two developed pieces. Black does have an extra pawn and is

ready to castle. However, things can change very quickly in the King’s Gambit.}

8.Nf3 O-O

9.O-O Bxc3 {

A smart maneuver for Anand. His bishop was pinning white’s knight to just “air”

while exchanging creates a pawn weakness which can easily be attacked.}

10.bxc3 Qc7 {

Anand is still a little better than Morozevich. Both sides have two pieces

developed and a pawn in the center. Black momentarily has an extra pawn.}

11.Qe1 {I believe this is game represents the first time this idea has been tried.}

( 11.Qd3 b6 12.Ne5 Ba6 13.c4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 Bxc4 15.Nxc4 Nd5 16.Ne5

Nc6 17.Nxc6 Qxc6 18.Bxf4 Rac8 19.Qa3 Rfe8 20.Qf3 Nb4 21.Qxc6

Rxc6 22.Rae1 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 f6 24.Re8+ Kf7 25.Ra8 a5 26.Ra7+ Kg6

27.Rc7 Rxc2 28.Rxc2 Nxc2 29.Bc7 b5 30.d5 Kf7 {…0-1, Eberth Zoltan (HUN) 2198  – Vujosevic Vladimir (MNE) 2430 , Gyor 1997 It (open) “Nyar”}

) Nc6

12.Qh4 {Morozevich just wants to get Anand’s king. But isn’t that the real objective in chess?}

( 12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.Bxf4 Qc6 14.Bxe5 Ne4 15.Rf4 Be6 16.c4 dxc4 17.Qxe4

Qxe4 18.Rxe4 cxb3 19.axb3 Bf5 20.Re2 Rfe8 21.Rf2 Bg6 22.c4 a6

23.Bc7 Re3 24.d5 Rae8 25.Raf1 f6 26.Rf3 Kf7 27.Bb6 Rxf3 28.Rxf3

Ke7 29.Kf2 Kd7 30.Rg3 Rg8 31.Ke3 Re8+ {…1-0, Charbonneau Pascal (CAN) 2490  – Roussel-Roozmon Thomas (CAN) 2425 , Montreal  8/??/2004 It (cat.12)}

) Ne7

13.Bxf4 {Morozevich takes “f4” but will give Anand “c3.” Now who do you think is better? I would rather play with the white pieces.}


14.Bd2 {!?} {

Is this move brilliant or a mistake? Morozevich could have also played the more

natural looking “Bg5” or the “Qe1” retreat. However, Morozevich is not in the

mood to retreat and has a reputation for playing slightly outlandish moves.}

Qc7 {Anand retreats his queen to the most useful square he can find.}

15.Ne5 {Morozevich’s knight wastes no time finding its outpost.}


16.Qf4 {The best choice for Morozevich but now his knight is pinned to an unattractive exchange of the queens.}

Be6 {Anand places his bishop on a bad square in order to unify his rooks.}

17.Bb4 {Forcing the rook from “f8” becomes important much later in the game.}


18.g4 {!} {It is now or never for Morozevich.}



{Morozevich has, more or less, all his pieces involved in the attack.}


20.c4 {!} {This move will eliminate the outpost for the black knight on “e4” as well as create more action for Morozevich’s light bishop.}


21.Bc2 Nf6

22.g5 {!} {

When all your pieces are involved in the attack, sometimes it is up to the

pawns to create the final weaknesses in your enemy’s camp.}

Nh5{?} {Morozevich again proves that the best way to deal with Anand is to attack.

Viswanathan Anand should have played something like this:}

( 22…Nd5 23.Bxh7+ Kxh7 24.Qh4+ Kg8 25.Bxd6 Qxd6 26.g6 fxg6

27.Nxg6 Bf5 28.Qh8+ Kf7 29.Rxf5+ Nf6 30.Qh5 Qxd4+ )

23.Qf3 {!}

{Severe punishment is in store for Anand’s crime.}


24.Nxg6{!} hxg6

25.Bxg6 {!} fxg6

26.Rxe6 Qf7

27.Qd5 {!} Nf5

28.Rxf5{!} {There is no defense for Anand now and he appropriately resigns.} 1-0

The Czech is in the Mail: Update on My Adventures in Correspondence Chess

July 28, 2013

Playing correspondence chess is not for the faint of heart or the uncommitted. Seven years later, I am still battling in my final two games of the 2006 USCF Golden Knights Championship. I still have a reasonable chance of winning the event but my final two games going are against two of the very best American correspondence chess players. My games against Abe Wilson and James Tracz will conclude the event that I started in another city and before I became a dad. Currently, the front runner is Tracz and if I did my calculations correctly, I can surpass his score only by defeating him.

An Absolute challenge was had by all in the 2012 USCF Absolute Chess Championship. This has been the most challenging experience of my chess career and I need to convert a win in my last game to finish in sixth place and one spot ahead of Gordon Magat (the only opponent to defeat me.) International master John Menke Jr. has already clinchedawesome-miscellaneous-digital-art-chess-wallpaper the title with his score of 9.5/13! My personal high point in the 2012 USCF Absolute Chess Championship was defeating my correspondence chess hero Major Kristo Miettenen and I may post this game in the future.

On the international front, I am currently playing for Team USA in our match against the Czech Republic and the always mighty Russia. The Fremont Chess Camp caused me to fall behind on time against Milan Bultman, my strong Czech opponent. To make matters more difficult, my Russian opponent has steered the game in which I am white into unknown territory before we reached move 10! Through his brilliant and creative play, Andrey Andreevich Terekhov has put me to the test early. Even with my chess camp completed, I will only have a little more time to devote to these games as I am also slated to represent Team USA against Romania starting in August.

My post would be incomplete without thanking Alex Dunne and Dennis Doren for organizing such fantastic events. For more information on correspondence chess in the United States please read, “Its a Great Time to Play Correspondence Chess in the United States.”


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