By Jennifer Shahade
September 26, 2006
Three rounds into the World Championship in Elista,Russia (Sept.21-October 13) Vladimir Kramnik is leading 2.5-.5 over Veselin Topalov. UPDATE: Kramnik is leading 3-1 after a solid Round 4 draw. Game 2 was particularly heart-breaking for the Bulgarian super-GM, as he missed a forced checkmate. U.S. Champion Alexander Onischuk is one of Topalov's seconds in Elista, and despite the sad start, spirits are relatively high. Alex says, "Things are not going so well so far, but it is only the beginning."
Here are the games:
In this game, spectators exploded after Kramnik blundered with 31...Bxf8?? Topalov could have won instantly with 32.Rxg4+! Bg7 33. Qc7! when mate is unstoppable. Instead, Topalov played 32.Qg6+?? He still had a lot of chances, but Kramnik forced a trade of queens and ground him down in the endgame. Topalov's inspired queen sac 29.hxg6! still leaves a strong impression. If Kramnik continues to allow such brilliancies, this match may not be so one-sided after all...
Click here for the match schedule.
Click here for the home page of the match.