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Game 10. Swing
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News | Topalov | Kramnik | Champions | Games | Documents | Kalmykia


Game 10. Swing


Today’s game has revived sporting intrigue of the competition, pleasing all the independent spectators in Elista and all over the world. Kramnik managed to recover and celebrated his first victory since the second game of the match. The score has been tied, and as for psychological initiative… Well, one cannot say that Veselin lost it under Vladimir’s desperate pressure. It seems the initiative is split evenly between the players.

This match stuns by immediate changes of décor. First Kramnik takes the lead and keeps everything under control, but suddenly he suffers two defeats, and bravura music in his camp changes to well-concealed panic. Rising Topalov gives indulgent comments about the match: ‘Kramnik has two Whites, and he is capable of gathering his strengths for decisive battles’. The 10th game confirms this immediately… The closer the finish, the harder is the swing!

And yet – was it Kramnik who won the game, or it was Topalov who lost it? Yesterday the Bulgarian surprised everybody talking about his lack of match experience, but I don’t think he could fall into underestimating his opponent, no matter how shaken the opponent appeared. Such experienced team as the one gathered by Silvio Danailov, could not be misled by Topalov’s playing initiative or Kramnik’s inability to come out of the opening with decent position…

…Kramnik had no advantage in today’s game, too, but unlike other games, he looked unperturbed by this fact – it seemed he just wanted to obtain a playable position, in which he could impose his will on the Bulgarian. White had an extra pawn, but the chances were almost even (as both players admitted afterwards), when Topalov suddenly slipped, blundering the whole game in a single unlucky move. Veselin’s impatience was one of the factors Vladimir planned to utilize before the match. But who could expect it telling so evidently at such an important moment, when the fate of the match was at stake? Or maybe the Bulgarians were let down by their strategy of not allowing Kramnik to visit the relaxation room at all costs? But Topalov spent more than 10 minutes on 24…f6…

Riddles, riddles… At the same time, it is obvious that none of them will entertain both teams for a day at least. Everybody is focused on the coming two games, the most important games of the match. Will the swing go on?

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