Sunday, February 15, 2009

Topalov - Kamsky World Chess Challenge: it's all about the master attacker versus the defensive master

Two days from now, two great gentlemen of the sport and with complete contrast of playing styles will come face to face to determine who will have the right to challenge the current world champion, Viswanathan Anand of India later this year. Here's a bit of bio and preview of the two antagonist:

Vaselin Topalov
, (2796) from Bulgaria, lives in Spain, age 33. The current no.1 rank chess player and former FIDE world champion. Topalov had the second highest Elo rating of all time (2813). During the 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship, Topalov's performance rating was 2890. The average rating of the field in the championship was 2739. In January 2007, Topalov finished in joint first place at the Category 19 Corus Chess tournament along with Levon Aronian and Teimour Radjabov. In September 2008, Topalov won the Bilbao 2008 tournament, the highest rated chess tournament to date. Going into his match with Kamsky, Topalov has a live rating of 2809,2.

Style of play: a berserk attacker, produced exciting games.
Strong Points: precise calculation, excellent home preparations and physically fit.
Weak Points: his often make-or-break, frenzied style of play sometimes creates a problematic end game positions.

Gata Kamsky (2725) born in Siberia, Russia now resides in New York city USA, age 34. America's no.1 rank player and the best player the country ever produced since Bobby Fischer. Kamsky won the Chess World Cup 2007 and this earned him a match against Topalov. Kamsky reached the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship 1996 but lost his match in the final against Anatoly Karpov 7.5–10.5 (+3=9−6). After losing the match to Karpov, Kamsky gave up chess but return to playing serious chess again in mid 2004.

Style of Play: a brilliant defensive and positional player. Fundamentally sound.
Strong points: not easily intimidated and has a nerve of steel, good in handling the black pieces.
Weak Points: limited opening variations

-WCC2009 Official website

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