Monokroussos analyses Topalov-Kramnik, Wijk 2008

by ChessBase
7/29/2009 – In a recent poll on the Russian website they picked their ten best games of 2008. The winner was Topalov-Kramnik, from Wijk aan Zee – an explosive game between two mortal enemies. This game is the subject of Dennis Monokroussos' Playchess lecture this week. If you don't know it, you'll love it; if you do, you'll enjoy a second, closer look. 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

In a recent poll on the Russian website they picked their ten best games of 2008. The winner was Topalov-Kramnik, from Wijk aan Zee. The game had a bit of everything: a starting opening novelty, sacrifices, brilliant attacking ideas and some errors and missed chances to boot. If you don't know the game, you'll love it; if you do, you'll enjoy a second, closer look.

The game of the day in round nine of the 2008 Wijk aan Zee tournament was Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik, and the question of the day whether the two, who have been mortal enemies since the scandals around the 2006 FIDE World Championship in Elista, would shake hands before the game. They didn't. But everything was done in full compliance with the FIDE directive: neither of the players refused to shake hands, because neither of the players offered to do so. They simply ignored each other completely, to the extent that even eye contact was studiously avoided.

No handshake, no eye contact – but strictly according to FIDE rules

"What must be done to watch the lecture?" – you ask. The answer is simple: tune in to the Playchess server at 9 p.m. Wednesday night (that's ET; in Europe, it's 3 a.m. CET Thursday morning), go to the Broadcast room, find Topalov-Kramnik under the games tab, and you're good to go. (But bring your own popcorn.)

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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