Bulgarian grandmaster Vesselin Topalov won the right to challenge world champion Viswanathan Anand after winning the chess crown pretenders match against American Gata Kamsky on February 26 2009.
Playing with the white pieces, Topalov won the seventh game in his eight-of-best match against Kamsky in Sofia to take the overall score to 4.5-2.5 points. Topalov's superb performance forced Kamsky to concede on the 45th move, which meant that there was no need for the two to meet for an eight time.
If the final score was 4-4, a tie-break of up to seven fast chess games had to be played on February 28 2009.
"It was a game of blink, to see who will make the first mistake," Topalov was quoted by Bulgarian news agency Focus after the game."
At one point, I felt in control of the game but then I made a mistake. Kamsky played very fast and he himself made a fatal mistake. He could have played better. After my loss [in game four] we with the team felt very bad because we could not get our game where we wanted.
"Kamsky always outsmarted us. He is a very tough player. I have never won in such a long match and it was a big experience for me," Topalov said."
It was a very complicated game," Focus quoted Kamsky as saying. "I made some serious mistakes while Vesselin played very smart and made fewer mistakes. At the end, I was the one who lost," he said.
Topalov, the 2005 world champion, will have a chance thus to reclaim the crown when he meets reigning champion Viswanathan Anand later this year. - The Sofia Echo