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Vladimir Kramnik vs Garry Kasparov
Astana (2001), Astana KAZ, rd 4, May-24
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Modern Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-07-05  KingG: In this game Kasparov played 9...Nc6 instead of 9...Bg4 with which he lost a game in London against Kramnik. I think this is also the last time that Kasparov plays the Gruenfeld in a serious game.

I'm not sure this is a great variation to play against Kramnik though. He showed in London that he is only too happy to exchange queens against Kasparov, so why give him what he wants?

Nov-25-05  alicefujimori: 9...Nc6 is the old recommended main line.

By not playing 9...Bg4 it looks like Kasparov has admitted that Kramnik's novelty of 11.Rxb7 is indeed a refutation for 9...Bg4.

I don't think there is anything wrong in playing this variation against Kramnik since equalising and drawing with the Black pieces in the top GM tournaments are very common.

What is interesting though is that after this game Kasparov has given up playing the Grunfeld, and to me that is a big mistake. Since then Kasparov uses the Nimzo and Queen's Gambit Accepted as his main weapons against 1.d4 but as his games evidently shows those 2 openings actually doesn't fit his style.

Aug-07-07  midknightblue: hello. I have a book that discusses this in some depth, The Gruenfeld defense revealed by Khodarkovsky, who worked with Kaspy. Apparently Kasparov felt he was investing too much time and effort into the trying to maintain equality in these lines, and felt his preparation time could be better spent elsewhere, so he abandoned the gruenfeld. Kasparov's book "Part one- Revolution in the 70's" has a nice chapter on this Be3 line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In the London match had played the rare 9..Bg4; here he reverted to one of the main lines 9..Nc6. A month earlier at Wijk aan Zee Kramnik had played 18 Be3 against Vab Wely; here he varied with 18 Rxc8+ presumably to avoid an improvement by Kasparov. In Tatai-Ftacnik Dortmund 1981 White had played 22 Be3 (Black won); 22 Bf4 was new though it did not lead to a meaningful advantage for White.
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