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Vladimir Kramnik vs Michal Vladimirovich Krasenkow
Corus (2003), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-15
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo (C53)  ·  1-0


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Given 5 times; par: 147 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-15-05  suenteus po 147: No comments on this game?! Who even sees the Giuoco Piano at this level anymore? A fascinating win by Kramnik.

<iron maiden> Thanks for alerting me to it!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: It seems that Kramnik missed a quick win, or I missed something.

15.Nxf7! Rxf7 16.Rxe7! Bxe7 17.Ne5 wins a pawn.

Jul-13-07  danielpi: <Mateo> I don't think it's a quick win, but he does pass up the free pawn.

Black could have played 15. Nxf7?! Ned5 16. Ne5 and now, Black has all sorts of ideas with ...Bxh3 followed by ...Rxf3 (though he can't do this right away because of the knight on e5), and White's f2 starts looking very shaky.

I think Kramnik decided to keep his control and pressure, to limit Black's counterplay. As you can verify for yourself, Kramnik ends up winning that pawn anyway, and without as much risk. Grabbing the pawn isn't such a bad idea, though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <danielpi> I am sticking to my 15.Nxf7!. I cannot see any concrete variation White should fear.
Jul-28-07  danielpi: <Mateo> It's not a bad move. I don't think it's Kramnik's style, though. He tends to favor pressure/position over material.

Either way works. Kramnik can grab the pawn, and he goes up material, but then the position is looking equal (or maybe better for black), or he can keep material even, and hang on to his "better" position. There are players who will grab the material and suffer through some counterplay. Kramnik isn't really the sort.

At any rate, it's still not a quick win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: What is the win after 71...Ra1? If there is any? Not 72.Ne7 Re1+. After the move actually played 71...Ra5+ 72.Kf4, the big difference is that the White King is no longer on the 'e' file. Thus, White threatens Ne7. If 72...Ra7 73.Kg4 (73.Rf8? Ra6) White wins like in the game with the idea Rf8-f7.
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