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Vladimir Kramnik vs Loek van Wely
Amber Blindfold (2003), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 10, Mar-26
Benko Gambit: Accepted. Fully Accepted Variation (A58)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Blind folded or not, 40. f5!! is a brilliant deflection and clearance move combined. After 40...gxf5 41. Nf4! wins with a second decisive deflection move (removing the guard) for the decisive win of a piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Reisswolf: Kramnik seems to be a pretty darn good blindfold player. But Shirov--now, there's a project that needs some work!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The winning combination was actually initiated with 38. b5! to make it at least a six move combination involving four consecutive deflection moves a clearance move and an side variation involving a winning pin. Piece of cake for veterans of this site you might say? Except that this was a blindfold game. Kramnik and his peers are amazing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: Black missed the chance to play a typical Benko tactic 20...Nc4!

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Then would follow something like 21.bxc4 Rb2 22.Rxb2 Rxb2 23.Qd3 Rxa2 24.a5 Qb7, when Black has plenty of counterplay for the pawn, and in fact it may be White who is struggling for the draw.

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After Black missed that chance, White himself had the opportunity to play 21.b4!, when Black has big problems.

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If he takes on b5 then 21...cxb4 22.Qxc8+ Rxc8 23.Nxb4 Rcb8, and now both 24.Nxa6 and 24.Be4 looks very good for White. And if Black doesn't take then White can just play 22.b5.

Of course, this was a blindfold game so it's to be expected that such moves are sometimes missed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: As an improvement for White, the immediate 19.f4 looks good, possibly to then follow up with 20.Na2.
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