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Vladimir Kramnik vs Vladimir Eduardovich Akopian
Dortmund Sparkassen (2000), Dortmund GER, rd 1, Jul-07
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-22-05  KingG: Kramnik plays the sharpest line against the Moscow variation of the Semi-Slav and get an advantage fairly easily.

Akopian then plays the interesting sacrifice 26. ...Rf3!?, but then goes wrong almost immediately with 28. ...Nf6?, when 28. ...Bh6! was the only move to keep up the pressure.

Nov-24-05  KingG: 16.Bg3 was a Kramnik novelty, and is the only move to play for a win. Previously, 16.f3 was played, but after this move, it seems the best White can achieve is a draw.
Feb-25-08  just a kid: 41.c3 doesn't do very good as 42.Be5+! takes the all so inportant a1-h8 diagonal because it's the only way to stop Kramnik's b-pawn from promoting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Kramnik’s choice in this game (<10. h4>) seems a little dubious. After this move, Black can attack in the center with <10…. b4 11. Na4 Nxf6>. (The same idea a move earlier did not work out well for Black in Sakaev vs M Kobalia, 1998, but with White having played committally on the wing, Black’s counter in the center is more effective.)

Kramnik has not played <10. h4> in any other game, as far as I can determine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <KingG: ***
Akopian ... plays the interesting sacrifice 26. ...Rf3!? ***>

Kramnik could have de-fused Black's extremely clever (but unsound) idea if on move 26, instead of the immediate capture on b5, he had exchanged a pair of Rooks, i.e., <26. Rxf5 Rxf5 27. axb5> and if now <27. ... Rf3 28. gxf3 gxf3 29. Kh2> should win easily for White.

In this line (with the exchange of Rooks), <29. ... Bh6> can be strongly answered by <30. Qf2>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 14..Bg7 had been played a few months earlier in Goldin-Novikov New York 2000 (White won - not included in this database); in that game White had played 15 b3. In another game from New York 2000 Khenkin had tried 16..Nd7 against Goldin and had won; Akopians 16..Nh7!? does not look like an improvement and has not been repeated. Akopians clever sacrificial attack with 23..c5!, 25..Raf8 and 26..Rf3!? gave him very promising counterplay.

<Peligroso Patzer:
Kramnik could have de-fused Black's extremely clever (but unsound) idea White. ........
In this line (with the exchange of Rooks), <29. ... Bh6> can be strongly answered by <30. Qf2>.>

Kramnik did not consider the idea unsound had Akopian played 29..Bh6 The game would have likely ended in a repetition with 30 Qe5..Bg7 31 Qe3..Bh6.

Regarding 28..Bh6 29 Qf2 (29 Qg1?..fxe 30 Rxf8+..Bxf8 31 Be5..Ng5! and wins)Kramnik gives 29..Nf6 30 Bxf3..Bxf3 31 Qxf3..Ng4+ 32 Kh1..Rxf3 33 Rxf3..Qc2 with an unclear position.

Kramnik returned the exchange with 31 Rxf3 in order to obtain the initiative. Black resigned due to 41..c3 42 Be5+..Kh7 43 Kc4 (not 43 Kc6?..Ba1! 44 Kxb6..c2 45 Bf4..Bb2 and draws).

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