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Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Leko
"Last Dance" (game of the day Nov-28-2016)
Kramnik - Leko World Championship Match (2004), Brissago SUI, rd 14, Oct-18
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance. Tal Variation (B12)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 54 times; par: 75 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [406 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 26 OF 26 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-15-10  sevenseaman: 41. Nf7+ settles all issues; brilliant!
Oct-11-10  Jafar219: What a game!
Dec-06-10  Ulhumbrus: The pair of moves 15..Nxd4?! and 16...Qxd4? constitute a very serious positional mistake, a mistake which turns an advantage for Black into a possibly winning positional advantage for Kramnik.

The lesser reason for this is that the first move of the pair, the move 15...Nxd4?! opens the c file. The greater reason is that the second move of the pair, the move 16...Qxd4, exchanges the Queens and so removes them from the board.

The first result of the removal of the queens is that White is rid of his most serious liability, an uncastled King which is exposed to attack.

The second result is that after the exchange of Queens, the evaluations of the position become all reversed, as if by magic.

All of White's liabilities become transformed into assets, and all of Black's assets become transformed into liabilities. Targets for Black targets become transformed into weapons in the hands of White.

The c file, instead of exposing White's King to attack with queens on the board, becomes after the exchange of queens, a weapon in White's hands. White's advanced King side pawns become transformed, after the exchange of queens, from targets into a weapon. White's King becomes transformed, after the exchange of queens, from a target into a weapon.

With the c3 pawn transferred to d4 and the White King safe, Black, instead of having prospects for a Queen side attack or for a King side attack, has passed the initiative on both wings to White, who threatens now to use both the c file and a King side pawn advance to attack Black.

Instead of 15...Nxd4, The right move is 15..0-0-0 with ...f6 to follow after which Black seems to gain the advantage. White seems unable to maintain even equality against Black's potential threats of ...f6 starting an attack along the f file and an attack upon the d4 pawn by the manoeuvre ...Ng6-e7-c6.

Possibly one way of putting this is to say that the effect of the pair of moves 15...Nxd4?! and more so that of 16...Qxd2+? is to remove White's most serious liability, an unsafe King. The removal of this liability makes the difference between Black having the advantage and White having a possibly winning positional advantage.

Leko probably did not realise in time the full consequences of exchanging the Queens upon the evaluation of the position. Perhaps he was concentrating on other aspects of the position at the time.

Dec-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: yeah, exchange, exchange, exchange. draw.

That was his dream

Feb-28-11  talisman: 22...♔d8 started it downhill for black... right?
Mar-03-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: This game is the exciting conclusion to today's GOTD.
Apr-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Yet another intended pun where someone else beat me to it.
Apr-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Here is the game that Keene alludes to: Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963
Sep-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Game Collection: ROOK OUTPOST ON AN OPEN FILE
May-28-12  LoveThatJoker: Classic game.

LTJ

May-28-12  Robespierre: Dear Mr Ray Keene,

I'm one of those who read your game notes and who could be considered an "advanced beginner." I greatly appreciate your tactical insights, and I admire your concision & precision of expression!

May-28-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sularus: This game has had a few puns already.

1st: All the marbles
2nd: The Caro Can't
3rd: Last Dance

I prefer the first one.

May-28-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I think the pun is their Donna Summer tribute.
May-28-12  Tadeucouto: Leko wrong in 34 move.
The King up !
May-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White will win quickly!
Jul-12-12  Tigranny: This is my favorite Kramnik game, quite expert on how Kramnik just punished Leko on his errors.
Nov-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the power of controlling the 7th rank!
Nov-28-16  RookFile: This is what you don't do with black in the last game of a match with a one point lead. Compare this with Kasparov's game 24 effort that won him the world championship.
Nov-28-16  RookFile: Play active, active, active, baby!

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985

Nov-28-16  AlicesKnight: Helpful Keene notes and a good example of activity against a bad bishop.
Nov-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Hard to believe that I was commenting LIVE on this game. How long have I been here?
Nov-28-16  John Abraham: This was the final game of the 2004 world championship match, where Kramnik won a must-win game in spectacular fashion to level the scoreline and successfully defended his title in the process.
Nov-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Kramnik thrives in clutch situations & this game is a great example! He kept his focus & composure in a situation when he had to win to keep his WCC & he got the victory! As <dumbgai> pointed out, this game destroyed Leko psychologically. Some people never can get over something this devastating & some people can. I wonder how often Leko thinks about this loss now.
Dec-18-16  S4NKT: A wonderful game with lots of interesting moves and very psychologically significant.

Leko is more than happy to trade off pieces, but there was one very active piece in this game which you can't trade in chess, the white king! ;)

Even if 22. a4 isn't objectively best, the answer - Kd8 is hilarious.

Apr-07-18  Toribio3: This game is a masterpiece. I love the way how Kramnik walked his King to deliver the final blow against the hostile King!
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