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Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Leko
"Last Dance" (game of the day May-28-12)
Kramnik - Leko World Championship Match (2004)  ·  Caro-Kann Defense: Advance. Tal Variation (B12)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 51 times; par: 76 [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>
Nov-12-08  tatarch: What a brutal mating net-- its like a hospital scene where the injured black king gets smothered by a pillow.
Feb-12-09  freeman8201: Interesting Peter Leko decided to play the Caro-Kann for the last game. Maybe he wanted to avoid the Ruy Lopez & Sicilian lines?
Feb-24-09  WhiteRook48: 4. h4! and 5. g4! are probably also classified as Morphy moves or Kasparov moves or so. Or Spassky moves.
Mar-19-09  alanelbaum: Archives, try Tal-Lisitsin 1956
Apr-08-09  WhiteRook48: crushing Leko totally
Apr-10-09  atahualpa yupanqui: according to chessmaster

Chessmaster comment on move


Black moves into a forced mate.Rxd4+ leads to 38.Kg5 exf5 39.Kf6 Rg4 40.Rc7 Bd7 41.Nxb7+ Ke8 42.Nd6+ Kf8 43.b7 Rg6+ 44.Kxg6 Ke7 45.Nxf5+ Ke6 46.b8=Q d4 47.Rc5 Be8+ 48.Qxe8# and mate.

Jul-28-09  LIFE Master AJ:

My annotations of this game. (Note that the site has moved, ALL Geo-Cities sites will be closing - permanently - by the end of the summer.)

Dec-06-09  dumbgai: Leko got what he deserved for turtling. This game destroyed him psychologically - he just hasn't been the same ever since.
Jun-20-10  fischer2009: this annotation by raymond keene is totally misleading 2 a certain extent;i am not a very strong GM or anything;but i am almost sure that his comments on kramnik's 19 th move is very much superficial;This is a must win situation for kramnik and after 19 g5 i c his winning chances considerably reduced;The beauty of this game lies in the fact that kramnik exploits the slightest discordination among leko's pieces by playing excellently on both flanks;after g5kramnik neva played it,this isnt possible;
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.

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?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: This game is the exciting conclusion to today's GOTD.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Yet another intended pun where someone else beat me to it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Here is the game that Keene alludes to: Petrosian vs Botvinnik, 1963
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Game Collection: ROOK OUTPOST ON AN OPEN FILE
May-28-12  LoveThatJoker: Classic game.


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!

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.

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 !
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.
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