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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Corus (2005)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Chelyabinsk Variation (B33)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-22-05  hintza: <Whitehat1963> No, Black's rook defends the back rank and white cannot queen the g-pawn after 43.Qg7+ Qxg7 44.fxg7 Bh4+! 45.King moves and now 45...Bb7.
Jan-22-05  WillC21: Good to see Ponomariov really attack Kramnik here. This prevented Kramnik from having his usual 15 move draw. Kramnik was forced to play chess, whether he liked it or not. At least I was entertained by it, as were all of you as well.
Jan-22-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <mdz> Good try, but I believe 45.Kg1 is a draw. Some lines are

45..Bb7 46.Qh3+ Ke8 47.Qe6+ Kf8 48.Qxd6+ Kf7 49.Nf4 and now everything draws, for example 49..Bb6+ 50.Qxb6 Qb1+ 51.Kh2 Rh8+ 52.Nh3 Bxg2 53.Qc7+ with perpetual

45..Bxf6 46.Nxf6+ Ke7 47.Nd5+ Kf7 48.Qh4 Rb7 49.Nf4 and White obviously has too many threats to avoid draw

45..Bc7 46.f7 (for example) Qxf7 47.Qh3+ Ke8 48.Qh8+ etc

<Whitehat1963> Yes, that would have worked well... for Kramnik. 43..Kc6! and since White has no good continuation it seems Black is able to entangle and win.

25.Rxh5!? was probably a good practical choice even if it's objectively no more than draw - hard to find improvements against Kramnik's flawless (?) defence. However, there is much to suggest that the computer move 25.Qg2 is objectively stronger. The Rxh5 sac comes anyway in several lines and another important idea is the f5 thrust. I wonder if Kramnik would have been able to defend that.

The TWIC report on http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/eve... suggests 25.Qg2 Kf8!? but f5 still seems effective. Also note that Kramnik said no to Pono's draw offer after 41.Ke2, instead daringly trying to play for a win. The annotators give 43.Be2 instead of 43.Bf1 as a possible winning attempt, but as they say, <it is so complicated that now so short after the game nothing is for sure yet>. I'll have a deeper look later but for the moment it seems their given 45..Qg6 after 43.Be2 Qxe4 44.Bf3 Qc2+ 45.Kg3 might be a mistake and that the game can be saved with for example 45..Qd2 and there are perpetuals looming everywhere.

And to the ignoramus, Kramnik hasn't played a 15 move draw since Corus two years ago. How many effortless draws have you counted in this tournament so far? Here he even declined a draw offer in an extremely complicated position in a risky attempt to play for a win.

Jan-22-05  csmath: Maybe he did not play 15-move draws but he did play 18-move draw on Corus last year, and in general he played quite a few sub-20 move draws on other places whole last year.

What are you talking about acirce?

Jan-22-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <What are you talking about acirce?>

That he generally doesn't play short draws, but that it happens from time to time just as with most players.

Jan-22-05  csmath: No. He plays short draws more often than others. Actually he is notorious for being a dove instead of a fighter. That is the way he is and your idolizing won't help to change that image.
Jan-22-05  PinkPanther: Ahahahah, bingo <csmath>.
Jan-22-05  iron maiden: <csmath> Does Kramnik really play short draws that much more often than other players? Last year at Corus, Anand had 4 draws of under 23 moves; that's in just thirteen games. I think a lot of Kramnik antagonists are just getting swept up in some kind of trend.
Jan-22-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Not liking his style is perfectly fine in itself and should be respected, I guess. (<WillC21> didn't show the same kind of respect when he said it was a "dumb" opinion to think Anand is boring, but anyway.) The players should be equally respected though. No need for inane accusations about how he is "forced to play chess" and no reason to distort facts.

And yes, I believe a lot of that is trend. Sometimes even ideology. I'm not quite clear on all the mechanisms behind it. In any case it would be nice to discuss the actual game here.

Jan-22-05  PinkPanther: <IM>
Look something up for me, please. Tell me how many draws (under 25 moves) that Kramnik had either last year at Linares or at Wijk. At one of the two it's an absurd number (I can't remember which), nothing comperable to what Anand does.
Jan-22-05  JimBean: Man, I think this acirce weirdo must hold the record for the most number of posts. Even if he doesn't know what the heck he's talking about. Far as I can see, he just STEALS analysis from various reports. I guess he must be real lonely and needs to feel he's intelligent (get a load of the 'pondering' kramnik pic!). LOL
Jan-22-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <JimBean> acirce has made some fine analyses of on-line games so I don't think he steals from other sources. He has made a record number of postings in the time he has been on this site but how does this make him a weirdo or lonely?
Jan-22-05  artemis: <JimBean> if you look at most of his posts in live games, he has an uncanny ability to find the correct move, or at the very least the same moves that the GM's find at the board. He is one of the most knowledgeable kibitzers at this site, save our one resident GM (Keane). You may want to consider the posting guidelines if you wish to make similar posts regarding other kibitzers. Just because he checks his sources before he posts and provides links to a great wealth of information does not make him a stealer, but he is finding the best analysis, something I think other kibitzers here should thank him for more often.

If you want proof of this, check some of his posts on live games, they are very accurate and well thought out.

Your insulting comments are not respected on this site. If you wish to enter into an intelligent discussion, this is the site to do it on and you will find no one more capable than <acirce>.

As far as him being lonely and wanting to feel intelligent that is just a load of bull and if you want to challenge his correctness, find some facts and stop attacking him.

Jan-22-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: OK lucky thing this guy was already on my ignore list, I guess. Thanks <artemis>, <Benzol>.
Jan-22-05  artemis: <To all> Kramnik is still the world champion, and while he draws a lot, he has also played many fabulous draws. He is infamous for draws by the way, not the short draws. Also, look at linares last year. He won with +1, -0, = 10. It works. If more of the grandmasters started to pressure him by winning lots of their games, then he would be forced to play longer games and go for the throat. But so far for most of the people, for each game that they have won, they lose one, making his style much more powerful as he can push a tiny advantage to the win when he gets it. In this game, he was the one who invited the rook sacrifice, taking the pawn sacrifice to open up the file. just because he doesnt focus on the tactics doesnt mean that he isnt playing for a win, he is holding on for positional advantages, an aspect of the game where he is unparalleled. Look at the first game from his match with Leko. Study it a couple times over. He played out a drawn game to find a tiny advantage and creatively push it through. his methods in that game are phenomenal.
Jan-22-05  fgh: What? What's this kind of nosense? In my opinion, Kramnik has been trying to eliminate his drawing reputation in this tournament. His shortest game so far was a loss against Topalov, and his shortest draw was in 26 moves against Bruzon. Kramnik isn't a boring player, it's just difficult to appreciate and understand his play. <Long live to positional chess!>
Jan-23-05  iron maiden: Actually, everybody's been pretty willing to play games out so far this year. Only three games under 21 moves, and two of them were decisive.
Jan-23-05  csmath: Actually there is nothing really very difficult to appreciate in anybody's play. This aura of some special deep play by somebody is phony. Once you do postgame analysis in anybody's case, it is pretty much obvious what was the intended plan. And that is for whoever, Kramnik included.

He does play some wonderful games and does draw a lot. Not in this year Corus, since Corus has been wonderfull for a fighting spirit. It was quite a bit different in 2004 Linares. In either case, when there is a "drawing spirit" Kramnik will lead in it, and when there is a "fighting spirit" Kramnik will follow. It is quite the contrary with Kasparov. That is why some people dislike Kramnik, certainly not because he would be a bad chess player.

Jan-23-05  artemis: <csmath> <Actually there is nothing really very difficult to appreciate in anybody's play. This aura of some special deep play by somebody is phony. Once you do postgame analysis in anybody's case, it is pretty much obvious what was the intended plan.>

Certainly after you do a careful postgame analysis, with explanations of every single move there is no special aura, accept for the tiny little fact that you know the result, and you can look at the position and the following moves over and over. Look at the first game from Kramnik and Leko, and watch how Kramnik expertly steals Leko's initiative and then makes some long drawn out manuevers, where each move is significant whether the kibitzers brought out how special they were or not, and follow it through. Then imagine yourself at the board trying that. Kramnik is one of the greatest positional players of all time.

Jan-23-05  Strategic Joker: <artemis> if im not mistaken he won the tournament with a +2 score :), but im not a 100% sure we should ask acirce
Jan-23-05  square dance: kramnik did indeed win linares 2004 with a +2 score. kasparov and leko shared second with +1.
Jan-24-05  Strategic Joker: <square dance> thanks for the clarification ^_^
May-10-06  AdrianP: A note on the opening:

18 h4!? seems to be a novelty which has caught on (Kramnik later played this as white Kramnik vs Van Wely, 2005 ; Kasimdzhanov recently played it against Ivanchuk Kasimdzhanov vs Ivanchuk, 2006 )


click for larger view

However, the idea was seen before in this game D Baramidze vs D Jakovenko, 2004 - the only difference is 15 b3 rather than 15 Ra2 - the whole idea is to swing the rook across to create a battery along the half-open h-file, so both Ra2 and b3 will eventually have to be played, therefore the lines will often transpose.

[An aside: there is some similarity with a sideline with a very early h4 e.g.


click for larger view

which Volokitin has tried on at least a couple of occasions. Here, White would be very happy for Black to take the "sacrifice" - Bxh4?? Qh5! wins the bishop.]

It is interesting that in the most recent encounter, Chukky declines the sacrifice with 18. ...Bh6 19 h5! Kg7 20. Qd2 Rh8 which looks very messy but Chukky managed to unwind ( Kasimdzhanov vs Ivanchuk, 2006 ).

Oct-04-06  positionalgenius: A nice fighting draw by two top GMs.
Dec-02-08  freeman8201: Is Ponomariov playing theory or did he cook this up himself?
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