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Vladimir Kramnik vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
14th Amber Tournament: Blindfold (2005), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 5, Mar-24
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-26-05  Minor Piece Activity: Isn't this the Lowenthal? I think Sneaky is a specialist in this type of Sicilian, probably best if you ask him.
Mar-26-05  actual: This line is actually the Kalashnikov (B32)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5
Mar-26-05  Minor Piece Activity: That doesn't mean that it can't be also the Lowenthal (i.e. either Kalashnikov = Lowenthal, or one contains the other as a subset.) I am pretty sure the Lowenthal is 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 a6 which is also under B32.
Mar-26-05  azaris: I take it this game is not going into "Opening for White according to Kramnik, Beating The Sicilians, Part VI".
Mar-26-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Yes this is the "hoary old Lowenthal" alright. The idea of playing ...a6 and ...Qf6 is what the Lowenthal is all about. It's amazing to see a GM play it, because there are so many published "busts" to Black's play, but every time it's been declared dead somebody finds a new little wrinkle to keep the opening alive. I really hate to talk about busts to my favorite opening but I'll tell you this much: the move that strikes fear into my heart is a line given by DeFirmian starting with 8.Qxf6. You might think that Black has a lead in development there, but White is poised for a vastly superior endgame if he can blunt Black's initiative.

I find it funny how these old openings have zero regard for the bishop pair, instead you see knights hopping all over the place in the opening.

In the above line I prefer to play the cheeky gambit 9...d5!? but I cannot say with certainty that it's sound. I've gotten some very strong players on the rope with it, and weak players often go wrong immediately (e.g. 10.exd5? Nd4! 11.Bd3 Qxg2 )

Also, for those who haven't seen it, this is one of the greatest games of the 20th century and was no doubt studied by Paco in his preperation, in fact I'm sure every GM has studied this gem ... Fischer vs Tal, 1962

Apr-18-05  dasp3edd3m0n: Was Qd1 a proper move?
Apr-19-05  dafish298: Qd1 is the main book move, other moves are Qc7, Qd2, or QxQf6
May-17-05  Bobak Zahmat: Classical World Champion beaten by a yound supertalent! Incredible achievement by Vallejo Pons. Kramnik does not deserve to be called 'WORLD CHAMPION', this games proves it. The final position shows how bad his play was.
May-17-05  maoam: <Bobak Zahmat>

Nonsense, titles aren't given out on the basis of individual games. Vallejo-Pons only narrowly beat Korchnoi in a match, he'd be crushed by Kramnik.

May-17-05  maoam: Case in point: Kasparov vs Radjabov, 2003
May-17-05  amuralid: <Bobak Zahmat> This was a blindfold game. Paco is not yet ready to beat Kramnik.
Sep-17-05  Sinatra: This Variation of the Sicilian would be named the Pelikan!
Oct-14-05  Queens Gambit: Kramnik loosing in 26 moves.....
Oct-14-05  Stevens: thanks for the insight! ;-)
Oct-14-05  Runemaster: Just as well Kramink couldn't see the board - the position after 17 moves is horrifying with all those Black pawns about to sweep him away. He also didn't have to actually witness the Kf2/Kel shuffle on moves 17 and 19.
Oct-14-05  Queens Gambit: <Bobak Zahmat> Classical World <Champion beaten by a yound supertalent! Incredible achievement by Vallejo Pons. Kramnik does not deserve to be called 'WORLD CHAMPION', this games proves it. The final position shows how bad his play was.>

i agree

Dec-06-05  alicefujimori: According to the database, the first new move was actually 16.Re3 played by Kramnik. After Black's 17th move he not only has 3 pawns for the piece but also all the play and attack. (eg.the h-file and d-file pin were especially difficult to meet.)

Although this is a blindfold game, there is a question that we should ask ourselves. If this game was played in a real classical game situation do you think Kramnik would of played better than he did in this game?? I, for once, doubt that. The pin on the d-file was particularly annoying and the only chance of survival seemed to be a well timed sacrifice of a piece back to shatter those black central pawns. But then White still has a problem concerning his exposed king.

Overall, very good performance by Vallejo Pons.

Jan-11-06  Marco65: Just for clarity:

This is a Sicilian Lowenthal.

The Kalashnikov is when Black plays 5...d6 instead of 5...a6.

The Pelikan or Sveshnikov is when Black plays 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 and only now 5...e5

Mar-25-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  syracrophy: <Queens Gambit: <Bobak Zahmat> Classical World <Champion beaten by a yound supertalent! Incredible achievement by Vallejo Pons. Kramnik does not deserve to be called 'WORLD CHAMPION', this games proves it. The final position shows how bad his play was.>

i agree>

Oh, come on! Give the poor man a break! It was a blindfolded game!

Mar-25-07  KamikazeAttack: <If this game was played in a real classical game situation do you think Kramnik would of played better than he did in this game?? >

Since his comeback, Kramnik has since exposed the idiocy of many statements.

Jun-16-08  Abejorral: <Since his comeback, Kramnik has since exposed the idiocy of many statements>

I agree

Oct-06-10  sevenseaman: Its unusually high pressure exerted by Vallejo on kramnik, unbearable and irresistible. A very good game.
Jun-24-13  Alpinemaster: When the best argument one can raise against a World Champion's technique is a blindfold game against a prodigy GM, it is a voluminous compliment, indeed.
Aug-10-14  yiotta: 10.h4 was Tal's idea, and put an end to the Lowenthal Sicilian for quite a while. Loved this game, and it was played BLINDFOLD?
Aug-10-14  yiotta: oops...it was Fischer's idea vs Tal, Curacao 1962.
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