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Vladimir Kramnik vs Viswanathan Anand
"Bonn Fire" (game of the day Jun-09-09)
Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)  ·  Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Blumenfeld Variation (D49)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 45 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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sac: 34...Ne3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 47 OF 47 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <OhioChessFan> No, it is 34...Ne3 - not 34...Nf3 (illegal move)

0-1 (not 1-0)

<OhioChessFan> Don't rush like that. Just examine it very carefully. Then you type the moves correctly


Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: Black to move (34...?). White is up a pawn. "Medium."

When I first glanced at this position, my thoughts were "I wonder if it's possible for black to draw this game?". White's position looks so good I was expecting black to resign. I looked at this, and that, but wasn't coming up with anything.

Then someone spoke to me and called my attention away from the diagram. When I came back to it, I instantly saw...


What a great move! The threat is 35...Rxf1#. After

35 fxe3 fxe3

white cannot prevent 36...e2 and 37...exf1=Q. If white really wants to play on in this game, then his best try is probably...


to give his king some luft. I think the extra piece will prevail over the connected, passed white pawns, but it could be a long slog.

Time to check and see how this played out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This was an easy one. After the knight sacrifice,the new passed king pawn comes in to queen. The rook is blocked out,the bishop is pinned ,and the king is barred from coming close enough to stop the pawn.
May-10-12  waustad: It probably helped having seen it a the time, but it didn't take more than a few seconds to make sure that the knight move worked.
May-10-12  sevenseaman: <goodevans> Perhaps you make a very valid observation that 29. Nxd4 is not good judgement from White but as I have observed in my old comment as well, Kramnik's decision to exchange Qs was defeatist.

Vishy plays a sly fox in letting White have his B via 33. Rd7+ Kf6 34. Rxb6. The greek gift puts the White R out of any further contribution to defense. That really makes the clever and game changing N sac viable and effective later.

May-10-12  jhelix70: This was a LOT easier for me to figure out than the puzzle yesterday...maybe it is just the fewer number of pieces to work with?
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <sevenseaman: <goodevans> Perhaps you make a very valid observation that 29. Nxd4 is not good judgement from White but as I have observed in my old comment as well, Kramnik's decision to exchange Qs was defeatist. Vishy plays a sly fox in letting White have his B via 33. Rd7+ Kf6 34. Rxb6. The greek gift puts the White R out of any further contribution to defense. That really makes the clever and game changing N sac viable and effective later. >

<sevenseaman> An excellent point!! That's how Vishy Anand found the clever plan.


May-10-12  BOSTER: This is well-known position describes the difference between the apperance and contents like in human as in the chess.

White pieces look excellent, but their game is lost.

In this pos. after 28...Rc3

click for larger view

Kramnik got up wrong combo, where black used 30.Nf6-in between-move and back-rank weakness.

May-10-12  dragon player: I know this game. It's from the WCC-match from 2008. This was the second game in which Anand played the semi-Slav, and he won for the second time with this move:


Now mate is the threath.

35.fxe3 fxe3

white can do nothing against 36...e2.

Time to check.


Indeed, and Kramnik resigned after fxe3.


May-10-12  goodevans: <sevenseaman> Not sure which old comment you're referring to and what you mean by "to exchange Qs was defeatist".

After 29.Nxd4 Qxd4 30.Rd1 Nf6 how is white to avoid the Q exchange and still regain his piece? Or am I missing something?

May-10-12  srag: Of course I didn't see anything like the solution, but after 35)fxe3 fxe3 all was clear. "Medium" or not, I found it very beautiful!
May-10-12  zealouspawn: dzechiel, I think even if white plays 35. h3 like you suggest, the game will end quite quickly. I don't envision a "long slog"

35 h3 Rxf1+ 36 Kh2 Rxf2 where the plan of 37.. Rxg2+ followed quickly by ..f3 ..f2 and f1=Q should be decisive very quickly.

May-10-12  Amarande: Wow, surprised this was this late in the week, as I got it almost immediately.

Black needs something *now* (typical of early-week problems), as White's a and b pawns are otherwise going to be a winning advantage. The Bishop is for the moment pinned, but White can easily wriggle out of this (e.g. g3 and Kg2) if he is given any respite.

The win of a pawn by Nxh2 is too slow, and neither Nxf2 nor f3 lead to anywhere quickly, however, Ne3 comes quickly to mind. This threatens mate through RxB, and White can only prevent it by either 35 fxe3 or 35 h3 (not 35 g3 - Rxf1# by a semi-Arabian theme, the Knight also guarding g2).

If 35 fxe3 fxe3 now threatens e2, followed by rapid mate. White's only defence is 36 Rc7, offering the Rook to gain a tempo to free the Bishop. However, although then White has only lost the Exchange and a pawn and still has his outside passed pawns, the Black passed pawn is still quickly decisive: 36 ... Rxc7 37 g3 (the only try: B moves are countered with Rc1+) Rc1 (threatening e2) 38 Kg2 Rc2+ followed by e2, or, if White tries 39 Kf3, Rf2+. Either way, the e-pawn costs White his Bishop as well, and his King is too distant to support the passed pawns so the Rook wins easily.

If 35 h3 Rxf1+ 36 Kh2 Rxf2 is more than good enough, but even more elegant, 35 ... Nxf1!! and White's King is in all but a mating net; the threat is now Ng3+ followed by Rh1#. If 36 f3 Ng3+ 37 Kf2 Rf1# is also mate. Best is 36 g4, but Black has then simply won a piece, and can win pretty much as he pleases.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: My favourite kind of resolution: elegant, economic and unbeatable. Sigh!My Dad must have taught me to shave with Occam's razor when I was a pubescent.
May-10-12  M.Hassan: Just off the topic of POD:
Tomorrow is the start of World Championship Games between Anand & Gelfand. IMO it is a very important event, yet not A newsagency announced it and I listen to the New pretty frequently. Has anybody heard it from News broadcasters?. if not it is a shame for mainstream media.
May-10-12  Patriot: White is up a pawn.

What is white going to do after 34...Ne3? 35.fxe3 fxe3 and there is no way to stop 36...e2 and 37...exf1=Q. This is one of the easiest Thursday's I've seen.

May-10-12  Patriot: <...and there is no way to stop 36...e2 and 37...exf1=Q> I guess I should have said "There is no good way to prevent this" since some have pointed out the interesting (but losing) 36.Rc7?!
May-10-12  TheBish: Kramnik vs Anand, 2008

Black to play (34...?) "Medium"

I don't remember, maybe I saw this before. In any case, it didn't come to me immediately, but I solved it in under a minute.

34...Ne3! wins the bishop and more after 35. h3 Rxf1+ 36. Kh2 Rxf2 followed by 37...Rxg2.

If instead 35. fxe3 fxe3, Black is helpless against 36...e2 and 37...exf1=Q(+).

May-10-12  BOSTER: Moscow 05/11/12.

White to play and win!

Jul-17-12  scholes: A question to fellow kibitzers, would Anand had seen 34.. Ne3 while playing 28..Nc3 because if he did not see it, he would have simply ended a piece down at the end of 6-7 move long exchange forced by the white.
Jul-17-12  scholes: Correction, not a piece down but surely in a completely lost endgame if 34 .. Ne3 was not available
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <scholes> If Anand doesn't have 34....Ne3 at the end of this forcing sequence then his whole idea has no point, so my answer is yes.
Jul-22-14  Vinod S U: Best example for a sting in the tail game..!! 34 Ne3! excellent by vishy
Oct-01-15  Everett: <Jun-29-09 Everett: <yalie> White is not forced to allow the perpetual. 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.Rfd1 e5!? then white has 19.Nh4 and 20.f3 I think black is not comfortable here. White will be able to slow down the center and K-side, and still has two passers and better influence on the light squares. The white N is not easily removed without allowing telling Q-side pressure.>

Anyone with a high-level program want to take a look at my old suggestion? Wonder if it has held up over time.

Jul-29-16  tigreton: Nice sacrifice! Very original play by Anand, for instance when moving gxf6
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