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Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Svidler
Tal Memorial (2009), Moscow RUS, rd 4, Nov-08
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-08-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: http://www.thechessmind.net/storage...

19.Qe3 Qf4 Black's king is more vulnerable, so this swap is a good idea, even at the cost of a pawn.

Nov-08-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <Richard Taylor: The WCs match between Kramnik & Anand was too short and it was overall a bit of a fizzer>

A fizzer? Anand *killed* him.

Nov-08-09  Hesam7: <Eyal> thank you for your analysis and the comments from Daily Dirt. I wish the poster had provided a longer summary and that somebody had challenged Kramnik on the difference between 15. hxg6 and 15. Bh6. Kramnik says:

<some of his moves at the end where dictated by his desire to "aesthetically" keep the knight on a6 so that there was a unified strategic theme to the game>

which is interesting since the difference between the two moves seems to be exactly that Black can play 18. ... Nc7 after 15. hxg6 Bxg6 16. Bh6 Bxh6 17. Rxh6 Rf6 18. Ne5.

Nov-09-09  Raginmund: Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik!!!!!! Kramnik always!!!!
At his best!
Nov-09-09  Whitehat1963: Lost his world championship match to Anand!!!!!! Anand!!!!!! Anand!!!!!!!!! Anand!!!!!!! Anand!!!!!! ....
Nov-09-09  M.D. Wilson: I predict a riot.
Nov-09-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <notyetagm: <Richard Taylor: The WCs match between Kramnik & Anand was too short and it was overall a bit of a fizzer>

A fizzer? Anand *killed* him.>

NO way! Rubbish! Kramnik was out of form so we didn't really see anything spectacular - Anand made a fairly obvious sacrifice in one game and in another was quite sharp but there weren't enough games.

In contrast Topalov played some great games but stuffed them v Kramnik...but even when when Kramnik won in that match I sensed he wasn't in form either.

I am not for or against any player - I know Anand can play great chess but Kramnik can also.

Mostly the reasons for wins or loses overall are psychological (linked to the choice & preparation of openings and also psychological and other preparation done).

Also these matches are too short.

Nov-09-09  samikd: <Richard Taylor>
<Also Kramnik wasn't very well then I believe.>

Thats simply pathetic. There was no news of Kramnik not being well during the Anand match. He was ill a few years before that, prior to his spectacular comeback. Then he himself said his was fine.

<Kramnik was out of form>

Another piece of misinformation. Kramnik was in excellent form, winning the super-strong Tal memorial before the match. Anand was the one in poor form, with his embarrassingly bad performance in Bilbao just a few days before the match (he came in LAST).

<In contrast Topalov played some great games>

Which ones ?

<but even when when Kramnik won in that match I sensed he wasn't in form either.>

that match was also short, and Kramnik won thanks to some <mysteriously> mediocre performance by Topalov. I was of course rooting for Kramnik and was delighted when he won (overcoming all the dirty psychological games), but from chess point of view the match was much more of a 'fizzer'.

<Anand can play great chess but Kramnik can also.>

Thanks for the scoop !

<Mostly the reasons for wins or loses overall are psychological (linked to the choice & preparation of openings and also psychological and other preparation done).

Also these matches are too short.>

Thanks for the scoop again !

If Kramnik was 'out of form' and 'sick' then a longer match wouldnt make any difference anyway, right ?

And how long do you want the matches to be ? Like Karpov-Kasparov, when the match was so long that Karpov fell ill and it had to be cancelled ? There is a reason the matches were shortened. It was mostly the players' idea, because they didn't want to play super-long matches and miss out on playing the highly paying supertournaments. The last so called 'long' match was Kasparov-Anand in 1995, and by no means was that match any higher quality than the shorter ones succeeding it.

Kramnik's win against Kasparov was in an even shorter match, and his match against Leko was ridiculously short. So shall we say Kramnik was never the legit world champion in the first place ?

Nov-09-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <samikd> I agree with almost everything you said, except for this:

<Kramnik was out of form - Another piece of misinformation. Kramnik was in excellent form, winning the super-strong Tal memorial before the match. Anand was the one in poor form, with his embarrassingly bad performance in Bilbao just a few days before the match (he came in LAST).>

Actually, Kramnik won the Tal Memorial in 2007, not 2008 in 2008 he was really unimpressive in a consistent way, in all of the classical tournaments in which he participated Corus, Dortmund (really embarrassing by his standards: a -1 score, ahead only of Van Wely), Tal Memorial, as well as the Olympiad where he played shortly after the match. On the other hand, Anand did very badly in Bilbao, but he also won Linares. Take a look at the yearly performance rating statistics (http://members.aon.at/sfischl/cl200...): Anand is no.2 with 2791, Kramnik is no.18 with 2725 (and a negative score). So it makes sense to say that in Anand's case Bilbao was probably just an "accident" related to the pre-match preparations, whereas Kramnik was consistently not in such a good form. In this sense, I sometimes think it's a bit of a pity that the match between them didn't take place in 2007, when both seemed pretty much in top form (see http://members.aon.at/sfischl/cl200...).

But all of the above shouldn't take away from Anand's achievement WC matches have to take place at a certain point in time, and I think it's quite rare that they happen when both players are precisely at their top form and the height of their career. In order to become a world champion, you have to be better than your opponent <when it matters>, and that's certainly what Anand was in Bonn. In fact, it's true for 2007 as well both players were very impressive during this year (Anand winning Linares and Mexico, Kramnik winning Dortmund and the Tal Memorial, all wins with dominating performances), but Anand was the one who won the most important tournament the world championship.

I would add that when hearing/reading Kramnik's reactions to his loss in the match, it appears that he felt it was also related to some basic flaws in his play, rather than just incidental fluctuations of form specifically, that his opening preparation wasn't anymore quite in the Anand/Topalov league, as well as lack of aggressiveness and willingness to take risks. And it goes to Kramnik's credit that instead of trying to whitewash his defeat in the match with all sorts of pathetic (e.g., health and psychology related) excuses, he fully admitted it and apparently learned something from it as well.

Nov-09-09  KamikazeAttack: Re:video, quite interesting to see players walking round the room without talking to one another, all in his own world.

There is a sense of purpose about Kramnik's demeanour, one could tell.

Nov-09-09  samikd: <Eyal> Thanks for the corrections !

<WC matches have to take place at a certain point in time, and I think it's quite rare that they happen when both players are precisely at their top form and the height of their career. >

Exactly ! Thats why the whole assertion that matches are the only good way to decide a player's superiorty over another seems too simplistic to me. Did the Kramnik-Anand match prove that Anand is a better chess player than Kramnik ? No ! It only proved that Anand was better in Bonn, 2008 ! The same would be true had Kramnik won the match ! Thats why the concept of matches (long or short) being 'holy' and tournaments 'cheap' seems ridiculous to me. Matches are important for historic reasons, but from a chess point of view , but from a chess point of view, WC matches have seldom produced high quality games, especially in comparison to supertournaments

Nov-09-09  KamikazeAttack: <Did the Kramnik-Anand match prove that Anand is a better chess player than Kramnik ? No ! It only proved that Anand was better in Bonn, 2008 !>

Word.

"Over time" is the key phrase needed to determine who is better between 2 players especially if they are of similar strength.

Nov-09-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: There's now a transcript of Kramnik's presentation of the game in the 2nd chesspro report from the tournament (http://translate.google.com/transla...) - apparently that guy from chessninja pretty much gave all the main points. A detail he didn't mention that I found interesting is the psychological moment at move 13 - "I vaguely remembered that [...] the computer played 13.exf5. So I went so fast to scare Petya: they say, everything is analyzed! In fact, I do not remember what was happening [do not rememeber the home analysis, I suppose...]". Also, it's interesting that Kramnik noticed 19.f3 is refuted by 19...Re6! but not that 19.Bc4 (which he rejected because of 19...b5) is refuted even more decisively by the same move (19.Bc4? Re6! 20.dxe6 Rxd2 21.Kxd2 Kg7! followed by 22...b5! after Rh6 retreats).
Nov-09-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Position after 18.Ne5:


click for larger view

Here's another crazy line from this critical position that demonstrates Black can probably hold on after <18...Nc7!> (in addition to 19.Bc4 b5! that I mentioned in a previous post):

19.Nxg6 hxg6! (19...Rxg6? 20.Bd3! Rxd5 21.Rxg6+ hxg6 22.Bc4) 20.Qg5 (now 20.Bd3 Rxd5 21.Bc4 doesn't work because of 21...Re6+! getting out of the pin with check) 20...Rxd5! 21.Rxg6+ Kf7! (21...Rxg6? 22.Qxg6+ Kf8 23.Bc4 and again Black has to lose the exchange) and White has nothing better than 22.Bc4 Rxg6 23.Bxd5+ Nxd5 24.Qxd5+ Kg7 with what seems to be complete equality. (courtesy of Shipov - http://online.crestbook.com/vasa/20...; he gives that in a slightly different move order, in the notes to 17...Rf6)

Nov-09-09  Plato: Thanks for the analysis, <Eyal>. It seems you're right, Black is holding after 18...Nc7!

For a while it seemed like Svidler was the only top-level Grunfeld player remaining (perhaps because GMs like Kramnik are so good against it), so it's nice to see Anand and Aronian use it in this tournament as well.

Nov-09-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Hi <Plato>, nice to see you around here again... Yeah, looks like the Grunfeld is back big time - though those two losses by Svidler may not be the best publicity for it! Must have been a brutal experience for him to play two Black games in a row, first against Anand and then against Kramnik, when both seem to be in very good form.
Nov-09-09  samikd: <Eyal> Yeah, rather than blaming it on the Grunfeld, I would blame it on having to play 2 consecutive black games against Anand and Kramnik.
Nov-09-09  Plato: <samikd> Right on. The Grunfeld used to be one of the most respected openings but when some top GMs like Karpov, Kramnik and Bareev started winning game after game against it (usually with the exchange variation, as in this game), it started to fade away from top level chess. But I hope it continues to make a return -- nobody has come close to refuting it, it's just that he players with White seem to be higher rated than the players with Black recently!
Nov-09-09  KamikazeAttack: The middle game is what's letting Svidler down. The quality of his moves begin to deteriorate when he plays stronger players.
Nov-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: << samikd: <Richard Taylor> <Also Kramnik wasn't very well then I believe.>

Thats simply pathetic. There was no news of Kramnik not being well during the Anand match. He was ill a few years before that, prior to his spectacular comeback. Then he himself said his was fine.

<Kramnik was out of form>

Another piece of misinformation. Kramnik was in excellent form, winning the super-strong Tal memorial before the match. Anand was the one in poor form, with his embarrassingly bad performance in Bilbao just a few days before the match (he came in LAST).

<In contrast Topalov played some great games>

Which ones ? >>

Topalov should have won games 1 and 2 I think it was, and in one other he won when he played brilliantly with two knights. That match was short also (the matches should be at least 24 games) - and it was too short, also Topalov's objections to Kramnik were stupid I agree - but he played some great chess and does all the time -so did /does Kramnik - that is my point,

You can choose to be hurtful and sarcastic, and favour Carlsen over Kramnik as is fashionable etc, if you want - you are clearly superior and brainier to me with your PhDs in Astrophsyics and Advanced Abstract Maths so on so I wont reply further. You are obviously a genius.

But it is illegal to make funny of challenged people.

I suppose you are one of these who doesn't believe that Alekhine was a Jew?

Nov-10-09  Hesam7: <Eyal> thanks for the full transcript. It seems to me that the critical junctures of this game can be summed up as follows:

12. ... f5?!
13. ... Bxf5?!
15. hxg6? =
18. ... Qa4?

Nov-11-09  samikd: <Richard Taylor> <you are clearly superior and brainier to me with your PhDs in Astrophsyics and Advanced Abstract Maths>

I am not. I have never claimed that, have I ? I dont believe these things make somebody superior or inferior. Thats not my philosophy.

<You can choose to be hurtful and sarcastic>

Sarcastic, yes. Thats just my style. Hurtful, no ! I apologize if thats the impression you got. I thought (and still think) that you made some misinformed comments and I pointed those out. I made mistakes, too - which <Eyal> pointed out and I totally accepted.

As for your idea of 24-game matches, I think most people would consider that to be impractical in today's age. The top players certainly do. I don't see the point either.

<I suppose you are one of these who doesn't believe that Alekhine was a Jew?>

?? where's that coming from ?

Nov-13-09  godfire: I respect--and play--the Grunfeld Defense, but moves seven, eight, and nine by Kramnik are the best defense. He anticipated the strike against the black queenside squares and did not waste time protecting them.
Nov-14-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: I think whether the match or the tournament is the better way for determining the world's best player depends on the characteristics of the era. Currently, there are no players who really stand out from the rest of the top GMS; anyone thinking they're the best player in the world has several rivals whom they need to distinguish themselves from, so that would be a lot of matches, and maybe super-tournaments are what we should be looking at. A couple of decades ago, the two super-Ks stood over the rest of the chess world like twin colossuses, and the world championship matches between the two were the logical way of deciding who was better.

And then there are some points at which it's just blatantly obvious.

Nov-14-09  laskersteinitz: Kramnik said in an interview with ICC that this was his best game of the tournament. Not necessarily the most entertaining, but the "cleanest", in his opinion.
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