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Viswanathan Anand vs Vladimir Kramnik
Tata Steel Group A (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-16
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation (E32)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Shipov: <17. Bc4 Itís hard for our brother to compete with the metal monsters. Vishy desperately wants, finally, to complete his development Ė which, it seems, gives Black a dangerous initiative.

[A mathematically precise route to a draw was: 17.Rd1 Rc8 18.Qd3! [instead of Qb1 in Bauer's line] Nc5 (18...Ne4 19.Nd4!) 19.Qb1 Be4 20.Qa2 Bd5 21.Qb1 - and repetition.]>

Jan-16-11  Marmot PFL: Black has the simple 18...Nxd5 19 Qxc1 Rc8 or the more complicated 18...Rc8 19 Bc6 Na2. I would probably play the simple line as its at worst equal but black has time to spare.
Jan-16-11  Hesam7: Now Kramnik could get to the "harmless diagram" with an added extra move after: 18. ... Nxd5 19. Qxc1 Rc8 20. Qd1 Qc5 21. O-O:

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Jan-16-11  Hesam7: 18. ... Nxd5 played, the boa does not allow any counterplay for White.
Jan-16-11  Marmot PFL: Capablanca used to win games like this using just the open file, but usually against weak opposition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Obviously, black is slightly better here, but it can't be enough for a win IMO. Trying to exploit the domination of the c-line will require a long thought strateg and very accurate moves - which may not be successful after all, since only Pb2 would be an attack-point. I think this will end a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: h3 is what I would play from this position.
Jan-16-11  Hesam7: Draw agreed! I am kind of underwhelmed ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Time for Carlsen?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: There's not much to play anyways.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Well, another good prep display by Kramnik.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: So the game ends in a whimper.
Jan-16-11  zarg: Shirov-Carlsen look interesting
Jan-16-11  theagenbiteofinwit: This I think should be intimidating for those who are going to play in the candidates matches. Kramnik equalizes against the champ without spending much time on his clock.

This is obviously not his best prep, unless perhaps this line was meant for a match against Carlsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Switch on your computers, brothers, engage your brains, come up with new ideas for White! You canít allow Black to escape so easily!> (Shipov)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: [<After 22.Qxc2 Rxc2 23.Rb1 next 24.Nd4 [24...Rd2 25.Nf3] the black Rook won't manage to stay on the 2nd rank, meaning that after the white King will have come to the centre.> (Bauer)]
Jan-16-11  suplexer: this is obviously not the champs best prep either. I highly doubt anand best openings involve 23 move draws with white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <This is obviously not his best prep, unless perhaps this line was meant for a match against Carlsen.>

Well, it was obviously pretty good as he got a very good position with Black very quickly.

He clearly wasn't saving it for the future either.

I think the top GMs have done enough original analysis that they don't have to worry about giving away all their secrets in a tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I knew the game would be a draw. But, I wanted to hope otherwise.
Jan-16-11  polarmis: <HeMateMe: I knew the game would be a draw. But, I wanted to hope otherwise.> I guess that was the attitude of the majority who voted for this game for Shipov's commentary - but then it wasn't an easy day to pick a non-drawn game!

I've tidied up Sergey Shipov's commentary here:

You can also play through today's and yesterday's games in a viewer (where you play through all the analysis) here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: This Nimzo-Indian line seems to be one of Kramnik's strongest openings as Black. Including this game, he has a score of 2 wins and 4 draws with it since 2009; in almost every one of these games he introduced some dangerous (or at least equalizing) novelty, and his opponents just don't seem to get anything out of the opening:

Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2009
Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2009
Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2009
Morozevich vs Kramnik, 2009
Wang Hao vs Kramnik, 2010

Jan-17-11  anandrulez: Kramnik played the opening very quickly and even accepted Anand's sacrifice . That was an amazing preperation from Volodya . However the novelty was probably only good enough for a draw and Kramnik is not somebody who wants more as black .
Jan-17-11  mastermind7994: 14...Nxc5 is just fantastic
Jan-17-11  Ulhumbrus: If after 12 Bf4 Black will be able respond to Bd6 by offering the exchange on f8, an alternative is 12 Bh4 maintaining the pin.
Aug-29-11  RandomVisitor: 12.Bh4 bxc5 13.Nd2 Nbd7 14.e4 and I like white
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