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Fabiano Caruana vs Vladimir Kramnik
Dortmund Sparkassen (2012), Dortmund GER, rd 8, Jul-21
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-21-12  Checkpat2: What happens after Nf5? B might want to exchange on g3, and even a B up W is two pawns les...
Jul-21-12  talisman: thank you chessgames....good ballgame.
Jul-21-12  BUNA: <There were several mistakes by black but until 38...Nxe6? 39 Bd3+ he still had a chance. 38...Kg6, then Nxe6 is playable as he has Kf7.>

I would rather ask what happened before.

Take for instance this position:


click for larger view

Why didn't Kramnik just defend with h6 against Ng5? Or with a6 against b5? Instead he went Kh8.

I would guess Kramnik tried to lure Caruana into a position, which he thought was better for black. But it wasn't.
(Patzer's explanation.)

Jul-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Yes, 18...Kh8 looks rather mysterious - perhaps there's some specific tactical motivation(s) for it; to repeat a line I've mentioned in the kibitzing during the game, perhaps he was trying to trap Caruana into 19.Ng5 Rf5 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Qc2 Qh4 22.g3 Qh6 23.Qxe4 Raf8 24.Bc1 Qg6 25.Bf4 Rxf4! 26.Qxg6 Rxf2! (with the king on g8 this wouldn't work because of 27.Qe6+)?!
Jul-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: What an exciting middlegame, fantastic.
Jul-21-12  BUNA: <Eyal>
But he must have seen 19.b5 Ne7.
And he answered 20. Ng5 quite quickly with Ng6.
And so I'd rather stay by my (patzer) suggestion, that Kramnik during his long think before 17. ... fxe5 had already decided what to do (shift the knight to the king side). And was proven wrong.
Jul-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <BUNA [...] Kramnik during his long think before 17. ... fxe5 had already decided what to do (shift the knight to the king side)>

But then you might ask why he didn't play 18...Ne7 immediately; perhaps the answer is in the following line: 19.Ng5 Ng6 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Qc2 Nf4 22.Qxe4 Qd2 attacking both bishops - now, with the king on g8 White can play 23.Bc4+ and then take care of the other bishop, but with the king on h8 it's winning for Black.

Jul-21-12  mrbasso: How often has Kramnik lost with the Berlin? I remember one game against Kasparov.
Jul-21-12  kia0708: I hope somebody will make a video w. analisis of this interesting game ! Congratulation Caruana !
Jul-21-12  Open Defence: ok guess i can expect d3 in all my Berlin games now...
Jul-21-12  fisayo123: <open defense> Even this d3 is supposedly harmless for black. But of course there are still pieces to work with unlike the queens swap line.
Jul-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  messachess: Black's last move blunder had to indicate severe time pressure. It sure is part of the game. Tense, exciting game. Congratulations Caruana,
Jul-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <How often has Kramnik lost with the Berlin? I remember one game against Kasparov.>

If we limit ourselves to classical games, he lost two in the Berlin <endgame> (to Kasparov in Astana 2001 and to Karjakin in the Russian Championship last year), but he lost three more games - besides the present one - in other variations of 3...Nf6, including one to McShane in the very recent Tal Memorial (the others are to Shirov in 1998 and to Sutovsky in 2005). Including all time controls, there are 15 Berlin losses overall according to this database: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Jul-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Kramnik losing to Caruana, two straight.

Looks like the old vanguard is being pushed aside.

Jul-21-12  Shams: Caruana hasn't even been in his best form lately, and then he uncorks this. What a superb looking game.
Jul-21-12  Shams: <ok guess i can expect d3 in all my Berlin games now...>

Well, that was a short retirement, Deffi.

Jul-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: In Caruana's comments on the game (http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting...) he thinks 18...Kh8 is indeed a mistake - he was expecting 18...h6, to prevent Ng5. He gives a nice winning line in case of 26...Bc5 (instead of Re8): 27.Bxc5 Rxc5 28.Rac1 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 c6 [29...Nd5 30.Rc5] 30.Rd1 Nd5 31.bxc6 bxc6 32.Rxd5! cxd5 33.Bb5 [and the e-pawn advances].

He also points to 27...h5 as a mistake and suggests instead 27...Bc5 28.Bxc5 [Houdini prefers Bb2] Rxc5 29.Rc1 Rxc1 30.Rxc1 c6, saying a couple of moves later - after 29.Rf7 - that he has a technically won position. (Interestingly, Houdini's top recommendation for Black on move 27 is to give up the exchange for White's dangerous pawn [and block the d-file]: 27...Nd5 28.g4 Re5 29.Bb2 R8xe6 30.Bxe5 Rxe5.)

36.Re1! is mentioned as clearly winning, whereas 36.Kxf2 gives Black chances to fight for the draw with 38...Kg6! [instead of Nxe6?, allowing Bd3+] 39.Bxc5 Bxc5 40.Rxa7.

Jul-21-12  Jaburu: So much 16...Qe7 as 16...a5 are the best moves in the position. With 16...Qe7 at once prepares the rupture...f6 with much more force. And with 16...a5, when preventing white b4, also raisin to threaten the rupture f6 without leaving white they win so much space in queen's side with b4. In the way as it was played, the pawn passed white e5 more the great advantage in space of the white ones provided excellent coordination of pieces to advance your pawn passed. This seems it was me the decisive factor of the white victory.
Jul-21-12  KingV93: Great game for the young kid! Beating Kramnik in his pet defense!
Jul-22-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Isbjorn: *** Has Kramnik lost a little bit of his precision? I think he may have been the player who most consistently found the moves evaluated as best by Stockfish/Houdini at depth 18-20, with Carlsen not far behind.> [from page 12 of this thread: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Those sorts of analyses always need to be taken with a grain of salt. Even assuming the computer evaluations to be infallible to the second decimal place, a player striving for a full point will not always seek to play the “most accurate” move, but often rather the move that presents the greatest practical challenges for his opponent.

This is not to dismiss entirely the value of such analyses. Kramnik’s move selections in this game certainly do reflect something below his usual standard in terms of accuracy. Of course, zeitnot (which was mutual for the last few moves to completion of the first time control) certainly played its part in producing those inaccuracies.

Jul-22-12  BUNA: <Eyal> Thank you for your contributions and the interesting discussion.
Sep-13-12  Hesam7: <<Atarov> In your view is Caruana a kind of computer in the flesh?

<Karjakin> I think the computer has a very strong influence on his play, but it influences it in a good sense. Caruana very often plays according to the first line, and in a game he can do that for 10-15 moves in a row. That’s very unpleasant for opponents.

<Atarov> What emotions do you experience when you look at games like Caruana – Kramnik in Dortmund, when the Italian began to produce his “computer series” out of nothing, and his opponent simply couldn’t withstand that accuracy?

<Karjakin> Yes, that game made a strange impression. White didn’t get anything out of the opening, after which Caruana simply tried to maintain the tension, Kramnik made a couple of mistakes and that ultimately led to the Italian’s victory. In actual fact the ability to maintain the tension in a complex position is a sign of great mastery. If he can do something like that against Kramnik then it means playing Caruana won’t be so straightforward.>

The full interview: http://whychess.com/en/node/2916

Sep-16-13  Chessman1504: A game showing Caruana's endgame prowess.
Nov-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Robin01: I wonder if the move 8...a6 is any good for black?
Oct-10-15  PJs Studio: 21.g3! Nice! King safety before he melts blacks weak squared side of the board. This kid is the real deal.
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