Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

register now - it's free!
Vladimir Kramnik vs Levon Aronian
Chess Olympiad (2012)  ·  Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 9 times; par: 68 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 63 more Kramnik/Aronian games
sac: 23.Nxb7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: To flip the board (so black is on the bottom) either press F or click on the e7 square.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with the default chess viewer, please see the Pgn4web Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  paavoh: @Bobby Fiske: <Is this sac thematic?> A similar "piece for pawns and initiative" sac was played a few years back in Nyback-Carlsen (1-0).
Sep-04-12  messachess: Yes, this is impressive. I wonder if GMs like this work this kind of thing out as themes to spring when the opportunity (and an opponent you really want to crush!) arises.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: With 18...f6, Aronian was apparently being extra-careful in preparing Bd6 - preventing Ne5 after the exchange of bishops. But it turns out to create a fatal weakness along the 7th rank which allows Kramnik's combination to work - for example, 26...Rb7 would lose to 27.Rxc6! Rxb6 28.Rxc8+ Kf7/g7 29.Rc7 winning back the queen and remaining two pawns up (whereas with the pawn on f7, Black would be ok after 28...Kg7).
Sep-04-12  ashalpha: It's amazing really that the imminently logical 21...Rc7? is a losing move. The rest flows logically from this idea but what a conception in the first place!
Sep-04-12  hedgeh0g: 23.Nxb7!!, while seemingly obvious, was actually a very deep sacrifice. No doubt Aronian saw the sac, but figured it was unsound. My guess is he underestimated the threat posed by White's queenside majority.
Sep-04-12  Everett: Here's a similar opening and theme of breakthrough on the Q-side. It's worth a look.

Seirawan vs Christiansen, 1987

Sep-04-12  Everett: <paavoh: @Bobby Fiske: <Is this sac thematic?> A similar "piece for pawns and initiative" sac was played a few years back in Nyback-Carlsen (1-0).>

You are kidding us, right? Why not go back somewhere near the beginning of such sacs? Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951 Note 27.Bxb6. And this is not nearly the first time this cropped up...

And Kramnik is a master of the Q-side piece sac for mobile pawns. Just search Catalan and Kramnik. You'll find the famous one Kramnik vs Leko.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Fontaine: When you sacrificed a piece, did you already understand that the position is winning?

Kramnik: <Well I thought so, but from another point of view, when you play against such a strong player, you always have doubts maybe he has some ace up his sleeve. When I sacrificed I already saw the situation with Qb6, and all this line with Rb7, Rc6, Rb8, Qb8. I did not really consider Qa8. I thought that after Qa8 I can even play only Kh1 and then B5. But then I calculated b5, the line that I played in the game was not difficult, it was quite simple. I had a feeling that after Ka5 Black’s position is already difficult. I think Rc7 is a mistake. He should have done something else, but Black’s position is already uncomfortable, especially with a pawn on f6. If a pawn would be on f7, something could be done maybe. But f6 pawn is not a fun at all. Then everything worked out tactically.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  OneArmedScissor: Classic Kramnik style: taking seemingly innocuous positions and winning them with a passed pawn.
Sep-04-12  Ulhumbrus: After 22 Nxb7 in return for the knight Kramnik gets two connected passed a and b pawns and in the present case the passed b pawn turns out to be strong enough to win.
Sep-04-12  solskytz: Didn't 26...Rb7 offer better chances? The idea is to untangle by going 27... Ne7 after the Q moves
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <solskytz> As I mentioned in a previous post, 26...Rb7 loses to 27.Rxc6! Rxb6 28.Rxc8+ Kf7/g7 29.R(either one)c7 winning back the queen and remaining two pawns up. The queen doesn't have to retreat after 26...Rb8 either - this loses to 27.Qxb8+! Nxb8 28.Rxc7, with the white rooks creating havoc in the black camp.
Sep-04-12  sicilianhugefun: It seems that Volodya is trying to make a statement... He can settle for a draw against anyone effortlesly and smash even the strongest in majestic style.
Sep-04-12  solskytz: <Eyal> thx!
Sep-04-12  rapidcitychess: Ala Capablanca, he makes Aronian look like a child. Simplistic ideals that were underestimated, and destruction is the end result.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <rapidcitychess: Ala Capablanca>

I thought this game has the same theme as Capablanca vs Lilienthal, 1936

Best game of the Olympiad so far.

<Karpova: Fontaine: When I sacrificed I already saw the situation with Qb6>

That's downright astonishing! 26. Qb6 is the type of quiet move that is incredibly hard to find because most players do not even consider it in their list of candidate moves in their calculations. (Apparently, even Houdini did not consider it as well.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  paavoh: @Everett <You are kidding us, right?> Of course not. I did not mean to imply that Nyback-Carlsen was the only prior example. You are right to point out that such or similar sacs can be found earlier. I was just making a note of a recent, rather notable game that I recalled.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <(Apparently, even Houdini did not consider it (26.Qb6) as well.)>

An engine automatically considers all the legal moves in a position... and with enough ply-depth Houdini certainly comes to evaluate Qb6 as the best move. But in the position after 21...Rc7 it does take quite a bit of ply-depth (about 20-21 on my engine) to appreciate how strong is 22.Na5, followed some moves later by Qb6 – more than the ply-depth that was provided by the live "computer-kibitzing" on the official site; which is why it wasn’t showing 22.Na5 as top recommendation before Kramnik played the move and people started saying that "the computer didn’t see it". At any rate, the ply-depth needed for the engine to appreciate the strength of 22.Na5 and then 26.Qb6 does indicate the depth of calculation required to make sure this combination works.

Sep-05-12  rapidcitychess: <visayanbraindocter>

Funny, I haven't even seen that game. I will make an effort to store it in my memory banks.

Also, I will just say: Having some one who makes as intelligent posts as <visayan> agree with me makes me feel accomplished. ^^

Sep-05-12  Ulhumbrus: 26 Qb6!! pins the knight on c6 by attacking indirectly for a third time the rook on c7
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <rapidcitychess> De nada. I read your comments myself whenever I come across them. (",)
Sep-06-12  jefballard: Future GOTD
Sep-10-12  lemaire90: Crazy game by Kramnik !! Every move is perfect. No doubt Russia was disappointing with the silver.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Let Kramnik to create a passed Pawn and you can just resign. This game reminds me Kramnik vs Aronian, 2006, Kramnik vs Aronian, 2007 or Kramnik vs Aronian, 2010
Sep-11-12  SChesshevsky: It looks like 7...g6 might not be best in the exch Slav.

The loss of the ...g6 and Bg7 tempo's might have helped White double those rooks on the c-file and the Black B on g7 doesn't look that well placed anyway.

And further tempo's with ...f6 and ...Bf8...Bd6 strangely looked to allow White's Nf3 to travel a long way without any real counterplay.

< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. Don't post personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Chess Olympiad, Istanbul 2012 Rd.6
from Chess Olympiad 2012/ Wijk aan Zee 2013, Others by partien
from Vladimir Kramnik - Immortal masterpieces by Karpova
Passed pawns for the win!
from Kramnik games by Mudphudder
A la Capablanca
from Kramnik games that I like by rapidcitychess
from positionalgenius' favorite games by positionalgenius
A knight for a passed pawn
from DrChopper's study games 3 by DrChopper
Olympiad 2012 Best Games
from nikkiurbz's favorite games by nikkiurbz
Finest Played Chess Game in the 2012 Olympiad
from Kramnik on a King Hunt & vs the World Champions by visayanbraindoctor
round 6, Russia-Armenia 2-2
from best games of istanbul olympiad 2012 by achk
from Kramnik - My Life and Games by jakaiden
woodenbishop's favorite games #6
by woodenbishop
Olympiad: early ...a6, Nxb7 sac
from Slav Exch by Xmas elf
by chessgeek38
best of 2012
by Chnebelgrind
Game collection: exw
by parmetd
Some interesting games by Kramnik
by fgh
Positional Piece Sacrifice
from Instructive Middlegames by Rio Mike
Capacorn's favorite games
by Capacorn
4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Bf4 Nc6 6.e3
from D10 Slav Defense by Olanovich
Game collection: d4
by cgrob
plus 2 more collections (not shown)

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2015, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies