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Hikaru Nakamura vs Vladimir Kramnik
"Olympic Mettle" (game of the day Sep-08-2012)
Chess Olympiad (2012), Istanbul TUR, rd 9, Sep-06
King's Indian Attack: Symmetrical Defense (A05)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-12-12  Jacob Arnold: <Thankfully, some of you folks are OCD and can leave no question unanswered.> ROFL
But to answer the question, I'm sure of it. If the tempo you gain from this under promotion gives you a winning position, then why not do it?
Sep-13-12  sushijunkie: <<Jacob Arnold>:But to answer the question, I'm sure of it. If the tempo you gain from this under promotion gives you a winning position, then why not do it?>

Thanks for answering, but I didn't say "winning position"; we've all seen these either in games or puzzles. Naka underpromoted here to a Knight for the sole reason that it gave check where no other piece could, therefore keeping tempo and maintaining the attack. I guess I'm just not used to seeing an underpromotion to a Knight when the King has no shield. Sorry if I wasn't clearer.

C'mon, kibs, surely someone knows...

I have never seen this before. I was just wondering if anyone has.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: To answer my own question, yes you can play out bishop and knight against lone king against Crafty: The site also has an instructional video on how to win that ending, and lets you play out many other endings against Crafty (for example, K+Q v. K+R). Great stuff!

btw, it turns out I have mad skillz with B+N. I mated in 31 from the bad starting position it gives you. (In the worst-case scenario - well, apart from the positions where the defender has an immediate draw - B+N+K v. K can take 33 moves to win. )

Sep-14-12  Naniwazu: Amazing.. an underpromotion by Nakamura! Never seen one of those in an actual grandmaster game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: Karpov vs Timman, 1986 was another example we looked at a few months back, but they are very rare.
Sep-14-12  micartouse: This game is awesome, I hope it bubbles up higher on his top 10 games list; right now his number 1 is a game against Krasenkow.

The endgame makes me think of all those games he played against Rybka, tormenting it with minor pieces. That skill actually came in handy here - he was in his element.

Sep-14-12  sushijunkie: <<pawn to QB4>: Karpov vs Timman, 1986 was another example we looked at a few months back, but they are very rare.>

That answers my question. I like Naka's game better, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised this has been done before (a naked or nearly naked King being checked by an underpromoted Knight to preserve tempo).

Sep-16-12  Eduardo Bermudez: Kramnik lost his unbeaten record of 64 games in Olympics, Congrats for Naka !!
Sep-16-12  Olavi: Szabo vs Ivkov, 1964
Sep-16-12  Eduardo Bermudez: Most longer series of chess games unbeaten at Chess Olympiads

1) Tigran Petrosian: 94
2) Boris Spassky: 86
3) Vasily Ivanchuk: 84
4) Paul Keres: 76
5) Vladimir Kramnik: 64
6) Mikhail Tal: 62
7) Borislav Ivkov: 51
8) Julio Bolbochán: 50
9) Svetosar Gligoric: 46
10) Aleksandar Matanovic: 46

Sep-17-12  Abulherar: 62.c8=N is AWESOME!!!
Sep-17-12  eric the Baptist: what a game! must be one the most complicated, high-level games of the year.
Sep-17-12  RookFile: Great game.
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Instead of Kramnik's 78th move - 78...Kh2, 78...Ba7, 79. Ng5+! Kh2, 80. Bg4! Bb6, 81. Ne4 Bd8, 82. Nd4 Bb6, 83. Nf3+ Kh1 - See diagram below:

click for larger view

Now Black has defense against 84. Nf2# or Ng3# but White finds a winning move - 84. Bh3! (Black has no defense against 85. Bg2#)


Premium Chessgames Member
  samsloan: Why did Kramnik sacrifice the exchange with 27. ... Rxc5 ? The game seems dead drawn without that but Kramnik has a high percentage of draws.
Nov-01-13  avidfan:

click for larger view

From the final position, a possible ending might be: 80...Bc7 or Bd8 81.Nxf3+

(80...f2 81.Nf3+ Kh1 82.Ng3#)
(80...Kh1 81.Nxf3 and now Black loses no matter what he does ---- 81...Bf2 82.Nxf2#

81...Bc7 82.Nf2#)

All White's pieces are on white squares.

click for larger view

81... Kh1 82.Nf2#
The White bishop is now redundant in the final mating position, having prevented the Black king from escaping through h3..

Dec-31-13  Jambow: Forgot how great this game was, a creative masterpiece.
Jan-08-14  MarkFinan: What a game! It's just brilliant! I really didn't see that knight promotion coming, in fact I just lost track and had to stop the game more times than I've ever stopped any other game here. I like Nakamuras chess because he always seems to play for the win, or at least with white anyway.
May-12-15  ToTheDeath: Colossal struggle between two heavyweights. The initiative kept changing hands and the result seemed in doubt until Nakamura underpromoted to a knight with CHECK. Outstanding effort.
Jul-19-15  SpiritedReposte: Any under-promotion collection would be incomplete without this gem.
Sep-09-16  SirRuthless: Just as fresh as the day it was played.
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

30...Qxc3 31.Rad1
= / + (-0.44) Depth: 25


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Analysis by Houdini 4

31...Bg7 32.Ng4
⩱ (-0.42) Depth: 25


click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

32...h5 33.Rc1 Qd4 34.Nf6+ Bxf6 35.exf6
= (-0.16) Depth: 26


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Analysis by Houdini 4

35...Nc4 36.Qf3 Rd6 37.Red1 Qb6 38.Rb1 Qc5 39.Qc3 Rb6 40.Qc1 b4 41.Qh6 Qf8 42.Qf4 Bb5 43.Qc7 a5 44.Rbc1 Rc6 45.Qe7 Rc8 = (-0.22) Depth: 23/55 00:00:49 28939kN
35...Nc4 36.Qf3
= (-0.15 --) Depth: 24

35...Qxf6 36.Rc7 Nc4 37.Rxa7 Bc8 38.Rd1 Kg7 39.Qe1 Nb2 40.Rd2 Rd7 41.Rxd7 Bxd7 42.Qa1 Nc4 43.Qxf6+ Kxf6 44.Rd1 Ke5 45.f4+ Kd6 46.Kf2 b4 47.Bf1 Ba4 48.Rc1 Kc5 49.Be2 Be8 = (-0.21) Depth: 26

Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

23...Nc4 24.Bc1
= / + (-0.47 --) Depth: 10

23...Bg7 24.Bb4 Nc4 25.Nd2 Nb2 26.Qf3 Nd3 27.Re3 Nxb4 28.cxb4 Qe7 = / + (-0.48) Depth: 10

23...Qc6 24.Bc1 Bxc1 25.Qxc1 Rd7 26.Re3 Qa4 27.Nd2 Rdc7 28.Qb2 Nc4 29.Nxc4 Bxc4 30.Rf3 Kg7 = / + (-0.35) Depth: 12

23...Qd7 24.Bc1 Bf8 25.Re3 Rc6 26.Rf3 Rdc8 27.Bg5 b5 28.a3 Nc4 29.Qc1 Qc7 30.Bf1 Bb7 31.Nd2 h6 32.Bf6 Nxd2 33.Qxd2 Rxc3 34.Rxc3 Qxc3 35.Qxc3 Rxc3 36.Bxb5 Rxa3 37.Rxa3 Bxa3 = / + (-0.38) Depth: 21

23...Rd7 24.Bc1 Bf8 25.a4 Qd8 26.h4 Rdc7 27.Bg5 Qd7 28.Re3 h6 29.Bf6 h5 30.Bg5 Bb4 31.Bf6 Rc6 32.Rf3 Be7 33.Bxe7 Qxe7 34.Rf6 Nc4 35.Ra2 Bb7 36.Rc2 Qc7 37.Bf1 Qd7 = / + (-0.41) Depth: 25

Feb-14-18  tonsillolith: Kramnik has somewhat of a reputation for successfulling passed pawns to fruition, but he did not manage it in this case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Omnipotent00001: 70. Be4 mates in 27
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