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Boris Gelfand vs Vladimir Kramnik
World Championship Candidates (2013), London ENG, rd 7, Mar-23
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Gligoric System Exchange at c4 (E54)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-23-13  Rook e2: So according to the computer analyses 18..Ne1 is a huge mistake that couldve been punished by 19. Nfg5-h6 20. Qh5-hxg5 21. Nxg5-Nf6 22. Qxf7 Qh8 23. Nxe6-Qg8 24. Qxb7-Rb8 etc. Both players missed it though
Mar-23-13  howlwolf: Rook e2, It is the etc. that is perplexing me; best after Rb8, at least according to my cursory analysis, is Qxa6 and then black snaps up the knight on e6. While white does have four pawns for the piece none of them are pushed very far and it is a long way to an endgame.
Mar-23-13  ketchuplover: I think Kramnik had a win after 36...f5
Mar-23-13  mickthemater: What about 19 Nfg4? Looks strong to me with the Queen coming to h5.
Mar-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <So according to the computer analyses 18..Ne1[8] is a huge mistake that couldve been punished by 19. Nfg5-h6 20. Qh5-hxg5 21. Nxg5-Nf6 22. Qxf7 Qh8 23. Nxe6-Qg8 24. Qxb7-Rb8 etc. Both players missed it though>

<howlwolf: Rook e2, It is the etc. that is perplexing me; best after Rb8, at least according to my cursory analysis, is Qxa6 and then black snaps up the knight on e6.>

The best continuation for White in this line after 24...Rb8 is apparently 25.Qxg7+ Qxg7 26.Nxg7 Kxg7 27.Rc6 followed by 28.Bxa6, and now White really has too many pawns for Black to deal with.

Btw, after 19.Nfg5 g6 White wins by 20.Nxf7! Kxf7 21.Ng5+ Kf6 22.Qxe6+ Kxg5 23.Qh3! h5 (23...Nf6 24.Qh4#) 24.Qe6! Nf6 25.h4+ Kh6 26.Qxf6.

Mar-23-13  csmath: I don't think anybody had a win at any point here. Watching game I had impression after the queen exchange that Kramnik is better but the pawn ending is really drawn because both kings are active at exaclty right time.

Nfg5 as suggested does not lead to any forced win but to ending with one piece and four pawns against two pieces which is most likely drawn as well.

I think Kramnik played opening excellent and Gelfand is simply good enough by coincidence despite doubled pawns. The game is okay.

Mar-23-13  Just Another Master: He was Blown-Up after NeF5 or even Nf-G5, sad the second best players to Anand missed those beautiful crushing lines, like he said in the postmortem "when in doubt ---RESTREEEEEEEEEAT!"
Mar-23-13  Just Another Master: 19 NeG5 (other night is winning too), 20. h6 Bg6 and the game is over. All blacks pieces on the S side are useless, ne8 was a losing blunder and Gandolf stares at it for 20 minutes and plays the 9th best move on the board, lmao. And Vlad is still complaing about bad Luck somewhere.
Mar-23-13  fgh: <Gandolf>

Not just "Gelfand" and "Gandalf", but now even "Gandolf". :-)

Mar-23-13  csmath: 19. Nfg5 ... h6
20. Qh5 ... hxg5
21. Nxg5 ... Nf6
22. Qxf7 ... Kh8
23. Nxe6 ... Qg8
24. Qxb7 ... Rb8
25. Qxg7 ... Qxg7
26. Nxg7 ... Kxg7

nice but this is a draw, most likely, in my view. It was worth trying, I don't know whether Gelfand considered or not. I know I would not if I could see that far. I just do not like to play with a piece down, but that is my taste.

There was little risk though, perhaps Gelfand would have tried.

Mar-23-13  csmath: On the other hand, it was probably worth trying. Perhaps it is a win. :-)
Mar-23-13  csmath: The main problem with that sequence is that it requires seeing the whole board in about 10 moves. Only engine has that kind of "vision" and these guys are not engines. The forced win with attack on king is not there (it is not "visible") so to expect somebody to play that is a gamble. Gelfand is not a gambler.
Mar-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Another winning attempt by White (also not easy to fully work out without a computer) is with the other knight - 19.Neg5 h6 (19...Nf6 20.Ne5) 20.Bg6! and now there's either 20...Bxf3 21.Bxf7+ Kf8 22.Qxf3 hxg5 23.Bxe6+ Nf6 24.Rc8+ Qxc8 25.Bxc8 Rxc8 26.Qb7 picking up the a6 pawn as well, or 20...fxg6 21.Qxe6+ Kh8 22.Nf7+ Kh7 23.Nh4 Nf6 24.Nxd6.
Mar-23-13  RookFile: 18...Ne8 is probably the last move I would have thought of. What is better - 18....Nxe4?
Mar-23-13  csmath: 18. ... Be7
keeping control of diagonal.
With a plan of Qd8 and Rc8 which would give black full equality. Black had no problems at all.

I guess the value of that 18. ... Ne8 move is that it surprised Gelfand as he undoubtedly had to figure out what was the point of the move. :-)

Mar-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: < 19. Nfg5 ... h6
20. Qh5 ... hxg5
21. Nxg5 ... Nf6
22. Qxf7 ... Kh8
23. Nxe6 ... Qg8
24. Qxb7 ... Rb8
25. Qxg7 ... Qxg7
26. Nxg7 ... Kxg7 >

26 Nxg7 Kxg7 27 Bxa6 Ra8 28 Bc4 and with 5 pawns for a knight I would expect white to win this more often than not. It isn't likely to effect the tournament outcome anyway.

Mar-23-13  csmath: Black will get one pawn (c2) back fast. Indeed, you might be right, perhaps it is a win. Again, the assessment is hard to get over the board since the play involves 8-10 moves in advance and the whole board plays. I don't think Gelfand could see that much, it is real hard.

If he was calculating he was probably only looking at forced development around the king and that is not decisive, one has to evaluate the whole darn ending.

Mar-23-13  csmath: Neither of them calculated 19. Nfg5.
On press conference they showed Nfg5 ... h6, Qh5 to Kramnik and he got immediately frozen uttering "my goodness" or something like that. Gelfand had no interest at all to look at that.

Thus I guess today Kramnik got a bit lucky. :-)

Mar-24-13  RookFile: I have no doubt that Mikhail Tal would have come up with 19. Nfg5.
Mar-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Gelfand spent quite a lot of time on the other dangerous knight move which I've mentioned, 19.Neg5, and he told Trent that he was looking at 19...h6 20.Nxe6 and liked 20...Bxf3 21.Qxf3 fxe6 22.Qe4 Nf6 23.Qxe6+ Kh8 24.Rc6 Bf8 25.Qf5 (threatening 26.Rxf6) Qa7 26.g4, but got stuck after 20...Bd5. And he completely missed 20.Bg6.
Mar-24-13  madlydeeply: <Just Another Master: 19 NeG5 (other night is winning too), 20. h6 Bg6 and the game is over. All blacks pieces on the S side are useless, ne8 was a losing blunder and Gandolf stares at it for 20 minutes and plays the 9th best move on the board, lmao. And Vlad is still complaing about bad Luck somewhere.>

Funny stuff. I like this guy

Mar-24-13  OrigamiArtist: Candidates moves after 18...Ne8 are:
1. 19.Neg5
2. 19.Nfg5
3. Other moves

The lines after 19.Neg5 h6 20.Bg6! are extremely messy; for a start the move itself and consquences of 20.Bg6 are not at all obvious. Therefore white might reject this and go on to 19.Nfg5. Here it seems quickly obvious that black is in serious trouble because of the very simple 19.Nfg5 h6 20.Qh5 and 19.Nfg5 g6 20.Nxf7. It is completely inexplicable how Gelfand didn't consider or figure out this easy second option.

Mar-25-13  RookFile: I think the basic reason was the Gelfand was thinking defensively in the position rather than offensively. He wanted to get rid of the b7 bishop. The reality is that white is the one doing the attacking, and the pretty b7 bishop contributes nothing to defense of the kingside, other than the possibility of maybe chopping something on e4.
Mar-26-13  FLX: Everyone here answer h6 to Nfg5 as an evidence.
But what about g6 ?
It looks like it's not so easy to win after that...
Mar-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Everyone here answer h6 to Nfg5 as an evidence. But what about g6 ? It looks like it's not so easy to win after that...>

I've analyzed it in my first post here - you start with 20.Nxf7.

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