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Viswanathan Anand vs Vladimir Kramnik
World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 4, Mar-17
Queen's Gambit Declined: Vienna Variation (D39)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Let us try a few moves: 23 Rxd4 Bb5+ 24 Kf2 Qh4+ 25 Ke3. Now what does Black do? 25...e5 forks the Rd4 and f4 pawn and threatens the skewer ...Qxf4+. One way to decline the offer is by 23 a4.
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: It seems that Kramnik has a draw if he wants it.
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: A 30 moves draw.
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  DcGentle: A bit disappointing, but there are more games in this tournament.
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessdgc2: Yes, and that's 2 consecutive draws for Kramnik with the Black pieces...he'll get White those next two turns and this puts him in a great position
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I didn't really like the Nd4-e2-g1 idea but I can't see much else.
Mar-17-14  RedShield: Another example of Kramnik's weak opening preparation, especially with black.
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Anish Giri:" Suspiciously many games in the last few years between Kramnik and Anand when black has been better prepared."

Anand admitted that Kramnik's choice of the opening was a surprise to him. According to Kramnik, this game is relevant for the theory of this variation.

Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  JohnBoy: After 19...Qh1+ 20.Kf2 Qxa1 21.Nxc6 0-0 where is the knock-out punch?
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Woke up and played through the game -- very exciting! Then I came here and learned that it was probably all home cooking. Oh well.
Mar-17-14  RedShield: <After 19...Qh1+ 20.Kf2 Qxa1 21.Nxc6 0-0 where is the knock-out punch?>

<22.Ne7+ Kg7(g8) 23.Rd8> is the idea, and the best Black has is to give up the Bishop with Bd7, but the position is lost.

Mar-17-14  RookFile: I think Lasker would have been very pleased by this game. Good fighting effort.
Mar-17-14  alayo: I am not impressed with unsound sacrifices that end up with perpetual checks when they fail to work. For club players, that's OK. But for world championship contenders, it's not good enough.
Mar-17-14  devere: <alayo: I am not impressed with unsound sacrifices that end up with perpetual checks when they fail to work.>

If it forces perpetual check in what way was it unsound?

Mar-17-14  Petrosianic: <If it forces perpetual check in what way was it unsound?>

It could be "unsound" in the sense that it dissipates an advantage.

For example, if my position is +1.1, and I sac a piece to try to checkmate, but it fails and I have to force a perpetual (eval now 0.0) then the sac could be said to be unsound in that way.

Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <alayo> Why was the sacrifice unsound?
Mar-17-14  VaselineTopLove: <Petrosianic> But neither Kramnik nor Anand were had a 1.1 eval at any point, so alayo's comment isn't relevant to this game.
Mar-17-14  Petrosianic: True, it might not be relevant to this game. The theoretical question was how can a drawing sacrifice be unsound. That's the best I could think of.
Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: According to Kramnik, this game is of theoretical value for the <Vienna Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined>. Specifically, they played Vienna Variation with 7.Bxc4 and 10.Bb5+, considered as one of the main White attempts to gain some advantage.

Anand said he didn't expect this variation, particularly since he himself played it against Kramnik a few times with colors reversed. "I couldn't remember him playing this for a while so in the beginning I was trying to remember my preparation in this line." (Anand) Actually, Kramnik played this line in Grischuk vs Kramnik, 2011 They followed this game until 15...Ne5.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 dxc4 <Kramnik remarked that he played many different moves here, 4...Be7, 4...Bb4, 4...c5, and now 4...dxc4. With this move Black doesn't want to allow White to play a calm and comfortable position with equal material> 5. e4 Bb4


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The Vienna Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined (considered as one of the sharpest in the opening theory). It leads to a sharp middlegame, where both kings stay in the center.

6. Bg5 c5 7. Bxc4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bxc3 (In the Vienna Variation Black begins queenside actions rather early. The deviation 8...Qa5 was used by Anand against Kramnik in Kramnik vs Anand, 2010 and Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 )

9. bxc3 Qa5 10. Bb5 Nbd7 11. Bxf6 Qxc3 12. Kf1 gxf6 13. h4 a6 14. Rh3 Qb4 15. Be2 Ne5 16. h5 (Anand said that this is a "nice idea, kind of topical recently." In the aforementioned game Grischuk vs Kramnik, 2011 White opted for 16.Rc1) Qd6 17. Qd2


click for larger view

<17...Nc6> This move was prepared by Kramnik (he didn't want to discuss his preparation). Anand said that he hadn't really studied it in great depth (he was prepared up until 17.Qd2). .

After forced 18. Rd3 Kramnik infiltrated behind White's ranks with 18...Qh2 and the play became more forced.

Mar-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <cro777: <17...Nc6> This move was prepared by Kramnik (he didn't want to discuss his preparation). Anand said that he hadn't really studied it in great depth (he was prepared up until 17.Qd2)>

Nice background. Anand went out of his way to try and beat Kramnik, engaging in a sharp opening theoretical discussion. Both came knowing the opening variation, and the game ended in an appropriate perpetual. This is not a GM draw as a few kibitzers imply. In such sharp openings, the one who comes in not have done his homework is also often the one to lose.

Mar-17-14  Rhialto: If Kramnik prepared 17...Nc6 it's likely he prepared the entire game; the computer basically spits out the game variation immediately, all the way up to the end. It's true that it may go for 21.Nb3?! or 21.Nc2?! at various depths but one look at 21...Ne5! 22.fe Bb5 (in reply to both moves) is enough to convince even a superficial human analyst that 21.Ne2 is the move. Everything else is forced for both sides.
Mar-18-14  Pulo y Gata: Nice input, <cro>.

There's a tendency for some kibbutzers to downplay a game if it seems to be a product of home preparation as though the players did not exert themselves in doing such. While there's a fundamental difference between finding moves at the cool of one's private prep room and finding moves otb with the clock ticking away, similar critical factors are involved: the trimming of moves (candidates), the creativity (with engine available it takes a more disciplined approach to be able to temper one's reliance on it) and personal human analytical ability -- which may all be lumped up as 'chess understanding'. This is critical in prep, as the games of lesser mortals show. Otherwise we would all be Kramniks et.al. of this chess world.

Mar-21-14  RookFile: Why would you say declined? Black played the dxc4 move characteristic of the queen's gambit accepted.
Mar-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile> It is unusual, but as noted by <cro777>, this is the Vienna Variation of the QGD.
Mar-21-14  tonsillolith: <20...Rxg2!!> winning either the f-pawn or the h-pawn.
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