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Vladimir Kramnik vs Hikaru Nakamura
"Vlad the Impaler" (game of the day Dec-13-2016)
London Chess Classic (2014), London ENG, rd 2, Dec-11
King's Indian Defense: Petrosian Variation. Stein Defense (E92)  ·  1-0


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Given 5 times; par: 52 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  nazgulord: This is truly an awesome game. Thanks to <kingscrusher> for alerting me to it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: First Saturday puzzle of the year.

31.Rxg6 Kxg6 is what came to my mind, but to my surprise, it's not the solution.

Of course, Saturday puzzles are way out of my league anyhow, but it does feel good knowing that you can correctly predict, say, a sacrifice (it at least means you're tactically aware).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: 31.Bf5 seemed the most logical choice after examining a few other ideas, given 31...Bxf5 32.exf5 threatening 33.Rg6 next. 32...Qf8 33.f6 looks interesting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Already knew this game, so no credit for me. One thing does puzzle--why is 7.d5 (the Petrosian Variation) not the most popular choice for White? First of all, it does more than 7.0-0 or 7.Be3 to tamp down Black's activity and limit his choices. Second, the fact that someone with such a great positional understanding of chess as Petrosian would advocate 7.d5 should prove highly persuasive to us patzers. Third, based upon the games I've seen, it seems to give White the option of holding the draw or playing for the win depending upon his tournament or match needs. Finally, if White needs to play for the win, this seems like a good choice as the Petrosian Variation seems to accommodate both players who love to slowly squeeze the opponent and those who love to attack the King.

So what have I overlooked?

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: maybe this?

Opening Explorer

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Perhaps a bit too famous already. See for example


Jan-02-16  PeterJ: Interesting comments and an instructive game but why set it as a hard end of week puzzle? Bf5 is a rather obvious strong natural continuation which wins the h pawn in 2 further moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <31.Bf5> looks like the best move, no fireworks here


Jan-02-16  Cheapo by the Dozen: Why is this "difficult"? If the sharp White attack as in the game from Move 36 onward isn't foreseen, White is still a pawn ahead with attacking chances at least as good as Black's.

The notes I wrote before checking are:


As White, I'd like to attack h6. But to do so, it seems necessary to inhibit ... Bf4. That leads to the idea 31 Bf5. Black obviously need to exchange, after which his development seems too screwed up to get h6 defended in time. Also, if Black's queen leaves f6, a discovered check opens up.

Black's counterplay on the queenside seems slow. If he ever plays ... Ra6/Rb6, then b3 would slow him down. Ditto if he ever plays ... a3. If he doesn't do either of those things, White can just sit tight, or maybe interpolate an a3.

So that's what I'd do.

Jan-02-16  stacase: Well, I'm happy, I got all the way to 36. Rg6. Not too difficult for a Saturday.
Jan-02-16  Kasparov Fan: Its too famous to be a Saturday puzzle and answering An Englishman's question you've missed nothing Petrosian variation is a good way of facing KID.But as a KID player myself I like to play stein variation against petrosian variation I've had my first IM norm in a memorable win from the Black side of Stein variation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If you think of today's Saturday puzzle from a positional point of view, White's first five moves 31. Bf5 31... Bxf5 32. exf5 Nd7 33. Rg6 Qf7 34. Rxh6+ Kg8 35. Rg6+ Kf8 to logically follow with very little calculation required.

Only a bit of calculation is required to realize 31. Rxg6? Kxg6 32. Bf5+ Kf7 33. Qb3 = to is clearly inferior.

The first real decision requiring calculation is to come up with the strong follow-up move 36. Nf2! (+3.75 @ 20 depth, Deep Fritz 15; +3.89 @ 30 depth, Stockfish 6).

Surprisingly, the computer indicates my human move 36. Nc3, allowing 36...Bg7 37. Qe4 Re8 38. Re6 Nc5 (+2.33 @ 21 depth, deep Fritz 15), is not nearly as strong.

As to an initial improvement for Black, the cloud computers assisting Deep Fritz 15 are unanimous in slightly preferring 17...Re8 = (-0.12 @ 42 depth, Stockfish 181014 SE) over 17...Rf7 = (0.18 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

As to where Black went wrong, it would seem 18...Nfd7? which allows 19. 0-0-0 (+0.71 @ 24 depth, Komodo 9.1; +1.24 @ 42 depth Stockfish 181014 SE ) is the culprit. Instead, the move active 18...Na6 = (0.02 @ 25 depth, Komodo 9.02) keeps Black in the game.

P.S.: Perhaps the pretty finish after 39. Rg8+! with the threats of a Knight Fork and mate in the air would make for a good future Wednesday or Thursday puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A tough one!
Jan-02-16  ChessYouGood: Any move against Nakamura is good enough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Fuel f5s ave first ie pan jim victor book riven glide weapon ash am mass f5 womb flow and go cage network his krypton factor inch efface off then enter g6 guffaws heartily ramble give takes h6 at principle thorax a cut i curry favour ave viktor off an bruv i f2 offer knight daffy duck agogs riven chase back b5 angle glide off g4 then b5 trade an vilificate ghostarms right rook emperor left up after ash c4 and checks tint g5 line wobble flush f6 an i e2 black has only e5 prevent mate at give e5 as then house line link danger queen off at pocket ramble give combo wins e5 then game over as his hi lines his key inter glide g6 i krang mag line ooh at chip f5 floors then rooks g5 affable knight ash good aim g4 and c4 trade then f5 aids fan dangles g8 ghostarms have clean bish g5 line wobble erm inter glide roves g6 light guffaws an e2 ebb at wins then e5 lip queens hire key invest risky hang ave hung at h7 ray yin hope at hive angle glint touch an command mid dew over now ave invest wobble bow mow cow tow gone bad maw ive cut abode mew ave match eg win bish feather boa cage boat a boon f5;
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: a boosh about take tale tame tan taste tab tall tank tap hope efface off ever as hot feet hoof ever flush an toe it edict have ebb be erm you dance affable eat cut above at then rest ash as h3 flow f5 vine fine inter glide abode g6 as angle gleans again mow match eg win aorta g6 whiff ave beats oatmeal it alink aloof bish first alive g6 gantry am effected it fale fave bale go build as wale male tale gale bod mc want ive win bow down be my guest cage team riven left efface off afluent fuel flu pale f5 go build g6 garages around fun buff lip up vulcan grip ok ave ogle lifed it edict have then devours cream black jaw an l0 win va va voom queen i e2 wins e5 queen vain jewel fuel pjs moot point v boa weapon mass f5 there g6 destructive lines limb man pop edict have then cage network a boon as hoot feet his krypton factor i g2 again agog it gave inter glides raid at ooh ash kid man each then gift at g3 hat foot iffy lewd luge tiffs oh change a vent pus pit edict have ai wins e5 moss elines again difficult re as on as have then kip infode line low an good ink flocks want f5 viktor glide g6 knight affable ate g4 ive ground etc c4 able wire bus camp revents g8 line g5 gauges check f6 infer fanfare i e2 wins e5 at queens hive rew came thod carry inter light boot best cow cinch gack gun vintage wovern again fabric waves acts cave team ive then am flurry it hind hive hint just us juice off an an kid pov as h3 at f5 inter glide g6 as key affable missions elect rove treasure quad chest erm c4 and g4 gives g8 ghostarms manage have mind rove g5 line on wobble queen i e2 then e5 win queen cod quad one grips event flight again ado c4 rooks vines g6 guffaws am cad i glorify oh door act each i dipoff bishop queen i e2 wins e5 queen as have oomph infer tile every am good delve link alive no more bus band g5 rooks h6 at principle thorax a cut i curry favour ave viktor glide an ere good rev i do team fetch eg win as h3 ooh then f5 flares floor flight rade finds duos feint an cervix a cut i curry favour ave viktor glide ash farm an got each ash head an ear try ebb an eg it given gave gavel g6 ogle rook invest gauge g6 then am f7 bade before bruv i co determine have bad moves knight d7 aids occular eye wrench eg wins eline at fa da dee castle fanfares away inter glide far an f1 fine vet ooh bishop at h3 an glide gone rook emperor glads f6 really frugals again uniform appraisal line g5 wobble queen fanfare off at f6 then am g3 angle g6 pairs guffaws again regroup queens f7 at g3 then fetch eg win each i g6 aid good family vote then done an deal knight affable act g4 gains win a 31.Bf5 Bxf5 32.exf5 Nd7;
Jan-02-16  CountryGirl: I hadn't seen this game before for some reason. What a beauty! When Kramnik lets rip he is a brilliant attacker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: After 17.Ng6

click for larger view


<+0.00/36 17...Re8> 18.Nf4 Na6 19.Rg1 Bf5 20.Bf3 Nc5 21.Ke2 Kh7 22.Qe1 Qe7 23.Qxg3 Rg8 24.Raf1 Nfe4 25.Bxe4 Nxe4 26.Qf3 Bxc3 27.Bxc3 Raf8 28.Rxg8 Rxg8 29.Ne6 Ng3+ 30.Ke1 Bxe6 31.Rg1 Qh4 32.dxe6 Nh5+ 33.Kf1 Qxc4+ 34.Kf2 Qh4+ 35.Kf1 Qc4+

Jan-02-16  Olsonist: Nice combinational ending but it does seem to play itself after finding the not hard to find Bf5. Also, I'm not exactly sure what Naka was thinking about with his Q-side pawn storm while getting mated. Still the Nh6 resource was very nice. Doubtlessly Kramnik had to calculate that before committing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dunamisvpm: I guess Next move is 42.Nh6+
Happy New Year. GOD Bless
Jan-02-16  Olsonist: Yeah, but Nh6 was an earlier resource. 39. ... Kxg8. Then Nh6 forking K+Q.
Apr-05-16  SimplicityRichard: Wow! A breathtaking combination from Kramnik! A rarity.#
Dec-13-16  waustad: As much as I like the Kings Indian, when it loses it often does spectacularly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I submitted this pun years ago, but for a different gam. :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: The pun fits. Very nice attack by Kramnik.

Nakamura's queenside rook and knight sat on the bench for most of the game.

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